• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Trending

All posts by Ryan Bubear: Columnist

  • Toyota Yaris Hybrid review: Just how frugal is SA’s cheapest hybrid?

    Buying a hybrid in South Africa isn't easy. In fact, if you're dead set on owning a petrol-electric vehicle, your local options are severely limited. Of the small handful of hybrid models available, most are distinctly premium products, and thus priced well beyond the R700k mark. Only Honda (with its paradoxical CR-Z “sport hybrid coupe”) and Toyota offer examples that can be thought of as anything even close to affordable. The Toyota Yaris Hybrid, however, is the cheapest of them all. At R276 300, the range-topping Yaris isn't exactly cut-price (seeing that it's a B-segment hatchback), but the outlay is...

  • 6 convertible vehicles that should never have been built

    The folks over at Jaguar Land Rover have made an interesting decision. Yes, after three years of fierce speculation – sparked by the unveiling of a certain topless concept at Geneva back in 2012 – the British automaker has revealed that it will indeed be taking a convertible Range Rover Evoque to production. Does the world really need a soft-top crossover? Well, Jaguar Land Rover apparently thinks so, and as a result the Evoque Convertible is scheduled to force its way onto your local dealer’s floor some time in 2016. Truth be told, we’re not convinced. But if any premium...

  • 6 ways your future car’s interior is about to get fantastically geeky

    Not too long ago, the height of factory-fitted in-car technology comprised little more than a one-speed windscreen wiper. And perhaps a cigarette lighter, if you were disciplined enough to save up for the range-topper. But these days, even some of the more affordable vehicles out there come positively stuffed full of interesting gadgets. From built-in navigation systems (some with Google Street View) and full smartphone integration to blind-spot monitoring and voice control, the modern car cabin is already a tremendously advanced space. And, of course, things are only going to become more radical – despite rising concerns about distracted...

  • What happens if Google, Apple actually start building production cars?

    Cars are no longer just cars. No, the humble automobile has essentially evolved into an oversized personal device. Indeed, at the Mobile World Congress last year, Ford bigwig Steven Odell uttered the following words: “Cars are the smartphones of the future”. It’s an interesting perspective. And, since reports of Apple’s apparent intention to build a vehicle of its own -- be it electric, autonomous or both -- sent the iCar rumour-mill spinning into overdrive, it couldn’t be more relevant. True to form, of course, the Cupertino giant’s lips have remained tighter than Kim K’s smallest pair of leggings. However, Google – that...

  • 6 previously successful car brands brought back from the dead

    “Scalpel,” barks the seemingly unflappable doctor, adjusting his surgical mask before grabbing the razor-sharp instrument from the long-suffering nurse’s outstretched hand. With the sole purpose of saving the dying car brand’s life, he executes a confident incision, using just the right amount of pressure. He’s done this a thousand times, after all. “Blast. We’ve got a bleeder. Suction.” The nurse stares off into the distance. “Suction!” The rage-tinged command rouses her from a fantasy world in which she’s manically slashing the tyres on the graceless bastard’s Porsche 911 Turbo S. The anaesthetist stifles a giggle. The now-flustered nurse leaps into action, but the...

  • 7 Chinese cars that are straight-up clones of their Western counterparts

    “Made in China”. It’s a phrase that still bears a hefty stigma – rightfully so or not. Yes, many Westerners still feel that the appearance of these three simple words on a product automatically indicate a distinct lack of quality. Of course, the fact that the vast majority of counterfeit items out there – from iPhones to entire companies – originate in the world's most populous country certainly doesn’t help matters. But there’s a reason for all that. You see, the act of copying has a long history in the People’s Republic of China, dating back to the days of...

  • 4 luxury crossovers set to break their respective builders’ SUV virginity

    Say what you want about the Porsche Cayenne, but this now-ubiquitous luxury SUV has pretty much single-handedly driven the German automaker’s sales through the roof over the past decade or so. Yes, the mid-size luxury crossover – which shares its platform with the current Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7 – is easily the posh brand’s most popular offering around the globe. And it has managed this sales explosion in market conditions that have seen many an automotive accountant furiously chewing on the back of his biro (the diamante fountain pens were auctioned off long ago, you see). Of course,...

  • 4 motoring niches we would have laughed at 10 years ago

    In the grand old business of building cars, mainstream segments are where the big money's at. Right? Well, generally speaking, yes. Budget hatchbacks, for instance, have proven to be the bread-and-butter of many a large manufacturer. Cheap to make and popular with cash-strapped consumers (that'd be most of us, then), these often-bland offerings tend to possess the all-important ability to swell the company coffers. But, over the past few years, a handful of automakers have -- while still churning out their traditional volume sellers – managed to uncover (or, in some cases, invent) a few eccentric "niche" segments. That's not...

  • 4 brave (and on-going) attempts at the still-elusive flying car

    We know what you’re thinking: it’s 2015… where’s my friggin’ flying car already? Well, contrary to myriad flighty predictions, the winged automobile is still not a mass-produced reality. No, the imagined highways of the sky remain as deserted as your local bank on a Sunday afternoon. Why? Well, there are all sorts of reasons, besides the obvious mechanical and financial challenges. And legal issues are chief among them. Think about it: would the driver need a pilot’s licence? What about restricted airspace? And would it really be all that much better mindlessly commuting with the same sorry throng of...

  • The 5 safest cars crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2014

    Crashing. Nobody wants to do it, right? Wrong. The clever folks over at the European New Car Assessment Programme (more commonly known as Euro NCAP) studiously put all manner of automobiles through their metal-mangling paces each and every year. And they quite likely enjoy the heck out of it. Of course, these collision boffins observe all that stomach-churning destruction from a suitably safe distance, instead subbing in full-scale anthropomorphic test devices to do their dirty work. Smart move, chaps. These days, such crash test dummies come in all shapes and sizes, from the adult driver and passenger to the 18-month-old and...

  • 4 of the most completely bizarre car ads to flight in recent times

    Selling cars is big business. And video advertisements have a major role to play, from exposing consumers to new products to generally just increasing awareness around the brand. Think back a few years and you’ll no doubt be able to vividly remember a commercial that likely still serves to define – in some manner, at least – that automaker for you. In South Africa, that may well be Volkswagen’s iconic "Memories" advert or indeed Toyota’s original RAV4 spot. But sometimes automakers release commercials that make us wonder whether the advertising executives in question have been inadvertently exposed to some...

  • 5 of the geekiest small cars we can look forward to in 2015

    Small cars crammed full of geeky technology and powered by pretty fascinating engines – what’s not to love? Well, 2015 promises to serve up a particularly tasty batch of such vehicles, from frugal entry-level city cars to fire-breathing hot hatches. Yes, there’s pretty much something for every compact-car-shopper this time around. And we’re happy to report that all of the vehicles below are available with pretty decent standard tech, as well as an array of rather special optional extras. Oh, and for some unfathomable reason, they’re all also sporting red paintjobs. So, have a peek at our list of five delightfully...

  • 5 of 2014’s most innovative cars

    Cars haven’t changed much over the past century or so, have they? Most still run on four wheels, burn some sort of fossil fuel and have a penchant for transforming otherwise peaceful individuals in raving mad road-ragers. But each and every year, automakers come up with new and exciting vehicles that not only move the industry forward, but also serve up some sort of newfound delight for us, the car-loving consumers. And it’s these innovative automobiles to which we doff our grease-tarnished hats today. Yes, the following cars that debuted in 2014 have broken new automotive ground in some or...

More in Car Reviews, Reviews, Toyota

Toyota provides tiniest glimpse of RND concept ahead of 26 January debut

Read More »