From the Editor
The holidays have come and gone and everyone’s back in the swing of things, looking forward to a busy 2016. Will it be another record breaker in terms of car sales as 2015 was? Some say no. Toyota, the market leader, has already predicted a cooling of the market, while others have noted a slow down in the luxury segment. Sales of luxury vehicles were the first to fall off the cliff back when the GFC muck hit the fan, so are a possible indicator of what might happen in the mass market this year. But even if sales don’t continue to break records, we’ll still have plenty of new products to review. Already the launch calendar and drive diary is filling fast. Next month, we finally get a spin in the new Mustang locally along with the 2.0-litre MX-5, 308 GT, the new Jaguar XF, BMW 7 Series, Toyota’s Fortuna, Audi A4 and Kia Sportage. Hopefully the momentum continues.
It will probably be another year packed with new SUV arrivals, the vehicle type again increasing its share of the market last year, though we think the generic SUV segment needs to be fragmented. There are six classes of ‘cars’ yet all SUVs, regardless of size, are lumped together creating a murky picture. For more on the sales breakdown from 2015 see page 103. We bet utes will continue to be popular in 2016, with Ranger now officially NZ’s favourite vehicle, and Hilux, Colorado and Navara not far behind. And yes, we’ll finally get the Hilux and Ranger together next month for a comparison test too.
There will be new technology to try out later in the year when the likes of the newly revealed Mercedes-Benz E-Class (p22) makes its way here, festooned with new self-driving gizmos. And no doubt there will be more novel ways to connect with the social world while driving. Must get around to trying some of those out this year. But really, all that connectivity stuff tends to bore me. Lucky that one of us likes tech features, so read Linklater’s informative column (p26) on CarPlay, you’ll probably learn something.