Last drive of Kia’s Sportage before the new model arrives (plus pics of the new model)


2014 Kia Sportage

It’s been a couple of years since we last drove the Sportage (read about it here). We thought it capable and 2014 Kia Sportageelegant as well as being sexy and well equipped. Kia has so much confidence in their cars that they’ve added an extra couple of years to their already brilliant warranty so you now get 7 years peace of mind. As well as that, you get 7 years of capped price servicing and 7 years roadside assist, plus, a free service after your first 3 months.

The cheap and cheerful tag simply doesn’t apply to a company prepared to back their vehicles for 7 years does it? They’ve thought about your resale value too because these benefits are transferrable to the new owner.

The 5 star rating is the best we can currently have. So, not only do you have 7 worry-free years, but if the unthinkable prang happens you have the best possible chance of coming out of an incident in as good a condition as is possible.

There have been little tweaks here and there but the Sportage is still a brilliant car to drive and is still drop-dead gorgeous. I love it as much as I did when I drove it last time. My one and only reservation now is the 2014 Kia Sportagenew model is just around the corner, so would I buy the old model?

The new models promise much and to be frank from the pictures I’m still preferring the looks of the current car. I mentioned this to my man at Kia and he assures me I’ll love the new car and that it is even better in the flesh. A couple of the chaps have been over to the Mojave desert for a spin in the new car and they liked it very much. With the fabulous new Sorento recently getting all sorts of hurrahs, perhaps they’re right.

All I’ll say is this; the current Sorrento is a huge step up from the old model so I’m expecting the same from2014 Kia Sportage Sportage. If it delivers even a soupçon on that expectation I’ll be a happy bloke. It’s a perfect runaround and the AWD models give you enough chutzpah to attempt a little light off-roading.

I love the Sportage a lot, and always have. However if I was in the market now I’d want to see what the new one looks like before buying myself a runout model.

As always, I look for a car that can take a couple of small bags, and would look good with a handsome young couple, a gingham table cloth with picnic basket bunged in the back. Of course there has to be room for a mischievous puppy too. The performance is perfectly adequate and the handling excellent. I’ve no doubt the new model will have rack mounted steering and a smorgasbord of tasty new extras though. I’m truly torn.


here is the new model just to compare:

All New Kia Sportage gaycarboys (6)All New Kia Sportage gaycarboys (1)

All New Kia Sportage gaycarboys (2)All New Kia Sportage gaycarboys (3)All New Kia Sportage gaycarboys (5)All New Kia Sportage gaycarboys (4)

Holden VFII Ute makes public debut at famous Deniliquin Ute Muster

Antiques Road Trip gaycarboys

  • Holden reveals most powerful Commodore Ute ever built at the 17th annual Deniliquin Ute Muster
  • VFII Ute V8 now boasts new 6.2-litre LS3 engine
  • Bi-modal exhaust and mechanical sound enhancer standard on all V8 sports models
  • Fans given opportunity to experience virtual reality test drive of Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground with three-time Bathurst 1000 champion Garth Tander at the wheel

Holden has revealed the most powerful Commodore Ute ever, VFII, for the first time at the legendary Deniliquin Ute Muster.

The public debut of the VFII was reserved for Holden fans at the Ute Muster with the VFII Ute joining its sedan and wagon siblings with the introduction of a new 6.2-litre LS3 engine.  The new V8 engine is capable of delivering a staggering 304kW of power and 570Nm of torque, and producing a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.9 seconds, making it the quickest Commodore Ute in history.

Working in harmony with VFII’s new 6.2-litre engine, Holden engineers have spent countless hours developing VFII Ute’s new and unique sound character.  Using a newly introduced bi-modal exhaust, a patent pending Holden designed “Baillie Tip” and a mechanical sound enhancer, the sound package combines to ensure you are likely to hear the car before you see it. 

Holden’s track focused, top of the range, SSV Redline VFII Ute builds on the performance of its LS3 V8 engine, introducing Brembo brakes on all four wheels ensuring exceptional and consistent braking performance when pushed to the limits on the track.

Rounding off the upgrades to VFII, Holden designers have introduced functional design changes in the form of front fascia ducts and hood vents, allowing for aerodynamic benefits and increased engine cooling respectively, as well as a range of new wheel designs.

Holden’s Lead Dynamics Engineer, Rob Trubiani, said the entire team was incredibly proud of what they had achieved and was looking forward to the public’s reaction. 

“This has been an especially exciting project as we’ve wanted this engine in this vehicle for some time now so it’s great that it’s finally here and it certainly won’t disappoint,” said Mr. Trubiani.

