As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Buy A New Car

Reasonably Priced Hybrid Vehicles (A-H)

In-between stages can sometimes get tricky.  The next set of sit-ups before truly hitting your peak fitness regime.  That gap year before study, or the six months prior to the new job contract starting.  What about the EV world?  We’re not capable of running a full fleet of EV cars yet, but maybe there’s an in-between vehicle that ticks all the right boxes before we go fully electric.

The truth is that the new hybrid vehicles are the best cars for this moment in time.  They deliver the very best low fuel consumption figures and will also try to run pure electric as much of the time as is practical or possible.

Hybrids are great vehicles, usually well-priced, thus perfect for softening the blow to the wallet – there are some hideously expensive EVs available.  Most desirable new EVs have price tags that, for most of us, will be well beyond our budget.  So what hybrid vehicles are on the market for reasonable money?  How much will they set you back when you buy new?  And what sort of fuel consumption can you expect?  Let’s have a look and see…

 

BMW 330e Sedan Hybrid Sedan

Drive away from around $85k in your new BMW 330e Hybrid sedan, where a claimed combined fuel consumption of around 5.6 litres/100 km combined with 215 kW provides plenty of spirited driving (0-100 km/h in around 6 seconds).  Comfort, safety and all the new technology is on-board this neat 3 Series Hybrid Sedan package.  375 litres of boot space is present.

Honda Accord VTi-LX Hybrid Sedan

Drive away in a new Honda Accord Hybrid for around $61k, and you get a wonderful 2.0-litre petrol and electronic combo that serves up 158 kW of power running through a 1-speed CVT FWD set-up.  This is a very comfortable car with plenty of space in the cabin, and you get all the latest technology and safety.  It is fun to drive, with the 0-100 km/h sprint taking around 8 seconds.  Honda indicates that you can expect around 5.0 litres/100 km for a combined fuel consumption figure.  473 litres of boot space is present.

Honda HR-V e:HEV L

Wanting a new small SUV with Hybrid technology?  Then Honda’s little HR-V is a beauty.  Drive away in a new Honda HR-V e from around $45k, and it will boast a smooth 1.5-litre petrol and electronic combo that serves up 96 kW of power running through a 1-speed CVT FWD set-up.  Honda suggests we can expect a combined fuel consumption of around 4.3 litres/100 km.  319 litres of boot space is present.

Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid Premium Fastback

Drive away from around $46k.  With its neat little Fastback design, the 1.6-litre ULP engine combines with a small electric motor to put out a sprightly 104 kW of power.  This Hybrid set-up runs a more conventional 6-speed automatic FWD, and it is a smooth, comfortable vehicle to drive.  Undercutting competitors such as the Toyota Prius and Renault Zoe, Hyundai’s IONIQ comes with plenty of premium features like autonomous emergency braking, an 8-year battery warranty and an attractive capped-price servicing deal.  The regular hybrid version is quoted at having a fuel consumption figure as low as 3.4 litres/100 km, while the plug-in version was quoted at an astonishing 1.1 litres/100 km.  Real world figures will be a bit more, I’m sure, but.  Boot space is 443 litres.

Be an in-betweener and gain some of the benefits.  Take a look at the next blog list of Hybrid vehicles available (Kia-Merc).

Is there Still Space in the Market for Sedans?

Like a slow motion replay, the scene has been unfolding for some time. In fact, go back a couple of years and the writing was on the wall. Australians are obsessed with SUVs. But it’s not just here either, with many other countries following the trend, none more evident than the United States and China.

It has reached the point now where local SUV sales are far and away outperforming sedans, and have blown past 50% of all new car sales. On the one hand, the rise of commercial vehicles like utes has also helped to skew the numbers away from sedans, but the prominence of the SUV category is no statistical anomaly.

With such an evident trend appearing to be set in stone, it does raise questions over the future viability of the sedan format. In particular, will sedans still have a place in the market as SUV sales soar?

toyota-3830433_640

An evolving landscape

Cars have always been redefined by the technological progress that accompanies them. That doesn’t just extend to what’s under the bonnet either, nor what’s inside the cabin. It also extends to the shape of the body. We’ve seen an evolution as far as new formats like crossovers, liftbacks and many other identities.

In many respects, there is no reason to believe this won’t continue as means to continue fuelling the sedan market. Design changes may be subtle, but incorporating the feedback we’ve come to expect from those who prefer things like superior room, ride height, visibility and off-road versatility that comes with an SUV. Not to mention, with electrification and autonomy on the way, designs will inherently continue to transform, gradually shifting our taste in vehicles too.

car-1796389_640

The value proposition will dictate future sales

For now, sedans are still posting sales numbers that are nothing to sneeze at. Sure, they may be declining, but the choice for SUV models has risen astronomically to provide more options than ever before. Motorists’ preferences may have changed but in some ways, historical data may have been otherwise pointed to higher levels of SUV sales – and lower sedan sales – had drivers been afforded more choice at an earlier stage.

It is also a challenge that manufacturers should embrace. They will not only be faced with the task of streamlining their sedan range – as many have done already – but also going about reinvigorating a value proposition into the category to drive sales.

SUV sales may offer auto-makers fatter margins, however their higher prices and at-times polarising looks will still be a barrier to pushing sedans out of the market. So if sedans are then here to stay, car manufacturers must add value in the form of new technology, amenity, efficiency and performance to compete for the shrinking pool of buyers. And it’s many of these criteria that sedans have historically held the upper hand.

Top 10 New Vehicles Sold March 2022

There are still a reasonable number of new cars being sold in Australia, when you can get them!  For the second year running, new car sales figures have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  While the 2020 lockdowns stopped production and prevented sales, in 2021 it was really the global supply chain problems that caused the biggest headaches for ensuring manufacturers had all the bits to make up an entire car to sell.  Most notably, it was the availability of semiconductors that caused the greatest complications, even to the point where all car manufacturers – it didn’t matter what brand – had to halt their production lines at various times.

Consumers have seen this effect playing out with the low stock of new cars at dealerships across the country, as well as much higher prices for used vehicles.  Getting a handle on the new cars that people have actually bought has been tricky at times, but we can now give you an update on the 10 best-selling cars in Australia for the March 2022 sales results.

While the Toyota Hilux still keeps its position as Australia’s best-selling new car (and favourite ute overall), overall new car sales for March 2022 have stayed relatively stable across the board and across Australia.  Data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has unveiled an overall monthly sale of 101,233 units for new vehicle sales across Australia for March.  That’s still a fair few!

Several favourite vehicles remain at the top of the list, including 4 Toyota models (Hilux, RAV4, Prado and Corolla) making the top 10.  An interesting bump in sales was seen with the number of Tesla Model 3 cars being sold.  There were enough Tesla Model 3 sales to see it being Australia’s best-selling electric vehicle (EV) brand as well as making the top 10.

Australia’s top 10 best-selling cars for March 2022 were:

Number 1, Toyota Hilux

Number 2, Toyota RAV4

 

 

 

 

 

Number 3, Mitsubishi Triton

 

Number 4, Mazda CX-5

Number 5, Tesla Model 3

 

 

 

 

Number 6, Ford Ranger

Number 7, Hyundai i30

 

 

Number 8, Isuzu D Max

 

 

Number 9, Toyota Prado

Number 10, Toyota Corolla

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consumer inquiries and demand for new cars remains strong in Australia, though manufacturers are working hard to match this demand with the actual supply of products, particularly as they continue to recover from all the COVID-19 upheaval and shutdowns and the ongoing global semiconductor shortage.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber suggests that Australians are purchasing vehicles with zero- and low-emissions in greater numbers.  This purchasing also includes more hybrid vehicles being sold.

Is it Important to Put Forward a Large Deposit for a New Car?

Stumping up a deposit for a new vehicle can be a difficult prospect for many new car buyers, yet alone if they are trying to scrape together enough funds for it to be a large deposit.

So does it really matter then if you are unable to put down a large deposit for a new car? Should you hold off on your decision to purchase a car until you are in a position where you have enough funds for a large deposit?

 

Why put forward a large deposit?

As with any other instance where you might be forking out for a big purchase, the more money you can set aside, the smaller the amount of funds you borrow from a financier.

