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This week on Chasing Cars: Model 3 sales spat, Subaru shuts factories and Land Cruiser price mark-ups


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

Getting your hands on a new set of wheels used to be a pretty straightforward exercise prior to the pandemic. 

The process was tried and tested over many generations: research what you want, check your bank account, cry into your hands, readjust your priorities, spend the money anyway and just a few weeks later that shiny new car would be yours.

However, times have changed in 2022 and the main barrier to purchasing a car seems to be finding one that’s in stock. So we’ve spent this last week trying to nail down some hard facts.

Toyota RAV4 Cruiser hybrid Front 3/4
In a bizarre turn of events, sales for the Toyota RAV4 went down in January

From Subaru and Toyota’s production delays at factory level to opportunistic mark-ups and the bizarre case of sharply decreasing RAV4 sales – we’ve kept an eye on the cause and effect of the supply-chain crisis. 

On the review front, myself and Alek Hoskins spoke about our new long-termers we’ll be flogging along for the next six months while also providing our verdict on the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series VX and a spicy new Mazda 3 grade – the G25 Evolve SP.

We’ve got a lot to get through this week so let’s jump into it.

Tesla Model 3 2022-1
The Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling electric vehicle in Australia in 2021

Tesla Model 3 sales spat

We do our very best at Chasing Cars to give you the facts, however this week that was a bit more challenging than usual when Tesla incorrectly reported that it sold 15,054 Model 3s in Australia in 2021.

That raised some eyebrows as rego figures suggested a much lower figure. Tesla quickly corrected the record to say it had sold 12,094 Model 3s, which was still enough to make it easily the best-selling electric vehicle in Australia, with the second place MG ZS EV shifting only 1388 units.

It marks the first time that Tesla has publicly disclosed its sales data in Australia as it remains the only car manufacturer to not provide sales figures to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.  

Tesla’s local sales are expected to boom again next year when the Model Y midsize SUV finally lands in Australia, which should appeal to a broader spread of buyers than the Model 3.

Subaru Forester 2.5i-S 2022 country driving
Subaru has shut down the factory which builds the Forester and BRZ

Subaru shuts down production temporarily

Subaru has become the latest manufacturer to completely shut down its production lines due to the semiconductor shortage – at least temporarily.

It’s not clear what effect this will have on Australian-delivered cars but since the factories in question provide stock for our entire local range – including the Forester midsize SUV, Outback wagon and new-gen Subaru BRZ coupe – there are likely to be delays for Aussie buyers.

Subaru will close its factories for six working days between late January and early February while it waits for more supplies. 

If you want a new LandCruiser 300 Series right now be prepared to pay a huge mark-up

Toyota Land Cruiser 300 mark-ups

Just 500 Toyota Land Crusier 300 Series have been shipped into the country so far and the lack of stock has sent prices rocketing up thanks to opportunistic dealers and private buyers looking to make a buck.

Chasing Cars collected vast amounts of data on all the LC300s currently on sale and found that mark-ups were at 28 percent on average.

The most outrageous example was with the entry-level GXL, which was 33 percent higher than the $109,606 NSW driveaway price – with the average price sitting at $146,000 before stamp duty and other transfer fees.

These huge mark-ups come as little surprise given that wait times are stretching out to 12-24 months and Toyota’s factories are facing not insignificant delays to production.

GWM Ute Cannon X 2021 black rear end
Photographer Alek Hoskins has taken possession of a GWM Ute Cannon-X for the next six months

All the cars and SUVs we reviewed this week:

We had a broad range of cars in the garage this week in an effort to review the cars that matter right now, and may be on your shortlist in the coming years.

First off we reviewed the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 series VX which strikes a good balance with the equipment you need without getting too expensive – though no Cruiser is cheap.

Photographer Alek Hoskins is driving a GWM Ute Cannon-X for the next six months and 10,000km to see what it’s really like to live with long-term. Now one month in, Alek gave his initial thoughts on the GWM, and what he plans to do with it.

Next up it was my turn to make my video debut on Chasing Cars where I introduced my Subaru Outback Touring long-termer and provided my initial thoughts on the car, as well as revealing what my future plans are, including a tow test.

BMW is currently adding a team of electric cars based on its current line-up and the iX3 is possibly the best we’ve seen yet, though it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. You can read or watch the review here. 

If you are looking for a cheap(ish), luxurious car that packs a lot of features for the money we reckon the Mazda 3 G25 Evolve SP hatchback should be on your shortlist. You can read or watch the review here. 

What’s the best luxury SUV for your family? It might sound like a left-field choice but we think you should put the Volvo XC60 on your shortlist and we explain why.

Cupra Ateca VZx 2022 grey rear end
The Cupra Ateca will be available in one grade packed with loads of features

Other car and SUV news we covered this week: