Category: Auto

2024 Lexus NX 250 review

No Comments

Once upon a time, hybrids accounted for a tiny slice of the sales in a given model range. Now, they’re dominating Toyota and Lexus showrooms.

In the case of the mid-sized Lexus NX SUV, buyers have flocked to the NX 350h hybrid and NX 450h plug-in hybrid, leading to long wait times.

The NX 250 sitting at the bottom of the range hasn’t seen quite the same fanfare. Although it doesn’t have the same miserly powertrain as the popular NX 350h, the NX 250 has plenty to offer on paper.

It’s close to $10,000 cheaper than the next model in the range, the NX 350h 2WD Luxury, and still comes loaded with standard equipment.

Lexus doesn’t really do stripped-out base models; although you miss out on some of the niceties on offer elsewhere in the range, even the cheapest NX is a lovely place to spend time.

Do you really need hybrid power?

How does the Lexus NX compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Lexus NX against similarly sized vehicles.

Lexus NX cutout image

Lexus

NX

How much does the Lexus NX cost?

The NX 250 2WD is comfortably the cheapest model in its range, even with the Enhancement Pack ($3000) fitted to our tester.

Model Price before on-roads
2024 Lexus NX 250 2WD $63,400
2024 Lexus NX 350 AWD F Sport $80,060
2024 Lexus NX 350h 2WD Luxury $71,600
2024 Lexus NX 350h 2WD Sport Luxury $79,100
2024 Lexus NX 350h 2WD F Sport $79,100
2024 Lexus NX 350h AWD Luxury $76,400
2024 Lexus NX 350h AWD Sports Luxury $83,900
2024 Lexus NX 350h AWD F Sport $83,900
2024 Lexus NX 450h+ AWD F Sport $95,248

To see how the Lexus NX lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

What is the Lexus NX like on the inside?

The small screen, simpler instrument binnacle, and lack of a head-up display out this as a base model, but there’s still lots of luxury goodness here.

The driving position is good, offering a commanding view of the road ahead and plenty of support on long journeys.

There’s plenty of legroom, but the sunroof does eat into headroom and make for a slightly more claustrophobic space.

Given it’s not a full-length panoramic unit, it’s not necessarily a must-have.

Quality is excellent. This being a base model, you could expect a few rough edges or cheap touch points but that’s not how Lexus operates.

The faux leather trim on the seats is supple, and the steering wheel and stubby gearstick are quality items.

With no head-up display, you also get proper buttons on the steering wheel instead of the fiddly units in more expensive models.

Compared to more expensive models, you do miss out on some kit. The 8.0-inch touchscreen looks small in the large, gloss black housing on the dashboard, and the digital instrument binnacle is a simple screen flanked by analogue fuel and temperature gauges, and a rectangular trip computer.

The small touchscreen is fully featured. Wireless Apple CarPlay worked flawlessly during our week with the car, and it’s quick to respond to inputs.

Lexus has moved away from fiddly controls and frustrating menus with its latest tech, and has made its cars much easier to recommend in the process.

Lexus gets extra points for including big temperature dials, and leaving key climate control functions anchored at the base of the display regardless of what else you’re doing.

Satellite navigation wasn’t activated on our tester, but three years of cloud-based mapping is standard when you activate your Lexus Connected Services account.

Storage space up front is solid. There’s a wireless phone charger at the base of the dashboard which can be slid away to reveal a spot for wallets or keys, and a USB-A and USB-C combination port to keep your devices juiced up.

The underarm bin is deep, the cupholders are the right size for a Melbourne coffee, and the door bins have room for a large water bottle.

Rear seat space in the NX is par for the class, and represents an improvement over the last model.

Legroom is decent behind tall adults, and there’s enough headroom to accomodate full-sized adults. Although it’s grown incrementally larger, a BMW X3 still has more space and feels airier thanks to its more upright window line.

But the NX isn’t all that far behind anymore. The rear doors open nice and wide, and there’s a trio of top tether points for child seats.

Dual USB-C ports in the rear mean kids will be able to keep their iPads juiced on long road trips, and as you’d expect there’s a fold-down central armrest and rear air vents.

The boot opens nice and wide, has has a low loading lip to make sliding heavier items easier. Although it looks a bit flimsy, the luggage cover also folds in half to make storage easier.

Dimensions Lexus NX 250
Length 4660mm
Width 1865mm
Height 1660mm
Wheelbase 2690mm
Cargo capacity 520 litres (5 seat)
1141 litres (2 seat)

To see how the Lexus NX lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

What’s under the bonnet?

With no turbocharger and no hybrid assistance, the 250 is the entry point to the NX range.

Specifications Lexus NX 250
Engine 2.5L 4cyl petrol
Engine outputs 153kW
Electric motor outputs 243Nm
Transmission 8-speed auto
Driven wheels FWD
Weight 1705kg (kerb)
Fuel economy (claimed) 6.9L/100km
Fuel economy (as tested) 7.5L/100km
Fuel tank capacity 67 litres
Fuel requirement 91 RON
CO2 emissions 158g/km
Emissions standard Euro 6
Braked tow capacity 1000kg

To see how the Lexus NX lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

How does the Lexus NX drive?

It’s initially jarring pressing the start button and having a naturally aspirated engine buzz to life, rather than starting with the shrill beep we’ve come to expect from Lexus hybrids.

But once you’re past that fact, this is actually a pretty refined engine.

Doing the driving most mid-sized SUV owners do – the school, shopping, and Saturday sports runs – it’s very capable, slurring around at low revs without making too much noise or fuss.

The auto start-stop system takes a while to engage after you start the car, but once active it’s smooth and smart. There’s no learning curve here; no dual-clutch awkwardness or hybrid handover to think about if you’re hopping out of an older car.

This isn’t a sporty crossover. Nor should it be, given Lexus owners tend to favour comfort and refinement over outright handling prowess.

The chubby steering wheel is hooked up to a light, fluid steering setup that makes the NX easy to pilot in town, and the suspension has been set up for compliance instead of rock-solid body control.

It’s not busy or unyielding like some rivals with a sporty set of wheels and suspension tune, and the combination of small wheels and chubby tyres on our tester did a nice job keeping harsh city potholes at bay.

Put your foot down and you’re aware the naturally aspirated engine needs to work harder than the turbocharged 350 above it in the range, let alone the 350h.

It’s a bit coarse at higher revs, and the automatic transmission needs to kick down one, two, three gears at 80km/h when you want more performance.

Once it’s in the power band there’s enough get-up-and-go, but this isn’t effortless in the way turbocharged alternatives can be.

At a cruise it’s nicely settled, though. Ride quality remains excellent, and Lexus has some of the best sound deadening in the business on the open road.

Big crests and dips are dealt with in one swift movement, which makes the NX feel planted and controlled when you get away from the confines of town.

With the smooth, smart adaptive cruise control maintaining a gap to the car in front and the lane-keep assist nudging you back between the white lines, this is an easy car to drive long distances.

What do you get?

NX 250 and NX 350h Luxury highlights:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Power tailgate
  • Automatic LED headlights with auto-levelling
  • Automatic high-beam
  • 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 9.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Wired Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • 10-speaker sound system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated door mirrors
  • Rear spoiler
  • Roof rails
  • Keyless entry and start
  • 8-way power front seats with 2-way driver’s lumbar support
  • Interior ambient lighting
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • 10-way power driver seat adjustment
  • 8-way power passenger seat adjustment

Enhancement Pack ($3000) adds:

  • Sunroof (tilt and slide)
  • Hands-free power tailgate
  • Wireless phone charger

Is the Lexus NX safe?

The Lexus NX received a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing conducted by Euro NCAP.

Category Lexus NX
Adult occupant protection 91 per cent
Child occupant protection 89 per cent
Vulnerable road user protection 83 per cent
Safety assist 92 per cent

Standard safety equipment includes:

  • 10 airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian detection
    • Daytime cyclist detection
    • Junction assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic assist
  • Safe exit assist
  • Lane departure alert
  • Lane Tracing Assist (lane centring)
  • Emergency Steering Assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Reversing camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Tyre pressure monitoring

Every new NX also comes with a three-year complimentary subscription to Lexus Connected Services.

How much does the Lexus NX cost to run?

The Lexus NX is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty like the broader Lexus range.

Running costs Lexus NX 250
Warranty 5 years, unlimited kilometres
Roadside assistance 3 years
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000 kilometres
Capped price servicing 5 years
Total capped price service cost $2475

CarExpert’s Take on the Lexus NX

The NX 250 is an example of a base model done right.

No, it’s not as efficient as the hybrid or as punchy as the turbocharged NX 350, but it’s also significantly cheaper than both.

The engine has enough pep to handle daily duties, and it’s impressively specced for the price. Some base models feel cheap and nasty; as if they’re punishing you for saving some money.

Lexus hasn’t done that, and the NX feels every bit as special as you’d hope. It’s quiet and refined on the highway, and the build quality is rock solid.

If you have the budget, the hybrid is still the better expression of what Lexus can do in the NX. But buyers who want a Lexus experience on a tighter budget aren’t missing out on much here.

Click the images for the full gallery

MORE: Buy a Lexus NX
MORE: Everything Lexus NX

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 price and specs: EV gets new tech, sporty N Line trim

No Comments

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has received a substantial update, with new batteries, a stiffer chassis, upgraded tech, and a freshened look.

The update also brings with it a $2300 price increase across the range, with the Ioniq 5 lineup now opening at $69,800 before on-road costs.

This follows a price increase of $2500 for 2024, coinciding with Hyundai Australia allowing the Ioniq 5 to be ordered through more than 100 of its dealerships.

The 53kWh Standard Range battery has been replaced by a 63kWh unit, while the Ioniq 5 N’s 84kWh battery replaces the 77kWh unit in Extended Range models.

The bigger batteries allow the Ioniq 5 to go longer on a single charge, with the base Standard Range for example now offering 440km of range on the WLTP cycle, up from 384km.

You can view the battery specifications in the Efficiency section below, including how much range has improved by for each configuration.

Hyundai says it has upgraded body reinforcements in the B-/C-pillar and door surrounds, rear wheelhouse and underbody crossbar to increase body stiffness.

It says these changes have resulted in reduced noise, vibration and harshness, as well as enhanced body control and stability and improved steering response and feedback.

All models get a revised front bumper and skid plate, as well as flat aluminium badging.

Down back, there’s a revised bumper, rear spoiler, and the addition of a window wiper.

There are new 19- and 20-inch alloy wheel designs for the base and Dynamiq versions, while the Epiq gets projector LED headlights with Hyundai’s Intelligent Front Lighting System.

A new N Line option package ($2500) brings unique front and rear bumpers and exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels, as well as gloss black mirror caps, body-coloured cladding and wheel arches, and a “unique hidden lighting signature”.

Inside, the N Line gets eco-processed leather and Alcantara upholstery in black, as well as an N Line-exclusive ‘semi-punched’ leather-wrapped steering wheel, metal pedals, and various red accents.

All Ioniq 5 models feature a revised centre console which Hyundai says allows occupants to easily access new physical controls for seat heating and ventilation.

There’s also a revised steering wheel, instrument cluster bezel, and upholstery.

The headline interior change is the introduction of Hyundai’s Connected Car Next-Generation Cockpit (ccNC), its latest generation of infotainment.

