LEXUS UX 200 UPGRADES

The Lexus UX 200 Luxury’s driving efficiency now includes an engine stop / start system. It has the latest-generation 12.3-inch HD touchscreen display replacing the previous 10.3- inch version. The touchscreen display offers operation for satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and other useful vehicle functions. DAB+ digital radio is now standard on the UX 200 Luxury which also now has 10 speakers, two more than previous. The updated UX 200 has the “Hey Lexus” voice recognition function which can be activated by pressing the talk button on the… Read more

NISSAN X-TRAIL ST+

It’s been way too long since I last drove a Nissan X-Trail. After they introduced the CVT transmission, I kinda lost interest. But somewhere along the way, I’m happy to say, the X-Trail got its mojo back — the latest one ain’t half bad. And, with an all-new model about to lob, my timing was perfect because now I can’t wait to see where they’ve gone with it. Prices for X-Trail start from $30,665 for the five-seat ST manual with a 2.0-litre engine. Standard kit includes cloth trim, manual adjust… Read more

SOLTERRA IS SUBARU’S FIRST ELECTRIC VEHICLE

Subaru will introduce its first electric vehicle to the Australian market with the Solterra SUV due to arrive here in 2023. The all-new Subaru Solterra will have symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, active safety technology, adventure capabilities and durable, reliable engineering – to an all-electric vehicle. Built on the e-Subaru Global Platform, a new all-electric vehicle architecture, the Solterra is designed to provide an electric offering without compromising on the brand’s distinctive features and abilities, delivering a vehicle that existing customers can feel is truly a Subaru. Blair Read, Managing Director Subaru… Read more

CRUISER WITH LOCAL HISTORY IN THE LAND OF OZ

The Land Cruiser (aka LandCruiser) wagon first chiseled its way into the Australian psyche during the development of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme in the 1950s. Now, 60 years later, the latest version of the iconic Toyota 4×4, the 300 Series, hangs on firmly to its exalted position in the pantheon of the large off-roader, paralleling a Henry Moore statue in the art world. There’s still a local link, with the owners of the upper-end variants able to take advantage of Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system, which was developed Down… Read more

SUBARU FORESTER 2008 – 2021

Subaru Forester was first sold in Australia in 1997 as a smallish station wagon, before growing in size to became an SUV. It has reasonable ground clearance that’s okay for moderate off-road driving in the bush. You will also see some on the beach, though it’s best not to take it onto soft sand. In this Used Car Checkout we cover the Subaru Forester from February 2008 with the introduction of the third generation. The fourth Forester generation arrived in February 2013. This time the shape was more serious SUV… Read more

FORD ESCAPE ST-LINE PHEV

Our most recent road test review was of a Ford Escape SUV plug-in hybrid, which is usually tagged as a PHEV (Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle). It is the first Ford vehicle to be sold in Australia with any form of electrification. Ford is working hard at reducing future vehicle emissions in many ways. Amongst these will be the addition of electric power to all models, in the form of standard and plug-in petrol/electric hybrids as well as pure electric EVs. Escape PHEV comes only in the ST-Line spec level, priced… Read more

VOLVO XC40 RECHARGE PURE ELECTRIC TWIN

Recharge is the fully electric version of Volvo’s XC40 small-medium SUV. Until recently there was just the one electric model, but now you get to choose from two. One has a single electric motor, the other comes with two of them — or ‘twin’ motors as they are known. STYLING Volvo XC40’s exterior styling is chunky, compact and functional. The wheels are standouts. A blanked-out radiator grille signifies this is the fully electric version of the small SUV, in other words – no cooling required. Although designed to seat five,… Read more

AUSTRALIAN PRICES ANNOUNCED FOR NISSAN Z CAR

Australian prices have been locked in for Nissan’s highly anticipated new twin-turbo V6 sports coupe, with the latest version of the legendary Z to be introduced at $73,300. A special edition Proto Spec flagship version, exclusively in Ikazuchi Yellow paintwork topped by a Super Black roof, will be offered until sold out. The Z Proto Spec, with its bespoke interior and 19-inch bronze forged alloy wheels enclosing yellow brake calipers, will be priced at $80,700 MSRP. Unlike the Z Coupe, which will arrive in greater numbers, the Z Proto is… Read more

MANUAL LABOUR DOWN MEMORY LANE

Remember when car ignition keys alone turned the engine on and off, gearboxes were manually operated, clutch pedals were prodded and windows wound up and down by hand? I recently did a spot of travel back in time in the Yaris Ascent Sport, the compact hatchback from Toyota. With its eschewing of such modern automated aids, the Yaris Ascent Sport manual, I presume for economic advantages, really is a hands-on vehicle. At $22,130, plus on-road costs, the car is the entry level to the Yaris line and the only variant… Read more

H6 HYBRID IS HAVAL’S FIRST STEP TO AN ELECTRIC FUTURE

Chinese manufacturer, Great Wall Motors, has joined the electrification movement with the release of a petrol/ electric hybrid version of its Haval H6 mid-sized SUV. It comes to Australia in a single variant based on the top-spec petrol Ultra model with a high level of safety equipment and technology, priced very-competitively at $44,990 driveaway. STYLING The H6 Hybrid has a distinctly different frontal styling than the other models in the range and, to our eyes at least, it makes a significant difference. Two body-coloured side panels extend the grille to… Read more