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This week on Chasing Cars: GR 86 unveiled, Aussie car sales boom, Kluger waitlist inbound


Welcome back to your weekly wrap up of car news where we find the bits that mattered and cut it down to a easy five-minute read.

There is no better way to start off the week than with a new sports can and that’s exactly what Toyota gave us with their mostly-new GR 86 this week.

Following closely behind, we had a smattering of SUV news in all shapes and sizes from the punchy little Nissan Juke getting a slick new grade and Toyota revealing there were just about fending off potential Kluger Hybrid buyers before it had even gone on sale.

Speaking of drowning in success, Isuzu announced they were upping the price of the D-Max that still has extensive waitlists and the Volkswagen Caddy looks to sweep up the competition again with the arrival of their next generation.

2021 Isuzu D-Max Rear 3/4
Isuzu said it has been forced to bump of the price of the D-Max range by $1,000

Toyota GR 86 unveiled:

While more evolution and revolution, we’re lucky to have the Subaru BRZ and now the Toyota GR 86 twin – with both packing a number of subtle but important upgrades for their second generation.

The GR 86 was revealed this week packing arguably a better appearance than its Subaru sibling along with 50 per cent more torsional chassis rigidity and only a few more kilos with a total kerb weight of 1,270kg with the six-speed manual.

The biggest change however was the engine, while it’s no turbocharged monster like many hoped the jump from a 2.0-litre to a 2.4-litre four-cylinder boxer engine has seen outputs up to 173kW of power and 250Nm of torque on tap – which is a healthy 21kW and 38Nm increase.

Subaru Outback Sport2021 rear
The Subaru Outback is now the best-selling large SUV in Australia

Australian car sales boom:

The Australian car market recorded its fourth straight month of growth in March, accounting for 22.4 per cent more sales than this time last year.

We’ve done both a top-ten wrap up and a deeper dive into this but the crux of the matter is Toyota well and truly has a stranglehold on the Australian market with the Toyota HiLux continuing its dominance followed by the Ford Ranger ute and Toyota RAV4 midsize SUV.

We also saw the new Subaru Outback become the best selling large SUV on the market, which we’d argue isn’t really an SUV at all but a raised wagon which has once again tugged at the heart strings of adventure-seeking Aussies.

Toyota Kluger 2021 silver ride
Toyota simply can’t bring enough new Klugers into Australia this June

Toyota Kluger extensive waiting lists expected

Just like the RAV4 midsize SUV before it, the larger Kluger looks to be a smash hit when it lands in Australia packing the same hybrid-heavy focus that made its little brother so popular.

The Kluger is expected to touch-down in Australia this June with Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales and marketing more than a little excited at the sheer onslaught of sales they are expecting. 

“All I’ll say on Kluger Hybrid is that [however many] I get, it won’t be enough,” he told Chasing Cars.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 2021 Spectral Blue
Mercedes-Benz gave the CLS a subtle facelift with a slew of small updates

Other car and SUV news that happened this week:

The very handsome Mercedes-Benz CLS got a facelift this week that has slightly massaged the exterior of the sedan with Australia expected to retain a six-cylinder heavy lineup.

Isuzu announced they were chucking an extra $1,000 on the price of every D-Max variant this week, citing unavoidable costs associated with building the popular ute.

The facelifted Hyundai Kona Electric finally arrived in Australia with a slightly higher price of entry at $62,000 with range boosted slightly to 484km (WLTP).

Nissan’s quirky Juke small SUV got a new grade this week that sits towards the top of the tree, along with a slightly divisive but well implemented orange interior option.

Engineers at Mazda also gave us some insight into the lack of one-pedal driving ability in the upcoming MX-30 Electric that promises to be a very different kind of EV.

Volkswagen announced the 2021 Caddy will arrive in July with a starting price of $34,990 (before on-roads)and will be available in standard and long wheelbase form in commercial van and people mover setups.

But the Caddy you really want is the California, which is a bit of a bargain at $54,990 when you realise it’s a ready-to-run campervan with a fold-out bed, tinted windows and a slew of other goodies already built-in.