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ADRIAN CAN’T COOK – Kitchen Quickie – Sharpening Knives

February 25th, 2014

Mercedes Sarmini shows me the quickest, easiest and most effective way to sharpen knives!
No need for a knife sharpening block, easy!

Thanks to Mercedes Sarmini from Flowers by Mercedes for the Kitchen Quickie.

www.AdrianCantCook.com

#adriancantcook

Maja Hoffman Custom Mercedes Benz

July 23rd, 2013

Fancy a custom designed Maja Hoffman Mercedes Benz? ‪#‎mbfwswim‬ — at The Raleigh Mercedes-Benz Swim Week.

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The Fierce New Lexus IS350 – Power That’ll Move You.

January 26th, 2011

Test driven and written by Adrian Erdedi for www.AdrianErdedi.com

A Sydney Lexus dealership was kind enough to lend me a Lexus IS350 Sports Luxury for a whole week. The same car, same shape, same interior… the difference? Its got a new and improved big powerful engine.

Never being a fan of Lexus (and you’d know that from my first car review which was a Lexus), this time I’ve been convinced… And all it took was time. Like a mother with an ugly child, you eventually grow to love it. I grew to love it. My love for it grew very quickly.

They [Lexus] said, “in a week, you should be able to get a proper feeling for the car, and see how good it actually is. Trust us, you’ll become a Lexus convert”.

So what did I think?

Outside

Razor sharp and agile looks. It’s a fierce looking beast, ready to unleash. With big shiny steel rims and brilliant pearlescent exterior paint, it is just inviting me in, with doors wide open.

This car is all about the detail, nothing has passed the eyes of Lexus, there isn’t one piece of metal, plastic or glass that is unattractive.

From the side mirrors to the boot lid… The exterior of this car is just beautiful even though the shape is 5 years old. The side mirrors have the night lights to illuminate the road below, the new addition of the day time HID driving lights, the door frames, boot lid, bonnet lid and basically anything that opens or closes is built nicely and is polished.

It’s beastly. It’s flared body panels almost make the car seem like it’s breathing subtly, like a wild beast watching it’s prey.

Interior

Grabbing the door handle with the keyless entry fob in my pocket, the car unlocks opening up to an extremely refined interior.

Sumptuous leather appointed electrically controlled heated and ventilated seats with contoured comfort welcome you home. They are like a La-Z-Boy armchair. The centre console is raised between the two front passengers, giving the feeling of a wide luxury saloon. Lots of storage areas, easy to reach everything, buttons are big and easy to read, everything has been designed for the driver.

The brains of the car is in the dashboard, with the entertainment/comfort/navigation system. Control everything from music, climate, satellite navigation, Bluetooth, mobile phone and vehicle customization settings.

The back seat is tight, but good enough for kids or small adults. Without legs. Or arms.

So the whole reason I have reviewed the car is for the engine. What did I think about it?

Engine & Drive

Fierce. Absolutely fierce. As all of their TVC’s suggest, it’s power that’ll move you. A 3.5 litre, V6 engine with 233kws of power, this thing has grunt. I’ve driven the IS250 and this new and improved engine absolutely creams the IS250! The IS350 is the most powerful in the range.

The great thing about this car is that it’s whisper quiet. But the second you push your foot to the floor and the revs get up, this car sounds like a hungry beast. It sticks to the road like glue, has awesome handling – where you steer, it goes. At high speeds, jolting the wheel left and right, the car does sway a little and finds it a little bit tough finding it’s bearings. But chance of you having to do that in a dangerous situation are minimal, so you’re pretty right.

Braking is absolutely superb. Even at high speeds, the car stops in an instant, without my latte, laptop and drycleaning flying around the cabin (too much).

Likes: I pretty much love everything about this car. Style, elegance, power, performance, colour, layout, ease, feel. The features of this car are quite endless – I just love how many cool features there are, and they are all so easy to use.