“It’s a perfect demonstration of how Holden understands the unique needs of Australian ute drivers who want a functional car for the week but with the added performance and character for an engaging weekend drive.

“The Deniliquin Ute Muster is an ideal place for VFII to make its public debut.  The people that attend this event are fans of the car and the brand and we want to show them that they’re important to us.”

In addition to the technical changes, Commodore VFII Ute also boasts the exceptional refinement and handling that Holden has become famous for thanks to extensive tuning work done at Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground and test rides across Victoria. 

Holden’s Chief Engineer, Andrew Holmes, said the years of hard work developing VFII ensure it is a thrilling and engaging ride, and a fitting car to be launched to the 20,000 strong Deniliquin crowd first.

“We’ve been working on this car for a while now and are excited to see it make its debut at Deni. The new 6.2-litre LS3 engine, combined with its unique sound character makes an already thrilling sports vehicle, even more special,” said Mr. Holmes.

“We have tested the Ute alongside sedan and wagon, completing in the region of 250,000kms of development driving and can say this is absolutely the best car we have ever engineered and we know our customers will enjoy driving VFII as much as we enjoyed creating it.”

In addition to the VFII Ute reveal, Holden will invite fans to experience a virtual reality tour of the top secret Lang Lang proving ground with three-time Bathurst 1000 champion, Garth Tander, in the driver’s seat.  Powered by Oculus Rift technology, the drive takes in numerous parts of the test facility whilst allowing fans to still enjoy the entertainment on show at the Ute Muster.

Commodore VFII goes on sale in October with demand for the unbridled V8 variant expected to be extremely strong.  Customers wishing to register their interests can do so at their local Holden dealer or via the Holden website.

New Features to Commodore VFII Ute Range


  • Passive entry / Passive start
  • New front fascia and grille
  • New 18 inch alloy wheels

SS (above SV6)

  • 6.2 litre LS3 V8 engine
  • Bi-modal exhaust with mechanical sound enhancer
  • Passive entry / Passive start
  • New front fascia and grille
  • Hood Vents
  • New 18 inch alloy wheels
  • Performance brake option

SSV (above SS)

  • 6.2 litre LS3 V8 engine
  • Colour Head Up Display
  • New 19 inch alloy wheels

SSV Redline (above SS-V)

  • 6.2 litre LS3 V8 engine
  • Rear Brembo brakes
  • New 20 inch forged wheel option

Colour Range

  • Slipstream Blue* (NEW)
  • Phantom Black*
  • Nitrate Silver*
  • Prussian Steel Grey*
  • Jungle Green* – available on sports models only
  • Some Like It Hot Red*
  • Heron White
  • Red Hot
  • Regal Peacock Green*

*premium paint – $550 option (except on Caprice V – no charge)


Recommended retail price^ of the Commodore VFII range is as follows:


  • Evoke, V6 Auto                                               $33,490
  • SV6, V6 Man / Auto                                        $33,990 / $36,190
  • SS, V8 Man / Auto                                          $40,990 / $43,190
  • SSV, V8 Man / Auto                                       $44,490 / $46,690
  • SSV Redline, V8 Man / Auto                           $50,490 / $52,690

Optional performance brakes and 20 inch wheels    

  • Performance brakes (V8s only)                     $350
  • 20 inch forged alloy wheels (redline only)      $1,500

Holden’s Lifetime Capped Price Servicing, the largest of its kind in Australia, will also available on the Commodore VFII range rewarding customers with complete peace of mind.

^ Recommended retail price excluding dealer delivery, on roads costs and government charges

Kia Sorento is not just a pretty face.


2015 Kia Sorento Si

2015 Kia Sorento Platinum2015 Kia Sorento Platinum

2015 Kia Sorento Platinum2015 Kia Sorento Platinum

2015 Kia Sorento Platinum2015 Kia Sorento Platinum

2015 Kia Sorento Platinum2015 Kia Sorento Si

We loved Kia’s Sorento when we drove it in Port Douglas earlier in the year (read about it here). I hoped it would be as nice to drive back home in Sydney. It sounds silly but sometimes a car at launch doesn’t measure up when you drive in in the real world.

I’m happy to report the Sorento Petrol was even better than I remembered it.

There are thoughtful touches such as auto folding mirrors which sense the driver’s approach and gently unfold. The puddle lights and door handles illuminate in preparation for the driver to press the unlock button. I like smart entry and start very much. It means you leave the key in your bag or pocket and never again have to spend hours searching for it. It’s a bit of unexpected but very welcome bling.