If you are in a position where you can put forward a large deposit then you will reduce the size of your loan. This can afford you several potential benefits, providing of course that you can keep up with the commitments of the loan. These benefits include:

  • A potentially lower interest rate on the loan
  • A reduction in overall interest costs across the life of the loan
  • Lower monthly repayment obligations across the life of the loan
  • The ability to repay the loan in a shorter timeframe

 

 

What should I consider before putting forward a large deposit?

Although the incentives in putting forward a large deposit might seem compelling, if you are going to do so, then you need to be particularly attentive to certain circumstances.

First things first, you need to understand just how much you can afford to set aside and commit towards a deposit. Remember, you will have other financial obligations in your life, and your personal circumstances could change at any minute. It is always wise to be prepared for any risk, including the prospect that you lose your job or have sudden emergency expenses arise.

One of the things you will need to take into consideration is whether putting forward a large deposit now could leave you with less cash to meet your repayments. If for any reason you find that you are unable to keep up with your repayment schedule, this could have long-term ramifications for your credit history.

What’s more, pursuing low interest rates shouldn’t necessarily be your end goal. Just because you can’t save up enough funds to attain the lowest rate available, that doesn’t mean you should hold off on purchasing a vehicle, as not only could you miss out on a time-sensitive deal, it could even have other implications on your day-to-day livelihood.

Fuel Prices: New Car?

It’s unfortunate to see that the prices for fuel in Australia have been on the steady increase across.  Retailers suggest that the increase in the cost of fuel has come about through record oil prices and new logistical challenges for acquiring the fuel.  It’s definitely worth shopping around to ensure that you can get the best price on your fuel at the pump, as prices do differ from retail outlet around town and across States.

Just recently, regular unleaded petrol (91) had a national average of $2.14 per litre, yet the cheapest was found in Carnarvon, Western Australia, where it was sold for $1.59 per litre.  The most expensive was located in Derby, Western Australia, where (91) was seen being sold for $2.42 per litre.  The same trend is occuring for (95), (98), (E10), and Diesel.

As for how long these high fuel prices will continue to last, fuel industry analysts say that it’s anyone’s speculation at the moment.  Peter Khoury, NRMA spokesman, recently said: “These prices are completely off the scale, more than twice what [motorists] were paying in April 2020… We have no idea where we would set the ceiling at this point.”

It begs the question: Should a motorist that has to do quite a few kilometres each week look at purchasing a more fuel efficient car?  The answer, I guess, is up to you.  It depends on how tight your budget is.  If you can afford a new car, or at least a second car that’s extra-miserly on fuel, then I’d say go for it – particularly if you’re having to do high mileages.  Then again, if you are not travelling far each week, say to the shops and the occasional trip elsewhere, then staying with the car you have and keeping your travel to a minimum is probably the way to go at this stage, and we’ll sit tight and see where/when all this price rising will come to an end, revising it again in another few months.

You might be a motorist who needs to upgrade for various reasons including the rising fuel costs.  In this case, being in the market for a new car and wanting to purchase a vehicle that delivers the best fuel-efficiency has to be a pivotal point of purchase for you.  Here is a list of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in 2022 across numerous categories, something that you might find useful right now.

Note – Where “Diesel” hasn’t been mentioned after the model, assume that it’s “Petrol” version…

Small cars (Hatchbacks):

Toyota Yaris Hybrid Hatchback                                        3.3 litres/100 km

Toyota Yaris Hybrid Hatchback

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Hatchback                                    4.2 litres/100 km

Toyota Yaris Hatchback                                                       4.9 litres/100 km

Mazda 2 Hatchback                                                              5.3 litres/100 km

Toyota Corolla Hatchback                                                  6.0 litres/100 km

Mazda 3 Hatchback                                                              6.2 litres/100 km

MG3 Hatchback                                                                     6.7 litres/100 km

Hyundai i30 Hatchback                                                       7.4 litres/100 km

 

Family & fleet (Sedans):

 

Toyota Camry Hybrid Sedan                                             4.7 litres/100 km

Toyota Camry Hybrid Sedan

Toyota Camry Sedan                                                             6.8 litres/100 km

