Archives

Review: 2020 Renault Kadjar Intens

Mike Boyd - May 25, 2020

The Renault brand has been around for 120 years since being founded by three brothers in 1899. In that time, the company has diversified like many European car-makers into everything from tractors to trucks to EVs to world championship-winning Formula 1 engines.

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Review: 2020 Mitsubishi ASX Exceed

Mike Boyd - May 14, 2020

There is a sweet-spot in almost everything we do. That point at which the delicate balance between needs and wants, night and day, fast and slow, or small and large is just right.

For me, this was the lasting impression with the Mitsubishi ASX Exceed.

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Review: Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Watch

Mike Boyd - May 4, 2020

Very few companies today have a 115 year heritage that has remained steadfast in its principles and values.

It’s this heritage that keeps Oris at the forefront of watchmaking having “survived two world wars, crisis in the Swiss watch industry and the birth of the connected age.” An incredible story indeed.

Scores of watches now make up the Oris collection – all manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Hölstein, Switzerland.

We’ve been wearing a couple of timepieces from the Big Crown Pointer Date collection.

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Review: 2020 Isuzu D-MAX LS-T

Mike Boyd - April 23, 2020

When (as legend has it) a Gippsland farmer’s wife wrote to Ford Australia suggesting that they consider building a car that could “take them to church on Sundays and the pigs to market on Mondays” I doubt that the farmer or his wife would have pictured the pick-up / light truck market that we have today.

Well beyond what we would call the humble “ute” is now a category that contains vehicles that have six figure prices and an array of features and options that boggles the mind.

For anyone looking at for a strong, robust crew-cab pick-up that’s well-engineered and will last a lifetime, the 2020 Isuzu D-MAX LST must be on your shopping list.

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Review: 2020 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid

Mike Boyd - April 3, 2020

Growing up, my Dad worked for a company specialising in agriculture. We spent many hours of our school holidays cris-crossing Western NSW visiting cousins and friends whilst Dad went about his business.

His company cars back then were always Fords. First a couple of Falcons, then a Fairmont, before a few Fairmont Ghias, then Fairlanes as he ascended the corporate ladder.

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Review: 2020 Hyundai IONIQ Premium

Mike Boyd - March 24, 2020

Within a couple of hours I was out of a Nissan Leaf and into the Hyundai IONIQ Premium. Back to back from one all-electric 5 door hatch-back into another. The perfect comparative environment.

My initial thinking was that these two EVs would be on the whole pretty much the same. They are both EVs, yes – however, the similarities for better and worse end there.

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Review: 2020 Nissan Leaf

Mike Boyd - March 16, 2020

I’ve always loved the 5-door hatch-back. Back in my youth, the Honda Civic was a favourite. My own car today is a Volkswagen Golf. A great combination of useable space, thrifty economics in terms of running costs, and occasionally a great drive when the moment and environment is right.

As a result I was very much looking forward to my first proper experience in an all-electric car that was also a 5-door hatch. And so my week with the Nissan Leaf began.

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Arts-n-Crafts with BWS

Mike Boyd - March 11, 2020

It was quite literally a dark and stormy night recently when we attended an evening of “Arts-n-Crafts” with the team from BWS.

The event was held in the bowels of the old Readers Digest building in Surry Hills which is now home to Woolworths subsidiary Endeavour Drinks Group which covers brands like Dan Murphy’s, BWS, and Cellarmasters to name a few.

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Review: 2020 Kia Sorento GT-Line

Mike Boyd - March 5, 2020

I’m writing this review the very week that Holden is farewelling Australia after 164 years of operation.

From the very comfortable driver’s seat of the Kia Sorento GT-Line, I’m sorry to say that I am completely convinced that Holden’s demise was avoidable.

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Review: 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed

Mike Boyd - February 28, 2020

I have to admit, I was perplexed in the lead-up to driving this week’s car and writing this review. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed was the second PHEV vehicle I had driven in two weeks. Déjà vu was kicking in hard as I hopped into the very comfortable front seats of the Outlander. “Remain objective…” I kept telling myself.

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Review: 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered

Mike Boyd - February 17, 2020

There are no two ways about it, the EV (Electric Vehicle) has arrived and is here to stay. The PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) takes the concept of a ‘battery powered car’ to another level of practicality today. Amongst a number of manufacturers in the market right now, I think Volvo is right up there – getting the blend of today’s world and tomorrow’s world almost perfect.

I’ve been driving the Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered mid-sized SUV for the past week and I can’t write this with more enthusiasm – it’s fantastic!

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Review: 2020 Nissan Navara N-TREK

Mike Boyd - February 12, 2020

In 2019 the Light Commercial / Truck segment made up 114,428 units representing 21.2% of all cars sold in Australia.

That’s 13 new Light Trucks / Utes being delivered every hour – 24×7 – every day of the year!

When you look at what’s on offer in this segment, you can certainly see what the appeal is for literally tens of thousands of people. There is no shortage of models and options and some very good engineering.

