Daily Addict on the Move: Add Some CK One Colour

Daily Addict on the move presented by Lexus CT 200h

Daily Addict Editor, Carrie Kwan, is always on the move scouring cities for hidden gems and the best places to shop, eat, drink and experience. During the month of July she’s behind the wheel of the world’s first luxury hybrid hatch, the Lexus CT 200h, finding three of the latest hotpots you need to know.

Don’t forget to enter the Daily Addict competition to win a luxury Daily Addict gift pack worth $550.

Protected: Add some ck one colour

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Ten Worst Cars on Australian Roads for Depreciation

Your new car could depreciate by more than 60% in the first five years of purchase. In the current economic climate 58% of Australians believe it makes more sense to buy used rather than new when it comes to buying a car.

Australian made cars are the biggest depreciation offenders. Putting further pressure on the local car manufacturing industry is the fact that seven of the top ten depreciating cars on Australian roads are Australian manufactured.

Ten worst mainstream cars in order of depreciation (percentage represents the value retained from purchase):

1.  Ford Falcon XT Sedan – 39%
2.  Ford Falcon G6 Sedan – 43%
3.  Holden Commodore Omega 3.0L V6 Wagon – 43%
4.  Nissan Maxima 350T-S Sedan – 44%
5.  Hyundai i45 Active Sedan – 44%
6.  Holden Berlina 3.0L V6 Sedan – 46%
7.  Holden Caprice 3.6L V6 Sedan LWB – 46%
8.  Crysler Grand Voyager people mover van – 48%
9.  Toyota Camry Altise Sedan – 48%
10. Toyota Aurion Sportivo Sedan – 49%

According to the Gumtree Australia Depreciation Distress Report, high levels of depreciation in new cars is creating distress, annoyance and stress amongst Australian consumers and increasing propensity to consider the benefits of buying a used car. 9 in 10 Australians (88%) think that a brand new car depreciates as soon as it leaves the dealership and 39% think that they are simply throwing money away when buying a brand new car.

“We have seen enormous growth of people coming to our cars classified business over the last 12 months looking to find a bargain and save themselves the very high levels of depreciation you see with new cars,” said Nat Thomas, Corporate Communications Manager at Gumtree.com.au.

Gumtree’s top tips for consumers when buying a used car:

  • Meet the seller: Meet the seller and ensure the car is the same as the one listed on the registration certificate. Inspect the car in full daylight to easily identify possible defects under the bonnet, any rusting under the car or dents in the exterior. Take a friend if you can, to help inspect the car.
  • Test drive cold: Arrange to test drive when the engine is completely cold, which will give you a good idea of how the car starts. Test drive the car in all gears and on a range of road surfaces to identify any potential issues.
  • Check the history: Get the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and check the history of the vehicle with your state database.
  • Independent inspection: It might be worth the investment to have the car inspected independently. If there is any hesitation from the seller it is likely they are hiding something. Gumtree.com.au lists a range of service providers you can choose from in your local area.
  • Negotiate: Negotiate the price based on your research into the average market prices and if you found any faults with the car. There is usually leeway for bargaining.

* According to Glass’s Guide 2011 (The percentage figure shown represents the value retained from purchase. Ie. A Ford Falcon XT Sedan retains 39% value of original cost).

2011 Used Car Safety Ratings

NRMA Motoring & Services and the NSW Centre for Road Safety have released safety ratings for used cars involved in crashes, and introduced a Safe Pick rating for the very best vehicles in each category.

NRMA vehicle safety expert Jack Haley said the annual Used Car Safety Ratings provided consumers with essential information about the safety performance of vehicles in protecting drivers in a crash.

“The Used Car Safety Ratings are an excellent resource for motorists looking to purchase a safe second-hand vehicle because they measure the safety performance of these cars in real crashes,” Mr Haley said.

“This year we have introduced a Safe Pick rating for the very best vehicles which, as well as protecting their driver in crashes, also minimise injury to other road users,” Mr Haley said.

“A carefully selected group of 20 vehicles scored the Safe Pick rating of which 13 were small, medium or large vehicles. The two large vehicles that scored a Safe Pick rating were Australian-built, being the recent model Ford Falcon and Toyota Camry, which is a credit to those local manufacturers.”

NSW Centre for Road Safety Director Dr Soames Job said that buying a safe used car does not have to be expensive.

“Many of the safest cars in each market group are relatively affordable,” Dr Job said.

