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Selwyn Times: October 17, 2017

34 Tuesday

34 Tuesday October 17 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi SELWYN TIMES BEER WINE & 16th - 22nd October 2017 WEEK 24 On now! 29 30 31 $ 8 99 each WEEK Jacob’s Creek Sparkling 750ml (Excludes Reserve) $ 39 99 pack WEEK Please drink responsibly Heineken 24 x 330ml Bottles $ 12 99 kg Fresh Australian Beef Rump Steak $ 5 99 kg USA Red/Green Seedless Grapes $5 50 each Alpine Butter 500g $3 90 each Just Juice/Citrus Tree Fruit Juice/Drink 2.4L $4 80 each Signature Range Ice Cream 2L Plus Kitchen Knives Collect Stamps, Redeem Now! * Up to 75% OFF R.R.P FreshChoice Leeston 78 High Street, Leeston. Open 7am – 8pm, 7 days. FreshChoice.co.nz FreshChoiceNZ 324 3788 FreshChoice Leeston * Terms & Conditions apply, see FreshChoice.co.nz for details. While stocks last at FreshChoice Leeston only. We reserve the right to limit quantities. Trade not supplied. Owned and operated by locals fcselwyn1710

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Tuesday October 17 2017 35 Driven Small Mazda big on performance • By Ross Kiddie I’M ON one of my favourite Selwyn roads, the stretch includes short straights mixed with a combination of tight and open corners. The car is responding delightfully to the way it is being steered and I’m being entertained by its handling and balance. I’m thinking that this could be the best evaluation drive I’ve had for 2017. No, I’m not driving a sports car or anything exotic. In fact, I’m in one of New Zealand’s budget models – a Mazda2 to be exact. The reason why I’m so smitten is not because the Mazda2 is fast or exciting, its performance is honest and it works hard to please through the chassis, but the series is priced for affordability and in terms of all-round value for money it a real attention-grabber. Not only does it drive purposefully at all speeds, you get a lot of kit on Mazda2, and for a car which lists under $30k it is a rather special purchase. The test car was in Limited specification and it sits at $29,695; an entry-level GLX variant comes in at $21,945 while a GSX comes in at $24,945. I’m picking the GSX would be the car for me but the Limited variant does get a lot of kit, features which are included elsewhere in the Mazda line-up. Such are the changes for 2017, MAZDA2: Punches above its weight. the Mazda2 could certainly be described as a facelift, there aren’t a lot of cosmetic enhancements but there are new side mirrors, grille and wheel changes. On the inside the dash panel graphics have been enhanced for clarity, there’s a new centre console display, while trim materials have been upgraded. More importantly, there have been chassis changes to promote the driving experience and that’s what I noticed during the time I tackled the exit from the Waimakariri River gorge. The most significant development is the addition of G-Vectoring Control which improves handling and stability especially during emergency • Price – Mazda2 Ltd, $26,695 • Dimensions – Length, 4060mm; width, 1695mm; height, 1495mm • Configuration – Fourcylinder, front-wheel-drive, 1496cc, 81kW, 141Nm, six speed automatic • Performance – 0-100km/h, 9.5sec • Fuel usage – 4.9l/100km avoidance manoeuvres. In Limited specification that also combines with a suite of other collision avoidance technologies such as smart city brake support and driver attention alert. Together, these functions provide the Mazda2 driver with confidence at all speeds, you don’t need to be moving along at pace, in everyday situations the newcomer feels in control of itself and has a decisive feel from behind the wheel which will lure drivers of all ages. That is the reason why I like the car’s balance so much, it just feels right from behind the wheel and you feel so much part of the car. That’s an aspect Mazda is building into all of its range, and along with the superb feel of quality that accompanies it, it’s no surprise that the new Mazda2 appeals and the entire companies line-up in general. I’ve driven several from the manufacturer recently, and it’s fair to say the company has upped the ante in terms of desirability. Under the bonnet sits a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated engine which drives out of a conventional sixspeed automatic transmission. I mention that because Mazda hasn’t developed its turbocharging techniques any further and I guess it doesn’t need to. It claims 81kW and 141Nm from the engine and with a 4.9l/100km (57mpg) combined cycle fuel usage claim, the figures are healthy. There is also a sport mode which the driver can activate for busier engine behaviour, and if you couple that to a manual sequential gearshift function the sporty feel of Mazda2 will come into its own. I left the evaluation car mostly in normal mode and enjoyed the interaction between engine and gearbox, it is a traditional way of drive and for that reason I warmed to it, changes are crisp and smooth and the engine stays on song. Even though the area of maximum torque is high at 4000rpm, the Mazda2 is light and it doesn’t take a lot of energy to move it quickly (0-100km/h in 9.5sec), the engine is unstrained and responsive. The Limited rides on 185/60 x 16in Dunlop tyres, and even though their footprint isn’t wide they have a solid tenure with the road surface and provide the driver with strong feedback as to how they are reacting under pressure. The spring and damper rates also favour the uneven surface of Christchurch’s roads, while occupant comfort has been an engineering priority. Christchurch is a tough market for Mazda2, there’s some fairly hefty competition here from Suzuki and its clever marketing campaign. However, Mazda also has a free servicing programme which is most tempting – three years or 100,000km. All factors considered, the Mazda2 is a compelling buying proposition. DESIGNER FASHION AT OUTLET PRICES SMART BRANDS SMARTER PRICES HORNBY 409 Main South Road | Open 10am–5pm, 7 days