This brings wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluelink connected vehicle services. It also has over-the-air update capability.

The Ioniq 5 still uses dual 12.3-inch screens for the infotainment system and digital instrument cluster.

The base model drops its two-tone cloth upholstery for a combination of black wool and eco-processed leather, while eco-processed black leather is standard on the Dynamiq and Epiq.

If you like the lighter look of the old car, however, you can still get a light-coloured interior as a no-cost option. Hyundai offers both Dove Grey/Dark Teal and Dove Grey/Dark Pebble Grey colourways.

The Ioniq 5 gets the latest version of Hyundai’s autonomous emergency braking, Highway Driving Assist, and Remote Smart Parking Assist systems, as well as navigation-based adaptive cruise control.

Pricing

Model Price Increase
2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD Standard Range $69,800 +$2300
2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD $75,800 +$2300
2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD Dynamiq $80,800 +$2300
2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD Epiq $84,300 +$2300
2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD Dynamiq $85,300 +$2300
2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD Epiq $88,800 +$2300

All prices exclude on-road costs.

Drivetrains

Model Power Torque
Standard Range RWD 125kW 350Nm
Extended Range RWD 168kW 350Nm
Extended Range AWD 74kW + 165kW 255Nm + 350Nm

Efficiency

Model Battery WLTP range Increase over 2024 model
Standard Range RWD 63kWh lithium-ion 440km (on 19-inch wheels) +56km
Extended Range RWD 84kWh lithium-ion 570km (on 19s)
530km (on 20s)
+63km
+54km
Extended Range RWD N Line 84kWh lithium-ion 512km
Extended Range AWD 84kWh lithium-ion 500km (on 20s) +46km
Extended Range AWD N Line 84kWh lithium-ion 495km (N Line)

Across the range, the Ioniq 5 features V2L technology that allows owners to run home appliances off the charge port using an adapter. There’s also a three-pin plug in the rear that means passengers can charge laptops using the car’s battery.

Dimensions

Hyundai Australia hasn’t released dimensions for the updated Ioniq 5, but we’ve included specifications for the 2024 model below.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5
Length 4635mm
Height 1605mm
Width 1890mm (excluding mirrors)
Wheelbase 3000mm
Boot space 527L
Under-bonnet storage 57L (RWD models)
25L (AWD models)

The Ioniq 5 also has a 9.4L sliding glovebox.

Servicing and Warranty

The Ioniq 5 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre vehicle warranty, with the high-voltage battery backed for eight years or 160,000km.

Hyundai hasn’t confirmed service pricing for the 2025 range.

Safety

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has a five-star safety rating from ANCAP, which is based on testing conducted in October 2021.

It earned its five-star rating on back of a 88 per cent score for adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupant protection, 63 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 89 per cent for safety assist.

Standard safety equipment across the Ioniq 5 range includes:

  • Autonomous emergency braking
    • Vehicle detection
    • Pedestrian detection
    • Cyclist detection
    • Evasive steering assist
    • Lane change oncoming and side
    • Reverse AEB
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
    • Navigation-based cruise control (NEW)
  • Blind-spot assist
  • Blind-Spot View Monitor
  • Highway Driving Assist 2 (adaptive cruise + lane centring) (NEW)
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • Lane Following Assist (lane centring)
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rear occupant alert
  • Rear cross-traffic assist
  • Safe exit assist
  • Surround-view camera
  • Frotn and rear parking sensors
  • 7 airbags including front centre side airbag

Standard Equipment

There are three trim levels in the Ioniq 5 lineup.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 highlights:

  • Heat pump
  • Battery pre-conditioning
  • One-pedal drive mode
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Automatic high-beam
  • Automatic LED headlights
  • 19-inch alloy wheels (new design)
  • Tyre repair kit
  • Acoustic laminated windscreen and side door glass
  • Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Proximity entry with push-button start
  • Wool/leather upholstery
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Cloth knit headliner
  • LED interior lighting
  • Alloy scuff plates
  • Power windows with (NEW) auto up/down for all windows
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • 2-way manual reclining rear seats (fore/aft adjustment, 60:40 split/fold)
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Over-the-air updates (NEW)
    • Wireless Apple CarPlay (NEW)
    • Wireless Android Auto (NEW)
  • Wireless phone charger
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • 4 x USB-C outlets (NEW)
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Adjustable ambient lighting
  • Electrochromatic rear-view mirror
  • Remote Smart Parking Assist
  • Virtual Engine Sound System (artificial propulsion sounds)
  • Vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality (outlet inside car)

Dynamiq adds:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels (new design)
  • 255/45 Michelin Pilot Sport EV tyres
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Power tailgate
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • 10-way power passenger seat
  • Sliding centre console
  • Alloy pedals
  • Augmented reality head-up display
  • 8-speaker Bose sound system
  • Luggage net

Epiq adds:

  • Intelligent Front Lighting System (NEW)
  • Panoramic glass roof with power sunshade
  • Premium ‘relaxation’ front seats
  • Memory for all seats
  • 2-way power rear seats
  • Rear door sunshades
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel

All models now have Bluelink connected services as part of a complimentary five-year subscription. This suite of technology includes:

  • Automatic collision notification
  • Emergency call (SOS) function
  • Live traffic
  • Alert services including geo-fencing, valet, speed and time alerts
  • Remote control of vehicle and climate functions
  • Voice recognition for vehicle controls, point of interest search

Options

The N Line option pack is available on Dynamiq and Epiq models.

It costs $2500 and adds:

  • N Line 20-inch alloy wheels
  • N Line exterior appearance package
  • Leather and Alcantara upholstery
  • Red stitching and highlights
  • N Line steering wheel

The Epiq can also be had with a Digital Mirror Pack for $3000. This adds:

  • Digital side mirrors
  • Digital centre mirror

An outside vehicle to load (V2L) adapter is available as an accessory.

Colours

There are 10 exterior colours available, including two new metallic finishes: Ecotronic Grey and Ultimate Red.

Matte paint is an extra $1000. Three matte finishes are available:

  • Gravity Gold
  • Ecotronic Grey
  • Atlas White

MORE: Buy a Hyundai Ioniq 5
MORE: Everything Hyundai Ioniq 5

2024 Mazda CX-90 G50e Azami review

No Comments

Here we have a large luxury SUV… but there’s something amiss.

It has a classy presentation and there’s loads of space inside, not to mention the glorious tan upholstery with its leather and alcantara mix. It’s smooth on the road and packs a mechanical punch, too.

But where are the Mercedes-Benz badges? If there aren’t any of those, surely there’s at least a BMW or Audi logo somewhere in here?

Well, no. That’s because this is a Mazda, but it’s not really like any Mazda before it. This is the biggest, most expensive, and most powerful production car the Japanese marque has ever put to market, and for that reason it’s got a very difficult job.

Firstly, it’s a demonstration of Mazda’s ability to produce a premium vehicle at a premium price. The range kicks off at $75,000 before on-road costs and knocks on three-figures before you even think about optional packages.

Additionally, it’s going up against some stiff competition. Its price range means it’s competing with everything from the Hyundai Palisade and Nissan Pathfinder to the Audi Q7 and Genesis GV80. In other words, it’s up against tried-and-tested large SUV heavy-hitters and tasty offerings from dedicated luxury brands – all at once.

That doesn’t mean it’s out of its depth, though. The Mazda CX-90 brings with it newly-developed six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines with 48V mild-hybrid technology, which Mazda claims are up to 47 per cent more powerful with 31 per cent more torque compared to the discontinued CX-9, while also being 40 per cent more fuel efficient.

WATCH: Paul’s video review of the CX-90 D50e GT

On test here is the 2024 Mazda CX-90 G50e Azami SP, the jewel in Mazda’s large SUV range. It’ll ring up more than $100,000 once everything is said and done, thanks partly to the addition of the SP Package that brings with it some nice interior goodies.

It’s certainly a pretty penny, but is it a penny you should pay? After all, the CX-90 does still wear a Mazda badge – something not typically associated with upmarket luxury…

How does the Mazda CX-90 compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Mazda CX-90 against similarly sized vehicles.

Mazda CX-90 cutout image

Mazda

CX-90

How much does the Mazda CX-90 cost?

Our tester is the most expensive Mazda ever sold in Australia, and starts at $94,435 before on-road costs. It also has a $5000 optional package included, which is detailed below.

Model Price before on-roads
2024 Mazda CX-90 G50e Touring $74,400
2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring $76,400
2024 Mazda CX-90 G50e GT $85,335
2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e GT $85,400
2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e Azami $93,320
2024 Mazda CX-90 G50e Azami $94,435

There are two optional packages available for the top-spec Azami. The Takumi Package, priced at $5000, adds Pure White Nappa leather upholstery, a cloth dashboard panel with Kakenui stitching, and captain’s chairs for the second row.

The SP Package fitted to our tester also costs $5000 and retains the captain’s chairs, but replaces the white leather with Tan Nappa leather and dashboard trim with a suede finish, while adding a two-tone leather steering wheel.

To see how the CX-90 shapes up against its rivals, use our comparison tool.

What is the Mazda CX-90 like on the inside?

Mazda is no stranger to nice interiors, and there’s a respectable consistency across its entire model range.

That rings true even at the very pinnacle of what it has to offer. Even though there are upmarket underpinnings and a generally luxurious aura, nothing feels alien. It’s all very typical of Mazda in 2024, and that’s a good thing.

The 12.3-inch infotainment display is familiar in its perch atop the dashboard. It’s primarily controlled by a set of rotary dials on the centre console that have a nice, tactile feel, and it’s capped off by the crisp graphics and snappy responses.

It takes no time to launch the infotainment system on startup, and wireless Apple CarPlay connects quickly and effortlessly. Wireless smartphone mirroring worked flawlessly during our week with the car, which you would expect at this price point.

As with other Mazdas the touchscreen is disabled once you’re on the move. That’s only really an inconvenience if you’re using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as it can be a little clunky to navigate these specialised menus using the dials instead of your finger.

Fortunately it takes but a moment to get used to, and unless you need to be constantly fiddling with the screen on the road you won’t have any issues. The centre armrest is also positioned nicely for comfortable use of the dials.

The key distinguishing factor of the SP Package is the Tan Nappa leather upholstery, which is a nice change over the Azami’s standard Black Nappa trim. It covers the seats, top of the dashboard, door cards, and inside of the two-tone steering wheel, along with a matching suede panel along the dashboard’s front-facing portion.

With this colour combo you also get a black headliner, which makes for a cozy atmosphere. There’s a large sunroof on top, but the panoramic effect is somewhat disrupted by a large beam across the middle. Still, it’s no complaint to have it included.

Up the front you’ll find a climate control system with an almost overwhelming amount of buttons, though it’s commendable Mazda has stuck to its guns rather than switching to a touchscreen setup for these functions.

Everything you need is in one place, and there’s a small screen fitted above the array of buttons that means nothing is left to guesses. There’s no gloss black trim to be found either, as the centre console is finished with a classy almost-wood appearance.

Nearby there’s also a solid, traditional gear selector placed next to two cupholders with a sliding cover, as well as a discreet drive mode selector. In addition, there is a cubby with a wireless charging pad and a 12-volt outlet, as well as two USB-C ports in the centre console box.

