TOYOTA CROSSES OVER WITH ITS LATEST SUV

After a long period when Toyota’s smallest SUV, the RAV4, grew into a mid-sized model leaving the compact field open to numerous competitors from other brands, it now has three vehicles in contention, Yaris Cross, C-HR and now, the subject of this week’s review, the Corolla Cross. Although it sits on the same platform as the Corolla hatch, the Cross has a totally different body as befitting an SUV. The styling is quite conservative but that’s unlikely to deter the typical Toyota buyer who prefers function over fashion. There are… Read more

IN ESSENCE, THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

It’s all down to striking design and leading-edge aerodynamics, says the Chinese manufacturer of the latest MG4 electric vehicle.that uses the innovative new Modular Scalable Platform that will underpin a new generation of MG EVs. Featuring rear-wheel drive, 50:50 weight distribution and thin battery technology, the MG4 was designed in London and is put together in state-of-the-art plants in several countries. The result is a hatchback that reflects the sporting tradition of the original post-war MGs and points the way for affordable versatile zero emission electric vehicles of the future…. Read more

LATEST HYUNDAI SANTA FE NOW ON SALE

Hyundai’s fifth-generation mid-sized Santa Fe is now on sale. Hyundai describes the all-new model as being designed around the ‘Open for More’ concept that is characterised by spacious second- and third-row seating, and a roomy, and practical cargo area all made possible by an extended wheelbase, efficient packaging, and an enlarged tailgate opening. It also comes with a Panoramic Curved Display incorporating 12.3-inch digital cluster and infotainment displays, the convenience of Bluelink Connected Car Services and Over-The-Air (OTA) remote software update capability, and a comprehensive SmartSense safety suite. At launch… Read more

CX-30 HAS BEEN A SALES WINNER FOR MAZDA

Launched here in late 2020 the Mazda CX-30 is a small-medium SUV that squeezes into the space between the company’s original SUVs, the compact CX-3 and the mid-sized CX-5. Between them, these three vehicles accounted for just over half of total Mazda sales in 2023 and were a major factor in the brand being locked solidly into second place behind Toyota in total sales. CX-30 was given a minor upgrade in late 2023 that included improved connectivity and fuel efficiency, together with a new model grade, the GT SP. The… Read more

HYBRID POWER POINTS TO ZERO EMISSIONS

With a dim start to electrification of the automobile Down Under, due considerably to the snail-pace roll-out of charging infrastructure to keep up, many car manufacturers have doubled down on petrol / electric hybrid models. Latest switch-on is Hyundai with its new Kona SUV range consisting initially of internal combustion engine vehicles and totally electric powered variants. The small sports utility hybrid vehicle makes use of a 1.6 litre petrol engine and 6 speed dual clutch transmission with a 1.32 kwh battery pack and electric motor, designed to deliver a… Read more

IT’S DOWN TO BUSINESS FOR GENESIS SUPER SEDAN

Genesis, the opening chapter of the Old Testament, and the titular luxury arm of Hyundai, share a couple of questions: where do they come from and who are they meant for? Answers were given to me by a local Genesis high-up when the South Korean automobile maker set up shop Down Under. He told of an owner of a top-shelf Mercedes-Benz, who did not want his pride and joy to face the day-to-day risks of city and suburban driving, so he settled for a top-notch Genesis for half the price,… Read more

TOYOTA GRANVIA IS A PREMIUM PEOPLE MOVER

Launched here in 2019 the Toyota Granvia effectively replaced the long-running Tarago people mover. At the same time, it moved its target audience beyond the family friendly transporter into the high-end hospitality and corporate market. To do so, Granvia had to increase in size and it measures 5300mm long and 1990 mm high. That’s 505mm longer and 240mm higher than the last Tarago and takes Granvia into modern minibus territory. Granvia is offered in two spec levels, Standard and Granvia VX, each with the choice of six or eight seats…. Read more

AUDI Q5 DRIVES UP TO THE AUTO HOLY GRAIL

Could it be that auto giant Audi has grasped the Holy Grail of the industry with its most popular vehicle, the Q5? The most desirable, yet elusive, automotive properties claimed by the Q5 plug-in petrol / electric hybrid – outstanding performance coupled with miserly fuel consumption – stand as the chalice of Arthurian legend. The new Q5 55 TFSI e quattro S line showcases the manufacturer’s expertise in electrification and highly efficient internal combustion engine technology with a claimed sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a sizzling 5.3 seconds,… Read more

FUTURISTIC HYUNDAI STARIA IS A REAL HEADER-TURNER

Both come with a strikingly futuristic look with a steeply sloping front with a wide body-coloured radiator grille flanked by low-set LED headlights and a full-width horizontal LED strip above comprising a centre lamp and daytime running lights. Comparisons have been drawn to the now-defunct Space Shuttle. Both Staria models are engineered from the ground up on a dedicated platform shared with the Santa Fe. We’ll cover the Staria Load in another review and focus on the people mover here STYLING While it may polarise opinions, the Staria certainly has… Read more

SPECIAL EDITION BMW M4 CS IS ON ITS WAY

BMW Australia will complement its high-performance BMW M portfolio with launch of the all-new BMW M4 CS later this year. ¬† The new addition to the line-up combines intelligent lightweight construction with extensive use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), increased engine output, bespoke chassis setup, exclusive design features and a precision-honed specification to deliver an exhilarating performance experience for both road and track and in all weathers. The special edition is powered by an uprated version of the high-revving six-cylinder in-line engine featuring M¬†TwinPower Turbo technology developed for the… Read more