 

Small-Med SUV

 

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 2WD                                                  4.7 litres/100 km

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD                                                  4.8 litres/100 km

Mazda CX-3 2WD                                                                   6.3 litres/100 km

Mazda CX-30 2WD                                                                6.5 litres/100 km

Toyota RAV4 2WD                                                                 6.5 litres/100 km

Mazda CX-5 2WD                                                                   6.9 litres/100 km

Toyota RAV4 AWD                                                                7.3 litres/100 km

Mazda CX-5 AWD                                                                  7.4 litres/100 km

Mitsubishi Outlander 2WD                                                7.5 litres/100 km

Mitsubishi Outlander AWD                                               8.1 litres/100 km

 

Large SUV

 

Toyota Kluger Hybrid AWD                                                4.7 litres/100 km

Toyota Kluger Hybrid AWD

Hyundai Santa Fe AWD Diesel                                          6.1 litres/100 km

Kia Sorento AWD Diesel                                                     6.1 litres/100 km

Toyota Prado 4WD Diesel                                                  7.9 litres/100 km

Mazda CX-9 2WD                                                                   8.4 litres/100 km

Toyota Kluger 2WD                                                               8.7 litres/100 km

Toyota Kluger AWD                                                              8.9 litres/100 km

Toyota LandCruiser 300 Diesel                                        8.9 litres/100 km

Mazda CX-9 AWD                                                                  9 litres/100 km

Kia Sorento 2WD                                                                    9.7 litres/100 km

Hyundai Santa Fe 2WD                                                        10.5 litres/100 km

Nissan Patrol Y62                                                                   14.4 litres/100 km

 

Ute

 

Nissan Navara STX 4WD Diesel                                        7.8 litres/100 km

Nissan Navara STX 4WD Diesel

Toyota HiLux SR5 4WD Diesel                                          8 litres/100 km

Ford Ranger XLT 4WD Diesel                                            8 litres/100 km

Isuzu D-Max XT 4WD Diesel                                              8 litres/100 km

Mazda BT-50 SP 4WD Diesel                                             8 litres/100 km

Mitsubishi Triton GLX+ 4WD Diesel                               8.6 litres/100 km

Ford Ranger XLT 4WD Diesel                                            8.9 litres/100 km

LDV T60 Max 4WD     2.0L Diesel                                      9.2 litres/100 km

GWM Ute 4WD           2.0L Diesel                                      9.4 litres/100 km

Toyota HiLux Workmate 2WD                                          10.9 litres/100 km

Ram 1500 DS Limited                                                           12.2 litres/100 km

Ram 1500 DT Express                                                          12.2 litres/100 km

Chevrolet 1500 LTZ                                                               12.8 litres/100 km

 

Van

 

Hyundai Staria Load van Diesel                                        7 litres/100 km

Hyundai Staria Load van Diesel

Ford Transit Custom van Diesel                                       7.3 litres/100 km

Toyota Hiace LWB van Diesel                                           8.2 litres/100 km

LDV G10 van Diesel                                                               8.2 litres/100 km

LDV G10 van                                                                            11.1 litres/100 km

 

Toyota’s Hybrid vehicles, if they suit you needs, top their classes with fuel bills that were roughly half their nearest rivals.  The Hybrid versions of the Toyota Yaris Hatch, the Toyota Corolla Hatch, the Toyota Camry Sedan, the Toyota RAV4 SUV, and the Toyota Kluger are the ones I’m talking about here.

Decoding the Differences Behind a Name

If you’re on the lookout for a new car, you may have noticed that not all cars with the same name are equal. It goes without saying that some are cheaper than others. What’s behind this difference? Well, manufacturers often produce different “variants” within a model range.

This is a way of increasing a brand’s sales potential across a particular model. Usually, there are three main variants, but this has changed in recent times amid the greater emphasis on SUVs. Notably, this excludes other variables like body type (sedan versus station wagon), or short wheelbase versus long wheelbase. However, these variants often come with different levels of amenity and luxury. Usually, the differences are indicated by a set of letters or numbers, sometimes a particular badge or sub-name may be incorporated into the fold.