Behind the wheel is a digital instrument display that switches its colour theme depending on the selected drive mode. It looks great thanks to its clean and simple layout, and it doesn’t give you too much information if you don’t want it.

In its typical configuration there’s a tachometer, speedometer, and a shared gauge for engine temperature and fuel level. It’s all refreshingly traditional despite the hefty price, and I’m a fan of what Mazda has done here.

You’ll find a standard arrangement of infotainment and driver assist controls on the wheel’s spokes, which all feel nice to use and don’t get in the way when driving. There are also standard wiper and light stalks on the steering column, the latter of which engages an indicator with a satisfying percussive click.

Ahead of the driver is a head-up display with driver assist and road sign info, which again is standard in appearance for Mazdas with systems equipped. The only complaint I could find with it is a slight delay in its speedometer reading, which isn’t always exactly in sync with what’s being shown on the main instrument display.

In terms of front storage there’s a sizeable glovebox and bottle holders in the door cards, as well as sunglasses storage on the ceiling. Centre console storage is limited beyond the two cupholders, as the storage box opens with a split cover to reveal a fairly shallow cubby.

The second row of the CX-90 is where the Azami’s SP Package really shines. By and large it’s really a duplication of the front, just without the steering wheel.

Included in the package are captain’s chairs in place of a typical bench, which means back seat passengers get a centre console and some added space all around. You notice that space too, as there’s loads of head- and legroom for even your most outlandishly tall friends.

Front and centre are two air vents, and it’s seriously impressive (and expected, given the price) they’re supplemented by a dedicated climate control system with its own buttons and screen. The driver still has ultimate control though, as the rear system can be switched off by a button on the front climate interface.

The rear captain’s chairs feature heating and ventilation, and there are two cupholders on the centre console armrest ahead of an enclosed storage cubby. If all that isn’t enough, there are two USB-C outlets positioned below the rear vents and climate controls.

In the very back is a third row with two additional seats, though they’re not nearly as well appointed or comfortable as the captain’s chairs ahead. Even so, there’s still a USB-C outlet and dual cupholders on each side.

They typically reside in a folded-down position to allow standard use of the boot, and sitting them up is no sweat thanks to a handy pull-strap. The second row can slide forwards to allow extra room for third row passengers to clamber in and out, or provide additional rear leg-room should it be required.

Of note, climbing into the second or third rows isn’t a problem as the rear doors open to 90 degrees. That’s certainly a big plus if you’ve got to fit child seats and want to make use of the CX-90’s range-standard five top-tether and two ISOFIX anchor points.

Boot space is around the middle of the road against its competition, but you do get a large, flat load floor, 150W outlet and 12-volt outlet as standard.

It’s not exactly fair to suggest this interior should be like something you’d find in a European offering in the same segment. That’s not because it can’t hang, but instead because Mazda has succeeded in translating its established interior design language into an upmarket application.

It really is difficult to hop in and not be impressed by what has been accomplished, especially if you’ve gone for either of the premium optional packages on the already nice Azami.

Dimensions Mazda CX-90 G50e Azami SP
Length 5120mm
Width 1994mm (2157mm incl. mirrors)
Height 1745mm
Wheelbase 3120mm
Ground clearance 203mm
Boot capacity (VDA) 257L (all seats up, to seatback)
608L (3rd row folded, to seatback)
2025L (2nd and 3rd row folded, to ceiling)

To see how the CX-90 shapes up against its rivals, use our comparison tool.

What’s under the bonnet?

Our tester was powered by a 3.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine, though a turbo-diesel with the same displacement is also available. Both offer mild-hybrid technology and are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive.

Model Mazda CX-90 G50e Azami SP
Engine 3.3L inline 6cyl turbo
Hybrid 48V mild-hybrid
Power 254kW @ 5000rpm-6000rpm
Torque 500Nm @ 2000rpm-4500rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Driven wheels All-wheel drive
Weight 2220kg (kerb)
Towing capacity 2000kg (braked)
Fuel economy – claimed 8.2L/100km
Fuel economy – as tested 9.4L/100km
Fuel tank size 74 litres
Fuel requirement 95 RON

To see how the CX-90 shapes up against its rivals, use our comparison tool.

How does the Mazda CX-90 drive?

The CX-90’s interior is a nice place to spend time, and it more or less backs it up with a solid on-road experience.

Firing the 3.3-litre straight-six brings with it an idle that is refined enough to almost have you forget what’s under the bonnet.

While it isn’t obnoxious, it’s done with a purpose that convinces you it’s a well-built, premium machine, rather than a gutless motor hiding under a luxury façade.

Move the nicely weighted gear selector into drive and you’re ready to go. The first thing you’ll notice is the light steering, which provides a smooth feel without compromising on feedback from the road.

Mazda has done well to dial in such a comfortable and balanced experience from a vehicle as big as the CX-90. Accelerating from a standstill gives you an opportunity to feel and hear Mazda’s most powerful production engine to date, and it makes no effort to hide anything.

For a production straight-six designed for a luxury SUV, it produces a very nice sound all the way through the rev range. Sure, Mazda does pump some artificial sound into the cabin, but it’s by no means distracting, obnoxious, or necessarily out of place.

I’d argue in a car like this, it’s well worth some extra noise for its occupants, because that means it can still maintain a refined outside presentation while not completely masking the engineering effort that has gone on under the skin.

One of the only downsides is the eight-speed automatic transmission, at least at lower speeds. While you can’t knock it for being buttery smooth most of the time, it does like to short shift through the first couple of gears as the car gets going, which means you spend a fair bit of time between gears when you’d rather be putting that power to the ground.

That’s partly due to the mild-hybrid system, which Mazda says “supports the engine at lower speeds while delivering enhanced environmental performance by using regenerative braking to replenish the onboard battery.”

It’s almost impossible to notice that most of the time, but it can cause the engine to stumble at lower speed as it sorts itself out. The system works well to shut down the engine when coasting and coming to a stop, though it didn’t help us to get very close to the claimed fuel economy figure.

To Mazda’s credit, there are three different drive modes on offer that mean you’ll have plenty of choice depending on the driving you’re doing.

Flicking the Mi-Drive switch puts the CX-90 into either sport or off-road mode, though it’s the former that allows you to unleash the engine’s full potential.

It holds gears longer for improved acceleration, while also giving you a bit more noise to boot. It’s impressive if you give it a boot-full, and certainly doesn’t hang around if you’re in a rush.

The gearbox is snappy and responds well to different throttle inputs. If you’re cruising along at a constant speed but need to speed up in a rush, it wastes no time in kicking down to the right gear as you need.

Overall, the CX-90 is very sure-footed and has no trouble staying in its lane, which is reassuring given its sheer size. To its benefit it doesn’t feel unwieldy, which makes it easy to get in and go if you’ve not driven a car like the before.

As with the interior, Mazda has done a good job making the driving experience familiar. There’s not really anything going on that will surprise you, and even some things that might be new to some people are intuitive and easy to figure out just by spending time with the car.

Some of those are the driver assist features like adaptive cruise control, which works very well in conjunction with lane-keep assist on the highway. At no point did I feel like I couldn’t trust either system, and lane-keep assist in particular did very well keeping the car centred in its lane. No issues to report here.

The only real problem I experienced was with blind-spot monitoring, which seemed overreactive at times. I once went to change lanes to the right and could physically see a car safely behind my blind spot, though the system must’ve thought it would be in the way – loudly beeping and then pulling the steering back into my lane.

It was a touch unnerving, but realistically it’s not the worst if a system like blind spot monitoring is ‘too good’. Other than that, everything worked flawlessly.

Even the digital rear-view mirror was quick to activate when someone with poorly aligned headlights came up behind me, and packed a good quality camera and display combo on top.

Additionally, the heated side mirrors that work in combination with the rear demister did an excellent job in clearing themselves up on those frosty Melbourne mornings.

For a car of this size, it also performed well under braking with the assist of its regenerative mild-hybrid system. There were no problems when slowing down in a hurry, and it never really felt like the car was too much for itself to handle.

The only real downside is there was a touch too much road noise entering the cabin for a car being marketed from such a luxury angle.

That’s probably due to the 21-inch wheels that come standard on Azami models, which means there’s less tyre rubber to insulate the road from the rest of the car.

If you can live with that, there’s nothing else going on mechanically that should keep the CX-90 off your shopping list. Still, everything bar a couple of driver assist features are available in the exact same setup lower down the range…

What do you get?

Our tester came fitted with the whole catalogue of Mazda features, including the optional SP Package.

CX-90 Touring highlights:

  • 19-inch silver metallic alloy wheels
  • 360-degree view monitor
  • 7.0-inch TFT LCD multi-information meter display
  • 10.25-inch Mazda Connect display
  • 8-speaker audio with DAB+ 
  • Active driving display
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Advanced keyless entry
  • Tri-zone climate control with independent rear control
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (Wireless and USB)
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror 
  • Blind Spot Monitoring incl. Vehicle Exit Warning
  • Body colour exterior mirrors
  • Driver monitor
  • Exterior mirrors
    • Power adjustment
    • Auto fold
    • Heating
    • Auto dimming
    • Memory function
  • Front, rear parking sensors
  • Front bumper with gloss black bar grille
  • Gloss black side pillar garnish
  • Glove box illumination
  • Hands-free power tailgate
  • Heated seats (front)
  • Leather seats
  • Front seat power adjustment, driver memory
  • Leather shift knob
  • Leather side door trim with door courtesy lamp (Front)
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Auto LED headlights incl. High Beam Control
  • Map reading spot lamps
  • Overhead console with sunglass holder
  • Rear console with LED lamp, USB-C
  • 150W AC outlet
  • Rear door window sunshade
  • Satellite navigation
  • Smart Brake Support (AEB) with Turn-across traffic
  • Vanity mirror with lamp
  • Wireless phone charger

CX-90 GT adds:

  • 12.3-inch widescreen display
  • 12.3-inch TFT LCD driver display
  • 21-inch silver metallic alloy wheels 
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • LED ‘bright’ signature running light
  • Electric steering wheel adjustment
  • Heated seats (front, rear)
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Interior foot lamp (driver and passenger)
  • Leather side door trim with door courtesy lamp (front, rear)
  • Panoramic sunroof 
  • Personalise system (auto restoration of settings)
  • Premium Bose audio incl. 12 speakers, amplifier
  • Rear combination lights with signature illumination

CX-90 Azami adds:

  • 21-inch black metallic, machined alloy wheels 
  • 360-degree monitor with See Through View
  • Ambient lighting
  • Black Nappa leather seat trim 
  • Body-coloured wheel arches, lower cladding
  • Cruising & Traffic Support
  • Frameless interior mirror
  • Interior foot lamp (front, rear)
  • Personalise system
  • Ventilated seats (front)

A pair of $5000 optional packages are available on the Azami.

Takumi Package adds:

  • Pure White Nappa leather seat trim
  • Bright decoration panel
  • Cloth dashboard panel with Kakenui stitching
  • White Maple Wood console, door trim inserts
  • Second-row captain’s seats with ventilation
  • Second-row centre console with storage

SP Package adds:

  • Tan Nappa leather seat trim
  • Suede finish dashboard panel
  • Two-tone colour steering wheel
  • Second-row captain’s seats with ventilation
  • Second-row centre console with storage

Is the Mazda CX-90 safe?