Dislikes: Tight backseat, boot space is ample, but not as spacious as I would have expected for a car of it’s size. The thing I dislike most is definately the park brake – it’s the push down pedal next to the brake on the far left of the foot well. It is so stupid and uncomfortable to use – the amount of times I also forgot to use it.

Would I buy it? Absolutely. I would buy one in a heartbeat. But I’m not in my 40′s and not a Real Estate agent.

Price: $89,000 drive away for the IS350 Sports Luxury, which is the top of the range.

Final Say: I really love this car. I really, really love this car. It is the perfect package. All you need to do is get over the fact it’s Japanese and owned by Toyota, and the fact it’s $89,000 drive away and you will be blessed with many years of smooth, economical and pleasurable driving. There’s something satisfying about driving a Lexus.

The Sexiest Little Baby On The Road – Fiat 500 Convertible

August 6th, 2010

With a history spanning over more then 50 years, the Fiat 500 came back and took the European car market by storm a few years back. It was then introduced into Australia around 18 months ago and wasn’t welcomed as warmly as it was in Europe – mainly because of price.

But now because of lower pricing and new models, they have become a little more attractive to the Australian market.

Now you’re probably wondering why the hell I have stepped foot inside a car like this, when I am test-driving cars like Jaguars, Range Rover’s and BMW’s. But it is the celebrity influence that has sucked me into test-driving the Fiat 500, which is undoubtedly one of the cutest little teeny weeny cars on the road. It’s the likes of Elle MacPherson and Paris Hilton that got me onto the car. Yes – I was sucked in the way Fiat intended – brilliant marketing!

Now where do I start with this little toy car? I start with changing my mind set and not be so critical, the way I am when I get into $200,000 cars.

No navigation, no heated seats, no leather seats, no 12 airbags and definitely no super charged engine. A big YES to pure, Italian joy! Once the sardine-tin folding roof of the Fiat 500 Convertible was completely opened back onto the rear parcel shelf, I felt like a child again waiting to get on the roller-coaster at Australia’s Wonderland. It’s a weird feeling. In a way you feel like you have left all masculinity in the showroom, but you feel slightly glamorous because of all the heads that turn when you drive this cutie around. What those people are thinking is probably what I think when I have seen them around… “How embarrassing”.

Smooth lines, bubbly charisma, with high class looking touches, this car is so irresistible. When I get in the car, I feel like I’m driving a men’s version of the Citroen Pluriel. Well, as manly as a man’s Fiat 500C can get with the flamboyantly standout white interior, steering wheel and instrument cluster. I think the thing that makes this car attractive is the colour combinations available. You can get great interior and exterior colours, and customise it like a Mini Cooper. You can get decals for the exterior and personalise the inside. I particularly love the Funk white interior, Pearlescent white exterior and Ruby Red roof. Sexy!

Getting in the car, the door is slightly tinny, but that’s expected for a car of it’s class. The seats are comfortable and supportive, but look abit big for the car. The head rests bother me, they look like they were a last minute addition. They are hard and uncomfortable.

The car feels solid for a tiny thing that weighs only 940kgs. It’s quiet and smooth. For a 1.4 litre petrol engine, it has guts. But I’d hate to have more then one person in the car, I think it would lag a little with a full car. But in saying that, there are other cars on the market that have similar engines and drive a lot worse with just 1 passenger, so this engine isn’t too bad at all. I drove the Dualogic transmission, which has 5 gears which can be changed with a tap of the cute gear stick. Dressed with enormous 16” wheels, ABS and Electronic Brake Distribution, the car stops much faster then it takes off! Much to my suprise, it also has Stability Control, 7 airbags and Traction Control… Which leads me to the drive…

Although the car feels solid, it’s a little bit bouncy and loose driving around corners and over bumps. You feel almost certain that you won’t leave the road, but you still have a slight inkling that it may just not stay on the road because of it’s weight around tight corners at speed.