The SLi petrol is $50,411 on the road in NSW and for that money there is bags of space but only front wheel drive at that price. It is only noticeable in the wet as she scrambles for grip like a demented woodpecker. The 199kw 3.3 petrol feels leisurely most of the time but gets up and dances when you stick the boot in. The 6 speed auto does the job and is fairly economical especially on the highway giving about 8L/100k. You might be surprised to see this wasn’t far shy of the company claims. Around town we got a little higher at around 15L/100k so the claimed combined of 9.9 combined doesn’t seem out of the ballpark. Given all the hooha over the last few weeks with VW in deep, and very hot water, this is reassuring. The Koreans seem to have it pretty much under control.

On the launch I reported the stereo wasn’t quite as expected and to be fair we didn’t have much time to fettle the controls. This week we gave those knobs a jolly good twiddle. Actually it wasn’t knobs, it was the LCD touch screen interface which was caressed rather than knobs twiddled. Whilst I’m partial to knob twiddling the industry is moving towards leaving greasy paw marks over a screen. It also does most of the other controls as well. Responds in good time and for a change has Satnav that doesn’t require big hugs every time it does something. It’s all fun and games until the time when the light is behind you and all you see is finger marks. C’est la vie (I’d say it in Korean if I knew Korean and had a Korean keyboard). We got the sound to be quite decent by simply returning all the settings to neutral.

We did the city run mostly, throwing in a 100k run along the M5 for good measure at the last minute. After about 400k (ish) in total, we got a pretty good lie of the land. For a big car it’s incredibly easy to get around town in. It’s easy to park but there is no getting away from her ample proportions. She is a buxom lassie and in shopping centre car parks, those lines feel mighty close. Put 3 or 4 SUVs beside each other and you’ll wish you hadn’t had all those counter lunches with beers.

While you’re doing that spot of weekly grocery shopping you’ll find a use to the 3rd row of seats. Leaving them up makes a cosy spot for your Coles bags. There is nothing worse than wasting money on your organic oranges only to have them rolling about like billiard balls. It’s probably the only time a gay boy would use his 3rd row seats, unless of course a night’s clubbing had been particularly successful. Perhaps that’s telling tales out of school.

On the highway the Sorento is magnificent. Remember this is a 50 grand vehicle. You’ll need to keep this in mind because as you cruise at 110k it feels more like a limo costing 3 or 4 times as much. The suspension feels sophisticated giving the passengers a posh ride. We noticed only the very worst ruts transmitted themselves into the bums of those on board. More importantly it didn’t overly upset the steering. I’ve thought of Kia steering as being a bit soulless in the past but the new rack mounted setup means less stress on the steering column itself. I’m told by Kia’s technical bloke that the rack mounting also makes tuning the system easier and more precise. I’ve driven SUVs costing much more which I’ve enjoyed much less. They either wallow all over the place like jelly on springs, or they’re so stiff they feel as if the springs were stolen during the night.

You never feel like you run out of puff. The engine had plenty of poke, but you’re driving a car of nearly 2 tonnes so maneuvers should be done with consideration and planning. As good as it drives, it is not a sports car.

The Platinum comes in at $60,000 ish (on the road NSW) and only comes in a diesel but the Si can be had for a snip at $45,241. The basics are the same with little luxuries being added as you go up the range. What this means is the same uber-comfy ride is had no matter how much you spend. When compared to Toyota’s Kluga ($45,402 to $74,403) and Nissan’s Pathfinder ($44,083 to $74,094), the Sorento compares favourably especially in the price VS trim department. Looks are a matter of taste but I think the Kia is arguably the best looking.

The Sorento is a big roomy 7 seater. It does long distance in great comfort and with great panache. You’d get out after 1,000 k’s feeling fresh as a very daisy. Well, OK you’d feel totally knackered but at least you’d not be crippled from being origamied into a space better suited to a 10 year old.

Looking at the value, the drive and the looks, Kia may have made themselves the yardstick others will chase. For fact and figures see our previous review here.

Would I buy one? Yes, but only if I didn’t require full 4WD which would usually be my first preference.