The Mazda CX-90 is yet to be crash-tested by ANCAP, and is therefore unrated.

Standard safety features include:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
    • Junction assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Auto high-beam
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Front, rear parking sensors
  • Lane keep assist
  • Secondary Collision Reduction System
  • Vehicle Exit Warning
  • 360-degree camera system

CX-90 GT adds:

CX-90 Azami adds:

  • 360-degree cameras incl. See-Through View
  • Cruising & Traffic Support
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Lane centring assist

How much does the Mazda CX-90 cost to run?

As with the wider Mazda range, the CX-90 is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

G50e models will require maintenance every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, while D50e models have 10,000km intervals.

Mazda offers a capped-price scheme for the first seven services, with prices detailed below:

Service interval Price
1yr or 15,000km $453
2yr or 30,000km $665
3yr or 45,000km $578
4yr or 60,000km $1304
5yr or 75,000km $469
6yr or 90,000km $774
7yr or 105,000km $453
Total $4696

By comparison, Nissan also offers 12 month, 15,000km service intervals for its Pathfinder, with capped pricing offered for the first six services. For 4WD models, those six services total $4227.

CarExpert’s Take on the Mazda CX-90 G50e Azami SP

Mazda has done an exceptional job on their first large luxury effort, but we don’t know if the most expensive option is the pick of the bunch.

Yes, there are some things like a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, and lane centring assist that definitely improve the on-road experience and yes, you only get the beautiful Takumi and SP packages on this spec, but is that all worth it?

What else do you really get for an extra few thousand dollars over the cheaper models? That beast of an engine is available on all CX-90s, and its refined handling mechanics aren’t unique to the top of the range, either.

It’s not that big of a step down to the GT, so if you can live without those couple of extra niceties that option might be the better pick.

Still, if you must have the latest and greatest, this is an exceptional car.

As far as luxury large SUVs go, this is still about $15,000 cheaper than the Q7 and around $60,000 cheaper than the similarly sized BMW X7. That makes it a competitive choice in comparison, but it’s not quite up to the level of the Europeans when everything is said and done.

There are a few things to be ironed out with the drivetrain in particular which take the edge off the premium interior and classy appearance. Given it’s a fairly new application though, there is time to do just that.

MHEV tech is a very nice addition as well, and it’s no question there are a multitude of ways to make it yours. I can’t get enough of either of the two optional packages on this car and having experienced the SP Package, I’m curious to see the Takumi in the flesh.

Once this car is properly sorted, it’ll be a formidable player in the large SUV game. Until then, I’d suggest weighing up the range and seeing if a cheaper CX-90 would be right for you instead.

Click the images for the full gallery

MORE: Buy a Mazda CX-90
MORE: Everything Mazda CX-90

Toyota RAV4 passes massive sales milestone in Australia

No Comments

The Toyota RAV4 has joined the Corolla, HiLux, LandCruiser and Camry in notching over 500,000 sales on the Australian market.

Toyota has now sold 501,546 RAV4s in Australia from its market launch in July 1994 to the end of June 2024.

In serendipitous timing, the milestone comes as Toyota celebrates 30 years of the RAV4.

It still has a while to go to match the Corolla, HiLux, LandCruiser and Camry, older nameplates which have blown past not only the 500,000 sales mark but also the million sales mark.

However, Toyota says the RAV4 is the only vehicle in its segment to reach this sales milestone, and its sales growth has been enormous – particularly in recent years.

It took more than 11 years for Toyota to reach the first 100,000 RAV4 sales and more than 21 years to reach 250,000 sales, but it then took just nine additional years to reach the 500,000 mark.

The past five years have been the RAV4’s best sales years on our market, and Toyota says it’s on track to set another record this year.

That’s despite Toyota recently closing orders for petrol-powered models… not that that will dent the RAV4, given hybrids have accounted for 94.2 per cent of its sales this year.

Toyota says the RAV4 enjoys the distinction of being the only SUV to become Australia’s best-selling vehicle, which it accomplished in July 2020.

The following month, its hybrid sales alone outsold every other vehicle available in Australia.

Petrol-powered models are the latest RAV4s to be axed.

Launched with a three-door body style, this lasted just two generations and was axed in 2006.

A convertible version was introduced in 1998 but dropped in 2000, a V6 version came with the third generation in 2007 but was axed when the fourth generation came in 2013, and a diesel was offered only from 2013 to 2018.

More recently in 2022, Toyota Australia axed the option of a manual transmission.

MORE: Everything Toyota RAV4

2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin review

No Comments

Volvo isn’t resting on its laurels.

The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is barely three years old, but it’s already been overhauled; along with the usual mid-life interior tweaks and styling changes, front-wheel drive models have made the leap to rear-wheel drive.

The range-topping dual-motor model on test here is still all-wheel drive… but it’s picked up more range, and in world dominated by electric car price cuts has actually become more expensive.

Our range-topping Recharge Twin Pure Electric is now close to $90,000 when you account for on-road costs, making it pricier than a plethora of bigger rivals.

How does the updated XC40 shape up after its nip-and-tuck?

How does the Volvo XC40 compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Volvo XC40 against similarly sized vehicles.

Volvo XC40 cutout image

Volvo

XC40

How much does the Volvo XC40 cost?

Price hikes have been applied to the electric XC40 Recharge for 2024; in the case of the range-topping tester here you’ll pay close to $5000 more than for the pre-update model.

Model Variant Price before on-road costs
2024 Volvo XC40 Plus B4 $54,990
2024 Volvo XC40 Ultimate B4 Bright $61,990
2024 Volvo XC40 Ultimate B4 Dark $62,990
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric $76,990
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pure Electric $85,990

To see how the Volvo XC40 Recharge stacks up against its electric rivals, use our comparison tool.

What is the Volvo XC40 like on the inside?

For all the changes under the skin, the new XC40 Recharge is familiar behind the wheel.

It’s still a little SUV that punches above its weight for practicality, and feels grown up behind the wheel. Thanks to a recent update, its technology has also taken a step forward since its debut.

The front seats offer a commanding view over the square bonnet, and strike a neat balance between padding and the sort of support you need on long drives. Volvo does some of the best pews in the business, and the XC40 continues the tradition.

With an upright dashboard and minimalist, crisp lines, you won’t be mistaking the XC40 for anything but a Volvo at first glance. The dashboard features an interesting backlit trim designed to mimic a topographical map that looks great at night, but a bit bland in daylight.

The vegan material on the seats is kind to cows, but it’s not nearly as nice to touch as leather. Given the price of this car, we’d rather something interesting like wool – or proper leather.

Dominating the dash is a vertically-oriented 9.0-inch touchscreen, which sits in the same housing as the display in the petrol model but features some EV-specific features like a range assistant.

The bones of the software were developed by Google, which means you get Hey Google voice and Google Maps standard, but the system is set up to look familiar to anyone who’s used the Sensus tech in older models.

It’s snappy to use, and the ability to download apps like Spotify from the Google Play store opens the door for a level of customisation not currently possible in most infotainment systems.

Having the same people who do the software for mobile phones design your Bluetooth interface, for example, means this is one of the easiest cars in which to find a contact and make a call on the move.

It’s also improved significantly. At launch, you didn’t get CarPlay – and the network connection was a bit ropey. Now, you get wired CarPlay and we didn’t suffer any dropouts or major issues with the network. The perks of software updates, right?

The driver is faced with a clean, simple digital instrument binnacle with inbuilt Google Maps. It’s excellent, although you’re light on for configuration options compared to what’s on offer in some rival luxury marques.

This remains a really sensible, practical cabin. The deep door pockets, spacious transmission tunnel (this is based on a petrol car after all), and under-dash space are all cleverly designed, although you don’t get the same sense of open-plan lightness on offer in some dedicated EV rivals.

Rear seat passengers are better catered for than you might expect of a car that’s relatively compact on paper. For one, they get their own vents, along with a fold-down central armrest and spacious door pockets.

The tall roofline means headroom is good enough for adults to get comfortable back there, even with the panoramic sunroof, and the amount of legroom will accomodate tall teenagers.

Some compact-ish crossovers are a kid-only proposition in the rear, but the XC40 punches above its weight. It’s a good place to spend time, and demands few compromises compared to a similarly-priced petrol car.

There are two ISOFIX points and three top-tether anchors back there for child seats. The big rear door opening makes this an easier car to load child seats into as well… but it’s still not on quite the same level as a Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Tesla Model Y.

There’s a small storage space beneath the bonnet, but it’s not what you’d call capacious. It’s best reserved for the charge cables, but not much more.

Dimensions Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin
Length 4440mm
Width 1938mm
Height 1651mm
Wheelbase 2702mm
Boot capacity 410L-1295L

To see how the Volvo XC40 Recharge stacks up against its electric rivals, use our comparison tool.

What’s under the bonnet?

Although the base XC40 Recharge has switched from front- to rear-wheel drive, the Twin remains all-wheel drive.

Model XC40 Recharge Twin
Drivetrain Dual-motor electric
Battery 82kWh lithium-ion
Power 300kW
Torque 670Nm
0-100km/h 4.8 seconds
Driven Wheels All-wheel drive
Weight 2170kg
Energy efficiency (claimed) 15kWh/100km (NEDC)
Energy efficiency (as tested) 26kWh/100km
Claimed range 485km
Max DC charge rate 180kW

To see how the Volvo XC40 Recharge stacks up against its electric rivals, use our comparison tool.

How does the Volvo XC40 drive?

This is a fast car.

Put your foot down and, despite its chunky Scandinavian exterior and hefty kerb weight, it lunges off the mark with the sort of vigour you’d expect of a Volkswagen Golf R.

You’re also able to get out of parking spots or your garage in a hurry; there’s no start button to mess about with here, you just stand on the brake and slot the car into drive. That’s not usually the case in cars based on legacy internal combustion platforms.

There’s a real sense of solidity to all the controls. The accelerator requires a firm push, and the steering is direct. It’s not a hard car to drive, though.

Once dialled into the heavy-handed regenerative braking you seldom need to take your foot off the accelerator in the city, and it’s perfectly smooth and quiet at city speeds.

The XC40 Recharge is a happy camper in the city, where its upright body and compact proportions make it a natural fit.

It squeezes easily into tight parking bays, and is easy to thread through my tight underground garage. The grainy surround-view camera isn’t exactly ideal for small spaces though, and undermines the high-tech feeling you’d expect of an electric car.

It’s long been an issue with Volvo cars, and one that finally appears to have been addressed in the even newer EX30.

With a relatively springy, taut suspension tune, the XC40 never feels outright plush.

You’re aware of its weight, and the fact keeping all 2100kg of it in check is tricky when you’re stuck with a passive steel suspension setup instead of more expensive air or adaptive dampers.

With that said, the Recharge still does a good job keeping city bumps and potholes out of the cabin, and it feels tied-down over big crests and dips on the highway. It feels like a shrunken XC60 or XC90 at speed.

Road noise is quite noticeable here – as has always been the case across the XC40 – on country roads. That isn’t uncommon in luxury European cars, designed to work on billiard-table-smooth tarmac rather than coarse-chip roads.