The interior is FUN! No fancy LCD’s, no technical paddles, levers, buttons and pretty lights. But even without all the technical bits that I love, the interior is still FUN! One feature I love is the fascia on the dash, it’s a whiteboard! You can write all over it with whiteboard markers and rub it off! I love that. The car has all the little features you’d expect, climate control, CD player, USB/MP3 input on centre console, chrome bits and pieces, rear-parking sensors, Bluetooth and leather steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls (and one of the best looking steering wheels I’ve ever seen in white!!).

Likes: It’s looks, it’s beautiful. One of the cutest and aesthetically pleasing cars on the road. No it’s not a Porsche or a high priced performance car, but WOW, this car has prominence on the roads. It’s just divine. It’s a joyous car to drive. It is a cheap small convertible, but for some reason doesn’t have the tackiness of similar cars like the Mitsubishi Colt CC or the Citroen Pluriel.

I love the roof and how it works, the whiteboard dashboard is super cool and I LOVE the white steering wheel and colour combinations available.

Dislikes: I’ll be honest – I really couldn’t fault this car. It’s a small in size, small engine, mid-priced, non-serious fun car. You would buy it knowing this. You would buy it knowing you’re spending a little bit of extra cash on a car that turns heads, but isn’t for space, performance – or anything really?!

Would I buy it? Good question. Probably not. If it were given to me I’d drive it, but as a guy, I wouldn’t buy it. Just over 500,000 have been sold since 2007 and 70% of those owners are women. So I’m more then likely not going to buy it. But I do have to admit, I’m in love with this car.

Price: The Dualogic (Automatic) that I drove is $35,990 drive away! Not bad.

Final say: This car is just great. It makes you feel great, it’s bright, light and free. The only annoying thing is every time you drive it, you want to trade the landscape of Parramatta Road for an Italian village with cobble stone lane ways, little Italian bakeries, cafes and deli’s. A little poochie on the front seat, a beret and organic groceries on the backseat. Bliss. Absolute pure bliss.

The Audi S5 Cabriolet. A Damn Shame…

July 28th, 2010

It’s got a hefty stance, it’s got bold but subtle lines. This is the Audi S5 Cabriolet.

Audi have always made fairly basic looking cars, with a few exceptions – like the R8, TT and Q7. But they have now got the lastest collection of S5 vehicles which includes a Cabriolet, Coupe and four door Sportsback.

I took the S5 Cabriolet out for a spin, which I was a little excited about because I am quite fond of the car when I’ve seen it on the road. But did it excite me when it came to driving it?

Walking towards the car, I looked over it thinking it’s a big, heavy and luxurious cabriolet, which is going to be one of the most exhilerating drives I’ve had in a long time. The dealer began to tell me how he has worked for Mercedes and BMW and no other car can compete with the drive, quality and build of an Audi. We’ll see about that…

Opening the door was soft and quiet, no thumps, creaks or thuds. Really smooth, solid and quiet. It was from that moment I got a rush! It can only get better from here, right?

Wrong. Sitting on the firm leather seats didn’t make me feel welcome. Lifting my legs into the car is easy, but storing them in the foot well not so. It’s narrow and tight, with this huge protruding wall on the left hand side under the dashboard. There is only enough space for two feet at the end – that I do not like. I want space. Looking at the passenger side foot well, they have all the space you could possibly need!

I plugged the key into the dashboard and pressed the start button. On came the smooth and rather refined engine. All the little lights and screens turned on, but nothing stood out at me. The dash is plastic, everything was cheap plastic. Tapping the top of the dash with my nail, it was hollow and noisey. The mouldings around the LCD screen and the instrument cluster are flimsy and bendy, again made of plastic. Plastic, plastic everywhere. For a car of it’s calibre, I would expect a leather cladded dashboard, I mean if a $65,000 Peugeot convertible can do it, I’m sure Audi can too. The gear shifter looked like something a Ford would have, and the steering wheel looked like it was taken out of a base model Audi A3 hatch. I felt like I was driving a VW Golf. Boring and bland. It is a good layout, but nothing spectacular. I said this to the dealer, his reply was that I have to wait and see how it drives again – thats the big selling point. So I took his advice and onto the road we went.

