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Car news, 8 Mar ‘24: Toyota’s first EV reviewed, Rivian unveils two new SUVs, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Friday March 8th 2024. Notably in car news today: Rivian unveils two new SUVs and the Jeep Wrangler gets cheaper for Australia!

Browse this issue:

Rivian unveils R2 and R3 SUVs – plus R3X performance variant

  • American car manufacturer Rivian has unveiled a series of smaller and more affordable SUVs in the R2 midsize SUV and R3 small SUV, to build the range beyond the R1S large SUV and R1T pickup truck.

  • The R2 will be offered with either single-motor rear-wheel-drive or dual- and tri-motor all-wheel-drive. The latter is capable of accelerating from 0 to 96 km/h (60 mph) in under three seconds, says the car maker. Range is estimated at over 482 km for all drivetrains.
Rivian R2 2024 rear
The Rivian R2 is a larger midsize SUV which is available with a three-motor AWD setup
Rivian R3X 2024 rear
The rally-inspired R3X is designed for the great outdoors, says Rivian
  • The R3 makes the same claims for range and performance but features a more hatchback like design. The R3X is a ‘rally-inspired’ performance model which features a wider stance, three-motor AWD and a camping-friendly interior design with the ability to fold all seats down flat.

  • Both vehicles are expected to go on sale in 2026, with the R2 the first to land but there are no current plans to bring them to Australia as Rivian continues to focus on the North American market.

Upgraded Jeep Wrangler priced cheaper in Australia

  • Pricing for the updated Wrangler range has officially released for the hardcore off-roader, which is set to go on sale in April

  • The Sport S will start at $75,950 before on-road costs, reflecting a $5500 price cut over the previous starting grade. The Overland gets a $2000 price cut and starts at $84,950. The Rubicon two- and four-door remain unchanged at $83,950 and $90,450 respectively.
Jeep Wrangler 2024 side
The Jeep Wrangler has been upgraded but the price has gone down, not up
  • Upgrades made to the Wrangler include the addition of a new more fuel efficient 2.0-litre turbo engine, airbags in the second row, general NVH improvements along with power adjustable seats and a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen.

  • Jeep is likely hoping to address the Wrangler’s sliding sales in Australia by offering more affordable pricing despite the slew of upgraded extra.s

Nissan backs emissions regulations, with changes

  • Among the six suggested changes, managing director Adam Paterson said the legislation needed to take into consideration the lengthy lead times of bringing new vehicles into the country to give them time adapt
Nissan Leaf E+ 2023 driving front 3/4 7
Nissan says it is supportive of the scheme but it requires changes first
  • Paterson also said the government should introduce a credit system for zero emissions vehicles (EVs), that would in turn help offset the brand’s more heavy-emitting vehicles.

  • Other changes suggested included reclassifying off-road passenger vehicles (such as the Patrol) as light commercial vehicles, adding more incentives for customers to buy EVs and giving car makers the ability to bypass ADRs on models when they are already available in other major markets – such as Japan or Europe for example.

Toyota BZ4X 2024 reviewed

  • Chasing Cars production manager Tom Place’s road test of the 2024 Toyota BZ4X was published, where he investigated the brand’s first EV in Australia.

  • Toyota’s key selling point is approachability for buyers who might ordinarily be interested in overly complicated EVs. It’s also pretty comfortable and surprisingly capable off-road. 
Toyota BZ4X 2024 off-road group
The Toyota BZ4X is surprisingly good off-road
  • However the mediocre driving range at just over 400km claimed, along with its high purchase price may limit the type of buyer who can pick one up.

  • Most likely the BZ4X will be bought by those who have enjoyed their RAV4 Hybrid and are looking to take the next step.

READ: Link to written review 

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Monday 11th of March at 4.30pm Sydney time.