HYUNDAI PALISADE IS BIG AND BOLD

Launched here in late 2020, Palisade is the largest model in Hyundai’s SUV range. At a smidgeon under five metres, it’s around the same size and price as competitors such as Kia Sorento, Toyota Kluger, and Mazda CX-90. It’s aimed at those wanting a large vehicle to carry people so leans in the direction of comfort and ease of driving rather than full-on off-road work. An upgrade in June 2023 included a name change with the previous top-spec Highlander now called Calligraphy and a new Calligraphy Black Ink variant added… Read more

bZ4X CHANCE TO MAKE A NAME FOR ITSELF

What’s in a name? Plenty if you happen to be one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers pumping out product by the boat load. Take Toyota, for example. Nothing goes better to describe the Land Cruiser as a prestigious go-anywhere off roader; then there’s the Prius, relating to its being the first mass produced petrol / hybrid car. Now comes Toyota’s first wholly electric SUV, the BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) bZ4X. The what? Surely that’s an internal maker’s code Where’s the snappy showroom moniker? Was the marketing department on leave?… Read more

AUDI Q2 – GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES

The Q2 is the entry-level model into the Audi’s five-model SUV range sitting below the Q3, Q5, Q7 and Q8. Between them they account for around 80 per cent of the brand’s total Australian sales. First released in late 2017, and upgraded in February 2021, the Q2 now comes in two variants: 1.5-litre 35 TFSI and 2.0-litre quattro 40 TFSI. At the same time a new high-performance SQ2 was added and which will justify a separate review down the track. Priced at $43,600 plus on-roads, the 35 TFSI has LED… Read more

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

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

UPDATED GENESIS GV80 NOW COMES AS A (SORT OF)  COUPE

Genesis has unveiled the upgraded range of its GV80 SUV and added a coupe variant to the range. You may well ask how a tall-boxy five-door SUV can merge with a low-slung two-door coupe. It certainly takes a bit of imagination. Think of it as an SUV hatchback cross and it makes more sense. But, what’s in a name? Genesis says the SUV/Coupe concept combines the practicality of an SUV with the dynamism of a sports car. Of perhaps greater interest, the Coupe represents a preview of bigger things to… Read more

NISSAN QASHQAI ST-L

Once known as Dualis, Nissan’s small SUV the Qashqai has grown in size and stature over the years. Sitting between the Juke and X-Trail in terms of size, the current, third generation Qashqai was launched in 2021. It’s 60kg lighter than before, stands taller, longer and wider, and has a longer wheelbase — and of course costs more. That means more room for luggage, and more knee and leg room for rear seat passengers. What’s not to like? STYLING The latest, third generation Qashqai comes in four grades: ST, ST+,… Read more

GWM ADDS SEVEN-SEATER TO ITS TANK SUV

Great Wall Motors (GWM) has unveiled the second variant of its Tank SUV with the seven-seat Tank 500 joining the Tank 300 five-seater that arrived here in late-2022. Due to go on sale in the Q2 2024 the all-new body-on-frame Tank 500 comes with a hybrid drivetrain, advanced safety features and a variety of convenience features such as auto reverse assist. As with the Tank 300 its available in two grades, Lux and Ultra. Lux will be priced at $66,490 driveaway with price and full specs of the Ultra to… Read more

FORD EVEREST REACHING NEW HEIGHTS

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