10 cool vehicles we won’t purchase in Australia

Australia is without doubt one of the most cluttered automobile markets on the planet, with greater than 50 manufacturers combating for barely 1,000,000 gross sales a 12 months.

However though we’re frankly spoiled for selection, that doesn’t imply we don’t miss out on issues that might in all probability do nice enterprise right here.

Typically there are the explanation why Australian sellers get neglected: Perhaps there’s no enterprise case for right-hand drive manufacturing, perhaps there’s extreme demand from different areas sucking up all the availability, maybe native Design Guidelines throw a spanner within the works.

However hey, let’s have just a little enjoyable with it and counsel one car that every of the market’s high 10 manufacturers by gross sales ought to deliver to Australia, which they presently don’t provide (nor plan to). Sure there are logical explanations, however let’s look previous that!

The highest 10 manufacturers checklist is present to the time of writing, that means January to November.


New Prius

This one’s straightforward, I even wrote the opinion column already! And it’s a automobile that’s made in RHD and available.

Think about my shock at seeing the new-generation Toyota Prius when it was revealed in November. The world’s largest automobile firm fretted over the way to reinvent its hybrid icon in an period outlined by full-electric autos, selecting giving it some newfound panache.

It appears nice – modern, fashionable and completely not like what we’ve come to anticipate from Toyota’s longstanding eco chief. The previous mannequin was all creases and bizarre proportions, whereas a number of earlier generations had been maybe much less awkward but additionally extra boring, which is worse.

And but it’s this newest model, which has me all starry-eyed, that would be the first Prius Toyota received’t promote in Australia. In making this determination, it took the incorrect lesson from the previous mannequin’s failure to resonate, and pulled the pin at exactly the incorrect time.


Mazda 3 Turbo

I used to be tempted to counsel the US-market CX-50 however I reckon Mazda has fairly sufficient SUVs already.

What it lacks is a high-performance model of its stylish Mazda 3 hatch, regardless of the automobile providing nice dynamics and racy appears. This isn’t so within the USA, the place the Mazda 3 Turbo is a member of the line-up, rivalling the Volkswagen Golf GTI and all the remaining.

It runs a model of the two.5-litre turbocharged engine utilized in Australia within the CX-5 and numerous others, producing a potent 186kW of energy and 420Nm, mated to an on-demand AWD system.

Granted, it solely comes with a six-speed automated and no three-pedal choice, which is a detrimental, however you may’t win ’em all. I’d nonetheless like to have a crack.


Sportage Hybrid

Whereas it’s extremely tempting to say the Telluride giant SUV purely as a result of it appears nice, the actual reply is the Sportage Hybrid.

Sure, Kia’s petrol-electric hybrid Sorento and Niro are in extremely tight provide and it’s the identical situation for the bigger-selling Sportage – therefore its absence – however that’s no defence.

The Toyota RAV4 hybrid is Australia’s hottest SUV and desires some competitors. The Sportage is among the many greatest mid-sized SUVs on the market, however between its turbo-petrol and its diesel engine choice there’s scope for a hybrid.

Why? Australians love them. They usually value little greater than a daily petrol and slash gasoline payments. The Korean-market Sportage Hybrid makes use of a 130kW 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 44kW drive motor powered by a small battery, and cuts gasoline use to about 6L/100km.



Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV could have been a weird-looking, impractically tiny and wildly costly automobile, it was additionally a dead-set pioneer. In any case, it was an all-electric automobile offered in Australia in 2010.

Fittingly Mitsubishi has simply revealed what’s a religious i-MiEV successor, that means a tiny electrical Kei automobile aimed squarely at Japan referred to as the Mitsubishi eK X EV. At 3.4 metres lengthy, it makes the 4.1m Mazda 2 look massive.

Sadly, this time round it won’t make it to Australian shores, regardless of the very fact most of us reside in congested cities, and regardless of rampant demand for reasonable EVs. We reckon there’d be a market in inner-urban areas, even when it might battle to satisfy native necessities.

Regardless of its tiny 20kWh battery, the Mitsubishi weighs solely 1080kg, gives an city vary of 180km, and even two-way vehicle-to-load energy. Its drive motor makes 47kW of energy and a potent 195Nm of torque, and its regenerative braking operate permits one-pedal driving.



Bear in mind the Hyundai Grandeur? It was the corporate’s flagship sedan in Australia between 1999 to 2011 throughout two generations. Whereas it was retired from native showrooms, the nameplate troopers on at dwelling in Korea, with a model new model revealed in October.

The profile is outlined by a single character line operating horizontally from headlight to tail-light, over clear and uncluttered flanks, with frameless doorways and flush handles. Moderately than a conventional three-box form, the D-pillar has a gentler slope to lend a fastback silhouette.

Regardless of the futuristic look, its engines are old-school inner combustion – to start out with at the least. Choices embrace a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, a 3.5-litre six-cylinder petrol, and a 1.6-litre petrol-electric hybrid.

The cabin is billed as “an oasis for leisure and restoration”. Designers used actual wooden, aluminium, and naturally dyed Nappa leather-based quilted in a conventional Korean sample. Sure we all know sedans are dying, however let’s not faux this isn’t cool.



My coronary heart says Bronco, my soul says F-150 Raptor, however my head is aware of what’s up. Aussies love their utes, and there’s 100 per cent a marketplace for right-hand drive, car-based light-duty fashions.

The US-focused Maverick (no, not the rebadged GQ Patrol) is not any body-on-frame off-roader, quite it’s a unibody constructed on the identical bones because the Ford Escape and Bronco Sport, geared toward metropolis slickers who desire a ute that doesn’t drive like a truck.

Measuring up at 5072mm lengthy on a 3076mm wheelbase, 1844mm extensive, and 1745mm tall, the Maverick is 374mm shorter and 133mm narrower than a Ranger. Hybrid energy is commonplace within the USA, though there’s a petrol-only choice.

I’m sure {that a} RHD model – not that rampant US demand makes this consequence a probable situation – would give Ford one other smash hit just like the Mustang, Everest and Ranger.



China’s MG has rocketed up the gross sales charts, and is an electrical automobile chief with the ZS EV (AKA Australia’s most cost-effective electrical automobile) on sale now and the circa $40,000 MG 4 EV hatch coming quickly.

However one choice that doesn’t come right here, however does get offered within the RHD UK market, is the MG 5 EV electrical wagon with greater than 500km of claimed driving vary, V2L performance, and a sizeable 578L boot.

In England it additionally prices £1500 than the ZS EV ($A2700), that means it might possibly sneak in under $50,000 given the ZS’s $44,990 drive-away entry level.

Positive, it isn’t probably the most thrilling wanting automobile, however sensible and reasonably priced EVs are one thing Australia wants extra of, not fewer of.

Isuzu Ute

D-Max Arctic Vans AT35

There aren’t many Isuzu merchandise that don’t come to Australia, given the model solely makes the D-Max and MU-X and so they’re each massively in style right here.

Arguably the one blind spot is the absence of a rugged range-topping modified D-Max offered in sellers, to rival the HiLux Rogue, Navara Professional-4X Warrior and all the remaining.

This isn’t the case for our pals within the UK, the place the Isuzu D-Max Arctic Vans AT35 is offered. It comes with wild flares, Bilstein suspension, and chunky all-terrain tyres.

Granted, variations offered on the European continent make do with the 1.9-litre diesel quite than the three.0-litre favoured by Australians, however that small and simply rectified challenge apart, it appears a winner.


BRZ Cup Automobile fundamental

The Subaru BRZ coupe is about probably the most enjoyable you may have along with your garments on, however you already know what us automobile lovers would love much more?

A stripped-out one with metal wheels, guide gearbox solely, no display inside, a cooling system replace, and pre-fitment bolts for a racing harness.

In different phrases, nearly nothing to distract you from a 173kW and 250Nm, high-revving flat-four engine and rear-wheel drive chassis.

How a couple of particular version, Subaru Australia?


T-Roc Cabriolet

Alright, bear with me. Volkswagen Australia has a historical past right here with short-lived convertibles such because the Golf Cabrio, the Eos, and naturally the Beetle.

In Europe the corporate’s drop-top of selection is predicated on the funky T-Roc small SUV, with a chopped roof and two fewer doorways.

At 4.3m lengthy it’s roughly the dimensions of the gentle high Golf 6 (RIP), its roof drops in simply 9 seconds, and it has the in-vogue high-riding SUV type. Granted, the Vary Rover Evoque soft-top was a failure, however this might be cheaper.

The engine is a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol with a modest 115kW and 250Nm, however who wants punch for seashore cruising?