The Jeep Wrangler has changed direction, with the off-road icon, among other things, turning its back on bitumen soft-roading to step up in the rough with more pulling power at low revs. For the 2024 Wrangler, the Pentastar V6 engine has been retired in favour of a turbocharged four-cylinder motor, the latter forgoing 9 kW of power in favour of 53 Nm more torque and better fuel economy. Towing capacity remains unchanged at 2495 kg for a braked trailer. The MY24 Wrangler comes in four variants, all cheaper and with… Read more


Launched here in 2004, the small Cerato hatch or sedan has been one of Kia’s biggest sellers, often sharing the Australian sales podium alongside Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30 and Mazda3. The current, fourth generation, Cerato has been on sale here since 2018 with an upgrade in 2021 adding new tech features as well as the fresh new Kia logo. The next generation Cerato is due early in 2025 but it will be given a name change, adopting the global name of K4. Let’s hope that Kia doesn’t face the same… Read more


Toyota scoured the globe to find something extra for its best-selling HiLux pick-up range. With inspiration coming from the Dakar, one of the toughest off-road endurance events in the world, plus input from the company’s Australian design team in Melbourne and extensive testing here, the result is the all-terrain performance GR Sport dual cab. Seen as a replacement for the range-topping Rugged X, Toyota landed on the GR HiLux racecar that was making its presence felt in one of the world’s toughest off-road endurance events, the Dakar Rally, for inspiration,… Read more


Some of Ford Ranger’s magic must have rubbed off on Everest because it’s now one of the top 10 best-selling cars in Australia, second only to the Toyota Prado in its segment. The last time we drove Everest we were pleasantly surprised by the wagon and the latest, third generation model is no exception, in keeping with the market response. It’s ironic because sometimes we critics can bag the crap out of a car, then stand back amazed as it sells its socks off. Go figure. STYLING Everest adopts the… Read more


Kia now offers four SUVs of which Seltos (oddly they all start with the letter S) is the second smallest. At one stage we were contemplating the purchase of a Seltos as a replacement for our ageing Sportage which has finally run out of warranty. The big attraction was its size and price because along with its growth in size and prestige, Sportage has piled on the dollars. Though it’s a smaller car, Seltos offers plenty of utility for two people and these days the petrol engine gets better fuel… Read more


After all these years, I still think of the Subaru Outback as a wagon rather than SUV — the Forester too. Unfortunately, you can’t buy a diesel Outback anymore, but the latest turbocharged petrol version certainly addresses any perceived deficiencies in performance. And, like a fine wine, Outback continues to get better with age. Its one major gap in an otherwise impressive repertoire remains the fact that it seats only five. In fact, Subaru hasn’t offered a seven-seater as part of its range since the propeller-nosed Tribeca in 2013. But… Read more


Based on the same platform as the Rio hatch, Stonic is the smallest of Kia’s SUVs. Designed by the maestro Peter Schreyer, the name is a combination of the words “stylish” and “iconic”. In Australia Stonic is available with 1.4-litre four cylinder or turbocharged 1.0-litre three- cylinder petrol engines, the latter confined to the top of the range GT-Line. Top seller in this section of the market is the Mazda CX-3, followed by the Toyota Yaris Cross, with the Hyundai venue in third place. Nipping at their heels is the… Read more


Japanese vehicle maker Subaru has been at the forefront of all-wheel-drive vehicles for many decades. Indeed, it produced nothing other than all-wheel-drives for many years. The only Subaru that isn’t driven by all four wheels is the BRZ sportscar, which was a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota, with the latter being a called the Toyota 86. Five variants are offered: Outback, Sport, Touring, Sport XT and Touring XT. The first three are powered by the traditional 2.5-litre engine, the XT models get a new 2.4-litre turbocharged unit. Our test… Read more


Seltos is the second smallest model in Kia’s SUV range, sitting above the compact Stonic and below the Sportage. It competes against vehicles such as the MG ZS, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30 and Mitsubishi ASX. Originally launched here in late 2019 Seltos received a major upgrade in November 2022 with exterior and interior changes, safety improvements, new tech features, plus extra power and a new transmission for the top-spec model. The changes do come at a price with increases of at least $2200 across the range, although they can probably… Read more


Ford recently updated its Everest with improvements to safety and comfort, so it was a good opportunity to carry out another road test and see what this popular model is like now. There are four variants: Ambiente, Trend, Sport and Platinum. The first two come with the choice of rear- or four-wheel drive the other two are RWD only. Our test vehicle was the Everest Sport with four-wheel drive. It has a recommend retail price of $69,090, to which on-road costs have to be added. STYLING Everest is a great… Read more