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This week on Chasing Cars: Toyota Tundra down under, Corolla Cross priced and sports car licences?


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

“Release the hounds” declared Toyota Australia as it dropped not one, not two but three new model announcements on Wednesday.

In the space of an hour, Toyota revealed the Tundra pick-up was coming to Australia (with conditions), put a price tag on the Corolla Cross small SUV and confirmed the much rumoured Hilux GR Sport ute was on the way.

This week Genesis announced its latest electric vehicle

It was such big news you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the only update that mattered this week but you’d be wrong, as we also reported important announcements from the likes of Kia who have re-rigged the Setlos SUV and Genesis who launched a new electric vehicle.

We also published a raft of reviews covering everything from the Skoda Karoq (the car you should buy but might never have heard of), the Ford Ranger XLT V6 ute, and even an old-fashioned hot hatch battle between Hyundai’s i30 N and the new Cupra Leon VZx.

The Toyota Tundra is coming to Australia

After decades of pleading from fans (and just a handful of months after Ford announced it would bring the F-150 to Australia), Toyota has jumped on the plus-sized ute bang wagon by confirming that it will bring the Tundra to Australia.

Why it shied away from 100 percent confirming it would actually sell the Tundra in our market, Toyota tasked Walkinshaw Automotive with developing the car for right-hand-drive and will begin testing prototypes in September before rolling out 300 RHD cars to Australia for final testing in Q4 2023.

Toyota Tundra Limited 2022 front hill
The Toyota Tundra is on its way to Australia

But unless the quality of the finished conversions is high, Toyota has implied it won’t go ahead with their sales plan. But if the Japanese marque’s famously high bar is met… we’ll, it’s got 300 examples ready to go. 

A commitment like that requires millions of dollars and Toyota isn’t in the habit of wasting money, so we’d be very surprised if we don’t see the Tundra on sale in Australia in the first few months of 2024.

Toyota also confirmed that the Tundra would be coming to Australia with its 3.5-litre twin-turbo hybrid V6 engine known as the ‘iForce Max’ which gives us a pretty good indication of how much this American pickup will cost in Australia. 

SA government proposes sports car licences 

The tragic death of a 15-year-old school girl, involving a driver who allegedly lost control of his Lamborghini Huracan, has prompted the South Australian state government to propose a raft of road safety changes including the introduction of a new type of driver’s licence.

The licence would apply to drivers of ‘high-powered sports car’ and would require the recipient to undergo specialised training to control such a vehicle — not that a 15 year old would have a car licence in any case. 

Porsche 911 Turbo 2022 rear 3/4 driving
Specialised licences for drivers of high-powered sports cars could soon be in force

Crucially, the government is yet to reveal what vehicles would fall under this broad umbrella of ‘high-powered sports cars’ but did also note that the licence would make disabling traction control on said vehicles illegal.

More details are expected to emerge when the government introduces the legislation to parliament at the end of the year.

Toyota Corolla Cross priced in Australia

We’ve known for a while now that the Toyota Corolla Cross would be similar in size to the RAV4 midsize SUV but we’ve now learned they will also be close in terms of price.

Available in three grades known as GX, GXL and the flagship Atmos, the Corolla Cross is available with a hybrid option across the line-up and prices start at $33,000 before on-road costs.

Toyota Corolla Cross 2023 side
The Corolla Cross is similar in size and price to the RAV4

A front-wheel-drive hybrid option will set you back an extra $2500 on all grades and an all-wheel-drive layout is also available on the GXL and Atmos grades.

For a full spec-for-spec comparison against the RAV4, we’ve pushed a separate article, so you can pick which fuel-sipping SUV is right for you. 

All the cars and SUVs we reviewed this week:

The Ford Ranger XLT has always been the go-to grade for buyers who actually want to get serious work done and now equipped with the V6 it’s an absolute beast. So is this entry-level spec the one to buy?

With the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid so hard to get right now, we think the Kia Niro is an incredibly alluring second option. It looks great, has similar fuel economy and space inside. Not to mention, you can actually get your hands on one. Read or watch our review here. 

Skoda Karoqs 2022
This week we awarded the Skoda Karoq a rare 9/10 in our review

Chasing Cars takes pride in our numerical scores on new car reviews so trust us when we say that the recently-facelifted Skoda Karoq Style is deserving of its 9/10 rating – or just read it for yourself and let us know if you’d consider this quirky SUV. Read or watch our review here.

The Cupra Leon is the new kid on the hothatch block and we’ve found it very impressive so far – but how does it stack up to the incredibly impressive Hyundai i30 N?

Style over substance seems to be the go-to strategy for cars nowadays. Not so for the Volkswagen Passat – particularly in 206TSI R-Line guise – offering both a comfortable and practical car for the everyday as well as a capable corner carver when it needs to be.

Toyota Hilux GR Sport 2022
Toyota has confirmed Australia will receive a Hilux GR Sport in 2023

Other car and SUV news we covered this week:

  • Toyota’s decision to bring the Tundra to Australia with a 3.5-litre twin-turbo hybrid under the bonnet suggests this ‘do it all’ engine could make its way into the likes of the Land Cruiser 300 Series and even the Hilux ute, which we’ve discussed in separate articles.