The All-New Jaguar XF Australian Pricing announced

2016 all new Jaguar XF S GayCarBoys (1)


Priced from $82 800 for the XF Prestige 20d

  • Deliveries to commence from Q1, 2016
  • Aluminium-intensive architecture
  • Elegant, progressive design combines short overhangs and outstanding proportions with exceptional aerodynamic efficiency: Cd 0.28
  • Lighter and more efficient, with unrivalled refinement, dynamics and design
  • Segment-leading for rear seat space: row-two occupants gain 15mm more legroom, 24mm more knee room and up to 27mm more headroom
  • Powertrains from 132kW Ingenium diesel to 280kW V6 supercharged petrol with eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Double-wishbone and Integral Link suspension deliver exceptional ride comfort, handling, and unrivalled refinement
  • All-Surface Progress Control enables smooth, effortless drive-away on lowfriction surfaces such as snow and ice – all the driver has to do is steer
  • The all-new XF offers a host of additional technology including autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, intelligent speed limiter and semi-automated parking
  • All-new optional 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system – InControl Touch Pro – offers door-to-door navigation, and 17-speaker, 825W Meridian digital surround sound. It also features a reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster features four visual modes and full-screen navigation display

Sydney Australia, 30th September 2015
Jaguar Australia is pleased to announce that pricing for the all-new Jaguar XF will start at $82 800 for the XF Prestige 20d. The all-new Jaguar XF brings an unrivalled blend of design, luxury, refinement and efficiency to lead the business car segment.

The dynamic, coupé-like design is formed around Jaguar’s aluminium-intensive architecture and combines the outstanding proportions, elegant surfaces and perfect lines which define all Jaguar cars, with a longer wheelbase, more interior space and exceptionally low aerodynamic drag.

The cabin is a seamless blend of contemporary luxury materials and finishes, traditional Jaguar craftsmanship and state-of-the art technology, with features such as a reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, laser head-up display and the

InControl Touch Pro premium infotainment system
“I believe the all-new XF is the best looking car in its class. Elegant, handsome and with proportions that imbue a great sense of integrity – the all-new XF is true to the great tradition of sporting Jaguar saloons while being completely of its time.”
Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar

The 2007 XF was a radical step forward for Jaguar – and for the business car segment. Combining a sleek, coupé-like exterior and a luxurious interior, it set the class benchmark for aesthetics and driving dynamics.

Features such as the rotary shift controller, rotating air vents and phosphor blue ambient lighting set the cabin apart from the competition and made the XF a highly desirable, aspirational vehicle. It was like nothing Jaguar had ever made before, and like nothing the competition could offer. The XF went on to become the most awarded Jaguar ever.

The all-new XF retains its predecessor’s core attributes but uses Jaguar’s aluminiumintensive architecture to elevate them to a completely new level. It enables weight savings of up to 190kg and an increase in torsional stiffness of up to 28 per cent. The architecture also delivers dramatic improvements in packaging and the proportions so essential to Jaguar design.

The all-new XF is 4,954mm long: at 2,960 the wheelbase is 51mm longer than before, the front overhang 66mm shorter. Though 7mm shorter and 3mm lower than the original XF, rear seat space is class-leading thanks to 15mm more legroom, 24mm more knee room and up to 27mm more headroom than before.

The light, stiff body is also fundamental to the all-new XF’s superb vehicle dynamics.

Double wishbone front suspension and Integral Link rear suspension – combined with near-50:50 weight distribution – deliver the ideal balance between ride and handling.

“From an engineering perspective, our targets with the all-new XF were bound by one holistic goal – it had to do everything better, and it does.

“It offers even better dynamics, even greater refinement for the comfort of its occupants, it delivers an all-new infotainment system, and it utilises every last mm of packaging to maximise interior space, while exploiting all the weight-saving optimisation offered by our new aluminium-intensive architecture. As a driver you will notice these benefits from the moment you sit behind the wheel, and as a passenger Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar XF

Adopting Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) maintains Jaguar’s leadership in steering feel but also reduces fuel consumption by up to two per cent and three per cent for diesel and petrol models respectively. EPAS also enables functions such as camber compensation and advanced driver assistance systems including lane-keep assist, driver condition monitoring and bay- and parallel park-assist.

Advanced passive damper technology delivers exceptional ride quality as standard through an extra valve which reduces damping forces at low speeds. For even better control the Adaptive Dynamics system monitors body movement 100 times a second and wheel movement 500 times a second to determine the optimum damper settings for the driving conditions.

Jaguar Configurable Dynamics technology, optional on all V6 models, provides the ultimate in control and enables the driver to individually tailor settings of the dampers, steering, engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.

All-Surface Progress Control, developed for low-speed driving in adverse conditions, automatically manages the brakes and the throttle to deliver the best possible traction, enabling the car to pull away smoothly and without drama: the driver only has to steer. ASPC operates between 3.6km/h and 30km/h, and the desired speed is set by the driver using the cruise control switches.

Infotainment and connectivity is the most advanced Jaguar has ever offered. The all new InControl Touch Pro system builds on the intuitive user interface of InControl Touch, and supports all the same features – but offers a 10.2-inch touchscreen and Dual View technology which simultaneously allows the driver to see information such as navigation, while the front seat passenger watches TV or a DVD.

To enrich the experience there’s also natural voice control, supporting commands such as ‘more like this’ for track selection, and 10GB of the 60GB solid-state drive is dedicated to media storage, enabling Gracenote album art to be displayed. Audio systems include the exceptional 17-speaker, 825W Meridian digital surround sound system.

To minimise driver distraction the all-new XF offers a colour laser head-up display.

Compared to competitor systems, this technology is smaller, lighter, and generates high contrast images which are easier to read in strong sunlight.

Stereo camera technology enables autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist systems. Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist takes the stress out of motorway driving in stop-go traffic by tracking the vehicle in front, at a safe distance.

The all-new XF is also the first Jaguar to offer adaptive full-LED headlights. Featuring two banks of LEDs and reflectors – one for dipped beam, the other for main beam – they generate light with a colour temperature closer to that of daylight than is achievable with Xenon lights, delivering better illumination. At the same time, energy consumption is reduced. So efficient are they that, unlike first-generation designs,
cooling fans are not needed.

If the high-beam assist function is specified, the stereo camera will detect other vehicles in the distance, and the headlights will be dipped automatically as necessary to avoid dazzling other drivers.

2016 all new Jaguar XF S GayCarBoys (2)

Range summary
The all-new XF range will consist of: XF Prestige, XF R-Sport, XF Portfolio, XF S.

The all-new XF powertrain range will consist of: 132kW 2.0-litre diesel automatic;177kW 2.0 petrol automatic; 220kW diesel automatic; 250kW and 280kW 3.0-litre petrol automatic.

Following a £416million investment, the all-new aluminium-intensive Jaguar XF is manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich Plant alongside the allaluminium F-TYPE sports car and XJ luxury saloon.

The all-new XF joins the Jaguar saloon car range between the XE and XJ model lines.

“The XF nameplate sits at the very heart of Jaguar; the original XF was revolutionary for the brand, and now the all-new aluminium XF represents another innovative stepchange within the business segment.

“Lighter and more efficient, with enhanced space, a greater breadth of powertrains, unrivalled dynamics and refinement and, of course, world-leading design, the all-new XF offers customers a compelling package.”
Steven de Ploey, Brand Director, Jaguar

Model Range – Australia

XF Prestige 20d (132kW 2.0 Ingenium Diesel) $ 82 800
XF Portfolio 25t (177kW 2.0 Petrol) $ 97 800
XF Portfolio 35t (250kW V6SC Petrol) $112 800
XF R-Sport 20d (132kW 2.0 Ingenium Diesel) $ 88 800
XF R-Sport 25t (177kW 2.0 Petrol) $ 89 800
XF R-Sport 35t (250kW 3.0 V6SC Petrol) $104 800
XF S (221kW 3.0 V6 Diesel) $120 700
XF S (280kW 3.0 V6SC Petrol) $128 200
The all-new XF Prestige 20d includes the following standard specification –
• 18” 5-spoke alloy wheels
• Taurus Leather seats (**10×10-way electric front seats w/- 4-way electric lumbar)
• **Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
• Exterior mirrors – **Power-folding, auto-dimming
• Xenon headlamps with signature DRL
• **Memory (mirrors, steering column, driver seat)
• Gloss Black veneer
• Auto dimming interior mirror
• Dual zone climate control
• Interior mood lighting
• **8” capacitive touchscreen
• **380W Meridian sound system w/- 11 speakers + Sub-woofer)
• **InControl touch SD Navigation
• Front & rear parking aids
• Rear camera
• **Lane Departure Warning
• **Autonomous emergency braking
• Keyless start and entry
• **Park assist – parallel & bay, with parking exit

**Specification over and above 15MY XF 2.2 Premium Luxury (RRP $76,500)

BMW Group statement concerning the current discussion of diesel engines

BMW X5 M GayCarBoys

BMW Group is committed to observing the legal requirements in each country and fulfilling all local testing requirements.

In other words, our exhaust treatment systems are active whether rolling on the test bench or driving on the road.

Clear, binding specifications and processes are in place through all phases of development at the BMW Group in order to avoid wrongdoing.

Two studies carried out by the ICCT (International Council on Clean Transportation) have confirmed that the BMW X5 and 13 other BMW vehicles tested comply with the legal requirements concerning NOx emissions. No discrepancies were found in the X5 between laboratory-test and field-test NOx emissions.