The tyre roar and wind rustle from the mirrors will have you turning up the stereo a couple of clicks, although it’s still quieter than, say, a Mercedes-Benz EQA on similar roads.

Where the Volvo really shines on the open road is when it comes to its driver assists. It’ll keep its distance to a car in front, and actively steer to stay in its lane.

Unlike some cars, where you feel like you’re fighting the computer brain, the Pilot Assist in the XC40 feels just about right.

What do you get?

On test here is the flagship XC40 Recharge Twin Pure Electric.

XC40 Recharge Pure Electric highlights:

  • 19-inch wheels
  • 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Google built-in operating system
    • Google Automotive Services
    • Volvo Cars app
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • 8-speaker sound system
  • 12-inch digital instrument display
  • Wireless phone charger
  • LED headlights and tail lights
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Power-folding rear headrests
  • Hands-free power tailgate
  • Auto-dimming interior, exterior mirrors

Recharge Twin Pure Electric adds:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Harman Kardon premium sound system
  • Vegan textile interior trim
  • Surround-view camera

Is the Volvo XC40 safe?

The Volvo XC40 has a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing conducted by Euro NCAP in 2018.

This 2018 Euro NCAP testing was originally conducted on the petrol-powered XC40, but the rating was extended to include the pure-electric and plug-in hybrid Recharge models.

Category Volvo XC40
Adult occupant protection 97 per cent
Child occupant protection 84 per cent
Vulnerable road user protection 71 per cent
Safety assist 78 per cent

Standard safety features include:

  • Front, side, curtain and driver’s knee airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Vulnerable road user detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Surround-view camera
  • Front, rear parking sensors

How much does the Volvo XC40 cost to run?

The XC40 Recharge is backed by the same warranty as the broader Volvo range, but comes with the added perk of free servicing.

Running costs Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin
Warranty 5r years, unlimited kilometres
Battery warranty 8 years or 160,000 kilometres
Service intervals 2 years or 30,000km
5-year service plan Free

CarExpert’s Take on the Volvo XC40

The Recharge Twin is a practical, comfortable SUV, but it’s not the electric XC40 we’d recommend.

It’s close to $10,000 more expensive than the similarly lovely Single Motor – and although it packs a serious punch in a straight line, that comes at the cost of range.

Volvo has made some changes to try and improve its efficiency, but it’s still miles short of the Tesla Model Y.

If you’re into road tripping, it limits the car’s usefulness. Even if you’re a city slicker, it costs more money to go the same distance as in its rivals.

Yes, the Recharge Dual is fast. But the base XC40 Recharge is a more talented all-rounder, and a more sensible pick for anyone looking to make the leap to electric power.

Click the images for the full gallery

MORE: Buy a Volvo XC40
MORE: Everything Volvo XC40

2024 GWM Ute price and specs

No Comments

The GWM Ute is unchanged for 2024, but the range has gotten a little smaller since last year.

For 2024, the Cannon 4×2 and Cannon-L CC 4×4 have been discontinued, leaving only six variants.

“These two models have been discontinued due to low sales demand and complexity reduction,” said a spokesperson for GWM Australia.

The range now opens at $38,990 drive-away for the GWM Ute Cannon 4×4, and extends to $54,990 drive-away for the GWM Ute Cannon-XSR.

In the first half of 2024, GWM sold 4313 examples in Australia. While that’s well off the tallies of the top-selling Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max, it outsold the LDV T60 (3399 sales) and SsangYong Musso (2027 sales).

Until July 31, GWM is offering savings of up to $4000 off the normal drive-away prices of the Ute range. You can view current deals on the GWM website.

Pricing

There are a total of six variants in the 2024 GWM Ute range.

Only the blacked-out Vanta has received a price increase for 2024. Its price is up by $1000.

Model Drive-away pricing
2024 GWM Ute Cannon 4×4 $38,990
2024 GWM Ute Cannon-CC 4×4 $39,990
2024 GWM Ute Cannon-L 4×4 $42,490
2024 GWM Ute Cannon-X 4×4 $45,490
2024 GWM Ute Cannon Vanta $47,490
2024 GWM Ute Cannon-XSR $54,990

All prices are drive-away.

Drivetrains

The Ute range is now offered exclusively with four-wheel drive.

In most Utes, this is a full-time system with selectable low-range gearing and a locking rear differential.

The Cannon-XSR uniquely features a part-time system with selectable low-range gearing and locking front and rear differentials, and also comes with a crawl mode and Turn Assist By Braking.

GWM Ute
Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Power 120kW
Torque 400Nm
Transmission 8-speed automatic transmission
Drive type Four-wheel drive

Efficiency

The entire 2024 GWM Ute range uses 9.4L/100km on the combined cycle.

Dimensions

All GWM Utes ride a 3230mm wheelbase.

Length Width Height Payload
GWM Ute Cannon 5410mm 1934mm 1886mm 1050kg
GWM Ute Cannon CC 5511mm 1924mm 1886mm 1120kg
GWM Ute Cannon-L 5410mm 1934mm 1886mm 1050kg
GWM Ute Cannon-X 5410mm 1934mm 1886mm 1050kg
GWM Ute Cannon Vanta 5410mm 1934mm 1886mm 1050kg
GWM Ute Cannon-XSR 5439mm 1958mm 1918mm 875kg

Braked towing capacity is 3000kg across the range.

Servicing and Warranty

As with the rest of the GWM range, the Ute is backed by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and five years of roadside assistance.

There are five years of capped-price servicing, with the first service – due at six months or 5000km – costing $260.

Subsequent services are required at 12-month/10,000km intervals and cost $360 each.

Safety

After initially failing to earn a five-star ANCAP rating, the GWM Ute range was modified by the factory.

It was in turn awarded a five-star safety rating from ANCAP in November 2021. However, this doesn’t include the Cannon CC and Cannon-XSR, as these models haven’t been tested.

The tested vehicles scored 86 per cent for adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupant protection, 67 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 73 per cent for safety assist.

Standard features across all models are:

  • Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist detection
  • 7 airbags including a front-centre airbag
  • Reverse and passenger-kerbside camera views
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Speed warning
  • Traffic sign recognition 
  • Tyre-pressure monitoring

All bar the base model feature a surround-view camera and front parking sensors, while the Cannon-X adds safe exit warning.

The Cannon CC misses out on blind-spot monitoring.

Standard Equipment

There are five different trim levels in total.

The base Cannon and Cannon-CC come standard with the following equipment:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Automatic LED headlights and tail lights
  • Side steps
  • Hill descent control
  • 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • 3.5-inch instrument cluster screen
  • Comfort-Tek leatherette upholstery
  • Air-conditioning
  • Power outlet and USB port for dash cam
  • 12V power outlet
  • 220V power outlet
  • Front USB port x 2
  • Rear USB port x 1
  • Proximity entry and push-button start
  • Paddle shifters

The Cannon-L ute and cab-chassis gain:

  • Chrome grille, door handles and mirrors
  • Power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Power driver’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Automatic climate control
  • Automatic anti-glare rear-view mirror

The Cannon-X adds:

  • 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Leather upholstery
  • Steering modes (Comfort, Normal, Sport)
  • 60:40 split/fold rear seats
  • Second-row armrest
  • Voice recognition
  • Tilt/slide steering wheel adjustment

The Cannon Vanta adds:

  • 18-inch black-finish alloy wheels
  • Black grille, sports bar, mirrors and door handles

The Cannon-XSR adds:

  • Steel front and rear bumpers
  • Sunroof
  • Snorkel
  • Unique grille and sports bar
  • Black-finish 18-inch alloy wheels in 265/65 R18 all-terrain tyres
  • Full underbody chassis guard
  • Locking front and rear differentials

Colours

Pearl White is the standard exterior finish.

The following finishes cost an extra $595:

  • Sapphire Blue (utes only)
  • Crystal Black
  • Pittsburgh Silver
  • Scarlet Red (utes only)

MORE: Everything GWM Ute
BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about GWM Ute

2024 Peugeot 2008 review | CarExpert

No Comments

The current Peugeot 2008 still looks fresh five years after its global debut, and that’s not just down to striking French styling – rather, the entry-level Pug has received an update for 2024 with changes aplenty.

On the outside you now get “three-claw” LED daytime running lights, and “3D-effect” tail lights, as well as the brand’s new shield-style grille.

The interior has been treated to a freshen up, too – say hello to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity for the standard 10-inch touchscreen, which runs an upgraded infotainment system.

Under the skin, the six-speed automatic transmission has been ditched for a more efficient eight-speed across the range.

The revisions sound comprehensive but there’s a price premium attached, which begs the question – can the 2008 finally be considered a value small SUV?

Or, are buyers still paying for style over substance?

How does the Peugeot 2008 compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Peugeot 2008 against similarly sized vehicles.

Peugeot 2008 cutout image

Peugeot

2008

How much does the Peugeot 2008 cost?

The updated Peugeot 2008 starts at $39,990 before on-road costs – up $1045 on last year’s model.

Model Price before on-road costs
2024 Peugeot 2008 Allure $39,990
2024 Peugeot 2008 GT $44,490

To see how the Peugeot 2008 shapes up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

What is the Peugeot 2008 like on the inside?

If you’re yet to win the lottery and want to feel like Bruce Wayne, this is the car for you.

Sliding into the Peugeot 2008 is like getting behind the wheel of the Batmobile, and you can’t say that about many cars south of $100,000. In fact, most of the other cars to offer a similar experience also come out of the Peugeot stable.

The interior is a futuristic ensemble of sharp edges, bright lighting, and mixed textures, with a layout Peugeot calls the i-Cockpit.

It’s easy to get comfortable in the suede and leather trimmed seats, which are firm under the bum and well bolstered.

Both front pews get three stage heating, although the passenger misses out on electric adjustment. Green and blue contrast stitching adds just the right amount of French flair, and it’s a colour scheme that’s applied consistently throughout the cabin.

While the seats themselves are accomodating for most drivers, the same can’t be said for the steering wheel and instrument display.

In keeping with the slightly offbeat presentation, the perforated leather steering wheel is uniquely small and square in shape with a pair of horizontal spokes. It’s a lovely thing to hold, and I felt completely in control of the car when using it.

But – and it’s a big but – the problematic ergonomic interplay between the steering wheel and digital display can’t be ignored.

By default the wheel sits quite low, low enough to knock against the knees of taller drivers (six-two plus) with extra leg. The answer? Tilt the wheel up.

However, that fix births a problem of equal proportions. Now, the top of the wheel blocks half the digital display, which is a dealbreaker especially considering there’s no head-up display.

It’s a massive price to pay for some extra cool factor that’s just as easily gained by having the obstructed screen on full display.

The 10-inch digital instrument cluster displays readouts in 3D – I told you it was cool. With that said, it doesn’t provide masses of data, mostly just the essentials.

Moving across to the 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system brings another mixed bag. The screen looks great with a sleek design and clean graphics, but it’s challenging to get your head around.

Functions are split across toggles, haptic buttons, steering wheel controls, and the screen, which isn’t necessarily a problem – but the spread isn’t intuitive. Key climate controls are hidden within the infotainment menus, and the home screen isn’t as simple as it should be.

Wireless smartphone mirroring has been added as part of the 2024 update, but I wish I kept my cable handy. Apple CarPlay was prone to connection failures and dropouts, as well as the occasional loss of audio.

In my experience, a further update is needed. Two USB-C outlets are available at the base of the centre stack if you want to save yourself a potential headache, while there’s also a wireless charger located close by.

Ignoring the mirroring issues, the centre screen offers an array of customisation to align the system to your tastes, from configurable menu layouts to a range of colour schemes.

The personalisation extends to colour choices for the ambient lighting strips that wrap around the dash. If you ask me, green or blue best match the rest of the interior while complementing the Batmobile vibe.

I can’t complain about the native navigation system either, which is user-friendly and comes with detailed maps.

The real high point of this interior is the mix of materials used throughout. Suede and leather is joined by faux carbon fibre weave and soft touch plastics, with a healthy dose of gloss black and a sprinkling of aluminium.

That might sound like a busy mess, but it makes for a cohesive space in the 2008 GT. Cohesive, but practical? It depends.

By small SUV standards the Peugeot holds its own with two phone-sized storage trays, dual cupholders, a deep centre console, capacious yet awkward door bins, and a small glovebox up front.

At the same time, you can purchase a variety of more spacious vehicles at this price point including a few seven-seaters.

Space in the back is also at a premium. The rear seats are harder than the already firm front chairs, and adults over six-two may find the available leg- and headroom restrictive. Narrow windows makes the second row feel a bit claustrophobic.

Young families will fit just fine, which is the standard for cars in this segment.

Storage is limited to a pair of shallow map pockets and undersized door bins. That’s right, no cupholders to be seen here. At least connectivity is covered by two power outlets, one USB-A and one USB-C.

Most personal items are better off stored in the boot, which has a capacity of 434L. It’s one of the more spacious boots in the segment, and 1467L of cargo room is available with the rear seats folded down.

There’s a big lip from the boot floor up to the seat backs though, so you can’t slide bulky items in with ease.

The tailgate opens manually, revealing a large aperture that’s perfect for most use cases. A space saver spare wheel resides under the boot floor.

Dimensions Peugeot 2008 GT
Length 4300mm
Width 1770mm
Height 1550mm
Wheelbase 2605mm
Boot capacity 434L (2nd row up)
1467L (2nd row folded)
Kerb weight 1247kg
Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) 1740kg

To see how the Peugeot 2008 shapes up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

What’s under the bonnet?

The 2024 Peugeot 2008 is powered by a turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine producing 96kW of power at 5500rpm and 230Nm of torque at 1750rpm.

Specifications Peugeot 2008 GT
Engine 1.2L 3cyl turbo
Power 96kW
Torque 230Nm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Driven wheels Front-wheel drive
Kerb weight 1247kg
Fuel economy (claimed) 5.4L/100km
Fuel economy (as tested) 7.2L/100km
Fuel requirement 95 RON
Emissions (CO2) 148g/km

To see how the Peugeot 2008 shapes up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

How does the Peugeot 2008 drive?

The Peugeot 2008 GT is a fun yet flawed little SUV to steer around town.

For every positive impression there’s a drawback, suggesting there’s plenty of potential to further improve this package.

Ergonomic issues reduce the mass-market appeal of the 2008 immediately – for taller drivers to get comfortable the steering wheel has to be tilted up, blocking the narrow instrument display behind it. The alternative is bashing the wheel with your knees, which is neither safe nor comfortable.

Setting off isn’t always a pleasant process, either. Our tester was prone to awkward getaways from a standstill if you accelerate hard, which undermined my confidence in a smooth takeoff from traffic lights.

Torque builds fast thanks to the sharp throttle, the auto-hold is a bit grabby, which means it can feel clumsy off the line.

Before you go calling me an overzealous maniac, I haven’t faced this issue with other new front-wheel drive cars.

Once you get going, there’s actually quite a bit to like about this imperfect Pug. The 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine punches above its weight, defying the modest outputs printed on the spec sheet.

Peugeot claims 96kW of power and 230Nm of torque, but the 2008 feels relatively unstressed while accelerating at speeds under 100km/h, whether it’s zipping down suburban streets or merging onto the freeway.

A characterful, muscular tone is emitted by the three-pot, so you feel like you’re driving a sporty car.

Direct, well-weighted steering accentuates the athletic vibe, as does a 1247kg kerb weight. The 2008 is nimble on the road, so you can merge, turn and manoeuvre with confidence even though visibility is compromised by the slim panes of glass that wrap around the car.

Other safety features thrown in with the GT include a surround-view camera and lane centring. Paired with front- and rear parking sensors, the high-resolution 360-degree camera makes parking an easy task, and it’s not like the 2008 is a big car.

That makes it all the more frustrating that the new eight-speed automatic gearbox detracts from the rest of the dynamics.

The Peugeot 2008 is lazy to shift, keeping the revs too high for too long. As a result you get more noise and worse fuel efficiency, neither of which are desirable in a small SUV.

You really have to be gentle with the car for it to drive in a smooth and consistent manner. I’d argue that it’s too sensitive.

Those gripes subside once you hit the highway.

At speed the 2008 GT is comfortable and refined, with a neutral suspension tune that irons out potholes and bumps in the road.

The GT comes with adaptive cruise control, which is a tick. But newcomers to French cars will need to wrap their heads around how it operates at first.

It’s controlled by a stubby stalk located under the indicator, and the process of increasing, decreasing and confirming the speed setting isn’t intuitive for the uninitiated. It quickly becomes natural with practice.

Once the speed is set, the 2008 is a capable cruiser that rides well while keeping wind and tyre noise to acceptable levels.

What do you get?

There are just two trim levels in the 2008 range.

2008 Allure standard equipment

  • 17-inch Karakoy diamond-cut alloy wheels
  • 16-inch steel spare wheel
  • Automatic LED headlights
  • 10-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system (NEW)
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (NEW)
  • DAB digital radio
  • Climate control
  • Lomsa fabric upholstery with “leather effect and quartz top stitch”
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Split-level boot floor
  • 2 x front USB-C outlets (NEW)
  • 1 x rear USB-A outlet
  • 1 x rear USB-C outlet (NEW)

2008 GT adds:

  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with green stitching
  • Alcantara and leather-effect upholstery with green stitching
  • Heated front seats
  • Massaging driver’s seat
  • Satellite navigation
  • 3D digital instrument cluster
  • Eight-colour ambient lighting
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Frameless auto-dimming rear-view mirror

The 2008 range also comes standard with a three-year Connected Services subscription which brings:

  • Carpark locations and space availability
  • Petrol station locations and pricing
  • Speed camera alerts
  • Live traffic updates
  • Over-the-air map updates

Is the Peugeot 2008 safe?

The Peugeot 2008 has a five-star safety rating from ANCAP, based on testing conducted in 2019.

Category Peugeot 2008
Adult occupant protection 93 per cent
Child occupant protection 87 per cent
Vulnerable road user protection 73 per cent
Safety assist 72 per cent

Standard safety equipment across the range includes:

  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Driver attention monitoring
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Multi-collision brake
  • Reversing camera
  • Front (NEW) and rear parking sensors

2008 GT also receives:

  • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
  • Surround-view camera
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Active Lane Following Assist (lane centring)

How much does the Peugeot 2008 cost to run?

The Peugeot 2008 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Running costs Peugeot 2008
Warranty 5 years, unlimited kilometres
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000 kilometres
Capped price servicing 5 years
Total capped price service cost $1700

To see how the Peugeot 2008 shapes up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

CarExpert’s Take on the Peugeot 2008

The Peugeot 2008 GT is a frustrating car, because it could easily be so much better.

Fun driving dynamics and a premium interior give this French firecracker a leg up on the competition, but a combination of ergonomic and tech flaws brings it back to the pack.

That’s especially true considering that you’ll pay $45k to put a top-spec 2008 GT on your driveway. For that money you can cut the compromises with a Hyundai Kona Premium or Mazda CX-30. After something European? The Skoda Kamiq and Renault Arkana are worth a look.

If your mind is made up and it’s down to cross-shopping the GT with the base model, my money is going towards the flagship. You buy this car for a luxurious and unique small SUV experience, and the extras included with the GT are central to that.

Click the images for the full gallery

MORE: Buy a Peugeot 2008
MORE: Everything Peugeot 2008

How you can protect yourself when selling your car

No Comments

Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody is looking – but it’s a virtue some members of society are still learning.

It’s a jungle out there when it comes to selling a car privately, but if you exercise common sense, trust your gut – and some rock-solid paperwork – you’ll be in for a breezy experience. One so good you’ll want to sell a car all over again.

Here are are 12 tips to making sure your private selling experience is as pleasant, safe and secure as possible.

Trust your instincts from the start

We humans are hard-wired to detect anything dodgy. If anything feels off at any point, sense-check with somebody you trust. Chances are, your instincts are right. Anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is.

Cover your number plates in the ad

As well as being able to identify you and where you live, blurring your plates prevents ‘plate cloning’ – where a dodgy person on the internet with the same make, model and colour of your car, copies your plate and puts it on their car for nefarious purposes such as driving on tollways, racking up fines and undertaking other criminal activity.

You won’t know your number plate has been ‘cloned’ until the letterbox starts choking with fines. If you don’t know how to hide your number plate in your ad’s photos, watch some YouTube videos which will guide you.

Watch out for scams during the enquiry process

Scammers might contact you via your advertisement. Don’t click on any links at all – ever.

It might be a phishing attempt to get your personal information, install malware on your computer or worse, get access to your online banking log-in details.

Further to that, never transfer money to a buyer under any circumstances, unless it’s simply returning their deposit. Common scams include making an offer for more than you’re asking and wanting to ship the car overseas. Or someone is in debt, and has a friend, and a convoluted way to buy the car off you. Avoid stuff like this.

Try to sell the car to someone genuine who lives locally and you get a good feeling about – even if you have to lower the price to attract this kind of person.

Many scammers aren’t interested in your car at all – but they are interested in your identity. Stealing it, that is.

Try to keep yourself as anonymous as possible when fielding early enquiries – and consider making a new Gmail or Yahoo address just for taking messages about your car. Don’t give out a home phone number. You don’t need to exchange mobile numbers with a buyer until you’re wanting to call them to arrange an inspection and test drive.

Invite the best-sounding people to inspect the car first

If you get a lot of enquiries – and if you follow all our tips, you should! – you should gravitate towards the people who seem the most legitimate.

That’s not an invitation to discriminate, but it does mean giving preference to people in your local area who’ve put even the smallest amount of effort into their enquiry, reply promptly and seem respectful and polite.

Give lower preference to enquiries from interstate and avoid any from overseas. Also, there are plenty of time-wasters out there, and you will get enquiries from dreamers and tyre-kickers – try to weed them out early. Your time is valuable.

Speak on the phone before arranging an inspection and test drive to further cement the gut instinct and gauge how serious they are. Ignore “low-ballers” – people offering you way below your price. They’re hunting for vulnerable sellers who need to shift the car urgently.

Important: before they come to see the car, ask the buyer if they have a driver’s licence (you’d be surprised). If they don’t, you can ask them to get a customer service number or similar from your state or territory’s transport department. This requires them to prove their identity.

Also, avoid dealing with “middle men”. This is a red flag and common scam tactic. Deal directly with potential buyers only.

