NEW VEHICLE SALES: MAY 2022

The FCAI, the peak body for Australia’s automotive industry, has released new vehicle sales figures for May 2022. A total of 94,383 vehicles were sold in May bringing the year-to-date total to 437,884. This result represents a decrease of 6.4 per cent on the same month in 2021. FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said global supply chains struggling to recover from pandemic impacts meant demand for new vehicles in Australia continues to outstrip supply. “The global automotive industry continues to be plagued by a shortage of microprocessor units and shipping… 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

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

TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 2007 – 2021

The Toyota LandCruiser is rugged full-size off-roader 4WD. It is capable of tackling deserts, the great Aussie outback and rugged hills with ease. There are many in the suburbs as well where they make excellent work of carting multiple kids. The LC 200 is of the old school, dating back all the way to November 2007 when it replaced the LC 100 Series. It is a major evolution of the 100 Series rather than a completely new model. That’s because Toyota treats the LandCruisers as commercial vehicles rather than passenger… Read more

TOYOTA LAND CRUISER PRADO KAKADU

It seems like an eternity since I drove my first Toyota Prado. Since the original Prado debuted in 1996, it has clocked up more than 300,000 sales, making it Australia’s best- selling SUV over the past 19 years. Now in its fourth generation, the current model was launched 13 years ago, so it is not surprising that it’s starting to show its age. Prado was last updated in 2020, with more power for the engine and add-ons across the range, but when you get down to it — it’s basically… Read more

TOYOTA C-HR GR SPORT

Some people loathe the dramatic look of the Toyota C-HR. Personally, I really like design and have done since day one. So, I was mildly excited to hear there was now a GR version, the C-HR GR Sport — inspired by Toyota’s performance-focused GR models. The key word, however, is “inspired” — because there’s no more power on offer and that is disappointing (you might feel differently). STYLING The GR Sport features a more aggressive front bumper and grille, with an aerodynamic lip, a bold lower grille, thick horizontal bar… Read more

TOYOTA YARIS GR RALLYE

It’s taken us longer than anticipated to catch up with Toyota’s pocket rocket, the GR Yaris – – but it was worth the wait. With 200kW of power, a manual change, all-wheel drive and tipping the scales at 1280kg, it puts away the zero to 100 km/h dash in just 5.2 seconds. BUT as entertaining as it might be, this little bundle of bravado doesn’t come cheap — not at more than $50,000. The Rallye edition, priced from $54,500 plus on-roads, introduces lightweight components and performance parts, specifically designed for… Read more

TOYOTA LAND CRUISER 70 SERIES – 70TH ANNIVERSARY WAGON

If you’re looking for something to go off road in, then look no further. If you’re not, then look elsewhere. By off road, we mean really off the bitumen — mud, rocks, fire trails, creek crossings, the Top End, winches and high-lift jacks — the whole shooting match. Land Cruiser 70 Series is without doubt the most capable 4×4 we’ve driven, a hard-edged, no nonsense off roader built to tackle the rough stuff — a workhorse built strong for commercial application. But ladies and gentleman, this is not a car… Read more

TOYOTA COROLLA HYBRID SEDAN

I must admit to having a soft spot for Toyota Corollas. Way back in the early 1970s when I was young and money was tight, I owned a Corolla for eight years and over 170,000 kilometres. During that time it transported my wife and three new babies (two girls and a boy) home from the hospitals where they were born. It never missed a beat. That car was much smaller than today’s Corollas and had only two doors. The car I’m reviewing here has four doors and is substantially larger… Read more

TOYOTA YARIS 2011 – 2020

2011 Toyota Yaris 2017 Toyota Yaris Toyota Yaris is the smallest model from the Japanese giant that’s sold in Australia. It’s one of the top sellers in its class so there are plenty on sale at any one time. Use this to your advantage by picking and choosing between those on offer. Yaris was introduced to Australia in 2005, in this review we are looking at the second generation that went on sale here in October 2011. It’s significantly larger and more refined than the ’05 model. The great majority… Read more