The 3.0 litre petrol engine with 245 kW carried the car well, but didn’t accelerate as well as I thought it might have. I would have expected it to be a little punchier. Exceptional braking, and handling is good and composed itself well for a convertible of it’s size, considering alot of them tremble and shake around the windscreen over bumps.

I really don’t have much else to say about the drive. It was flat and boring. It wasn’t exhilerating, it wasn’t fun. I should have taken a Mitsubishi Colt CC for a spin instead – At least I would have got more looks.

The body is neutral to look at, but doesn’t have any type of particular look. It’s not sporty or agile like a BMW, and it’s not classy or a classic like a Bentley. It just floats safely inbetween.

Likes: It’s a cabriolet. The satellite navigation system is easy and practical to use. I’m wrecking my brain trying to think. Good sound system and ample boot space. Good colour combinations for the 2-tone leather interior, roof canvas and exterior paint. One exterior feature I like is the brushed chrome windscreen frame. There is a range of engines and equipment levels to choose from, including a super quiet diesel engine.

Dislikes: Styling, interior, footwell space for driver, too much plastic, poorly finished seats – where the leather is out of eyesight it turns into Kia style fabric, tacky cup holders, no point of difference.

Would I buy it? I don’t think I need to answer that question. I think it’s obvious.

Price: I drove the 3.0 litre petrol, which has the sat nav option – $122,000. Prices start from $99,000.

Final say: Throwing on a set of low profile tyres and LED lights doesn’t make a car ‘sporty’. It’s the kind of car you’d buy, then in about 3 months, you’d get sick of looking at because it’s just a car that has a roof that comes off – there’s nothing that draws you to the car time and time again.

The Blessed, Blonde And Beautiful Bessie Bardot

June 21st, 2010

Bessie Bardot, a prominent figure in Sydney and Australian media has made huge changes in her life over the past couple of years.

A television and radio presenter, best selling author, model, business consultant and public speaker, the list goes on… This woman has done it all, and will continue to do so.

She is a gorgeous blonde bombshell, who has remained an active member of the media and social circuit for many years, talks to me about life, family, work and play.

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

I’m hosting The Wedding Show on Foxtel as well as my ongoing project – filming a documentary called The Life Change Experiment. We travel the world and find the most inspirational people in each place.

Who or what influences you most in Fashion and home décor?

I used to be a personal shopper and stylist for DKNY, so I learnt long ago to stick with the shapes and looks that suit me, regardless of the new trends. It’s a little frustrating not being able to wear some of the looks but with my shape I need to balance my proportions and stick with clean lines and fresh colours.

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

I’m gluten free so anything that’s GF impresses me. I also love French food & Sushi.

Greatest lesson learnt?

That the only powerful way to live is in the present without feeling guilty about the past and worrying about the future. I started doing it 9 months ago with The Life Change Experiment and its honestly the happiest and stress free I’ve ever been in my life. Scientists have proven that we use a different part of our brain when we are stressed so we can’t make decisions properly anyway in that state. Letting go of it all and going with the flow definitely produces the best results.

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

Don’t wait for other people to make it happen for you. You need to be your own PR agent, manager etc. Make it easy for people to contact through a basic but professional looking website. Get a quirky business card, meet new people and make long lasting, mutually beneficial business contacts. Then repeat. Its an ongoing job but its so rewarding to work in your area of passion.

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

I put all my tasks for business and home life on the one to do list and give them equal attention because I’ve learnt that If you’re so busy that you don’t get time to have your own life, you have no life at all.

How did you get into doing what you do?

I was a checkout chick at Kmart with no ambition for anything more, then when my marriage of 6 months fell apart I woke up and realised that I had a fresh canvas and could design the life I wanted. So I started my first business, fifteen years on it’s just a matter of creating your own opportunities and noticing the ones in front of your eyes everyday.