The German magazine Auto Bild has published a clarification of their article released yesterday (September 24) concerning the emissions of a BMW X3 stating: “No evidence of emission manipulation by BMW…. The values mentioned in the document were only generated in a single, one hour-long road test. Auto BILD has no access to the details of this test trail, which might explain the discrepancies to the test cycle NEDC.” (NEDC stands for New European Driving Cycle)

BMW Group is willing to discuss our testing procedures with the relevant authorities and to make our vehicles available for testing at any time.

The importance of diesel engines in achieving CO2 targets

Policymakers worldwide, and in particular in the European Union, are setting tough standards for CO2 and other emissions. The 2020 targets in Europe can only be fulfilled through extensive use of modern diesel engines and further electrification.

The progress achieved so far in CO2 reduction in Europe is largely due to the use of diesel technology. Meeting future requirements will not be feasible without diesel drive trains, since a diesel engine emits roughly 15 to 20 per cent less CO2 on average than a comparable petrol engine.

At the BMW Group, we have invested a great deal in recent years in refining and optimizing diesel technology.

At BMW, diesel vehicles accounted for 38% of vehicles sold worldwide last year: Europe 80%; Germany 73%; US 6%. This represents approx. 20,000 vehicles in the US in 2014.

The Euro 6 emissions standard, which took effect on 1 September 2015 and is binding for all new vehicle registrations, improves both environmental and consumer protection.

To bridge the gap between test results and real-life fuel consumption and emissions, the European Union is working on a new test cycle (WLTP) and an emissions test for real driving situations, known as “real driving emissions” or RDE. We support the swift introduction of the new regulations to create clarity for consumers and the industry as quickly as possible.

BMW 1 Series: Maybe entry level, by no means poverty stricken


BMW 125i GayCarBoys (1)

image124697_bBMW 1 Series GayCarBoysBMW 125i GayCarBoys (2)BMW 125i GayCarBoys (3)BMW 125i GayCarBoys (6)BMW 125i GayCarBoys (7)BMW 125i GayCarBoys (8)BMW 135i GayCarBoys (2)BMW 125i GayCarBoys (9)BMW 135i GayCarBoys (1)



The round badge is a favourite of many, and for good reason. The 3 series started the world’s now familiar obsession with compact sporty German cars that drive like go-carts.

As the 3 series got bigger and more expensive, it soon became obvious that a gap between the 3 series and BMW’s youth brand, Mini, was too large, and the 1 series was born.

Thankfully the 118i has lost the coarse sharp corners of the first generation. It looked at bit hacked about design-wise and never sat well with me. The current model looks smooth and neat while keeping the feel and look of the original. It’s altogether less polarising (that’s industry-speak for you either love it or hate it).

We drove the entry level 118i and the first thing to strike us was the fact that it still looks like a BMW, and for around 40 grand that’s quite something.

The exterior looks classy and elegant. While I’m not a fan of hatchbacks that look like wagons, this one looks OK. The back window sitting more upright than most hatches allows for more gear in the rear. Although the design has a touch of “Shooting Brake” about it, the cargo hold is snug unless the back seats are down.

Inside is a slightly more interesting story. Given the massive price gulf between the entry level 1 series and the uber-posh 7 series, you’d expect the quality in the cabin might reflect that gulf but it doesn’t. Sure there is more stuff in a 7 series. There are more luxury touches and additions, but the look and feel isn’t all that different.

Whilst I didn’t like the body-coloured highlights inside the 118i, a few more shekels brings a bigger engine, better handling, and nicer finishes. Instead of body colour plastic you get smart aluminium or carbon fiber look, and fancier appointments as well.

All models feel comfy, but there is no getting away from the fact that the accommodations are snug if there are more than a few beefy lads onboard. It’s true especially in the pauper’s seats in the back.

In recent years the list of inclusions has grown, but the list of options is still impressive in size and cost. All levels feature ConnectedDrive. It’s a way of getting information from the outside world via various means. It’s a good idea in theory, but there are big chunks of it which are a subscriber service at cost. I Suspect most won’t know or care that the option is available, at least for the moment.

The drive is smooth and competent even for our base model. The M135i gets fancier suspension but the 118i manages very well on its standard pins. BMW persists with Run-Flat tyres, yet the ride is comfortable most of the time. Only the most bone jarring of goat tracks ruffle the occupants and the steering and brakes are as sharp as ever. The steering is electric as it is in most cars now. Electric steering requires less of a power drain on the engine. Fewer pulleys means more power to the driving wheels.

