Welcome back to your weekly wrap up of car news where we find the bits that matter and condense them down into one easy read.
I’m not sure about you lot but if there’s one thing I’ve noticed as I get older and financial realities sink in, there is nothing more interesting than a car I can actually afford.
Sure I lust after the facelifted Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door and I’m genuinely happy that those who can afford such metal will get to do so with an increasingly luxurious car that sets benchmark performance.
But what about the surprisingly fun, affordable little hatchbacks like the Kia Cerato and Hyundai i30 N? Or even the Skoda Kamiq which is getting a new grade with a bigger engine because supply is limited for the smaller one, oh what a travesty.
Moving away from performance to more serious matters we saw the Toyota Kluger score a five-star safety rating under the strict new ANCAP standards, and all in an affordable family vehicle – bravo I say.
It seems cars are getting better all the time, and we expect the same from the new Subaru Forester and the Honda Civic, both of which we should hear more about very soon. But without further ado let’s get into it.
Engineers have made a slew of clever choices like shifting the hybrid’s battery in front of the rear wheels instead of behind them, meaning the NX should handle even better than the RAV4.
And did I mention hybrids? The NX will be getting a traditional self-charging one in Australia and a NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid with 75km of electric-only range is also in the works but not confirmed for us just yet.
The interior has also been given a revamp with clever new door handles and Lexus has thrown out its trackpad for a touchscreen that is mounted closer so it’s easy to reach.
Armed with a long name and likely an even longer list of upgrades the Navara Warrior (for short) debuted its gruff looking appearance this week and gave us a strong hint at what’s been tinkered with.
Built by Aussie tuning house Premcar in Victoria, the Navara Warrior is in its final stages of testing and pictures show it wearing a number of upgrades to make it a proper off road bruiser.
This starts with a substantial bullbar at the front which not only integrates a light bar but also works perfectly with the Navara’s AEB system which is good for peace of mind.
Other changes include a bash plate with new shocks and springs underneath raising the height and the wider wheel arches help fit the huge off road tyres.
The Hyundai i30 N hot hatch hurt some feelings when it first launched onto the market and the facelift is set to broaden appeal with the introduction of an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch as a $3,000 option.
Fear not, the six-speed manual shifter will remains but the coupe-like Fastback will not and has been ditched for Australia. The entry price is up by $3,100 to $44,500 (before on-roads) which is still pretty good in the hot hatch world.
Power from the 2.0L turbocharged four-banger is slightly up at 206kW and torque has been given a 39Nm boost to 392Nm, and will spring from 0-100km/h in 5.4 seconds with the DCT which is up 0.5 seconds over the old manual.
Hyundai has also fitted lighter forged alloy wheels that shaves 14.4kg off in of unsprung weight. Buyers will also be able to option lightweight bucket seats in the i30 N Premium.
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
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