Some examples include:

  • Volvo S40 1997-2004 from $4,500
  • Peugeot 307 2001-2009 from $6,000
  • Honda Civic 2006-2009 from $11,000
  • Volkswagen Golf 1999-2009 from $5,000
  • Mazda 6 2002-2007 from $8,000 Toyota Camry 2006-2009 from $11,500
  • Honda CRV 2002-2006 from $9,000

“Used car buyers still need to be very stringent when selecting a vehicle as 38 models rated excellent and 40 rated good. Conversely, 18 models rated in the poor category and 47 very poor,” Dr Job said.

The ratings were calculated by the Monash University Accident Research Centre which analysed injury outcomes to more than 5.6 million people involved in crashes and 1.2 million injured road users between 1982 and 2009.

Dr Job also said that if the community is serious about reducing road trauma, consumers need to consider how any vehicle we purchase protects all road users, not just its own occupants.

“Vehicles identified as a Safe Pick provide best possible injury protection to all road users including their own occupants, occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists in a crash.”

“We all want to drive a car that keeps us safe in a crash but we also want everyone else to drive a car that keeps us safe if they crash into us. These ratings with the Safe Pick label help motorists to choose vehicles that achieve both these objectives,” Dr Job concluded.

The 2011 Used Car Safety Ratings brochure will shortly be available at NRMA and RTA branches or visit one of these websites: www.mynrma.com.au and www.rta.nsw.gov.au.

Photo credit: steven Husk – Fotolia.com

Tips for Dealing with a Mechanic

Ford Australia has decided to simplify the ever-confusing conversation with the local mechanic, so the next time you walk into a garage – you can do so with confidence.

Know the basics- Most people couldn’t care less about the inner workings of their car, but a little book work goes a long way when dealing with a grease monkey. Think of it as a job interview, if you can pretend you know what you’re talking about – it’s almost as good as actually knowing.

Take control of the situation- Once a mechanic has told you what’s happened to your car and how he/she intends to fix it, consider the quote and ask advice before giving the go-ahead. Once they get their hands dirty there’s no going back.

Cost of labour- Always ask how long the job will take and establish the hourly rate up front.

Seek a second opinion- You would be amazed at the price difference between one mechanic and the next – often for no good reason. It’s especially vital you shop around should your mechanic identify a host of unexpected problems when inspecting under the hood.

Beware the upsell- You don’t always want fries with your burger, similarly you don’t always want an engine replacement with your oil filter change. Be wary of a mechanic who wants to up sell things like fuel injector additives (to make your fuel system cleaner); oil flush additives (to flush old oil out of the engine) and topping up the windscreen washer bottle with a branded washer fluid (often more expensive than water with a dash of mild detergent).

Authorised dealer- Sticking to the dealership that sold you the car can often be the best course of action, particularly if it’s still under a warranty. Once out of the warranty period you can then shop around for a reputable mechanic.

Check the invoice- Make sure the bill is itemised with a methodical break-down of the work done. This way you will avoid hidden costs.

Credentials- Mechanics should be certified so check the paperwork. If all they have on the wall is V8 calendars – you can assume there’s a better option elsewhere.

Don’t assume honesty- If he/she tells you something’s broken, ask them to show you. They don’t need to know you’re out of your depth.

And finally- Dealing with mechanics can be difficult, once you find a good one – show them some love.

Learn the Lingo- A few terms to help you hold your own at the garage:

Carburettor: mixes oxygen with the fuel you put in your tank to create combustion

Radiator: A radiator keeps a car’s engine cool, preventing it from overheating and seizing

Oil filter: An oil filter removes all the contaminants from engine oil

Fuel-injection: Most modern cars use electronic fuel injection systems

Camber/Alignment: If your mechanic suggests a wheel alignment and camber adjustment this is important. If you’re steering feels ‘wobbly’ then have a mechanic check the alignment.

Wheel balance: It’s not a high-wire act. Again, if the steering feels ‘wobbly’ it could mean you’re wheels are out of balance.

Gasket: Used extensively in engines. They are usually sandwiched between metal components on the engine and bolted down.

Service record: Make sure your car’s service records are up to date. It’s important to know what’s been done.

Australia's Best Cars for 2009

The Volkswagen Golf and Subaru Outback have won two of the most popular categories in the Australia’s Best Cars awards, presented at a gala industry dinner in Melbourne last night.