The Nissan Navara N-TREK is no exception.

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Google Maps – 15th Birthday

Mike Boyd - February 10, 2020

You may have noticed recently that the Google Maps app on your smartphone or tablet has changed. Gone is the little snippet of a map that we had all become so used to, and in its place the new colourful “map pin” that aligns to the other Google apps such as Home, Chrome, and the main Google app.

Something you may not have noticed was that on Friday February 8th 2020, Google Maps celebrated its 15th birthday.

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Review: 2020 Lamborghini Huracán EVO

Mike Boyd - February 7, 2020

If Ferruccio Lamborghini was alive today he would be approaching his 104th birthday and would be witness to the consistent and healthy growth of the supercar brand that features his name and the symbol of his Taurus zodiac sign – the bull.

In the past 5 years Lamborghini sales globally have risen 153% and judging by the quality and variety of the range on display at their Sydney showroom, I see no reason why one of the world’s greatest supercar makers should not continue to prosper.

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Review: 2020 Suzuki Vitara

Mike Boyd - January 31, 2020

I have previously reviewed the Suzuki Vitara Turbo (2WD) and came away very impressed with its capabilities and standard features. This past week I have been driving what is essentially the same car with a slightly larger engine that also lacks a small turbo-charger, as well as some bells and whistles along the way.

What struck me was for the budget conscious, the base model Vitara is still a very well equipped small SUV that boasts all the important features and eschews any flimflam. With a saving of nearly $6,000 over the 2WD Turbo, this is a great car for those looking for the essentials in smart, safe and reliable packaging, and nothing more.

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Review: 2020 Ferrari Portofino

Mike Boyd - January 29, 2020

The WhatsApp message from the boss read: “How would you like to test a Ferrari Portofino for a couple of days in January?

He did not have to ask me twice.

I was a little nervous – I have to admit. I’ve driven some quick cars in my time however, the Prancing Horse was one I hadn’t yet ‘ticked off’. Some desk research was necessary, and the best preview of the Portofino I found was thanks to Tim Burton aka Shmee150.

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Review: 2020 KIA Stinger 200S

Mike Boyd - January 27, 2020

The Stinger has been available in Australia for a number of years now and recently received a mid-life upgrade for the 2020 range. I have to admit I was very much looking forward to getting behind the wheel as Kia has endured quite the renaissance in recent years with wholesale styling and engineering changes across the entire range that now spans 10 product lines.

It was a very damp day in Sydney when I collected the Stinger 200S finished in Silky Silver and black leather interior. The 200S is the base model Stinger which for the uninitiated like me was not immediately obvious. My first impression driving the 200S was the feeling of being in a solid, very comfortable and safe large sedan that is akin to its well established European competition.

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Review: 2020 Suzuki Vitara Turbo (2WD)

Mike Boyd - January 17, 2020

The original Suzuki Vitara was launched in Australia in the late 1980s joining the very successful Suzuki Sierra (sold today as the Jimny). The Vitara was a more well equipped, sporty, and urban focussed version of the Sierra – which for over a decade was the cheap-and-cheerful go to for a small, reliable 4×4 for those that couldn’t afford or didn’t need something as robust as a Toyota LandCruiser or as utilitarian as the Subaru Brumby.

In the 1990s the Vitara buyer was very likely characterised by words like “active” and “sporty” and “adventurous”. It never tried to be anything it wasn’t and what it did well, it did very well.

Those of us that can remember the original Vitara or have seen them on the road, will be very glad to hear that the Suzuki Vitara of 2020 has grown up over the years and is now a very purposeful – and very capable – mid-sized SUV for those looking for a bit more of everything than you find in smaller SUVs or a small station wagon. Continue Reading

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2019 Christmas Gift Guide

Mike Boyd - December 19, 2019

Here at SonnyDickson.com we review hundreds of products throughout the year. As we approach Christmas here are our picks of the bunch for 2019.

Audio

AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro

The benchmark in wireless in-ear headphones sits firmly with Apple and the new AirPods Pro. Super light-weight and with incredible sound dynamics, these will be the gift that keeps on giving for any audiophile in your life.

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It’s Back to The Future for Amazon Prime

Mike Boyd - December 6, 2019

It was a very smoky and hazy afternoon in early December when we attended the Amazon Prime Video Australia end of year party.

Held on the edge of Sydney Harbor this was a glimpse into what Amazon has achieved in the past two years since launching Amazon.com.au and more recently Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Video.

At the entrance to the event sat the Amazon Tiny Holiday House – that has spent much of the week in the center of Sydney with no views – and now had arguably the most unique view of any home in Sydney. This is a promotional prize to be given away by Amazon later in the month. The Tiny Holiday House is on wheels and can be towed much  like a caravan – although from what we could see the House only slept one person.

Into the main marquee, and it was all about Amazon Prime. A huge area very sparsely decorated filled with advertising and media agency types, and partners of Amazon in Australia. Continue Reading

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