Is there a charity/cause that is close to you and if so, why?

Make A Wish foundation is an incredible one. I’ve been part of many wishes being granted to kids with life threatening illnesses and their smiles will remain in my memory forever.

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

With a toddler who needs to eat nutritious dinners I’ve given up most of my takeaway, now I cook about five nights a week.

Signature dish?

Probably my lamb marinated in maple syrup, garlic and mint with crispy baked vege’s, garlic mushrooms & caramelised onion.

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

I could usually rattle off a long list but after giving all my possessions away in thelifechangeexperiment.com I realised that I hardly need a thing, it’s really quite liberating. These days the only must is the baby’s nappy bag and a bottle of water for me.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

Gotta say Shelly Beach in Manly as its where I got married 12 years ago.

Where would be your ultimate holiday destination?

Somewhere exotic or challenging. A flawless beach in Mauritius or trekking through the Amazon Jungle depending on my mood.

What is one quality you have, that you hope your children will get and carry through life?

Empathy. You can learn and achieve much by applying yourself but true compassion and empathy is the most important for their happiness and that of the people around them.

When was the last time you cried? If you wish to divulge, why?

Since becoming a mother I’m a big sook for heart tugging songs, movies, even inspirational phrases and seeing people’s eyes light up as they have a major realisation or discover their worth, it gets me every time.

What car do you drive, best thing about the car and why you bought it?

It was a Mercedes A class but I gave that away, now I drive a loaned Winnebago motorhome and I’m totally addicted to the freedom, and the fact that I never leave anything at home!

Your best grooming tip?

Go easy on the makeup, the best way to get better skin is to lay off the chemicals and let your skin breathe. I never thought it would be possible with my history of acne but I haven’t worn makeup in 6 months and my skin is a million times better.

www.bessiebardot.com


The Purr Of The Giant Cat – Jaguar XFR

May 6th, 2010

I get to drive some pretty amazing cars, whether they are sports cars, convertibles, saloons or 4WD’s. Not yet have I driven a 5-seater sedan quite as breathtaking as this.

Approaching the enormous Jaguar XFR, I’m a little undecided. Am I an old conservative man or am I a young energetic man?

Naturally I’m a young energetic man, but have the idea that Jaguar’s are for old conservative men who wear driving hats and gloves – like MG drivers. But I was assured by the fabulous Jennifer at Jaguar that I was in for a treat.

After a brief discussion about the differences in the model range and the engine sizes, Jennifer was just too enthusiastic about the Jaguar XFR, desperate to show me how the car works. A Jag is a Jag right? You turn it on, it does what all the other cars do and that’s that right?

WRONG!

We took the lift down to the private super-dooper extra special, extra powerful, extra spectacular Jaguar XF sitting in a class of it’s own between all the other cheaper and less spectacular Jag’s.

Approaching the car, the enormous polished chrome grille stares at me, sitting infront of the huge 5 litre V8 Supercharged engine, with such anger – ready to pounce on me like an animal in the wild.

Opening the door, I’m greeted with illuminated Jaguar scuff plates, which welcome me into the sumptuous cockpit of a car that is about to perform for me.

Perform for me? What am I on about? The car is literally about to perform a performance like no other. If cars went to acting school, the XF would have passed all it’s classes with super high distinctions. Turning this car on is like a theatrical performance.

The keyless engine start button is located on the centre console, right next to this big round polished chrome dial which changes the gear. But it’s so weird – how on earth do you use it? Well that’s the performance that’s about to unravel before you.

I held down the START/STOP button for the engine. The  ENORMOUS engine turns on with such grunt. I wish I could make the noise for you as you read this. I actually got goosebumps turning this car on. The first part of it’s performance is how it made me feel. Turned on.

Part two of the grand performance is the centre console. After the enormous grunt of the V8 before you, popping up out of the console is the dial for the gears. A round knob that controls the gears. One of the most spectacular gear-sticks I’ve ever seen.

