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This week on Chasing Cars: LandCruiser and Staria priced and Isuzu MU-X reviewed


Welcome back to your weekly wrap up of car news, where we find all the bits that matter and condense them down into one easy read.

As Sydney and Melbourne begrudgingly adopt lockdown as a long term reality and other states literally avoid them like the plague it’s no surprise that we’re all dreaming of the open road and the vehicles that take us there.

From the no-nonsense Toyota LandCruiser to the wonderfully nonsensical Tesla Cybertruck we’ve kept our ear to the ground for the latest, and the news has generally been good.

Volkswagen Caddy California 2022 distance shot
Getaway vehicles like the Caddy California may be tempting to many locked down Aussies right now

But even if 4x4s aren’t your thing we also saw some rare and interesting news in the van space, with orders opening for the uber-cool Volkswagen Caddy California and more details emerging on the four-wheeled spaceship known as the Hyundai Staria.

Electric vehicles also continued their slow rise to dominance with more news from the BMW iX3 to take on the Mercedes-Benz EQC in the all-important midsize SUV segment.

Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series 2022 range
The Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series has been priced from $89,990 before on-road costs

Toyota LandCruiser priced for Australia

After paying as much as 200K for the last remaining stock of the old 200 Series LandCruiser many customers won’t be that upset to know that the new model is more than $10,000 more expensive in some grades, but you do get a lot extra for your money.

Priced from $89,990 before on-road costs the LandCruiser will be offered in five grades known as the GX, GXL, VX, Sahara and now the range-topping GR Sport and Sahara ZX.

The LandCruiser now has a beefier 3.3L V6 engine making 227kW of power and 700Nm of torque with slightly lower fuel consumption at 8.9L/100km combined – plus a 110L tank for long trips.

It still pulls up to 3.5-tonnes braked, gets a lot of active safety systems and has a generally nicer interior which can be had in either five or seven seats.

Hyundai Staria 2021 front 3/4
With low window lines and a single daytime running light on its face, the Staria looks very different to its rivals

Hyundai Staria detailed

The spaceship-inspired van has got a lot of love from our readers and it’s easy to see why with its new look not only distancing itself from the depressing ‘mini van’ stereotype but also creating a more airy cabin that’s easier to see out of.

Priced from $48,500 before on-road costs, the Staria can be optioned with either a 3.5L V6 petrol engine or a more frugal 2.2L four-cylinder turbodiesel.

While the former sends power to the front wheels, the latter comes fitted with all wheel drive which is quite a rarity in this class, only matched by the Volkswagen Multivan.

Parents will also appreciate a number of hand features including built-in sunshades in the second and third row, a digital rear monitor and the huge 831L boot space available when all three rows are in position

Isuzu MU-X 2021 rear 3/4 outdoor
Our review of the Isuzu MU-X shed some light on changes made to enhances the practicality and sheer capability of this dependable 4×4

Isuzu MU-X reviewed

We had a peek at the specs last week but now we’ve had a chance to review the MU-X and for the most part, we were very impressed.

The MU-X is available exclusively in seven-seat guise and has a number of new safety systems and a more significant 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity that makes it a smart choice for families who love a weekend away.

We found the Isuzu has a nicer and quite practical interior with new technology and a good amount of space in all three rows. Once we got out on the road we talked about its beefier engine and detailed why it was generally pleasant to drive.

For more information, watch our detailed review which you can find here.

Jeep Gladiator 2021-4
This week we reviewed a few interesting picks including the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

What other cars did we review this week?

Over on the Chasing Cars Youtube channel, we had a good range of oddball choices and some cars you are far more likely to buy.

  • Finally, we looked at possibly the most niche vehicle we’ve had in months in the BMW 530e plug-in hybrid, which offers a hint of the EV lifestyle in a classic luxo-barge format.
Tesla Cybertruck 2022 driving
Tesla confirmed it has delayed the Cybertruck until 2022

Other car and SUVs news we covered this week:

  • The Volkswagen Caddy California van has been priced from $54,990 before on-road costs with a double bed, window shades, picnic table and chairs all thrown in. It arrives early 2022.
  • The all-electric BMW iX3 midsize SUV has been priced from $114,900 with a single grade available, it boasts 460km of range and relatively quick 150kW maximum charging speeds. On sale in November.
  • A Nissan executive in the US has openly considered the idea of an all-electric ‘lifestyle’ ute that would sit under the Navara and offer SUV road manners with the practicality of a tray.