Welcome back to your weekly wrap up of car news and reviews, where we find all the bits that matter and condense them down into one easy read.
After taking the Monday public holiday off we spent the rest of the week working twice as hard, covering global supply issues ruining everything, an impressive spike in Australian car sales and even an EV sports car that doesn’t weigh as much as a medium-sized building.
Enthusiasts were also gifted some spicy new pics of the new Honda Civic Type R and the official pricing for the Ineos Grenadier. Don’t know what that last one is? You’ll want to go check it out.
But all of it pales in comparison to the Toyota Land Cruiser, which got a huge update this week and we’ve written seven different articles over the last two weeks to cover all the angles – so let’s get into it.
Toyota dished out the full specs on the new 300 Series Land Cruiser this week and while it’s not cheap with a starting price of $89,990 (before on-roads) the list of inclusions was immense across all seven grades.
A locking centre differential and a low-range transfer case are standard on all grades, as you would expect. With the base model GX getting features like a snorkel as standard and the top-trim Sahara ZX wearing A LOT more chrome and 20-inch wheels.
It shows that Toyota genuinely understands its customer base for this car, particularly in Australia where they completed tens of thousands of kilometres to tailor it to our conditions.
Sadly though, getting your hands on one might be tricky. Toyota won’t say how many orders they have for the new Land Cruiser but said over 10,000 people registered their interest in the 4WD.
Add to that the fact that production for the right hand drive models won’t resume until at least November and the delivery times will vary, but we’ve written a dedicated article breaking down when buyers are likely to get their hands on the new Land Cruiser.
A few months on since we first saw the Nissan Z unveiled, the company’s Australian arm revealed the local specification and confirmed we will be getting the six-speed manual alongside the nine-speed auto. Praise be.
Nissan Australia has opted for a single, highly-specified variant alongside the Z Proto Spec grade, for a limited time – though both will likely still be cheaper than the Toyota Supra when they arrive halfway through 2022.
So what does it include? Well, if you opt for the manual you’ll snag upgrades like an Exedy high-performance clutch and a carbon-fibre composite driveshaft, though both transmission options come standard with a mechanical limited-slip differential.
Being a grand tourer, it’s also important that the Z is nice to live with and the signs look promising. With an 8.0-inch touchscreen paired with a huge 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, leather seats, active noise cancellation and more safety features than I can list here.
Those opting for the Z Proto Spec should get in quick as Nissan says they are ‘strictly limited’. The special edition grade adds 19-inch bronze forged alloy wheels and two-tone yellow exterior complete with a matching interior.
During my time in this job I’ve grown fairly accustomed to the steady pace at which new cars come out, but Mazda has seen little value in this method and decided to announce five new SUVs, and much more, all on the one day.
They are known as the CX-50, CX-60, CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90. Have you sensed a pattern here yet? Yes, like the CX-30 is the CX-3, the above models will aim more upmarket than what we are used to from Mazda.
So far the American-made CX-50 has been ruled out for Australia but the CX-60 has been confirmed to arrive on our shores in late 2022, while the rest are still under consideration. All will be rolled out between 2022 and 2023.
Mazda is aiming to go more premium with a new rear wheel drive focused platform that features turbocharged and naturally-aspirated straight-six petrol and diesel engines mated to a 48-volt mild-hybrid system like we often see from BMW.
The MX-30 small SUV will also get a rotary range extender option though is not confirmed for Australia just yet. But we’ll keep our ear to the ground as Mazda attempts one of the most significant transformations we’ve seen in years.
This week was a cracking time for reviews on the Chasing Cars YouTube channel as we inch ever-closer to our goal of 100k subscribers, so we’d really appreciate it if you joined the crew.
Kicking off the week we reviewed the Audi Q5 45 TFSI to find out why it’s just so damn popular when it has so many equally brilliant rivals.
We also had a look at the new Genesis G80 with the new diesel engine option which, despite being a four-cylinder, could actually be the pick of the lot with the huge torque on offer, outright refinement and value for money.
Continuing our base model theme, deputy editor Nathan Ponchard reviewed the Toyota Kluger Hybrid in base model ‘GX’ guise and found you get quite a lot for your money.
And finally we reviewed the best car in the world: the Mazda ND MX-5. Why do I say that? Well, I own one, and after two+ years of shenanigans together I still love the hell out of it, faults and all.
Specifically, we reviewed the new MX-5 GT RS grade which throws in better suspension, lighter wheels and a few other goodies to make you into a track day hero for $3k over the regular GT grade. Not a bad trade we reckon.
Car news today: new Triton reviewed, Maserati GranCabrio unveiled, and an electric Audi TT replacement – 1 March 2024
Car news, 29 Feb ’24: Infiniti QX80 previews future Patrol look, Renault in talks to build EVs with Volkswagen, and more
Car news, 27 Feb ’24: Toyota Australia announces pricing for electric BZ4X, Renault debuts retro 5 E-Tech, and more
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