Meet in public during the day

For the initial inspection and test drive, try to meet at a large, busy service station, or a shopping centre carpark – somewhere someone might come to your assistance if you need it. Tell a family or friend where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing.

If you want to crank the protect to the next level, you could meet the buyer and complete the inspection and test drive at a police station. If the buyer asks you to pick them up somewhere and then drop them off, decline. Conduct the business in the one place.

It can be unnerving meeting a total stranger in a carpark somewhere, and often they’ll bring along another person to help them check the car over. If that freaks you out, consider having another person with you when a potential buyer comes to check out the car. Let the buyer know beforehand that you won’t be alone.

Never invite a total stranger to inspect a car where you live. If you can’t avoid it, don’t let them come inside. They could be window-shopping only to return later with a torch and a stocking over their head.

Get key details before a test drive

Grab the driver’s licence and take a quick photo of the front and back with your phone (or just write down all the details). Check that it hasn’t expired.

Check that your insurer covers test drives

Many insurers will cover “unlisted” drivers in the case of an accident and simply charge a higher excess. But it’s worth checking. Call your insurer and ask.

Be prepared to walk away at any moment

Keep in mind that cars have been stolen by ‘interested buyers’ before. It’s extremely rare, so don’t stress too much, but be aware.

During the test drive, the thief will pull over to ‘check something’ and ask you to get out. If that ever happens to you, do what they say. Your safety is way more important than the car. Use common sense.

Use secure methods for accepting payment

You can read our guide for accepting payment from a buyer here, but in summary: never hand over the keys until you can see the cash in your bank account.

If you’ve decided you want to be paid via electronic funds transfer (EFT), tell the seller you can’t give them the car until the funds have cleared. It takes a bit of trust on their part, but if they’re a decent person, they’ll understand.

If they don’t, you can explore other options such as an in-branch bank transfer or a bank cheque. Never accept unusual payment methods such as Western Union, PayPal, cryptocurrency or, say, iTunes gift cards. Use your common sense.

Keep a paper trail for any transactions whatsoever

If you want to take a deposit from the buyer, write up a receipt, print two copies and get both yourself and the buyer to sign both. Likewise when the vehicle is sold, complete a proper Bill of Sale or proof of purchase.

We’ve included a comprehensive example in our article about documentation you need to sell your vehicle. If you want to crank the security up a step further, get a Justice of the Peace to sign yours and the buyer’s Bill of Sale.

Complete a “notice of disposal” immediately

Once you’ve received the money and given the car to the buyer, let your local transport government authority know immediately that you’ve ‘disposed’ of the car. This helps cover you if the new owner racks up thousands of dollars in speeding fines or similar.

Read our guide to documentation when selling a car here, as it varies depending on your state and territory.

Do the right thing by the buyer, as well

While a buyer should understand they’re purchasing a vehicle “as is” – meaning it’s on them to complete their due diligence before committing – you should still disclose whether the vehicle is a repaired write-off, any outstanding mechanical items that need attention, and especially if the car is encumbered (you are still paying off the loan).

This can limit your liability down the road if anything goes awry. But also, remember to be polite, respond promptly, be reliable and punctual. If you’re a good person to the buyer, chances are they’ll be a good person to you. Everybody is happy.

If you want to sell your car, click here and receive a price quickly.

2024 Ford F-150 XLT review

No Comments

After letting Ram and Chevrolet get the jump on it, Ford finally introduced a factory-backed right-hand drive F-150 in Australia in 2023.

Teething problems aren’t unusual for a first-year model, but the F-150 has had more than its share between two stop-sales and multiple recalls. Ford is compensating owners who have had to endure them, as it works to rectify a number of predominantly lighting-related compliance breaches.

We hope for Ford’s sake these are the last hiccups in the F-150’s rollout. Why? For starters, we feel bad for buyers who have had to put up with this. But also the F-150 is a genuinely good pickup truck that more than stacks up against the rival Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

Ford launched the F-150 in just two trim levels and in two lengths, to keep things simple and avoid additional issues.

This short-wheelbase XLT is as basic as a Ford F-150 gets in Australia, complete with cloth seats, halogen headlights, and regular cruise control.

Ok, so it’s not a farm truck – it still comes with features like power-adjustable front seats and blind-spot monitoring, after all. But in a market where buyers are snapping up Silverado LTZs and Ram 1500 Limiteds, not to mention top-spec versions of ‘regular-sized’ utes, the XLT stands out in either a good or bad way, depending on your point of view.

If you’ve read the comments of almost any Ford Australia social media post, you will have seen angry remarks from people who say they won’t buy an F-150 without a V8.

We suspect many of these buyers are the same who deride any Mustang without a V8, even though that vehicle has been offered with four- or six-cylinder power since the very first year.

You can still buy a V8 F-150 in North America, with a 5.0-litre V8 available, not to mention the supercharged 5.2-litre of the Raptor R.

WATCH: Paul’s video of the F-150 Lariat LWB

But Americans got over the must-have-a-V8 thing years ago. While six-cylinder engines have been available in typically low-spec F-150s for decades, the first twin-turbo V6 model launched in the US in 2011.

Both the 3.5-litre offered here and the smaller 2.7-litre accounted for around 60 per cent of US-market F-150 sales in 2020.

Do we miss the burble of a V8? Sure. But our advice is to get over it, as the V6 is a very good thing. Besides, Ram is ditching its V8 and Toyota already has, leaving just GM if you simply must have a bent-eight.

Note: The F-150s pictured in this article haven’t received the rectification work.

How does the Ford F-150 compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Ford F-150 against similarly sized vehicles.

Ford F-150 cutout image

Ford

F-150

How much does the Ford F-150 cost?

For now, the F-150 is offered here with just one engine and two trim levels – XLT and Lariat – though both are available in either short- or long-wheelbase guise.

Model Price before on-road costs
2024 Ford F-150 XLT SWB $106,950
2024 Ford F-150 XLT LWB $107,945
2024 Ford F-150 Lariat SWB $139,950
2024 Ford F-150 Lariat LWB $140,945

To see how the F-150 stacks up against its rivals, use our comparison tool.

What is the Ford F-150 like on the inside?

Let’s talk about the F-150’s tub first. After all, this is a load hauler, right?

The tub in the short-wheelbase F-150 measures 1705mm long, 1656mm wide (1285mm between the arches) and 543mm tall. If you step up to the long-wheelbase model, you get an extra 300mm of length.

You get tie-down points in all F-150 models, plus a spray-in bedliner. Only Lariat models get a 12V socket back here, however. The Lariat also boasts a power-opening and closing tailgate.

If you need help clambering up into the XLT’s tub, Ford has included a helpful step that folds out of the tailgate. A pole also lifts up to give you something to grab onto.

It reminds me of the old wives’ tale of NASA spending buckets of money on a pen for astronauts while Russian cosmonauts simply used a pencil.

In short, it seems like a more complicated, likely more expensive to produce solution to a problem Ford Australia solved in the Ranger by just cutting out a bit of the bumper to create a step.

More complex or not, it works well. Another neat touch is the incorporation of a ruler in the moulding of the tailgate – and while this is an American truck, there is thankfully a metric ruler. There are also spaces to slot a drink and pencils.

The courtesy white lamps next to the centre high-mounted brake light will be disabled as part of Ford Australia’s rectification work, as they fall foul of Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

The XLT has always missed out on the Lariat’s clever Zone Lighting feature, as seen on the Ranger. However, Ford says it’s removing Zone Lighting from all Lariat models as it doesn’t meet ADRs.

The base F-150 also has a bright white LED light on the outside of the tailgate, but this appears to be spared from Ford’s required rectification works.

It’s easy to step up into the cabin thanks to the side steps and easy-to-grip grab handles.

Visibility out of the F-150 is excellent, with the front of the cabin feeling particularly airy thanks to the beltline dip towards the mirror – a design cue that’s been on F-150s for 20 years now

Those doors are comfortable to lean on, too, with all four of the F-150’s doors featuring soft-touch trim up top.

The interior is otherwise primarily finished in hard plastic, but it looks functional yet handsome.

No, it doesn’t look upmarket, not helped by the 8.0-inch touchscreen that looks positively lost in the huge dashboard, but overall the interior feels a step above that of the Ranger.

There are a swag of different interior materials used here – on the dashboard alone there at least five – and the trim pieces near the power window controls on the doors look a bit like 1990s Laminex.

Despite this, the interior isn’t too fussy, nor does it look cheap. Those are cloth seats, but the patterned inserts and two-tone grey colour scheme makes them attractive – at least to my eyes. They’re power-adjustable and comfortable, too.

Most importantly, everything feels well screwed together. We didn’t observe any creaks or rattles in the cabin, with the only build quality issue being a bit of plastic flash around the combined light/wiper stalk.

Speaking of things sprouting out of the steering column, the F-150 has a traditional column shifter unlike the console-mounted levers or dials found in rivals. It doesn’t feel cheap like the one in the pre-update Silverado, and is solid and satisfying to use, though getting it in and out of park is a little awkward.

Ahead of the driver is an 8.0-inch instrument cluster screen and analogue gauges, instead of a 12.0-inch fully digital setup like in the Lariat.

While that doesn’t sound as fancy, this is an attractive, legible cluster, and one of the best mixes of analogue and digital. We especially love the attractive blue needles.

The infotainment touchscreen is only an 8.0-inch unit instead of a 12.0-inch one like in the Lariat, which also makes it a step down from the cheaper Ranger.

The controls are all easy to reach, and there are chunky dials for things like volume and climate control adjustment and drive mode selection. Most of the headlight controls are to the right-hand side of the steering column.

As is typical of a Ford, the cabin is bathed in soft, blue lighting. And as is typical of an American pickup, there’s storage aplenty.

You could run a convenience store out of the F-150’s cabin. There’s a deep centre console bin; a huge shelf at the base of the centre console large enough for a 1.5L bottle; bottle holders in the doors; and even little nooks on the sides of the centre console.

There are cupholders plus a phone slot on the centre console, while on the dashboard there’s a glove compartment plus a second enclosed storage compartment above it.

In another clever touch, the centre console bin can be folded forward, making for a flat workspace for your laptop.

This is an excellent family vehicle if you have the space for it, because that huge footprint translates to a huge cabin. There’s 1107mm of second-row legroom, and you can comfortably sit three adults abreast.

The back seat puts the Ranger’s to shame, and there’s a completely flat floor plus USB-A and USB-C outlets and cupholders at the rear of the centre console.

There are also cupholders in the rear doors, though they’re a bit squared-off. We didn’t try, but we suspect a Farmer’s Union would fit perfectly.

Ford has fitted its SecuriCode keyless entry keypad on the F-150, allowing you to enter a keycode to unlock the vehicle instead of using your key.

It’s a clever feature which Ford introduced all the way back in 1980, and which few bothered to copy. But RMA Automotive, could you not have moved the keypad to the driver’s side?

Dimensions Ford F-150 XLT SWB
Length 5884mm
Height 1995mm
Width 2430mm (2030mm excl. mirrors)
Wheelbase 3694mm
Tub length 1705mm (at floor)
1662mm (top of tub)
Tub width 1656mm
1285mm (between arches)
Tub height 543mm

To see how the F-150 stacks up against its rivals, use our comparison tool.

What’s under the bonnet?

