Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

This week on Chasing Cars: Land Cruiser detailed, Nissan Z specs confirmed and Mazda’s pitch upmarket


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.

We’re getting towards the pointy end of the stick now everyone. A new Land Cruiser, new Ranger and even some new EVs are well on the way – it’s a bloody good time to be into cars.

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.

Ineos Grenadier 2022 pushbike
Is the new Land Rover Defender filled with too much tech for your taste? The Ineos Grenadier could be up your alley.

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.

The complete spec list for the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series was dropped this week.

Toyota Land Cruiser detailed

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. 

The new Land Cruiser isn’t cheap but it does include a lot of equipment on every grade.

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.

Nissan Z 2023 rear 3/4 night
Nissan Z was detailed for Australia and will arrive halfway through next year.

Nissan Z specs revealed

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.

Nissan Z 2023 interior
A manual transmission option and a kitted-out interior will be found on Australian models.

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.

Mazda range 2021-1
Mazda announced that five new SUVs will be joining its line-up over the next two years

Mazda’s pitch upmarket

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 CX-60 2023 render
The CX-60 is the only model confirmed for Australia as of yet. Pictured is a render by WapCar.

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.

Mazda MX5 2022 GT RS Front 3/4
This week we reviewed the delightful Mazda MX5 GT RS.

All the cars and SUVs we reviewed this week:

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.

Genesis G80 2.2D Rear End
Could the Genesis G80 with the new diesel be the pick of the bunch? We think so.

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.

Ford gave us a new look at the Ranger in almost no camouflage

Other car and SUV news we covered this week:

  • When looking at SUVs specifically, it’s clear that the segment’s popularity is continuing to grow with the Toyota RAV4 nabbing the top prize and the Nissan Patrol more than tripling its sales last year. 
  • The Piech GT is an EV sports car being cooked up in Europe that circumvents the usual stereotypes; weighing in at less than 1800kg yet is still able to provide 500km of range and with 450kW of sheer power.