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Car news, 03 Apr ’24: GWM Ora now the cheapest EV in Australia, Nissan launches an adventure-focused X-Trail N-Trek, and more

Olek Novak

Thanks for joining us this Wednesday April 3rd 2024. Notably in car news today: GWM Ora becomes the most affordable electric offered down under, and Nissan launches its ‘dirty’ X-Trail N-Trek.

Browse this issue:

GWM Ora takes the mantle as the cheapest EV in Australia

  • GWM’s Ora small car is now the cheapest EV on sale in Australia. And with state-specific incentives it also becomes the first new EV available below $30K – if you live in Queensland.
  • GWM is currently offering the entry-grade Ora standard range at $35,990 driveaway – a discount of $4000 on its regular $39,990 base price. This undercuts affordable Chinese EV rivals the BYD Dolphin (from $38,890) and MG4 (from $39,990).
The GWM Ora is currently Australia’s cheapest EV
  • When taking into account Australia’s most robust state-specific EV purchase incentive in Queensland, the price comes down to $29,990 given that state’s conditional $6000 rebate on zero emissions vehicles – the first new EV available in Australia at a sub-$30K price point.
  • Chasing Cars understands that compelling discounts on the Ora were a temporary incentive as part of a 2023 stock clearance, however it’s unclear how long this price point will last or if it is indeed a fixed campaign.

Nissan launches adventure-themed X-Trail N-Trek

  • Nissan Australia has added a new “outdoors inspired” X-Trail grade called the N-Trek to the current fourth-generation midsize SUV lineup.

  • Built off the existing mid-range ST-L grade, the N-Trek will be offered in five-seat FWD guise from $47,290 and seven-seat AWD trim from $50,390 before on roads.
Nissan has announced an adventure-themed N-Trek variant for its X-Trail range

  • Both variants are exclusively powered by the existing 2.5-litre petrol four outputting 135kW and 244Nm – the 150kW/330Nm E-Power hybrid format is not currently offered in the N-Trek. 

  • Revised styling, a two-tone paint option, unique 18-inch wheels, “water resistant” synthetic leather trim, dual 12.3-inch displays and a 10.8-inch HUD are key N-Trek features. 

A tougher Nissan X-Trail N-Trek is coming… but there’s a catch! What do you think of the new N-Trek? #nissan #xtrail #suv #cars

♬ original sound – Chasing Cars | Car Reviews

Chinese EV brand Zeekr to launch in Australia later this year

  • Zeekr, a Chinese premium EV marque launched in 2021 by the Geely Group and sister brand to Polestar and Volvo, will debut in Australia later this year with two key models.

  • Its Zeekr X is positioned locally as the key volume-seller, a small SUV that shares its Geely SEA EV platform with Volvo EX30 and is current offered in 200kW/343Nm Long Range RWD and 315kW/543Nm ‘Privilege’ AWD variants in Europe.

Zeekr X small SUV front 3/4 with white background
The Zeekr X will be one of two new EVs the Chinese marque will launch in Australia
  • A larger 5.2-metre-long Zeekr 009 six- or seven-seater people mover is set to rival Kia EV9 and includes impressives stats, such as 400kW and 686Nm from its dual-motor powertrain, battery sizes up to 140kWh and a potential peak range north of 600kms (WLTP).

  • It’s yet unconfirmed as to whether the Zeekr 007 large sedan, unveiled late last year, will join the local lineup to take on key rival Tesla Model 3.  

MG drops driveaway pricing across MG3, ZS and HS models

  • MG Motor Australia has announced price cuts across much of its model range including the MG3, ZS, ZST, HS and HS Plus EV models, bringing drops of up to $6000.

  • Coming into effect from April 1st, the move follows a shift last month to move MG’s entire EV range to national driveaway pricing. However, the latest decreases apply to model year 2023 vehicles or 2022 in the case of the HS Plus EV. 
MG HS Plus EV 2023 front 3/4
MG has announced price drops for much of its model range, including the HS Plus EV (pictured)
  • The biggest price cuts have been heralded by the HS midsize SUV which has seen price drops by between $3000 for its entry Vibe FWD ($29,990) to by as much as $6000 for its Essence X AWD ($36,990). Meanwhile, the HS Plus EV plug-in hybrids have come down by over $5000 (now starting from from $43,690).
  • Australia’s cheapest car, the MG3 small hatch is also down by $1000 to an entry price of $18,990 driveaway – although that won’t last long because a pricier new generation is on its way.
  • Meanwhile, the ZS and ZST small SUVs have come down by between $1000 and $3500 depending on grade – kicking off $22,990 for the entry-level Excite. 

Skoda Karoq 110TSI 2024 reviewed

  • Chasing Cars editor Tom Baker’s review of the entry level 2024 Skoda Karoq 110TSI was published – the cheaper base model for the Czech brand’s midsize SUV is priced at under $40K driveaway like a Korean SUV but it sports a turbo engine.

  • Baker praised the compelling value proposition for what he found to be a sophisticated vehicle, especially in conjunction with its $39,990 driveaway price. 
2024 Skoda Karoq front angle driving shot
Chasing Cars‘ review of the entry level Skoda Karoq 110TSI is now live
  • He noted that while the vehicle was smaller than something like a RAV4 or CX5, the Karoq was a worthy competitor with excellent packaging that meant for a spacious interior and boot. 

WATCH: Skoda Karoq 110TSI 2024 Video Review

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Thursday 4th April at 4.30pm Sydney time.