When it comes down to the differences, most of it boils down to variations either under the bonnet or inside the cabin. Occasionally, the high-end variants also boast some exterior touches that make it look a bit different from the others. Now, if you are on the hunt for a new car, the difference between the variants usually means different prices – potentially pushing out of reach your dream car.

 

 

So what sorts of things usually make up the difference between entry-level and top-spec variants? Here are a handful of differences that you can expect:

  • The interior trim: The entry-level variants usually have a cloth finish whereas the top-tier variants usually incorporate leather, suede or a better quality of cloth.
  • Features and technology: The top-spec variants usually have a few more gadgets and conveniences (e.g. electrically adjustable mirrors, adaptive cruise control) that the more affordable variants miss out on. This is a big consideration, and this is one of the main ways that variants differ.
  • Engine: Often, the more powerful engines are reserved for the more premium variants. While a high-end variant warrants top performance, the good news is that entry-level variants are typically more frugal when it comes to fuel costs.
  • Safety: And lastly, while progress is certainly being made in this area, there is sometimes still a difference in terms of safety features between the variants in a line-up. This isn’t to say that the entry-level variants are unsafe, but they may have fewer airbags or fewer active safety features.

Ultimately, do your homework so you know what you are bargaining for. If safety or performance or features are important to you, and the premium variants offer better options in this regard, you might have to stretch your budget a little further to ensure you walk away with a car you’ll love forever.

Getting More Life out of your Car

Whether you’ve just picked up a brand new car, or you’re looking to preserve the resell value for a car that you may trade-in at some point in the future, it’s always wise to extend the life of your car.

However, with daily events that take place in our lives, this issue often falls behind more immediate and pressing matters. As the potential resell value on your car can have a notable impact on future financing options available, consider these five tips to extend the life of your car.

 

 

Maintain a regular service schedule

Your car should always be maintained in accordance with the service schedule prescribed by the manufacturer – typically, the earlier between every 10,000km or every 6 months. Some auto-makers have longer servicing intervals, which are effectively double those mentioned. Servicing your car at the appropriate intervals addresses standard maintenance issues concerning fluids and filters, which are swapped out.

Furthermore, it’s also a proactive measure to get on top of potential mechanical issues before they arise by identifying any concerns. Keeping a service logbook is also indicative to future buyers that you have maintained the car well, meaning you can preserve value.

 

Refrain from repeat, short trips

Although you may think that short trips don’t contribute much in the way of wear on an engine, it is the oil, ignition and muffler systems that come under particular stress from the higher incidence of ‘start ups’.

Make sure you change your oil more frequently if you perform lots of short trips. Ignition related wear arises from certain components being more relied upon when activated, while the muffler comes under wear when it doesn’t heat up enough to cause condensation to evaporate, which is a potential cause of rust.

 

 

Maintain adequate tyre pressure

It’s one thing to ensure that your wheels are aligned and rotated correctly, but if your tyres are not operating at an adequate pressure level, there may be an additional burden on the tyres themselves.

This means they are more likely to need earlier replacement. At the same time, you’ll also consume a larger level of fuel. It’s not only under-inflation you need to worry about – over-inflation can lead to a loss of grip on the road. Finally, make sure tread depth is within the parameters of the law.

 

Watch your brakes

One of the most critical systems of your car, the brake system extends beyond the pads to also include the rotors, callipers and sensors. Ensure that these parts are in good order, seeing as their wear, or failure, can increase the risk of an accident. Look for any signs of corrosion or rust, which may serve as early warning signs.

 

Make your next car electric

A growing number of motorists are opting for the next-gen format of vehicles, be it hybrid or fully-electric vehicles. While these cars are prone to repairs themselves, as you would expect from any car, the signs are certainly promising that electric vehicles will have a long life due to not being vulnerable to engine issues.

You can expect an EV to last as long as the battery does, and now there is a wealth of information suggesting this could be as long as your internal combustion car, if not much longer.

What to Look for in a Family Car

The humble family car has become central to the everyday life of Australians right around the country. Whether it’s the school run, day trips or weekends away, you want to ensure that you have a vehicle that is cut out for the task.

