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This week on Chasing Cars: Lexus RZ450e unveiled, Haval H6 Hybrid reviewed and VW goes camping


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

There really is just nothing like taking a holiday over the Easter long weekend is there?

If you aren’t captivated by the endless traffic jams, speed cameras, and parents throwing their twitchy P-plater kids into the deep end on the highway then are you really a true-blue Aussie?

BMW 7 series rear driving on road
BMW unveiled the new 7 series this week with an all-electric version known as the i7

I jest, of course. We live in a beautiful country that is well worth exploring and Volkswagen was only too keen to offer us the perfect ‘kampervan’ for such a trip – but more on that in a bit.

This week a whole range of new cars were unveiled, including luxury offerings such as the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, BMW 7 Series and Lexus RZ450e which are all bound for our shores.

Back at home, we reviewed the revitalised Volkswagen R range that continues to offer accessible and practical performance cars to the populace, and we gave our verdict on the new and heavily updated models.

Lexus RZ450e unveiled

Lexus unveiled the RZ450e midsize SUV this week, and in doing so, introduced its first dedicated electric vehicle to the world.

While it sits on the same platform as the Toyota BZ4X and Subaru Solterra, Lexus has given the RZ450e its own flavour with an exterior and interior similar to the NX midsize SUV.

Lexus RZ450e 2023 rear
The Lexus RZ450e certainly takes some styling inspiration from the NX

There are some curious styling choices – which almost seem mandatory on new electric vehicles – including a yoke-style steering wheel and the ‘e-latch’ door handle system which is electronically controlled.

It’s unclear how far exactly the RZ450e will travel on its 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery, but Lexus estimates that a range figure of around 400km will be possible in AWD guise – but that figure is likely quite conservative. 

Haval H6 Hybrid reviewed

Ever since it was announced Chasing Cars has been quietly eager to test drive the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid as we believe it has a serious chance to encroach on the territory of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

We finally got an opportunity to verify our suspicions this week with journalist John Law coming away mighty impressed with the Chinese-built SUV which delivered fuel consumption of 5.7L/100km in our testing.

Haval H6 hybrid 2022-6
We reviewed a hybrid version of the Haval H6 and came away impressed

Priced at $44,990 driveaway in flagship Ultra guise, it’s also pretty good value with an array of equipment and the vehicle itself is incredibly practical with a 600-litre boot.

But there are some bumps that still need to be ironed out. Including the confusing infotainment system, uncomfortable seats and restless suspension that needs some more Australia-specific tuning to deal with our roads but it’s an impressive first effort from GWM.

For more details, you can read or watch our official review via the attached links.

Volkswagen Crafter Kampervan

If there is one brand that has really brought their A-game to the Covid-induced love affair with domestic travel it has to be Volkswagen, who launched their third factory-built campervan option this week known as the Crafter Kampervan.

Sitting above the Caddy California and Multivan California Beach in the range, the Crafter Kampervan is an Australian-exclusive vehicle that has had its internals designed and built by Jayco in Victoria.

Volkswagen Kampervan 2022 front 3/4 driving
Volkswagen has unveiled the Crafter Kampervan which includes a full kitchen and bathroom

Expected to cost upwards of $130,000 a pop, the Crafter Kampervan is sold exclusively in long-wheelbase form with 4Motion AWD fitted as standard and can even be had in an ‘All-Terrain’ grade which raises the ride height by 30mm and fits heavy-duty suspension and underbody protection.

Jayco has fitted a full kitchen and bathroom (complete with a shower and toilet) and enough room to sleep three people, who can go off the grid for quite some time thanks to the large fresh and wastewater tanks as well as the inclusion of solar panels on the roof.

All the cars and SUVs we reviewed this week:

Deputy editor Nathan Ponchard took part in a Volkswagen ‘R’ extravaganza this week and the first port of call was the Mk 8 Golf which has received some serious mechanical changes to its all-wheel-drive system but the new interior has some downsides. Read or watch our review.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R SUV blue - rear 3/4 dynamic image #1
The Volkswagen Tiguan R is a new and impressive addition to the R line-up

Next up with the Volkswagen Tiguan R which is the first performance SUV to come to Australia from the brand and offers impressive handling despite its size – but it’s an expensive vehicle and not without fault. Read or watch our review.

Audi has introduced an ‘S’ variant of the E-tron large SUV to the Australian market which is the first locally-sold electric model with a performance flavour. For the most part, it meets the brief with beautiful ride quality and lovely handlings but its range is limited compared to some rivals.

Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV 2023 front
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the EQS SUV which is bound for Australia in early 2023

Other car and SUV news we covered this week: