Tag Archives: review

Stonic Limited in testing: Kia’s New Zealand speedy SUV ascent – Review | Instant News

Never underestimate the power of a great title. When Kia New Zealand announced the arrival of its upcoming baby SUV, the Stonic, late last year it revealed a special launch price of $ 21,990. And it makes everyone hiss; especially those in the compact SUV market.

Small SUVs are very popular nowadays. They represent the fastest growing segment in the new vehicle market. Mid-sized SUVs have been New Zealand’s most popular passenger vehicle size for a while (including the tough year 2020), but by 2021 their 20 percent market share has been overtaken by the little things – 24 percent.

This must be the SUV world at Kia. The Korean manufacturer already has two very popular SUVs in the form of Sportage and Seltos. And don’t forget Niro electricity and swish the new Sorento.

The Stonic has been cooked up to the familiar baby-SUV recipe: you’ve managed to make a successful little hatch, raise the vehicle’s height, and dress it up with a chunky body addition.

Work for Toyota (Yaris Cross), work for Volkswagen (T-Cross) and seems to have worked for Kia, since Rio-based Stonic does look like that. It’s 70mm taller and 35mm wider than the Rio, but with the same wheelbase.

Even at an adjusted post-launch price of $ 23,990, the cheapest Stonic LX is still a lot of baby SUV for the money. It is a price that creates an extreme value-for-money halo effect for the rest of the range.

But what everyone is talking about isn’t necessarily what everyone buys, right? There are actually five different models: LX, EX and Limited ($ 23,990- $ 29,990), limited by two versions of the GT Line: $ 31,990 or $ 33,990 for the “+”.

There are two levels to the Stonic as there are two engines. The LX / EX / Limited has a new 1.4 liter 74kW / 133kW engine that uses what Kia claims is the world’s first Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) system, which can adjust the amount of time the valve remains open for maximum efficiency. It is compatible with a 6 speed automatic.

But the technical accolades are still arguable for the amplifier of the GT Line model, which is powered by a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo that has the same power but more torque (171Nm) and is even more economical: 5.4 liters / 100 km compared to 6.7 kilometers . l / 100km for a 1.4l engine. The GT Line model is driven via a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.

The car you see here is Limited: the top of the 1.4l ($ 29,990) lineup, uses 17-inch alloys (the same size as the GT Line model) and composite leather trim inside. You can’t miss the Mighty Yellow finish of our test car (bright colors are a Stonic thing – there’s also Sporty Blue and Signal Red) and sport a black roof, a $ 500 option.

A $ 30k small SUV is a different proposition from a $ 24k SUV, as there is more competition as prices go up and the car has to meet higher expectations.

Stonic Limited has a lot to offer. There’s a lot of hard plastic in the cabin, but in terms of design it looks quite luxurious and well laid out (standard 8.0-inch touch screens on all models) in the familiar Kia style. That’s the advantage of being part of a much larger SUV family: the bit box to choose from is extensive and the baby range benefits from the quality switchgear that’s demanded from the much more expensive Kia model.

The seats are amazing at Limited and there’s actually room for the adult as a whole – although keep in mind this is a baby SUV that’s just 4.1m long. It is compact in the true meaning of the word.

Dynamically, the Stonic has a fizzy personality and a good chassis, thanks in part to a decent ContiSportContact rubber (not always given to babies at affordable prices); opportunity cost appears to be a very staggering ride on the larger Limited wheels and less road noise on the rugged chip seal.

It is not a powerhouse, but the engine is vibrant and the 6 speed automatic is smooth. But we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if you’re interested in a baby SUV with a bit more character, you should try the brighter, more torquey 1.0-liter GT-Line before you buy.

The Limited does go to great lengths to justify its price with a comprehensive suite of tech security features. It’s too long to list (at least not without taking up all our column inches), but includes everything from LED headlights to pedestrian / cyclist collision avoidance assistance to blind spot crash assistance and Rear Traffic Alerts for parking spots narrow city.

This is a well-executed package, albeit with an odd name. “Stonic”? This is a portmanteau of “speed” and “tonic” apparently.