Part three of the starting of the car performance is the coolest bit of all… The air conditioning vents. When the car is off, the dashboard looks like it has no vents for aircon, till you turn it on and they all electrically spin around and turn into air vents. Sounds minute, but when you see it, it’s pretty damn cool!

Don’t think it’s over yet, part four is the lighting in the car. Blue LED strip lighting surrounds all the buttons, knobs, dials, on the console and dash. LED lighting also beams down from the roof over the dash, illuminating it all. But lighting doesn’t stop there. The doors have the strip lighting inside it, as well as the foot wells and rear area.

This is one show that’s definately about to hit the road.

The deep and sexy purr of the V8 has told me it’s warm and ready to hit the road. A push of the handbrake button and we are out of there. The car is constantly monitoring obstacles around it, it’s checking everything the car is doing.

A press of a button on the steering wheel simplifies everything for me – voice activation. PLAY CD 2. On comes CD number 2. Pretty much speak anything and the car could probably do it.

That CD 2 I just asked for can’t just be played through normal speakers. Naturally it will be played through the Bowers & Wilkins system which is the creme de la creme of car audio.

The brain of the car is the LCD screen which pretty much does everything you want. Feel like watching Analogue or digital TV? How about a DVD? Or how about directions to your holiday house in Bowral? Whatever you want, this thing will do.

Change settings on how the car turns on, runs and turns off? You do it here. It’s incredible how easy it is to use and how genious the system is.

A feature I loved was the Valet feature. When you leave your car with Valet, you give them the key to the car and type in your pin number into the LCD screen. This automatically locks the boot and console compartments in the car so no one can access it. Speaking of compartments – the glove box! So simple yet such a great feature. Semi-hidden on the amazing timber dash is a tiny silver dot. What is this dot for? Well of course it’s to electrically open the glove box so there’s no handles or levers to pull. Such a great feature!

I could seariously go on for hours about this car and it’s features… They seem to be endless and the car just seems to impress me more and more by the minute. It’s flawless – almost.

But I think the easiest way to rate the car is by summing it up like this:

Likes: EVERYTHING. The styling, the engine, the fuel efficiency, the interior, styling, features, lighting… Honestly, there is nothing I could possibly say that’s negative about this car. It is just amazing, right down to the trimmings at the bottom of the seats. Everything is just made with quality products and finished perfectly – by far better then the BMW’s and Mercedes I’ve seen. The leather used is from fence-less farms, the dash is leather covered and the roof is even lined with a faux suede which looks amazing. Also, the air-conditioned seats – they are not just ventilated, they are conditioned! Heaps of excellent cup-holders that actually work!!!!

Dislikes: Hmmm… Ummm… Ohhh… Ummm… Are there any? There’s got to be something? Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. Actually, there is one thing. The rear seating. For a car of it’s class, it could offer more. It could offer personal entertainment like screens in the headrest, controls in the middle seat armrest or even reclining seats. Other then that, this car has no dislikes. Oh, there is no option for a panoramic glass roof – only a sunroof is available.

Would I buy it? Hell yes. The closest comparison would be the Mercedes C63 AMG. Similar performing vehicles, but both uniquely styled. The Jag will maintain it’s sophistication, class and dynamics for alot longer then the C63 which will look daggy in only a couple of years. So not a conservative car for an old man – it has WOW factor, even for the young!

Price: You’re looking at around $205,000-$215,000 for the XFR, including sunroof, extra huge wheels, and all the other little options which complete the vehicle I drove.

Final say: WOW! WOW! WOW! I love cars. I love all cars. I love super cars, sports cars, 4WD’s, convertibles and family cars. But not often does a car excite me and perform for me in the way that this theatrical pussy-cat did for me. This is by far a car that will be hard to beat.

At least until I drive a Bentley I guess!

Speak to Jennifer McCarron – (02) 8338 2133 – Trivett Jaguar, Alexandria.

One Of The Best Coupés On Our Roads – Mercedes E-Class Coupé

April 21st, 2010

Seeing quite a few of them on the roads, I had to take a closer look.