The Golf 118 Tsi Comfortline won the award for Best Mid-size Car over $30,000, while the Outback 2.5i picked up the popular Best Recreational 4WD category in Australia’s Best Cars, an independent awards program conducted by the Australian Automobile Association and constituent motoring clubs.

Founder and Managing Director of HerCar.com.au, Melissa Pye, told Australian Women Online, “There were very few surprises in terms of which models took out the gongs. Some manufacturers even had multiple wins, like Audi, Subaru and Hyundai.”

Judges noted other highlights among the winners as the improved quality of small cars, with the Ford Fiesta LX winning the Best Small Car and Hyundai continuing its emphasis on safety across its range with the i30 SX (pictured) again picking up Best Mid-size car under $30,000.

“If you’re after a small car the Fiesta is brilliant. It looks great and performs incredibly well for a small car. And you can’t go wrong with a Volkswagen Golf. I’ve had 4 in my life! And the Hyundai i30 continues to win awards. I believe that this is the 8th Australian award,” said Melissa Pye.

In the Prestige Car categories, Audi continued its Best Cars’ success of last year to win the Best Luxury Sports Car, Best Luxury Car and Best Luxury 4WD – the BMW 135i Coupe won the Best Sports Car award.

“Audi have for a long time produced very good quality cars, but have lived in the shadows of their German counterparts. Their cars are finally being recognised for their styling, performance and value for money, taking out 3 Best Car Awards. In saying this, I was a little surprised that the Audi Q5 took out the award Best Luxury 4WD. I thought the Volvo XC60 may have just pipped it.”

Winners of Australia’s Best Cars for 2009:

  • Best Small Car – Ford Fiesta LX
  • Best Mid-size Car under $30,000 – Hyundai i30 SX diesel
  • Best Mid-size Car over $30,000 – Volkswagen Golf 118 Tsi Comfortline
  • Best Large Car – Toyota Aurion AT-X
  • Best People Mover – Hyundai iMax diesel
  • Best Sports Car – BMW 135i Coupe
  • Best Luxury Sports Car – Audi TT-S TFSI Quattro
  • Best Prestige Car – Subaru Liberty 3.6R Premium
  • Best Luxury Car – Audi A6 TFSi
  • Best Recreational 4WD – Subaru Outback 2.5i
  • Best Luxury 4WD – Audi Q5 3.0 TDI
  • Best All Terrain 4WD – Land Rover Discovery 4 SE TDV6

“These cars are assessed against three important criteria for consumers – value for money, design and on-road performance,” said AAA Chief Executive, Mike Harris.

“Each year we are seeing better produced, safer and more affordable vehicles on the Australian market and we congratulate the winning manufacturers and all finalists.”

Australia’s Best Cars winners and all vehicles assessed can be viewed on www.australiasbestcars.com.au or by purchasing the Australia’s Best Cars magazine at newsagents and Club outlets.

It's a Sweet Life Family Road Trip – Day Four

Day Four of our Koleos It’s A Sweet Life adventure meant home time. Alas. How we loved our short stay in Sydney, and could have easily spent another twenty years exploring the enriching tendrils that seem to snake down every single laneway and waterway.

I actually decided, when we dragged our carcasses out of bed far too early this morning, that I’d like to live in Sydney again, and so asked Husband if he could please organise a posting there soon. Sure, he said. Right after he organises postings to the other cities I’ve requested – New York City, London, Paris and the Hague.

After a God-awful ‘misunderstanding’ involving an inability to read road maps or driving incompetency (depending on which front seat of the Koleos your backside was parked in) we were finally on our way home. In the correct direction, this time.

It was a relative breeze getting out of Sydney on the quick and smooth freeways heading south-west. Surely these magnificent roads have cut two hours off the Canberra-Sydney trip.

On the way south, we had a smattering of sun shower and to our amazement, the Koleos’s windscreen wipers came on automatically to swipe the rain away – hey presto! Something similar happened on our forward journey, too. We’d had the wipers on ‘intermittent’ and when it started raining more heavily, they sped up. At the time, we thought we’d imagined it, but when checking the Koleos handbook, I noticed automatic windscreen wipers and headlights are standard. Love it.

I also just have to re-mention the très French left-hand indicator that goes ‘pip pop’ when you flick it on. I also know I whinged about the low light LED screen but it seems to have turned itself on brighter (I didn’t do it – perhaps it heard me whinging, the car seems to be that intelligent). And my other love is the sibling-altercation convex mirror you can flip down above the rear vision. You all know what that’s for, parents. Heaven.