MACHINE: 1.4 liter gasoline four
POWER: 74kW / 133Nm
GEARBOX: 6-speed automatic, FWD
ECONOMIC: 6.7l / 100km, 155g / km
PRICE: $ 29,990


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Cuisinart review: Is this best food processor worth it? | Instant News

Occasionally, while working with this model, we found food stuck between the knife and the work bowl. When something like this happens, the first thing you need to do is stop the machine and unplug it. If you are sure that there is no power to the food processor, remove the cover of the work bowl, carefully remove the knife, and empty the work bowl. Once everything is clear, you can replace the food processor and keep working.


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New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Best Buy in a Wine Shop Now | Instant News

WIN OFTEN provides a reflection on the country where it was made. Take, for example, Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand. Even in a year like 2020, both the country and wine have succeeded. New Zealand is nearly COVID-19 free and vintage is one of the best in recent history.

The early months of the year were unfavorable. In the Southern Hemisphere, that’s when the harvest occurs. In 2020, the Sauvignon Blanc harvest runs from late February to early April; by the end of March, nearly all of New Zealand was in strict isolation. But while the virus is attacking badly around the world, it has barely touched New Zealand.

The wines for the Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc winery come from a vineyard in Martinborough. Chief winemaker Julian Grounds said he was initially hesitant about the harvest in the shadow of Covid, but the near-perfect weather changed his outlook. “I truly feel we all share collective relief when the forecast remains so fantastic,” he said in an email.

Jill Sherwood, director of Sherwood Estate Wines in Waipara, recalled the initial uncertainty over whether or not a harvest would occur. After the winery workers were authorized “important” by the government, the harvest went off very smoothly – even more than this year, which is happening now. The winery is currently understaffed as some foreign workers returned home last year and New Zealand continues to restrict the entry of foreigners into the country.

Last year, Sherwood staff were allowed to travel between their home and winery during harvest – with documents explaining why they were on the road – while crew at the Greywacke winery in the Omaka Valley in Marlborough “squatted” at the winery headquarters and at the winemaker house. Kevin Judd. There is also a camper van parked on the property. It turned out very easy, said Mr. Judd. “Vintage wines just passed,” he said, adding that his 2020 wines were “as good as we’ve ever made.”


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The Infiniti QX55: Unapologetically Fashion-Forward | Instant News

FIRST WORD from the “unapologetic” press release, meaning: “The Unapologetic Infiniti QX55 starts at $ 46,500 MSRP….” That’s some jazzy grammar right there, Thelonious. Why not be in the mood to apologize? Gravel machine? Crypto-maniac control setup? Price? Marketing means never apologizing.

I suspect Infiniti floated the idea that its new mid-range premium coupe crossover style was controversial, hoping to tap into that love / hate energy from consumer psychology. Ironically, the QX55’s normcore beauty leaves almost no one behind: sassy big grille, 20-inch wheels, slick roof, cute rump. Tesla’s Cybertruck wasn’t.

Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division (of the Paris-based Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance), has had some tough years in the US, largely due to an aging product line that is geared more towards sedans. Meanwhile, the brand’s SUV offering has also been on the fangs for a long time. The QX55 is the first of two new family cars to enter the marquee for the 2022 model year. The other is a three-line SUV (QX60).

The flagship of the Infiniti fleet remains the large and uncontroversial QX80 SUV. Everyone agrees it’s vile.

The QX55 shares most of what makes the crossover of the QX50 family tick – a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with variable compression ratio (VC-Turbo) relationship; continuously variable transmission; and front-biased all-wheel drive, standard on the QX55 – but remodeling the package in a rigid, fastback shape over bigger wheels and tires. The QX55, Management Notes, is a hollaback for the pioneering and underappreciated FX model (2002-2013). I may have observed that the old design of the rear of the cabin looked a lot cooler, but how can that help?


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Clara Fitzpatrick enjoys an unexpected second stint with Down after returning from Australia GAA News | Instant News

Clara Fitzpatrick returned from Down Under last year

A year ago this week, Down footballer Clara Fitzpatrick packed up three and a half years of her life in Australia and returned home.

After immediately breaking through back into the county setting, he aimed to help Down get back into the senior ranks again.

After representing Morne County for several years before he emigrated to Australia in 2016, Fitzpatrick, 30, continued to play Australian Rules socially and professionally, before the Covid-19 outbreak proved to be a trigger to return home. .

He remains unsure where his long-term plans lie, but for now, he’s determined to take his second chance with Down.