The top models get oodles of driver assistance gizmos which I’d like to have seen even on the base model. These include: Approach Control Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Pedestrian Warning, light city braking as well as something called an Attentiveness Assistant. I wish my assistant was attentive!

There are rear parking sensors across the range with the top two models scoring front sensors as well. All models get a reversing camera which is a safety must-have these days. The I-drive has been simplified over the years. The functions are displayed on the tablet-style LCD monitor. The controls BMW 125i GayCarBoys (5)are split between the knob between the front seats, and various other buttons on the centre stack, centre console, and steering wheel. It might all sound hideously complex, but an average intellect should have it sorted after a few weeks practice. Exploring the system won’t break it, so have some fun looking around.

There is a sporty feel even on the 118i, and although acceleration is not as brisk as the M135i (4.9seconds), 8.7 seconds to 100 is nothing to be sniffed at.

I enjoyed the 118i very much. I liked the handling and the fuel economy. Including on-roads, the 118i can be had for a smidge over 40 grand. This means “entry level” premium motoring doesn’t have to cost your first born. The 8speed auto is so smooth you can hardly feel a change and most of the time you feel like you’re driving a pucker posh car.

Would I buy one? Yes. If I couldn’t afford the go-quick M135i I would choose the 120i as the extra 30kw comes in handy.


Price $AUD




Fuel cons




8 sp auto

Turbo 4 cyl 1,598 cc






8 sp auto

Turbo 4 cyl 1,598 cc






8 sp sports auto

Turbo 4 cyl 1,997 cc






8 sp sports auto

Turbo 6 cyl 2,995 cc






8 sp auto

Turbo 4 cyl 1,995 cc




All-new BMW X1 pricing confirmed


all new 2016 BMW X1 gaycarboys (1)

Pricing starts from $49,500 for sDrive18d; $51,600 for sDrive20i; $56,500 for xDrive20d and $59,900 for xDrive25i

  • xDrive models available from launch; sDrive models arrive in December 2015
  • Enhanced list of standard specification over predecessor model, including:
    • Rear View Camera on all models
    • Driving Assistant with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with light city braking function
    • Park Distance Control, front and rear
    • Parking Assistant
    • xLine
    • 18-inch light alloy wheels
    • Navigation system (Plus on sDrive25i)
    • Intelligent Emergency Call and Teleservices
    • ConnectedDrive Lifestyle
    • Real Time Traffic Information
    • Auto Tailgate
    • Rear Seat Adjustment
    • LED headlights
  • Designed by Sydney-born Calvin Luk, his second BMW creation following the recent 1 Series facelift
  • Rugged, sporty exterior and spacious interior among highlights of all-new model
  • Previous generation model a runaway success for BMW worldwide
  • BMW X1 sales have accounted for one-third of all X range sales globally over the last seven years

BMW Group Australia has announced pricing and specification for the all-new BMW X1 ahead of its arrival in Australian in October, with the model range starting from $49,500.

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Opening with the sDrive18d, the all-new BMW X1 will be available in four variants, with the entry-level model followed by the sDrive20i from $51,600, xDrive20d from $56,500 and xDrive25i from $59,900.

While only xDrive models will be available on launch of the all-new BMW X1 during October of this year, the remaining sDrive variants will roll onto showroom floors during December 2015.

Designed by Sydney-born Calvin Luk, who was also responsible for the recently unveiled facelift of the new BMW 1 Series, the all-new BMW X1 builds on the foundations of its predecessor.

With broad proportions and an athletically crafted front-end, the latest addition to the X range shares the distinctive aesthetic hallmarks of its forbears, highlighting its athleticism and sporting ambition.

Delivering advances in dynamics, styling and technology, the latest all-new model to emerge from the company’s production line strengthens an already successful SUV portfolio, and is further bolstered by an extended list of standard specification.

BMW Group Australia Head of Product and Market Planning, Shawn Ticehurst, said the competitive pricing of the all-new BMW X1 reflects the strong optimism around the model.

“The all-new BMW X1 represents an advancement in every way over its predecessor,” Ticehurst said.

“Given the worldwide success of the first generation model, we are very excited with the opportunities afforded by the upcoming launch of this latest addition to the X Series range.

“As Australia’s love affair with SUVs shows no sign of abating, the all-new BMW X1 will undoubtedly make its mark with its attractive new design, considerable pedigree and competitive pricing.”

Developed on BMW’s new front-wheel drive architecture, the all-new BMW X1 showcases the possibilities afforded by the platform, optimising space for storage, functionality and comfort, while maintaining the marque’s trademark driving dynamics.

