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Car news, 03 July ’24: Ford Ranger on top in latest new car sales data, BMW prices 540d xDrive, and more

Olek Novak

Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Wednesday July 3rd 2024. Notably in car news today: the Ford Ranger maintains its lead in Australia’s latest new car delivery results, and BMW announces pricing for its new 540d xDrive.

Browse this issue:

Ford Ranger on top as Australia sets new car delivery record

2024 Ford Ranger Black Edition front 3/4 static
The Ford Ranger remains to be the most popular new vehicle in Australia
  • The Ford Ranger ute was once again Australia’s most popular new vehicle in June according to the latest VFACTS report released by the FCAI, with 6289 rolling into customer driveways, ahead of its archrival Toyota Hilux pickup (5630) and Toyota RAV4 midsize SUV (3907).
  • In total, Australians took delivery of 119,559 new vehicles in June, down by 4.2 percent on the same month last year but enough to take the year-to-date tally to 632,412 – up 8.7 percent on the same period last year, and also beating the previous record of 605,522 in 2018.
  • Once again, SUVs and light commercial vehicles dominated the sales charts, accounting for 54.5 percent and 23.3 percent market share respectively. 
  • Hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles captured 14.4 percent market share, a notable increase from 7.8 percent in June 2023 – with Toyota becoming the first brand to sell over 100,000 hybrid sales in a year, within only six months of 2024 – however BEVs were down slightly from 8.8 percent last year to 8.0 percent this year.
  • Australia’s most popular brand in June 2024 was Toyota with 20,903 vehicle sales, ahead of Ford (9493) which narrowly beat Mazda (9483).

READ: Click here for a full round up of Australian new vehicle deliveries in June

BMW 540d xDrive priced and detailed for Australia

2024 BMW 540d xDrive Sedan studio shot
BMW’s 540d xDrive with turbo-diesel power will cost $134,900 before on-road costs
  • The first diesel variant and second combustion model in the new-generation BMW 5 Series large sedan lineup has been priced from $134,900 before on-road costs. 
  • The mid-range 540d xDrive will join a slowly expanding 5 Series lineup that includes an entry level 520 petrol variant, i5 eDrive 40 and i5 M60 xDrive electric variants, and will also soon include an i5 M60 xDrive Touring electric wagon and PHEV V8 M5 sedan.
  • Powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the all-wheel-drive 540d xDrive also features 48-volt mild-hybrid tech, delivering total outputs of 223kW and 670Nm, enough for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds.
  • Standard features for the 540d xDrive include features like 20-inch M alloy wheels, illuminated kidney grille surrounds, adaptive suspension and Bowers and Wilkins 18-speaker surround sound system, with a range of option and customisation packages available at additional cost.

Land Rover unveils rugged Defender Octa variant

2025 Land Rover Defender Octa driving shot
This is the 2025 Land Rover Defender Octa
  • Land Rover has unveiled what it’s calling the “toughest and most durable” model in its Defender range, the Octa, before it makes its debut in Aussie showrooms later this year with an “indicative price from” $291,542 before on-road costs.
  • The off-road focused variant is also the most-powerful Defender ever, packing a 4.4-litre twin-turbo mild-hybrid V8 sourced from BMW making 467kW/750Nm and capable of delivering claimed 0-100km/h sprint in four seconds, with up to 800Nm available in dynamic launch mode. 
  • In addition, the Octa boasts a suite of updates, including but not limited to heavily revised chassis components, upgraded suspension, raised ride height, a widened stance, extended wheel arches and redesigned bumpers with improved approach and departure angles.
  • A special-edition Defender Octa Edition One – with an indicative price from $317,592 plus on-road costs – will be available in the first year of production featuring exclusive paint options and interior trim, special carbon-fibre detailing, 20-inch forged alloy wheels and all-terrain tyres.

First deliveries of the BYD Sealion 6 begin in Australia

2024 BYD Sealion 6 SUV front 3/4
The BYD Sealion 6 SUV is already selling well in Australia
  • BYD Australia has announced the first of its new Sealion 6 SUVs have commenced in Australia, a model which received over 1000 pre-orders since its unveiling in May.
  • The Chinese automaker has confirmed it has already delivered, in June alone, 482 units to customers. 
  • The new Sealion 6 SUV, which is part of the brand’s Ocean range, is priced at $48,990 for the entry Dynamic, and $52,990 for the Premium, both prices being before on-road costs.
  • The Sealion 6 uses BYD’s DMI hybrid technology to achieve an estimated range of up to 1092km. Standard equipment includes a 15.6-inch rotating touchscreen, 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 10-speaker Infinity sound system. 
  • For the first 3000 sales of the Sealion 6, each owner will receive a complimentary home wall-charger. 

2025 Hyundai Inster Walkaround

  • Chasing Cars journalist Olek Novak’s walkaround video review of the 2025 Hyundai Inster small electric SUV was published, taking a first look at the price-busting city car that’s expected to land in Australia from around $40,000, squarely targeting the affordable Chinese EV territory.
  • Novak took a thorough look at the exterior and interior of Hyundai’s most affordable and most compact electric to date at the 2024 Busan International Mobility Show, noting an endearing, feature-packed and well-packaged design.
  • Based on the petrol-powered Korea-only Casper which has been on sale in that market since 2021, the Inster – to be known as the Casper EV in Korea – has been lengthened compared to its petrol sibling, promising more interior space thanks to a longer wheelbase and up to 355km of WLTP electric range in its long range specification.
  • Whilst in Korea, Novak was also part of a small contingent of Australian media to drive one of the final pre-production prototypes of the vehicle. Stay tuned for our full review on that coming very soon.

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Thursday 4th July at 4.30pm Sydney time.