The Mercedes E-Class Coupé. The epitome of style. Class. Sophistication.

Approaching the monumental Coupé which sits big and proud, I felt a sense of urgency. Urgency to get in the car and turn it on.

It’s been a long time coming. It’s rigid and squared body, strong bold lines and enormous louvered grille.

I opened the heavy door, and sat easily into the Coupé. Infront of me was a creation of excellence in engineering and cutting edge design and technology. A powerhouse of beauty. I am instantly in love with this car. The sense of urgency is immediately diminished. It is now pleasure.

The seats are simply stunning, looking very much like the seats in a Bentley, the Coupé has created a refined seating sensation. They look great, feel great and power adjustable to suit you. They also have air chambers inside, which can be changed to suit your driving or passenger experience. The option of heating and ventilation is available.

The intelligence of this car is astounding. A car that can sensor sunlight, air quality and humidity externally to keep the cabin at a constant temperature? A multimedia system with CD and DVD, navigation, audio and telephone functions – all voice activated? A car that has ultrasonic sensors which evaluate how you should park it – giving you directions on where to turn, reverse and go forward? A gearbox that can skip gears? These are only a minuscule of the features this car has.

Right, it’s time for my favourite part. Turning it on and getting it on the road! The petrol V6 with 215kW of power was an arousing moment. I felt like I needed a moment to myself, to hear, see and feel everything unfold around me. Out onto the road, where I could have a play with this baby! Oh boy, did this baby want to play. The effortless power that comes from the huge engine upfront is breathtaking. Being able to hear the engine through the wide open panoramic glass roof was just irresistible. This car just gets better and better.

Handling, superb!

Braking, superb!

Acceleration, remarkably superb!

Ride, superb!

Overall? SUPERB.

Such a small touch, but something that was obviously thought about, the rear quarter window. The back seat occupant have one large window that opens, but they also have one very small one tucked in the corner, which suprisingly adds so much character and style to the car. Who would have thought a small window could further excite me?

Another exterior feature that send me a little wild, the LED daytime driving lights which are one of the first things you’ll notice as an unfortunate bystander. They are shaped like a hockey stick. I love that they have strayed away from the straight lines Audi and Holden have used with their daytime LED’s.

This car is just pure exhileration. Pleasure and oozes sex appeal. With elements of Bentley and Maybach, this car is almost Mercedes perfection.

Likes: Standard seating comfort and aesthetics, panoramic glass roof and extra glass panel for rear occupants, small rear glass panel, raised centre console, extensive colour and combination options, looks big – drives small, the way it makes me feel.

Dislikes: The rear centre console is a little uneventful. There should be buttons for something – it needs something to play with.  Not much else… this car is almost perfect.

Would I buy it? Hell yes! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a convertible person. I had peek at the convertible and it didn’t excite me as much as the Coupé did – suprisingly! If I were going to buy it, I’d go for the E500, it has every option and is like looking at Jennifer Hawkins – AMAZING.

Price: For the smallest and most standard model in the range, the E 250 CGI, you’re looking at around $103,000. For the top of the range E500, expect to fork out $187,000. It is worth it.

Just to re-cap, what are my overall thoughts? SUPERB.

Passat CC – The Under $100,000′s Have A Strong Contender

April 14th, 2010

I’m not the biggest fan of the current range of Volkswagens, especially that hideous Tiguan. The range of cars seem to lack any form of classic styling, and don’t seem to step ahead in technology for other cars in the same price range.

With all of this in the back of my head, I felt obliged to accept the invitation by VW to come in and test drive the new Passat CC.

I had seen the Passat CC many times on the road, and thought it was just a copy of the Mercedes CLS (still remains one of the most attractive Mercs ever made), but cheaper. I thought VW was jumping on the 4 door, 4 seater saloon bandwagon. But how could a VW Passat CC possibly compare to that of the CLS, Audi S5 Sportsback and Porsche Panamera? Well they can’t, considering the Passat CC is under $100,000, and the others are over. But does price matter?

