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aucklandstockholm With The Beautiful And Simple Bracelets – This Summer’s Must Have!

November 16th, 2010

Designed by Eastern Suburbs socialite Dylan Porter, owner and designer of aucklandstockholm these bracelets are creating a cult following – very quickly becoming the MUST HAVE this Summer!

Made from very simple but elegant flat pieces of silver on silk thread, they are the ultimate accesory to be rocking while sipping on cocktails at Icebergs. It can be tied or burned on at his brand new boutique at Bondi Beach.

Be sure to visit the very welcoming Dylan at his store, aucklandstockholm – 78 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach.

My Teenage Dream Car – Range Rover Sport TDV8

June 17th, 2010

When the Range Rover Sport first came out about 5 or more years ago, I was set on the fact that it was my dream 4WD. It’s now 2010 and is it still my dream 4WD? You’ll just have to read on to find out.

The big black Range Rover Sport TDV8 Luxury sits in the glossy showroom, with it’s suspension lowered so I can easily climb in at a normal height. I opened the door, it’s tall and narrow, I expected there to be more door considering the car sits big and chunky. But the door is quite compact and reminds me somewhat of the Mercedes Benz B-Class. Closing the door, it shut nicely and solidly. Once it’s shut, I’m completely surrounded by a dark interior of buttons, knobs, screens and leather.

Sitting in the drivers seat, I felt in control of everything – the dash, the seating, the passenger seating, the view and the vision by turning my head and through the mirrors. I felt like I had complete control of everything happening around me both inside and outside the cabin.

The dash. Heavily angled from windscreen down toward the centre console, it seems almost aircraft like, but with complete symmetry. Unfortunately, the main LCD screen which controls navigation, music, video and vehicle configurations is like it’s made for the rear-middle passenger to use. It faces on an angle up towards the sunroof, and positioned facing the middle of the two front seats. I found it had to access easily, and found that I had to stretch my arm to reach for it. I also found that the anti-glare screen was hard to see because of the way it was positioned, reflecting light straight off it. I also don’t like the way it is buried between the two air-conditioning vents on either side of it.

Once you get past that issue of visibility, and you actually use the navigation via the touch screen and knobs below the screen, it’s quite good to use. Simple, clean and quick. There is no delay like many other cars I’ve driven. But again, I’ve had to stretch over to use the buttons on the far left of the cluster.

Air-conditioning is easy to use and it’s not incorporated into the main screen thankfully, which means I can do what I need to do immediately. It’s also dual-climate which is great.

All the usual functions like the compartments, gears and electronic brake are all easy to use and in easy reach.

Between the two seats, below the electronic brake sits the function for the vehicle handling, suspension and terrain settings. Here you can adjust the height of the car, you can choose how you want the car to perform both on and off road and you can choose how you want it to perform and tackle specific terrains. I found it fairly easy to use, but if I owned it, I would probably read the book to understand it and take full advantage of it.

The instrument cluster is also good and informative, with another screen showing the car’s dynamics and all the other little bits of information. The car has computers constantly monitoring it, and this info is all produced on this screen.

The seats. Comfortable, supportive and easily adjusted to suit my seating position. Unfortunately, I feel like the car punishes tall people, not by making it uncomfortable, but by making it hard to use the dashboard because of the angle it’s on. The further back you need to sit, the harder it is to use. But the seats are superb otherwise – in the front. It’s a different story sitting in the back. The seats in the back are for two normal sized adults and one 5 year old. The mechanical bits and pieces, like the hinges and rails are all visible, which makes it feel a little sub-standard.

The doors. As mentioned above, they are tall and narrow, not necessarily a design flaw, but possibly a little tough for much larger people. That aside, and I don’t envisage it to be a common problem, the only annoying thing I found about the doors was the location of the electric window buttons. They sit as far away from easy reach as possible. Again, having to reach as far forward as possible, towards the side wing mirrors. Also in the unlikely event that you leave your window open and water comes in, those buttons will be the first thing to get damaged. In a bid to do things differently, I don’t see a reason to change it and it’s not made it any easy for the driver, or any other passengers as all the buttons front and back are in the same positions.

All the doors are otherwise luxuriously covered in leather with wood grain inserts.

The body. It’s one big illusion, it sits wide and sits long, but it’s not really wide or long. It’s sporty, it’s rugged, it’s agile, it’s sexy, it’s hefty and it means business. Big 20” wheels and wide tyres add to the illusion of it being a massive vehicle. But be careful which colour you choose inside and out, it can change the look of the car dramatically.

The drive. Vicious. Ferocious. Aggressive. Easy.

The Turbocharged Diesel is excellent. Being a 3.6 litre V8 (being replaced by a 4 litre later this year), with 200kW, this thing flies. It’s not the quickest car to accelerate, but look how much weight it’s carrying! But in terms of power, geez this thing goes. It sounds great too. It’s got that vicious beastly sound, which is prepared to flatten any contenders. Towing a boat or horses wouldn’t be too much of a struggle for it either, but I think considerable weight, up-hill in a diesel will possibly struggle a bit.

The interior ride is smooth, quiet and enjoyable. The interior is bright and light because of the high seating position and lots of glass, the air suspension makes bumps smooth and soft and the visibility is great. Parking is easy, with the aid of front and rear sensors and camera.

The thing that astonished me the most, was the way it drives and how it feels when you drive it. It’s like driving a mid-sized car – this is where the whole ‘illusion’ of it being a big car comes into it. The best way to describe it would be like driving a Mercedes C-Class, it’s just a mid-sized 4 door sedan. Nothing complex about it. Driving the Range Rover Sport was much the same. Effortless and manageable.

I now understand why all the Eastern Suburbs yummy mummy’s drive one to drop the kids off at school.

Likes: Big car looks, mid-sized car feel. Powerful diesel engine. Seating comfort for front occupants. Extensive interior and exterior options for colour and wheels. Sexy and agile looks. Looks great, and will look great for a long time to come. Easy to drive, a practical car with all the attributes of a performance vehicle.

Dislikes: I’m sure I made these clear above. But it’s got to be the access to simple things like navigation, electric window buttons and knobs on the dash. The fairly unattractive rear seats that look like something out of a Tarago. The small boot, the boot space in most other 4WD’s of its kind are much longer and deeper.

Would I buy it? I know those issues above annoyed the hell out of me, but yes I would still buy it. I have loved the car for a long time, so would have to fulfil my strong desire to own it.

Price: The Range Rover Sport TDV8 – $149,990

Final say:
I really enjoyed this car, it’s got presence on the road and I love the feeling and sound of power under the big hood. I would definitely buy one, but I would have to spend a fortune customising it to look original as there are so many of them on the roads and they all look so generic. It’s like buying a Mini Cooper (hardtop).