Another thing the handbook tells me is something I may not get to experience because I’m usually in my nanna tracky dacks by 7 pm (my penchant to wander out during the nighttime hours is long gone) – and that is the full-beam protector across the windscreen to guard your eyes from oncoming headlight glare. Mentioning this may seem a little trite, but let me tell you – when you’re as night-blind as me behind the wheel, you take every little bit of help you can get.

Yet another thing I found in the handbook is that you can get an optional tent with the Koleos that hooks onto the back via the split opening, offering a bed in the rear of the car and then overflow space onto the ground where the tent rests. We’re not really a family of campers, but… I want one!

One more little thing I noticed in the book which I’m yet to try is the cute little French-sounding horn. Ayo! I just had to test this, post-haste. Mee-meep!

After irritating Husband monumentally with my tooting and lots of hand-swiping-away, we quickly came upon the exit to the small, historic town of Berrima. Spurred on by the promise of a peek into the renowned Lolly Swagman sweets shop (Old Hume Highway, tel 02-4877 1137), we were absolutely delighted to discover more than just a lolly shop in this quaint village.

This tiny town not only boasts a stack of historic buildings like the old Berrima Court House and a Gaol, it also features a museum, contemporary art gallery, antiques and bric-a-brac stores, a general store and ice creamery and the gorgeous Little Hand-stirred Jam Shop, stacked with luscious consumables and a café/ice creamery (1/9 Old Hume Highway, tel: 02-4877 1404)

Near the Jam Shop, you can find Bimbee Kids (tel: 02-4877 2777) which has baby and clothing as well as bedding and toys. Nearby, Sprinkles of Berrima (tel: 02-4877 1577) features Christmas all year round, and Sugar Daddy’s Cake Design will send the eyes of sugar-addicts skyward.

There’s also a gaggle of other cafés and tea rooms, the White Horse Inn pub, the Australian Alpaca Centre and The Cottage Berrima – an olden time country store selling the softest fine knits stacked in glorious gelato colours, glittering vintage chandeliers, delightful buttons and other olden time treasures.

Right near the quaint Berrima Post Office is the Art of Bookbinding and the Gumnut Patisserie (tel 4877 2177), where we ogled over pastries and cakes and came away with a marbled and swirled meringue for Riley and a strawberry tart for Ella. Husband and I guzzled neat little lattès on the rest of the leg home, arriving well before lunchtime.

Home. I’ve always said part of the attraction of traveling is the moment you arrive home, where things are unpacked and washed and freshened, and crinkling packets and bags are opened to reveal snaffled treasures and photos are uploaded and pored over.

It’s also a time when home comforts slip easily back into place. Like slipping feet into soft bed socks, we snuggle back into our world and give thanks for the wonderful opportunities we have to travel and see other parts of the world – even if those parts are in our very own backyard.

Although we’re generally a family of air-travellers, our family loved our road trip in the Koleos so much, we’re keen to take more road trips – both far and wide. Being able to stop where and when you want and having the freedom and comfort of getting off the beaten track (in the case of the Koleos, 4WDing is also a distinct possibility) and cruising wherever we want, at any given time is just so attractive, and if you plan your route carefully, you can really make the most of even long travel times.

So, thanks, Renault, for our time with the spunky little Koleos and for this glorious opportunity to get away and enjoy our Sweet Adventure. My blue, shiny baby will be delivered back to the car dealer on Friday with a surprising and very deep sigh of sadness. I’ve so enjoyed this car and hope one day we’ll meet again.

And for all you road travellers out there, I highly recommend factoring small country towns into road trips, not only in support of these out-of-the-way places, but for the fact that you may just find a treasure. We live in a  country of such enviable beauty and constant variety, it’s easy to stare straight through unique and wondrous places, unable to see the treats contained within – usually due to our wild hurry to make it between cities in record time.

Slow down. Pause. Take a peek and you, too may just find some of the sweet sweet treasures hidden in this extraordinary country of ours.

If you want to suss out the spunky looking Koleos and drum up some original answers for this amazing competition, just organize a test drive at your local dealership at renault.com.au/book-a-test-drive – it’s only a web click away.
If you can’t reach a dealership, you can learn more about the car’s details at the Koleos website www.renault.com.au/renault-cars/Koleos.

It's a Sweet Life Family Road Trip – Day Three

Hooray! No rain for day three of our It’s a Sweet Life family road trip; just a small smattering upon entry to Taronga Zoo, which soon disappeared for a cloudy but delightful day with more sunbursts than cloud.

