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This week on Chasing Cars: Lexus LX detailed, Tonale revealed and Ford clamps down on mark-ups


Welcome back to your weekly wrap up of car news and reviews, where we find all the best stories of the week and condense them down into one easy read

Not that we’re bragging (humour me for a minute) but this week Chasing Cars put the hammer down to get out a video review on the Subaru BRZ manual – and were the first outlet in Australia to do so.

Why? Well, because it’s a bloody special car that is still relatively affordable and it deserves its spot in the spotlight – and we’re glad you’ve enjoyed it so much this week.

Subaru BRZ 2022 WR blue front 2
This week we released our video review of the Subaru BRZ manual

Elsewhere in the review sphere we covered the new Mercedes-AMG E53 coupe, introduced our Mazda 3 long termer and much, much more.

On the news front we saw the official list of features for the Cupra Leon hatch released, rumours on a V6 powertrain for the Nissan Patrol 4WD and delays for the Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid large SUV.

With almost 10 reviews and 40 articles released on our website and Youtube channel this week there is a lot more to get through so let’s jump into it.

Lexus LX 600 2022-1
Lexus has released the list of inclusions for the Australia LX

Lexus LX detailed for Australia

We don’t have the pricing just yet but Lexus announced the official list of inclusions on its flagship LX luxury SUV, which is best thought of as a posh version of the Toyota Land Cruiser, with the new generation of both sharing a chassis and drivetrain.

Lexus will offer a broader range than before with four grades to choose from and two engine choices: a 3.3-litre twin-turbo diesel V6 offered in the LX 500d and a 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 for the LX 600.

The range beings with the simply named, seven-seat LX 500d and LX 600 grades which include leather seats, giant touchscreens, 20-inch alloy wheels and four-zone climate control.

From there, buyers can step up to the LX Sports Luxury grade which sits under the aptly named LX F Sport – both of which are available in five-seat configurations.

New for this generation is the LX Ultra Luxury which is only offered with the petrol drivetrain and four seats. To achieve this, Lexus has swapped out the rear pews for two captain’s chairs with up to 860mm of legroom.

Alfa Romeo Tonale 2022 blue rear end
The Alfa Romeo Tonale is quite a looker and a very important vehicle for the Italian brand

Alfa Romeo Tonale makes global debut

The Tonale small SUV is potentially the most important vehicle Alfa Romeo has released in years, and is a make-or-break model for the Italian brand’s future. 

Positioned in one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, this stylish little number will take on the likes of the Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40 for the crown of the best premium small SUV.

Set to arrive in Australia in the first half of 2023, the Tonale will be offered as a series-parallel hybrid though other petrol-only and plug-in hybrid options are available overseas and may join our line-up later on.

Alfa Romeo Tonale 2022 steering wheel
The integration of technology seems more subtle than its competitors

The exterior looks largely identical to the concept we saw a few years ago and wears a design that harks back to Alfa’s of the 90s and so far it’s been received quite well.

Inside, you’ll find an interior that isn’t entirely dominated by screens (shock) with a 10.25-inch touchscreen subtly integrated into the dash with mechanical buttons retained for functions such as climate control. Praise be.

Ford CEO Jim Farley
Ford’s CEO Jim Farley has had enough of dealership mark-ups

Ford’s clamps down on US dealer mark-ups

Ford CEO Jim Farley has had enough of the absurd mark-ups that its American dealers have been placing on popular models such as the Bronco 4WD and F-150 Lightning and he’s decided to do something about it.

Farley says as many as 10 percent of Ford’s US dealers are charging more than the manufacturer’s recommended price and has said those who are caught will be stripped of vehicle stock in the future.

While the quotes mainly refer to happenings in the US, it comes as a timely warning to dealers in Australia ahead of the launch of the T6.2 Ranger in the very near future.

The price rises are blamed on a shortage of vehicle stock across the industry which is pushing buyers into a corner and other manufacturers such as Kia have already said they will not tolerate mark-ups on its inbound EV6 midsize SUV.

2022 Mazda3 G25 Evolve SP exterior grey front 3/4 action shot 1
The Mazda 3 SP G25 Evolve will be joining our long term fleet for the next six-months and 10,000km

All the cars and SUVs we reviewed this week:

This week we had a really fun bunch of cars in the garage, kicking off with a fairly basic but value-packed Mazda 3 SP that provides way more kit for the money than its SUV derivatives. 

In fact, we liked it so much that – surprise, surprise – it’s joining our long termer fleet under deputy editor Nathan Ponchard’s guardianship. So please let us know what you want to see us do with it over the next six months and 10,000km. 

Speaking of long termers, I released the first written report on my Subaru Outback Touring and John Law did the same for his Hyundai i20 N where we talked about our initial impressions plans for the future.

After hitting the track in one earlier this month Ponch was able to road test the Subaru BRZ and discussed everything from how well its drives to how easy it is to live with day to day. 

Mazda BT-50 SP 2022 front 3/4 driving
We reviewed the new Mazda BT-50 grade known as the SP and took it off-road

Next up, your’s truly made their solo review debut with the Volkswagen Caddy Crewvan to find out if this five-seat van, which can fit a lot of junk in the trunk, is worth its fairly hefty price tag.

After covering its more tame variants over the last few weeks Ponch reviewed the Mercedes-Benz AMG E53 which has a silky smooth straight six and lovely road manners.

But if silky smooth isn’t your style we also reviewed the Mazda BT-50 SP which adds some sporty flair and some slick features to this rough-and-tumble ute. 

Cupra Leon 2022-4
The Cupra Leon is coming to Australia in a choice of four grades

Other car and SUV news we covered this week: