Buyers' Guide: Getting over the shock of the new
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Seen a car badge you don’t recognise?
There’s always one, the “lone ranger” vehicle, that raises a few eyebrows on your daily commute. The colour, the noise, the luxury — but for others it’s the curiosity of the unknown.
In a lot of cases, these vehicles are well-established and recognised brands in overseas markets that are only just now landing on our shores.
Many inquisitive AA Members are asking about these brands, often swayed by comparable pricing and specifications, but scared to take the plunge with the fear of the unknown.
Seat, or Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo, which translates to Spanish Society of Touring Automobile, entered the New Zealand market in early 2017 from the city of Martorell, about 35km from Barcelona.
Originally founded in 1950, the brand now has strong roots after its acquisition by Volkswagen group in 1986.
Seat is offering its take on the popular Tiguan with its Ateca model, a medium-sized SUV.
It may seem excessive to add yet another SUV into the mix but, in reality, the SUV market is so hot, it’s hard to put a foot wrong.
Seat also has a 200kW hot hatch available — the Leon Cupra.
The LDV brand is a new offering from Chinese group SIAC, the largest automotive manufacturer in China.
LDV isn’t all new to the industry, L standing for Leyland Motors and the D for DAF Trucks, both well-known brands some years ago.
LDV focuses on looks, price, and safety, delivering a host of technological and safety features within a relatively modest budget.
New Zealand’s newest utility, the T60 raised eyebrows after an ANCAP crash test received a five-star safety rating.
Scoring a total of 35.46 points out of a possible maximum of 37, the T60 has become the first Chinese light commercial vehicle to achieve a five-star rating on the first attempt.
The LDV T60 is in the right place at the right time, destined to steal a few sales from the big boys.
It all started in 1985 when an elite group formed quietly with Nissan with the purpose of building a new division of performance luxury cars.
Think Lexus and Toyota. Since the 80s, Infiniti has become a well-known brand globally.
Infiniti New Zealand is operating as the subsidiary of Kiwi-owned Global Motors, the distributor that also handles Renault. It is being offered through just two dealerships at the moment, in Auckland and Christchurch.
Elon Musk is a name you may have heard by now with SpaceX launching the Falcon Heavy rocket to much fanfare — furthering Musk’s eventual goal of sending people to live on Mars.
To make the rocket launch more entertaining, Musk put his own cherry red Tesla Roadster in the rocket.
Not your traditional automaker, Tesla’s range of vehicles is somewhat a step ahead of the market.
Focused solely on producing electric vehicles, two models are available (Model S and Model X). Both are capable of ludicrous speeds and impressive battery range and, of course, have rather generous price tags.
As more makes and models wash upon our shores, it’s only good news for Kiwi motorists with greater choice than before.
Sticking to the old tried and true favourites can be a safe idea, but don’t be afraid of a badge just because you don’t recognise it.