We zipped across the Harbour Bridge in the Koleos this morning, ready and set to go early to beat the ‘crowds’ but the roads were virtually bare, being the Monday public holiday. Ahh. Lovely. There was even free parking at the zoo. Nice.

It was also lovely to be back in the Koleos, and dare I say it, I have a bit of a crush on this car. It’s so incredibly easy to manoeuvre, especially around little streets and between traffic. Just zip zippy heaven. It’s like turning the wheel through softened butter and there’s just, like, NO drag on the car as you turn. I love the small steering wheel, too, and did I tell you I tested the très French horn? Mee-meep! Cute.

Another thing I like is how easy the heating is to operate, especially for us Canberrans who truly experience four seasons in one day. A quick flick of the heating dial (one on each side for sectional comfort) and we’re set for atmospheric comfort.

I also wanted to mention my experience with the seat-flipping this morning. You know –when you want to put new coffee tables an such in the back of the car and need to lay down the back seats? I hate it when it take 15 levers (that need a manual to operate) and the girth of Andre the Giant to achieve this feat. With the Koleos, it’s flick, lift and lock down. That’s it. A breeze. Love it. Oh, and when we wish to get on the piste, we can even stick our skiis through the central hole between rear seats. Or stick them on the built-in roof racks.

Like a lot.

Another thing I like, a lot, is Sydney. Oh my. I had completely forgotten how beautiful this city is. Having spent seven years here through the late 80s and early 90s, it was easy (back then) to become complacent over the stunning beauty.

I witnessed this complacency all over again by a young, handsome barista who made us coffee at a Taronga Zoo café. With a work view of the Harbour many people would scratch his eyes out for, I acted all touristy and predictable by saying something he’s probably never heard before (not): “My, what a work view. I guess someone’s gotta do it.”

Although he patiently conceded the view was breathtaking, he also admitted that after several years of eye-feasting on a twinkling Harbour and paper-folded Opera House, it seemed a little ‘everyday’ to him now. Oh youth, thy name is complacency!

For me (old hack that I now am and therefore fully capable of blatant appreciation at any given moment), it was love at first sight all over again. My goodness, Sydney is a stunning city. Even bathed in uncertain skies, it is a truly breathtaking town, rife with waterways and natural beauty, but also character and charm and whimsy and just so much to see do, feel, experience, taste. Even the kids have become totally smitten, begging to go walking or take another ferry jaunt. Seeing as though my kids just don’t ‘do walking’, this is a fine thing indeed.

They both absolutely adored Taronga Zoo – arguably the best in the world, and coupled with those harbour views at almost every animal enclosure, well – you can strike out the ‘arguably’. We spent three hours touring the park in all its glory before jumping in the Koleos and nipping back along Military Road to Luna Park.

Speaking of arguables, standing at the clown face opening to Luna Park is arguably one of the most extraordinary experiences you can have anywhere in the world. In front of you is that towering, iconic face that strikes kids dumb. Through its gaping mouth, which gobbles punters alive, is a blaze of whirling, twirling, zipping rides, carnival music and delicious festival treats.

If you slowly turn around, behind you is the Sydney Harbour Bridge, quite literally soaring over your head, showcasing a far distant Opera House beneath its belly like an ornate steel frame.

Then there’s ferries bobbing in the water, speedboats nipping around on choppy wake, luxury cruise boats stalking envious glares, squeals and splashing from nearby North Sydney Swimming Pool and the bubbling excitement of patrons spilling in and out of the Luna Park orifice, clutching fairy floss and sticky smiles.

Inside Luna Park, we found the perfect sweet treats – sideshow goodie bags packed with whiz fiz and saddle club mags and Luna Park dolls that could light up the night with their megawatt smiles. The park has free entry, making it a place to hang and be seen and just soak up the atmosphere, but you need to pay if you want to ride or play games. The Coney Island pass is a great bet for little ones – only $10 a pop, they can play inside on a plethora of British seaside-style rides (and an enormous slide) for hours.

After a sticky gander, we took our rumbling tummies and headed to Bondi Beach in the Koleos, which was still chewing through the same tank of petrol from whence we left Canberra. Talk about fuel efficient. I’ve had the car two weeks and we’d only made it through less than half a tank before filling up to drive to Sydney.

When navigating the bizarre freeway loops around the north end of the Harbour Bridge, we invariably got a little waylaid a couple of times but the Koleos is so neat and has such a tight turning circle, it could U-turn it on a two dollar coin.