With that, there are certain traits that endear themselves well when it comes to picking up a great family car. We take a look at some of these key features so that you know what to look for when searching for your next family car.

 

First-rate safety technology

When it comes to the family car, this is one area you don’t want to sacrifice. After all, nothing is more important than the wellbeing of your family, so it only makes sense to see to it that you protect them in every which way.

Opt for a vehicle that has a five-star ANCAP safety rating. These cars have passed strict testing to ensure they are among the safest vehicles on the road. You’ll also want to make sure that the car is equipped with the latest safety technology, including the likes of ABS, AEB, lane-departure and lane-keep assistance, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alerts, reversing cameras and more.

Spend a little more on these areas, it doesn’t hurt to be safe and secure.

 

child-85321_960_720

 

Comfort, amenity and space

For those long trips on the road, who doesn’t value a bit of extra comfort and leg room to keep everyone happy?

While the value of having additional seating cannot be overlooked – and it’s something we’ll touch on shortly – it’s also important to have space that allows everyone to be at ease.

Look for supportive and ergonomic seating, large windows (with sunshades) that afford rear-seated occupants plenty of visibility, and also rear climate control. Happy family, happy life!

 

Entertainment

As technology has become so ingrained in the latest vehicles, an increasing number of cars are equipped with fantastic entertainment options.

This includes in-car entertainment systems with rear-screens, but just as important – given our dependence on mobiles – is smartphone integration. It goes without saying, make sure there are plenty of ports available to recharge those mobiles as well!

 

car-2834164_960_720

 

Practicality

As a family you’ll often head out for a variety of purposes. This means that you’ll need a car with practicality to allow for such flexibility. Whether it be off-roading capabilities to help you embark on those camping plans, additional boot space for the kids’ sports gear, or compartments to keep all those extra items you need at hand, there is great value in searching for a car that is as much an ‘all-rounder’ as anything.

 

Extra seating

Earlier we briefly touched on the trade-off that comes with extra seating and leg room for everyone. Of course, it’s great to have capacity for up to 8 occupants, but if that means cramped conditions, no one will enjoy that. Fortunately, many of the latest SUVs and people-movers include third-row seats that can be configured and folded away when you don’t need them. The perfect solution to balance that predicament!

 

There you have it, these are the key things to look for in your next family car!

Look Twice at the Fine Print on Your New Car Warranty

If there is one thing we like to emphasise when you’re purchasing a new car, it is to read the contract carefully! Everything you need to know about your agreement will be detailed in the fine print, and as much as it can be an ordeal to trawl through, it’s ultimately in your best interests.

The fact that so many new car buyers avoid reading the fine print of their contract explains why we see one common misconception raise its head time and time again. So what is one of the common issues we see? Well, your new car warranty may have already commenced before you even set foot inside the dealership! Here’s what you should know.

 

 

Can the warranty begin before I’ve purchased a new car?

Even though you might be purchasing a brand new car, sometimes it pays to differentiate this in your mind from the fact that you might not be the first owner of the car. It sounds like a hard concept to understand, right?

Think of it this way. In some instances, dealerships will buy stock from the manufacturer. They then hold this stock on their books as an asset they own, held on their site, which ultimately becomes the asset that you own when you sign the contract.

Therefore, while you might be the first owner to take the vehicle out onto the road, that’s not to say you were the first person in possession of the vehicle. The impact of this means that your new car warranty could have already started when the dealer first bought the car.

 

Warranty and reporting new car sales

Let’s put it into another perspective. New car warranty starts when the vehicle has been declared as sold, not necessarily when you agree to buy it or receive delivery of the vehicle.

This practice ties in with one of the long debated complications associated with new car sales, where for years the industry has been able to report sales based on this approach despite vehicles still sitting on the showroom floor.

It prompted a flood of sales based on milestone targets that dealers were trying to achieve. It meant that the date a car was registered to a motorist was largely irrelevant. However, changes earlier this year have addressed this, clamping down on the matter and resulting in stricter reporting protocols.

 

 

How frequently does this occur?

Fortunately, however, in many instances dealers hold stock unregistered until they can find a willing buyer. This means that the new car warranty period has yet to commence and that you are receiving coverage across the period that you might expect.