The benefits generated include an elevated seating position which boosts all-round visibility. 

In addition rear passengers enjoy an extra 57 millimetres of leg room and luggage capacity increases to segment leading 505 to 1,550 litres, aided by standard 40/20/40-split folding seats.

Equipped with xLine as standard, the all-new BMW X1 will arrive with improved levels of base specification, conjuring the rugged yet premium interior ambience familiar to all BMW X models.

Active safety and driver assistance systems headline the significantly increased levels of standard all new 2016 BMW X1 gaycarboys (3)equipment, with Rear View Camera, front and rear Park Distance Control, Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, LED headlights, ConnectedDrive Lifestyle and Real Time Traffic Information included on all models.

Automated tailgate and rear seat adjustment have also been added across all models, while 18-inch light alloy wheels will adorn the sDrive18d, sDrive20i and xDrive20d.

The flagship model of the BMW X1 range, the xDrive25i will ibe fitted with 19-inch light alloy wheels as well as a host of further specification, including Comfort Access, Electric Seats, Lumbar support, Seat Heating, Head-Up Display, leather upholstery, variable sports steering and Navigation Plus.

The launch xDrive models draw their power plants from the latest suite of engines from the BMW EfficientDynamics range, deploying a range of innovations designed to optimise fuel economy while maximising performance.

The xDrive20d features a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder diesel engine, producing 140kW and 400Nm, accelerating from 0-100km/h in 7.6 seconds while using only 4.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.

With output figures of 170kW and 350Nm, the xDrive25i is the leading performer of the all-new BMW X1 range, charging from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds, while consuming only 6.6 litres per 100 kilometres, courtesy of its 2.0 litre, four-cylinder engine.

Accounting for nearly one third of BMW X range sales worldwide, the first generation BMW X1 has sold more than 730,000 units, proving a boon for the brand, and for motorists craving the versatility of an SUV, but in compact form.

all new 2016 BMW X1 gaycarboys (2)This success translated to the Australian market, where the BMW X1 established a considerable foothold, introducing a new audience to the X range and selling over 10,000 units since its introduction in 2010.

BMW service and selected maintenance costs can now be covered by a single, one-off advance payment with BMW Service Inclusive (BSI). BSI offers two packages: BMW Service Inclusive Basic provides scheduled servicing cover, while BMW Service Inclusive Plus combines scheduled servicing and selected maintenance items.

Based on individual lifestyle needs, a year range and kilometre option is selected, starting from three years/60,000kms.

The BSI plan provides a long-term solution enabling cover to be extended and transferred to future vehicle owners before expiry.

BMW X1 Australian pricing and standard specification*

X1 sDrive18d                                                  $49,500
X1 sDrive20i                                                   $51,600

  • Eight-speed automatic transmission (sDrive18d)
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters (sDrive20i)
  • 18-inch light alloy wheels
  • Rear View Camera
  • Driving Assistant, with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with light city braking function
  • Parking Assistant
  • xLine
  • Navigation system
  • Intelligent Emergency Call and Teleservices
  • ConnectedDrive Lifestyle
  • Real Time Traffic Information
  • Auto Tailgate
  • Rear Seat Adjustment
  • LED headlights

X1 xDrive20d                                                  $56,500

  • Eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
  • 18-inch light alloy wheels
  • Rear View Camera
  • Driving Assistant, with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with light city braking function
  • Parking Assistant
  • xLine
  • Navigation system
  • Intelligent Emergency Call and Teleservices
  • ConnectedDrive Lifestyle
  • Real Time Traffic Information
  • Auto Tailgate
  • Rear Seat Adjustment
  • LED headlights

X1 xDrive25i                                                   $59,900

  • Eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
  • 19-inch light alloy wheels
  • Rear View Camera
  • Driving Assistant, with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with light city braking function
  • Parking Assistant
  • xLine
  • Intelligent Emergency Call and Teleservices
  • ConnectedDrive Lifestyle
  • Real Time Traffic Information
  • Auto Tailgate
  • Rear Seat Adjustment
  • LED headlights
  • Comfort Access
  • Electric Seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Seat Heating
  • Navigation Plus
  • Head-Up Display
  • Leather Upholstery
  • Variable Sports Steering

* Manufacturer’s Recommended List Price is shown and includes GST and Luxury Car Tax (LCT) – if applicable, but excludes dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on-road charges, which are additional and vary between dealers and States/Territories. Customers are advised to contact their nearest BMW dealer for all pricing inquiries.