I’ve also noticed that the car, despite its somewhat ‘buzzy’ sound at takeoff, really packs a punch. Like – it’s actually surprised me how zippy it can be, without that dragging feeling that you’re flooring it like a hoon-head on a trip down Ego lane. I can press quite lightly on the accelerator from a standstill and will easily leave my fellow road users in my wake, with nary a screeching engine nor squeal of a wheel. I must admit, I like that.

We pulled up rear window shades for the first time today, too. Ella commented on how lucky we were to have these, especially being one so utterly English rose by complexion. Ella also loves the dual-zone automatic climate control because, you see, she operates at a different body temperature to her little brother Riley. At all times.

But enough of this spunky little chariot I’m enjoying so much, let’s get back to Bondi. We parked the Koleos right on the beach in a teensy parking spot (because it’s such a tidy little car) and hotfooted it to the shops for some wraps, which we nibbled on the beach. There’s always something happening in Bondi and the kids were thrilled to have a bounce and flip on a tethered bouncing contraption on the shorefront.

We then kicked a ball along the beach from the Bather’s Pavilion to the Bondi Icebergs swimming pool at the southern end, where little old ladies in purple floral swimming caps take early morning laps from winter through spring summer and autumn.

On the drive back to the city, we stopped once again at T2 to top up our tea supplies, and on the way out of the Queen Victoria Building, we discovered our last Sydney sweet stop – Sugar Fix – a store on the lower ground level concourse just beyond the main QVB, waiting for us like a chocolate-coated booby trap.

Glittering with a mind-boggling assortment of candy for sugar addicts everywhere, it took every ounce of dignity in my body to stop from leaping around like Jack Sprat. I bought authentic Turkish delight because it’s my fave thing in the world (next to nougat and chocolate bullets and rocky road and choc-coated marshmallow and mint slice and Jupiter bars).

I also came away with another fave – fondant filled licorice sticks (called ‘licorice cream rock’), plus chocolate coated pineapple lumps (scrum!), white choc coated raspberry bullets and some divinely retro inspired Solar Seeds and Galactic Peanuts. Hidden in the very base of my bag was a jewellery making candy kit for Ella’s Christmas stocking. Purchased on behalf of Santa, of course.

After a swim, we headed out for dinner – and got horribly sucked in to yet another Japanese restaurant for yet another delectable meal of miso soup and ramen noodles. On the way back to the Medina, we happened across a teensy Korean supermarket on Sussex Street, stacked to the ceiling with Korean and Japanese treats (yes, we like Japanese food) including jelly cups, mochi balls (sticky rice cakes) and wasabi-covered peas (well, not so ‘sweet’ but still a treat).

This teensy Korean supermarket was our last Sydney sugar fix. Tomorrow we are heading home.

I don’t want to talk about it.

It’s A Sweet Life Family Road Trip – Day One

Day one of our Renault Koleos road trip dawned dank and rainy in Canberra with promise of more dank rainy-ness in Sydney for our arrival. We didn’t even pack coats, we were so hopeful the weather man got it wrong.

Three-quarters of the way to Sydney, we were thankful we’d at least packed a couple of brollies. And it was eight degrees outside most of the way. Talk about unprepared. [Read more…]

It’s a Sweet Life – The Ultimate Family Road Trip

Goodie goodie gumdrops! Only four more sleeps and we are off on our very special road trip as part of the Renault Koleos test drive experience.

For those of you who haven’t a clue what I’m rambling on about – our lucky duck nuclear unit is testing out a family-friendly Koleos for a whole month, and we also get to do a road trip (our choice was Sydney) to see how this baby travels on the run. Boy, am I itching for the kids to give their aviation-style flip up tables (pictured) a whirl.

I must admit, I’m hugely excited about this trip. I spent seven years living in Sydney – in all the lux spots we couldn’t possibly afford to live in now, like Kirribilli, Manly and Bondi Junction [Read more…]

I’ll Take You Riding in My Car Car

I’m so excited. In around two weeks’ time, Renault is delivering a brand new Koleos to our house. Then, they’re going to leave it with us for a whole month – and I’m going to drive that baby, and drive it and drive it and test it and suss it right out.

We’re even going to take this vehicle on a four-day road trip to test out its kid-friendliness for real. We’ll be heading to Sydney for four days on a very special adventure, which I’ll announce soon after the Koleos arrives. Trust me, it’s going to be sweet. [Read more…]