NISSAN NAVARA PRO-4X WARRIOR

PRO-4X is Nissan’s answer to the Ford Ranger Raptor which seems to have found a ready market among cashed up tradies, despite its hefty $80,000 price tag. The makeover isn’t quite as extreme as the Raptor, with the same drivetrain as its less pretentious siblings. But it’s got ‘the look’ and has plenty to offer, and it’s $10,000 cheaper — you’ve gotta like that! STYLING The latest Warrior looks fantastic with its black, three-panel radiator grille, integrated winch-compatible bull bar, built-in light bar, elaborate sports bar and embossed tailgate. There… Read more

NEW MATURITY COMES WITH REX GROWTH SPURT

When it comes ‘pocket rockets’ the Subaru WRX has form. Launched in 1992, the WRX, which stands for World Rally Experimental, became an instant icon, winning three consecutive makers’ world championships. Landing Down Under two years later, the WRX since has enjoyed strong sales in the sports sedan segment thanks, principally, to its trademark Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system linked to a compact four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged ‘boxer’ engine. Fast forward to 2022, with the fifth-generation model giving rise to a new maturity to a driving experience which previously had been unsophisticatedly… Read more

2022 ABARTH 595 COMPETIZIONE

One of our family cars for many years was a ‘Fiat 500 by Gucci’ convertible. It was a brilliant little Italian machine to buzz around in traffic and park in tiny spots that others simply could not fit into. It had the Gucci trademark green/red/green stripes and people admired it whenever we stopped. So, it was great to spend a week in the sporting cousin of our 500, the Abarth 595 Competizione. Abarth is the name used on the high-performance variants in the Fiat 500 range. STYLING Based on the… Read more

MITSUBISHI ASX GSR

Mitsubishi ASX is the smallest vehicle in the company’s four-model SUV range beneath the Eclipse Cross, Outlander and Pajero Sport. ASX (the acronym stands for Active Sports Crossover, not Australian Stock Exchange!) has been around since 2010 and competes against a host of rivals in the small SUV category including Hyundai Kona; Mazda CX-30; Kia Seltos; Subaru XV; Toyota C-HR; and the class sales leading MG ZS. Despite being largely unchanged throughout the decade ASX has been a star performer for Mitsubishi thanks to a combination of sensible design, functionality… Read more

NO FRILLS BUT MORE KIT A PLUS FOR NISSAN X-TRAIL

Those who thought Nissan’s long-standing popular sports utility vehicle would trail away into oblivion were mistaken. The mid-size X-Trail came to Australia more than two decades ago with little fanfare but won the hearts and wallets of those searching for soft- road versatility. Now, Nissan has announced a new fourth generation X-Trail for Down Under in the second half of 2022. In the meantime, to celebrate 20 years here, the Japanese company has refreshed the MY22 model range with the addition of a new ST+ variant. Available in two- or… Read more

2022 HONDA HR-V Vi X

Honda has been a major player in SUVs for many years and the HR-V is a small to medium sized model that is being chosen by quite a few buyers in this burgeoning market segment. The third generation of the HR-V is offered with a two-motor e:HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) powertrain technology for the first time on this model. It comes in two specification levels with two different powertrains starting with the Vi X that’s powered by a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, and the HEV L hybrid powertrain. Our test… Read more

SUZUKI VITARA

The Suzuki Vitara is a car crying out for an update. The design of the five-seat wagon dates way back to 2015, although there has been a minor facelift since then. The little car that could has been overtaken by cheaper and better equipped Chinese offerings from MG and Haval. Significant price increases haven’t helped its quest for the buyer dollar. When we tested this car in 2019, the auto kicked off from $24,490 – it’s now $28,490. The turbo was $29,990 – now $33,490. Suzuki risks pricing itself out… Read more

PEUGEOT 508 GT FASTBACK PLUG-IN HYBRID

. Originally offered as a four-door sedan or five-door station wagon, the Peugeot 508 has been on sale in Australia since July 2011. It fitted into the space between the smaller 407 and larger 607, effectively replacing both cars. The second generation 508 was launched in 2019 but didn’t arrive here until August 2021 and featured Peugeot’s first-ever plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain. While there is a large choice of engines and equipment levels available overseas for the 508, only three models are available here, all with the top-grade GT variant… Read more

HAVAL JOLION ULTRA

Jolion is the latest offering in an expanding range of SUVs from Chinese manufacturer Haval GWM. By the way, Jolion means ‘first love’ in Chinese. You remember them, the guys that got the tradies all hot and bothered back in 2009 with cheap utes, followed soon after by the X200/X240 SUV based on the same platform. It was all about the price, but safety soon became an issue and the brand disappeared off the lots for a while it addressed this problem. A couple of years ago Great Wall Motors… Read more

2022 BMW iX3

BMW iX3 is the full electric version of German marque’s mid-sized X3. It has no internal combustion engine to provide extra range if its batteries run out of power. It’s sold in Australia with quite a few features that are frequently extra cost options; these include metallic paint and the M Sport package with 20-inch M aerodynamic wheels. STYLING Very BMW. While other makers of electric vehicles like to go for a different perhaps futuristic look, the iX3 looks instantly like a Bimmer from any angle. There are some blue… Read more