As I approached the Passat CC, it gave me special tingles. There was something about it that just gave me an urge. Sitting in the showroom, in silver, black tinted windows, black interior and huge wheels, it sat there like a coporate fat cat leaning back in his leather office chair with a cigar. It made all the other little cars around it quiver in their boots.

It’s big. It’s wide. It’s long. It’s chunky. It’s beautiful.

I opened the door, and the window electronically dropped down, which is what most convertibles and the Mercedes CLS do. First sign that they aren’t just pretending to be part of the 4 door, 4 seater Saloon pack. The sexy thin and small windows make this look like a performance vehicle – very similar to the CLS and the Chrysler 300c.

I climbed in, slammed the door shut and instantly felt at ease. The first 5 seconds of sitting in the car, I said I loved it. I hadn’t even turned it on yet. I felt safe, snug, secure. The dash was attractive, somehow looking nothing like the Passat sedan. It didn’t resemble a Golf, Polo, Tiguan or Touareg. It sat in a styling class of its own. Was I impressed? I sure was.

Turning on the largest engine in the range of VW vehicles, the V6, 220kW petrol engine felt liberting. Like I just threw my bra on a fire. (Or not?!) There is a diesel option available too, with 125kW of power and alot more fuel efficiency. The diesel lags abit for it’s size and weight.

It did a quick roar, then quietened down to a purr. All the pretty lights, screens and buttons illuminated. I had a play with my 12-way electrically adjustable seat functions. The sumptuous leather seats are heated and also ventilated, which I liked. The rear seats are also heated with dials in the back for the passengers. The giant glass roof slid open and I put down electric sunblind in the rear window, letting the Autumn sun soak the interior.

Lots of little touch compartments pop open, with storage for silly things. The dual climate controlled air conditioning is easy to use, and looks good. It doesn’t feel flimsy and cheap, like a Golf. The steering wheel needs a little bit of refining, but I couldn’t complain for the price. It is still functional and feels good.

The center console is also good looking, the gear shifter is odd looking, but not hard on the eyes. The center console is a little boring, with just a big box. There is a slide open compartment infront of the console, which is fairly basic too. The glove box is chilled when the air con is on. The sales person thought that feature would impress me – if that’s all he had to impress me, was it all down hill from there?

Driving out of the show room, I loved the feeling of the large engine as I accelerated. It sounded a little like a Donzi. It was asking me to push it hard. I pushed it hard and it packed a good punch. It’s not afraid to go when you want it to. It’s loved stopping too. One thing I will give VW, 9/10 on braking.

The ride was gentle, smooth and refined. Suspension is soft and supple.

It has all the comforts of a decent luxury car; optical parking system, satellite navigation, reverse camera, bluetooth and so on…

I like the car very much, and really enjoyed my test drive.

Likes: Seating comfort, glass roof, high specification for price, neat and tidy boot mechanism, tan leather option, diesel option is $10,000 cheaper then the petrol. Petrol is all wheel drive.

Dislikes: Rear centre console should be appointed differently – perhaps add something electrical. It looks bare and empty. You may as well put another seat in it’s place. Steering wheel could be a little more refined. Diesel engine is a little small for a car of it’s size and weight. The car only seems to look beautiful, depending on the colour combination you get. I have seen some on the road that look boring, but only because of the colour combinations. The two-tone leather interior option is not available in Australia.

Would I buy it? Thats hard to answer. If I was going to spend around $75,000 on a four door car, I’d be looking elsewhere. The reason you’d buy this car is for the seating configuration. If I wanted a four seater, with the comfort of four doors, then yes. But if I was prepared to pay more for the same style, I would definately go for the Mercedes CLS.

Price: Petrol engine – $71,000 on road. Diesel engine – $61,000 on road. The car I test drove was the diesel with the glass roof and satellite navigation package, on road cost is $76,000.

www.volkswagen.com.au