The current Ford Mondeo was released in late 2010 as a facelift of the MC-generation that launched in 2007. So the Mondeo is in its twilight years now, however although the new model was previewed at the Sydney motor show in October, it won’t arrive for another year.
So the Mondeo will need this facelift to work through new generations of Mazda 6 and Toyota Camry, as well as next year’s Holden Malibu. The MC update furnished the generation with state-of-the-art safety technology including driver alert, lane departure warning and a blind spot information system, in addition to offering a new turbo engine, all signified by ‘refreshed’ styling.
To its existing virtues as a spacious, comfortable and fine-riding family car, the Mondeo could add ‘tech savvy’ and ‘efficient’ to that list.
Ford’s new 2.0-litre Ecoboost engines combines turbocharging with high-pressure direct fuel injection, to compensate for a 300cc reduction in displacement compared with the old 2.3-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder. For the update, the 2.3 would continue in the base LX, but the Ford Mondeo Zetec we tested, in addition to the tech-packed Titanium, would score the Ecoboost engine.
Available on only the Ford Mondeo Zetec and Titanium petrol models in five-door hatch guise only, ecoboost offers significant improvements over the previous 2.3-litre Duratec petrol engine, now found only on the entry-level LX models.
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Fashion stuff inspired by lavish super cars like Ferrari or Maserati are quite cool. But we’re not sure about the Chevrolet Malibu Collection. The Malibu is an affordable mid-sized sedan, which is hardly a glamorous proposition. That said, we’re not qualified to comment on anything fashion related, so we just show you the stuff and will leave you to judge. The six-piece Malibu Collection by Isaac Mizrahi goes on sale next week in limited quantity.
The collection draws inspiration from the 2013 Malibu’s features and colors, including clean lines, crisp shapes, and soft-touch materials and textures, as well as blue ambient lighting. Good news is, because it’s a Malibu collection and not anything Italian and exotic, the goods are quite cheap.
- Malibu Driving Moccasin ($ 110): Made in Napa leather, with a quilted, cushioned insole. The color was inspired by the Malibu’s Crystal Red Tintcoat color.
- Malibu Blouse ($ 140): Blouse with robin’s egg blue silk crepe. Hidden buttons and pocket complete this piece.
- Malibu Leather Jacket ($ 298): Buttery-soft black leather jacket with quilted detailing, interior blue contrast piping and a slightly fitted structure that resembles the contrast stitching on the seats.
- Malibu Double-Handle Tote Bag ($ 260): Rich saturated cobalt blue bag in pebble leather with black interior and blue piping along the zipper.
- Malibu Colored Skinny Jean ($ 73): Coated, poppy red color with a touch of stretch to conform to any body type.
- Malibu Oversized Boyfriend Watch ($ 110): The watch’s blue face is inspired by the Malibu’s interior light, and it’s complemented by silvertone detailing.
MotorTrend reports on a prediction made by the AAA, which believes that nearly eight million cars will be equipped with start-stop systems by 2017 in North America. This apparently comes from the system being so popular.
Popular? The last time I remember, most of us in the automotive world shunned start-stop systems for their simple annoyance. That’s also the case here at egmCarTech, as none of us are very fond of it. Maybe popular as in, a lot of companies are doing it.
And looking around, a lot of cars are coming with the system to help increase fuel economy by eliminating the idle time of an engine. From something as basic as a Kia Rio, to the midsized Chevrolet Malibu Eco family sedan, and of course, the luxury cars as well.
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Price: $ 38,990 to $ 48,990
Medium cars have overtaken large car sales in Australia and the Opel Insignia, the new mid-sizer from General Motors’ German brand, is hoping to grab a slice of the action.
The Insignia represents the flagship of Opel’s range that goes on sale from September, sitting above the Corsa city car and Astra small car.
The Opel Insignia even fills a hole for GM in the medium-car segment while Holden waits another few months for its new Malibu to replace the floundering Epica.
As with the Corsa and Astra, the Insignia’s predecessor has history in Australia as a rebadged Holden – though it was then known as the Vectra.
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Australia is the single largest market in the world for the iconic Toyota LandCruiser. More than one in 10 of all LandCruisers ever built have been sold here.
In Australia’s booming SUV market, the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series has the distinction of taking a massive 77 per cent slice of total sales for large SUVs priced under $ 100K.
It’s a huge lead, despite its direct competitor, the Nissan Patrol, coming with a substantially lower retail price of $ 70,490 for the top-of-the-line 3.0-litre Ti turbo diesel (Nissan will launch a new-generation Patrol in Australia in January 2013).
In comparison, our test vehicle is the Toyota LandCruiser 200 GXL turbo diesel, which is priced at $ 88,990 before on-road costs.
The upper-large SUV category includes just six other contenders: Range Rover Vogue; Lexus LX570; Mercedes-Benz GL-Class; Nissan Patrol; Toyota Troop Carrier and the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series Wagon.
Toyota is one of the world’s most successful automotive brands, and in the States, the Camry mid-sizer is their best seller. In Australia, it’s easily the de facto choice in its class for rental and taxi companies, government fleets and private buyers. Join us as we take the Australian-spec Atara S for one of our weeklong road test and reviews.
The AU$ 33,490 RRP Atara S is the second cheapest model in the 2012 Camry range and the obvious choice for the vast majority of private buyers (the Altise, at AU$ 30,490 RRP, is the mainstay of fleet operators).
The 2012 Camry feels large for a mid-sizer with a length of 4,815 mm (190 in.) and a wheelbase of 2,775 mm (109 in.). It’s also 1,825 mm (72 in.) wide and 1,470 mm (58 in.) tall.
It’s fine-looking looking from most angles though the styling is best described as evolutionary rather than revolutionary – a Toyota hallmark. It’s a shame that from the side it looks more like a minor facelift than an all-new model; the angular window-line seemingly unchanged from the previous generation.
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What It Is: Cling-wrapped examples of Honda’s next-generation Accord in both sedan and coupe form. We’d previously spotted a parka-clad Accord sedan, but this is our first glimpse of the cars’ production shapes. The front and rear fascias appear quite toned down from those of the recent Accord Coupe concept, which presaged the new generation, although Honda may not have yet fully tipped its hand with those pieces.
Why It Matters: The Accord has become stale, and Honda needs to prove it hasn’t lost its mojo as a company. The car is still a perennial 10Best winner, but it’s not as dominant a force as it once was. (In fact, only the brilliant four-cylinder manual Accords made our 2012 list.) And with the mid-size segment perhaps more competitive than it has ever been, Honda needs a hit to keep pace with the sales volume of the Toyota Camry and the hype of the new Ford Fusion.
Platform: Keeping with Honda’s recent practice of evolutionary generational changes (Civic, CR-V, etc.), the size and shape of both sedan and coupe are largely the same as before. Thus, expect most of the underpinnings to be closely related to those currently roaming practically every street in America. The most noticeable alterations will be in the details, including the body-side particulars, lighting elements, and fascias. The latter appear here to house a larger lower grille and may end up sporting trapezoidal fog lights and exhaust finishers as seen on the concept car. The coupe’s porthole camo is definitely out for production—we’re a little bummed about that one.
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