While there are twin-turbo V6 hybrid, electric, and V8 powertrains offered in North America, for now Ford Australia is offering only the twin-turbo 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6.

This actually out-punches the Coyote V8 offered overseas, which has the same amount of power but 122Nm less torque.

Specifications Ford F-150 XLT SWB
Engine 3.5L twin-turbo V6
Power 298kW @ 6000rpm
Torque 678Nm @ 3100rpm
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Drive type Part-time four-wheel drive
Fuel economy (claimed) 12.5L/100km
Fuel economy (observed) 13.9L/100km (inner-city, suburban, highway loop)
13.4L/100km (over a week of mixed driving)
Fuel tank size 136L
Fuel requirement 91 RON
Braked towing capacity 4500kg
Kerb weight 2451kg
Gross vehicle mass (GVM) 3220kg
Payload 769kg
Ground clearance 239mm
Approach angle 24.3 degrees
Departure angle 25.3 degrees
Breakover angle 20.0 degrees

To see how the F-150 stacks up against its rivals, use our comparison tool.

Ford might brand the engine EcoBoost, but it’s not much more efficient in real-world driving than rival V8s.

Across the same drive loop – albeit with slightly different traffic conditions – we achieved 13.7L/100km in a Silverado ZR2, and 13.8L/100km in a Ram 1500 Laramie Sport.

The F-150’s payload figure isn’t anything grand. As is quite common for these full-sized American pickup trucks in Australia, the F-150 can’t carry as much as some smaller utes, and you’re going to hit that maximum figure quite quickly once you start loading up the cabin with people and the tub with their stuff.

It can tow more than a HiLux-class ute, however, with a braked towing capacity of 4500kg.

How does the Ford F-150 drive?

The F-150 is one refined pickup truck.

It’s almost as though Ford wanted to counter complaints of the absence of a V8 burble by making the V6 as smooth as possible.

When the vehicle is idling and you’re outside, it has a lovely, burbly exhaust note.

Once you get inside, however, you barely hear the engine. The predominant sound of the engine is the faint whistle of the turbochargers. What you can otherwise hear of the engine sounds good, but it’s exceptionally quiet.

The cabin is even quiet at highway speeds. There’s a bit of tyre roar, but surprisingly little wind noise despite the huge, chunky exterior mirrors.

The engine mightn’t make a lot of noise, but it produces a lot of thrust. The twin-turbo V6 is effortlessly powerful, and frankly you won’t miss a V8.

The 10-speed auto shifts smoothly and unobtrusively for the most part, and helpfully tells you what gear you’re in at any given moment.

The auto will shift to the highest possible gear for the sake of efficiency, and we did observe an annoying habit of holding onto seventh gear on steep descents.

In response, I wanted to manually shift gears… but Ford makes this exceedingly difficult. It uses the stupid plus/minus buttons some American brands seem so enamoured with, which never feel as intuitive as flicking a paddle or moving a shifter.

Making this even worse is that they are placed on the column shifter, where they’re obscured by the rim of the steering wheel, and you have to awkwardly reach over to press them. Using these feels as awkward as picking something out of soup with your fingers.

Also awkward is parking the vehicle. In XLT guise, the F-150 has only a washed-out reversing camera and rear parking sensors.

There’s no front camera, nor are there front sensors, which isn’t ideal given the front kind of slopes away and then drops off like a cliff, making it hard to judge where the vehicle ends.

A vehicle this large is already going to be a hassle to park, and the absence of these features is keenly felt.

The steering also doesn’t lighten up much at low speeds, while you seem to reach full lock quickly, making it feel especially cumbersome to park.

Despite this, once you awkwardly manoeuvre out of a tight carpark and get out on the open road, it doesn’t feel too cumbersome.

The steering is nicely weighted, and has some heft to it without being too high-effort. It’s a bit of a cliche, but the F-150 does shrink around you.

On some narrower country roads the F-150’s width was noticed – more so by a colleague in the car behind me, who commented it looked like it was going to fall off the road edge.

On these rural roads, the F-150 proved exceptionally comfortable. Once in a while, the rear fidgets a smidge, and there’s a touch of frame shake. So, it’s still a ute then, but this is one very cushy ute.

It manages to offer a pliant ride without ever feeling uncontrolled, with only a bit of float over, say, rural bridges.

The F-150 is a vehicle you can point at a poorly surfaced road and it’ll just gobble it up, loping along utterly fuss-free. Pothole? What pothole?

You’re never jolted around in the F-150, and it proved comfortable when we took it off road as well.

We took the F-150 on some dirt forestry trails, as well as some rockier, more challenging trails, getting it muddy in the process.

It’s going to feel a bit wide on some trails, but it always felt comfortable and surefooted. We didn’t take it on anything so challenging we needed to pop it into 4L or lock the rear differential, but that equipment is there if you need it.

You can also toggle between slippery, deep snow, sand and mud/ruts drive modes, as well as normal, eco and tow/haul modes. These are all activated via a chunky rotary dial.

One significant drawback, particularly if you travel a lot through rural areas, is the use of halogen headlights.

Also, unlike the Lariat, the four-wheel drive system in the XLT is only a part-time setup, so there’s no 4A mode you can use on pavement.

All F-150 models in Australia come with Ford Pro Trailer Back-Up Assist.

This allows you to effectively steer your trailer instead of your vehicle provided you equip a yaw sensor to your trailer and then program its parameters on the touchscreen, which you then use to see what’s going on behind you.

In previous testing of this feature, we found it to be clever but unfortunately a bit harder to use in XLT models due to their smaller, lower-resolution touchscreen.

What do you get?

In terms of standard equipment, the F-150 XLT does feel like a downgrade from an up-spec Ranger. There’s quite a bit less standard kit than the Lariat, but for around $33,000 more the top-spec F-150 would want to have more equipment…

F-150 XLT standard equipment:

  • Integrated trailer brake controller
  • 4.5t-rated tow hitch and 70mm tow ball
  • Pro Trailer Back-up Assist
  • Electronic locking rear differential
  • 2 x front recovery hooks
  • Skid plates for front differential, transfer case and fuel tank
  • 20-inch alloy wheels in 275/60 R20 BSW ATT all-terrain tyres
  • 18-inch alloy spare wheel
  • Automatic halogen headlights
  • Tailgate step, ruler
  • Spray-in tub liner
  • Electronic park brake
  • Keypad entry
  • Proximity entry with push-button start
  • FordPass Connect
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Cloth upholstery
  • 12-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar
  • 10-way power passenger seat with power lumbar
  • Power-adjustable pedals
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster screen
  • Satellite navigation
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • 7-speaker sound system
  • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment
  • Electro-chromatic rear-view mirror
  • Storage under rear seats

Is the Ford F-150 safe?

The Ford F-150 has never been tested by ANCAP.

Standard safety equipment on the XLT includes:

  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Blind-spot monitoring with trailer tow coverage
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert with trailer tow coverage
  • Reversing camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Front, front-side and curtain airbags

You need to step up to the Lariat to get:

  • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
  • Lane centring
  • Evasive steering assist
  • Front parking sensors
  • Surround-view camera
  • Traffic sign recognition

How much does the Ford F-150 cost to run?

The F-150 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Running costs Ford F-150 XLT SWB
Warranty 5 years, unlimited kilometres
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000 kilometres
Capped price servicing 4 years
Total capped price service cost $1716 (4 x $429)

Servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, whichever comes first, with the first four services capped at $429 each. That’s in stark contrast with rival Ram and Chevrolet pickups, where there’s no capped-price servicing available.

Ford Australia is also currently offering the first five services for free for eligible buyers. You can read more on the company’s website.

CarExpert’s Take on the Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is a very good pickup truck that’s been let down by a lousy rollout.

Not only did Ford wait until after GM and Stellantis entered the pickup market in Australia, it also used a different company for the local remanufacturing that has made some rookie errors when it comes to compliance.

One wonders why Ford didn’t simply use Walkinshaw, as GM, Stellantis and Toyota have done. If this was to save a buck, between recalls, compliance fixes and stop-sales that call has backfired spectacularly.

We hope this is the last of the issues with the F-150’s local remanufacturing, as this deserves to be as successful as the likes of the 1500 and Silverado.

Ok, so the smaller engine doesn’t work out to be that much more efficient in real-world use than the Ram 1500’s V8, and it doesn’t sound as good.

The XLT also has some strange feature omissions for a vehicle this expensive – the lack of front parking sensors and a front camera, for example, make this a real pain to park.

But this is an impressively refined vehicle which, parking aside, is particularly user-friendly. It’s powerful and comfortable, while undercutting its major rivals on price and offering a more generous after-sales package.

The Ford F-Series pickup range is the US’ best-selling vehicle for a reason, and it’s a shame that a clumsy rollout may have damaged the truck’s reputation.

Click the images for the full gallery, with additional photography by Eliot Tsai

MORE: Buy a Ford F-150
MORE: Everything Ford F-150

2025 Skoda Superb approved for sale in Australia

No Comments

The new-generation Skoda Superb liftback and wagon have been approved for sale in Australia ahead of their arrival in early 2025.

According to government approval documents, the Slovakian-produced flagship liftback and wagon will only be offered in a single turbo-petrol powertrain.

This engine, denoted as the 195TSI, is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine which produces 195kW of power at 6500rpm. No torque figure is supplied in the approval documents.

This is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with drive sent through an all-wheel drive system.

Other information detailed in the approval documents suggests 18-inch alloy wheels will be standard and 19-inch units will be optional. There’s also a standard and sport chassis/suspension setup.

Both the liftback and wagon versions of the Superb have a braked towing capacity of 2200kg and an unbraked towing capacity of 750kg. Tare mass for both body styles is around 1800kg.

The Skoda Superb liftback measures in at 4912mm long, 1849mm wide, and 1481mm tall, with a 2841mm wheelbase.

The Superb wagon on the other hand is slightly shorter at 4902mm, and incrementally taller at 1482mm.

Skoda Australia hasn’t detailed its new-generation Superb lineup just yet.

As previously reported, the new-generation Skoda Superb has a revamped exterior design with slimmer matrix LED headlights and LED tail lights.

The Czech car brand claims small changes like a more raked windscreen and streamlined roofline have approved aerodynamics by 10 per cent on the liftback and 15 per cent on the wagon.

That has resulted in drag coefficients of 0.23 and 0.25, respectively.

The interior closely resembles the new Kodiaq, and features more user-friendly touches than some recent Volkswagen Group models.

The cabin retains tactile knobs and buttons featuring a small central display called ‘Smart Dials’, which combine haptic and digital controls for the climate, seat heating, volume, driving modes, and map zoom functions.

The interior is dominated by a 10-inch digital instrument cluster and 13-inch free-standing touchscreen infotainment system.

All textiles in the interior, including the headliner, are claimed to be made from 100 per cent recycled materials. The available leather upholstery is also tanned using waste water from olive processing.

Boot capacity has ‘grown considerably’ to 645 litres in the liftback and 690 litres in the wagon – up 20 and 30 litres, respectively – with additional headroom also added.

When the new-generation Skoda Superb arrives in Australia next year it could be a potential option for police fleets. The current-generation car is already on duty in Western Australia, and with Volkswagen axing the Passat locally there’s potential for more police sales for the flagship Skoda.

MORE: Everything Skoda Superb