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Reviews

  • Ford Focus ST: feel the power!

    "Be careful, it's fast". That was the warning given to me by a Ford representative when he dropped off the Focus ST at Burn Media HQ. I nodded my assent, but was quietly confident I could handle this muscular-looking beast. A week later, I'm still not really sure who handled who. You see, the ST is perfectly capable of handling everyday driving tasks with relative comfort and ease, but it doesn't take long before you find you realise that nothing about this car says "everyday". A very hot hatch While the hot hatch wars don't generate nearly as many...

  • Ford B Max EcoBoost: get your dad on

    I am, at the time of this article going live, 28-years-old and have no children. I do, however, listen to talk radio and tell incredibly lame jokes. And that means I'm reasonably qualified to review the Ford B Max EcoBoost: a dad car with an impressive sting in the tail. Make no mistake, no one's going to think you're the coolest dad in the school-yard if you pull up in this mini-people carrier. Once you've explained to everyone why it's such a "sensible" choice though, Ford's clever 1.0l EcoBoost engine means you'll be able to burn them as you...

  • Top trumps! BMW M2 Coupe vs Audi RS 3 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG A 45

    The new BMW M2 – the Munich automaker’s keenly anticipated follow-up to the madcap 1M Coupe – has now well and truly arrived. Yes, the brand’s entry-level M model – which borrows a few bits and bobs from its bigger brother, the M4 – has touched down in South Africa to turn its rear tyres into smoke and set the cat amongst the compact performance pigeons. Question is, how does it stack up against the very latest versions of its most direct rivals from the other Germans? That’s right, we’re talking about the Audi RS 3 Sportback and the Mercedes-AMG...

  • Ford Fusion 1.5L EcoBoost: sensibility with a sting in the tail

    A few weeks ago, on this very site, I revealed that I wasn't a fan of automatics. The car I reviewed in that article, the Volvo XC90 failed to convert me. But after a week with the Ford Fusion, I'm starting to think I could live without a clutch pedal. Of course there's plenty of other stuff to say about the latest Fusion, a car which was only launched in South Africa in 2015 -- some three years after it made its debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in 2012. And we'll get to all the...

  • Volvo XC90 review: a seriously safe Swedish SUV

    Before we start, there's something you should know. I am not, by inclination, a fan of large SUVs. Nor, for that matter, am I all that fond of automatics. So when the very large, very automatic Volvo XC90 arrived at Burn HQ recently, it had its work cut out for it. And while a week with this Swedish giant wasn't enough to convert me on either of those things, I'm fairly confident that if you do like big, automatic SUVs, then you'll love the XC90. The safest tough car on the road Realistically, an SUV is never going to...

  • 5 things I learned taking the Suzuki Vitara on holiday

    Late last year, we gave you our first impressions of the Suzuki Vitara, the new compact crossover from the Japanese manufacturer. By and large, our feelings towards the Vitara were positive, but it's not easy to fully get to grips with a car in a single day. Fortunately, my time with the Vitara wasn't limited to a single launch trip. During my recent end-of-year holidays, spent in KwaZulu-Natal, I was given a couple of weeks with the compact crossover. Here's what I learned: 1. It battles up steep hills Most of the time, the Vitara's 1.5l engine has more...

  • The Suzuki Vitara: first impressions

    Motorburn readers with a long memory might recall the original Suzuki Vitara, released nearly 30 years ago. Those with a slightly shorter memory might recall the Grand Vitara, the slightly larger, more well-equipped version that launched a little later. The current Vitara, recently launched in South Africa has little to do with those earlier predecessors, and that might not be the worst thing. Built on an entirely new platform, the latest generation Vitara is more of a compact crossover, and is Suzuki's attempt to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke and Ford Ecosport. Whether it manages to...

  • Monster coupe top trumps! Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe versus BMW M4

    BMW’s hottest 4 Series has been tearing up stretches of tarmac around the world since early in 2014, providing plenty of high-performance thrills to lovers of German two-doors. But now this M-badged monster – which shook up the Munich-based brand’s naming convention by effectively terminating the celebrated M3 Coupe moniker – has a new foe (in addition to the Audi RS 5 and the Lexus RC-F). And we thus appear to have a scintillating battle on our hands. Yes, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe is scheduled to make its official bow at the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September 2015, but...

  • Hot hatch top trumps: Honda Civic Type R versus Ford Focus RS

    It’s a battle as inevitable as death and CO2 taxes. And one that – for the time being, anyway – can take place only on paper. Yes, we’re talking about the mouth-watering matchup between two of the most keenly anticipated hot hatches of recent years. One from Japan and another from America. Sort of. In the red (and sometimes white) corner, we have the Honda Civic Type R, which has just enjoyed its international launch. And in the blue corner? None other than the Ford Focus RS, which we can expect to roar into showrooms around the world in 2016....

  • The Citroen C4 Cactus: first impressions

    There was a very brief period in the early years of the new millennium when Citroen, always a benchmark for automotive innovation, produced boring cars. Thankfully that period seems to be behind it. The DS3 and DS5 showed that it could make small cars that were also design statements and now with the C4 Cactus, it's done the same in the crossover segment. I recently got to spend a little time in car, which we named one of our most innovative of 2014, and can confirm that it's even more fun to drive than it is to look...

  • Brace yourself: the Opel Adam proves big car tech is coming to your small car, and soon

    We recently spent a week whizzing around in the new Opel Adam. It's a posh little three-door hatchback that employs a decidedly refined and trendily downsized turbo triple. Little, of course, is the operative word here. The Adam -- which rides on a shortened Corsa platform -- measures just a smidgen over 3.7 metres in length, which puts it neatly between the absolutely tiny Fiat 500 and the rather compact Audi A1 (incidentally, two of its main rivals). Its boot can handle a mere 170 litres and space on the rear bench is cramped at best. So, it's small. Very small....

  • 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...

  • 5 Motorburn reviews that you loved in 2014

    If you're a regular Motoburn reader, you're probably well aware that the site's tagline is "Because Cars are Gadgets". That means we view them in the same light as our sister site Gearburn does the plethora of devices that come across its desk. Just as you wouldn't trust it if it didn't thoroughly review those devices, so you wouldn't trust us if we didn't review the cars and car technology that come our way. In this, our first full year of existence, there were plenty of cars and accessories that put smiles on our faces, but what excited you...

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