“I was planning to come home last May for the holidays, but with all that happened we decided to get up and go,” said the Bryansford club player.

“It’s a bit chaotic, three and a half years wrapped up in three days. That’s so packed up and saying goodbye.

“It’s great to come home. I feel like it was the right decision. I’m not sure if I can play with the club again, you don’t know when your last game was or how many years you have been away. Last summer was brilliant, got a little bit of football. with the club and my old teammates. To be honest it’s like I never left, which is a good feeling.

“Just being close to my family, that’s a big thing that Covid has shown us. Family means everything, so being at home with family and friends, you can’t replace it.”

Fitzpatrick celebrates with his Australasian teammate Tricia Melanaphy after defeating Parnell Ladies in the GAA World Games Ladies Football Irish Cup final in 2019

Fitzpatrick celebrates with his Australasian teammate Tricia Melanaphy after defeating Parnell Ladies in the GAA World Games Ladies Football Irish Cup final in 2019

Since he returned with his traveling companions – sister Laura and friend Aoife – Fitzpatrick has returned to work in his local community. Her physiotherapeutic skills are in high demand, rehabilitating patients in the postoperative community, and she admits she loves being able to go out and meet people under exertionary lockdowns.

Playing with St Kilda club in Melbourne, Fitzpatrick had a very successful first season at the AFLW, but being unable to work in his trade under strict sports visa restrictions meant he was in no position to play a second season.

“Most Irish girls go on a sports visa, but I was sponsored to work as a physio there and I gave up on going on a sports visa to play. I gave up a lot, ”he explained.

Towards the second year, St Kilda had offered me a sports visa to return, but I wanted to have the opportunity to work as a physio and play so I applied for a permanent residence permit. Australian girls can work and play, but because of our visas we are very limited in what we can do.

“St Kilda are very good, they pressed me to get extra time, but we have to cancel it by mid-November at the latest. They put me on the inactive list and not delete me, in the hope I will come out to play next season.

“If it weren’t for Covid, I might still be in Australia. In an ideal world, the plan is to come back in September or October, but with Covid, things are very unpredictable. In the way that is lost it is very difficult to make plans. I’ll see how things go over the next few months and play it by ear.

“To be honest I would love to play any football this year. After the last few months, nothing in terms of collective sport, it would be great to get out of training and be able to play matches any description again.”

Fitzpatrick returned to wearing the Down jersey

Fitzpatrick returned to wearing the Down jersey

After playing past the underage class for Down, Fitzpatrick moved up to the senior team at the turn of the last decade. He quickly nailed his place in the middle of the field, a role he returned to at the most recent championships.

A two-point loss to reigning champions Meath marks the end of their 2020 season, but he thinks the team has the potential to achieve great things under the management of Caoibhe Sloan and Peter Lynch.

“It’s great to be back in. Peter and Caoibhe are amazing for Down Ladies, they have an unrealistic arrangement. They are focused on developing the young players who are coming. They set high standards; an impressive set – to come in,” he said.

“As a team, we were a little disappointed with Meath’s game. Meath was a very strong contender and then did really well in the end, but we couldn’t catch them and we lost a point or two. We can only learn from them and we can go on. go ahead and fix our weak points in the game. “

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Although his exploits with oval balls have attracted attention in recent years, Fitzpatrick pointed to his success representing Australasia at the 2019 GAA World Games as a career highlight.

A serious knee injury cost him the chance to play in the 2014 Down Intermediate All-Ireland success, but winning any title at Croke Park is hard to beat.

“It was incredible. Any female footballer’s dream is to play at Croke Park. I had missed opportunities there before with Down and now I am 30 years old, so having the opportunity to play at Croke Park is incredible,” she said.

“I have known several girls from playing college, district and provincial football over the years. It was so awesome, just a great experience from start to finish. To get the results we do is definitely one of the most important things in my life. “

“Getting back to Croke Park and winning there with Down is priority number one now,” he said.

“Collectively, the big goal is to win the intermediate title with Down. “Team Down is a youth team, we have some real young talent,” he said.

“We want to be a senior team in the next few years, we want to move on to Division 2 and then to Division 1. It will be a year of hard work and, individually, everyone has been amazing during the close. Once we get back on the pitch again, it will be. It’s great to be able to do it together again. “


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