Ultimately, practices differ from one brand and dealership to the next. The important thing for buyers is that you always follow up on this point. It’s only normal to expect that the warranty will commence on the day you step inside your new car, but this isn’t always practice. To avoid any misunderstandings or complications at a later stage, ask the dealer up front regarding the terms of the warranty and the start date for the policy.

Sometimes it pays to know what to ask, rather than expect you’ll be told everything based on one’s volition.

S to Z of Surfing Vehicles Dude

“Surfs up!”

“Dude, how am I gonna get there?”

“Bro, you need a car!”

Summer is here, and surfing is a great lifestyle for getting out, chasing the waves, and getting some immunity-boosting Vitamin D.  In fact, any sort of outdoor adventure and exercise will see you a fitter and healthier person for getting out there and doing it.  What 2022 cars make for an ideal surfer’s or outdoorsy-person’s companion?  The following are several useful vehicles that will transport you, a friend or two, some gear, and surfboards/mountain bikes through something more than just a little puddle, mud or soft sand.

Dedicated vans or MPVs with AWD like the Volkswagen Multivan, LDV G10, Mercedes-Benz V-Class, Kia Carnival, Mercedes-Benz Valente, Volkswagen Caravelle, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai STARIA, Volkswagen California, Toyota Granvia, Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo ACTIVITY, and the Volkswagen Caddy are potentially great for surfing travels with one, two or more mates.  Some, but not all, will offer AWD.  Depending on how far down onto the beach you want to get your MPV or Van, AWD is definitely the way to go for ensuring you have a better chance of getting through soft sand and out of sticky situations.

For years, station wagons have been a go-to machine for the surfer; for good reason too as they offer plenty of space for lugging gear and for sleeping.  Having a vehicle that can get you across country and down onto the beach makes for the ultimate surfer’s vehicle.  Outside of the list of MPVs/vans above, there are some great vehicles worth a look if you’re into doing a bit of surfing, fishing and any other type of outdoor adventure.

Here is the best of them from S (Skoda) to V (Volvo).  Let us know if we’ve missed anything in between!

Skoda Kodiaq

Arguably the best in the business is Skoda’s Kodiaq.  It does everything a surfer wants very well.  The 2.0-litre Turbo petrol engine is smooth and powerful.  4×4 capability is at the ready, and the Kodiaq Wagon boasts 7-seats and a 7 speed automatic 4×4 gearbox.  A 132 kW/320 Nm turbo-petrol is under the bonnet of the base and Sportline variants.  The punchy RS packs a 176 kW/500 Nm version of the 2.0-litre engine. The AWD-only Skoda not only offers 3 rows of seats, it is also able to open up 2005 litres of boot space.  With standard autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, active LED headlights and a cosy, suede-trimmed interior complete with sat-nav, keyless start, two-zone climate-control and side and rear-window blinds, the Skoda Kodiaq is one very impressive package.

Skoda Superb AWD Scout

Grab yourself an AWD Skoda Superb Scout crossover wagon and surfing trips just got a whole lot nicer.  Under the Scout’s bonnet sits a 200 kW/350 Nm, 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The spacious, comfortable and high-quality cabin is laden with plenty of soft-touch panels and easy-to-read interfaces. Safety technology includes front and rear autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning with active assist, blind-spot monitoring and self-parking.  The Superb Wagons will take 660 litres of luggage, expanding to 1950 litres with the rear seats folded. Towing capacity is rated at 2.2 tonnes.

SsangYong Rexton

Here’s another strong contender for best surfing wagon.  The seven-seater, five-star safe, 8-speed auto, 4×4, 2.2 Diesel-Turbo SsangYong Rexton large SUV uses a 149 kW/441 Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel that boasts less than 9 litres/100 km fuel economy.  With, all-independent suspension, all-wheel disc brakes and an eight-speed auto gearbox, the big Korean-made SUV is equipped to go bush.  Boot space is a handy 1806 litres with second and third rows flat.

Subaru Forester

An icon in the surfing fraternity, the Subaru Forester always delivers the goods.  2022 sees the 5-door wagon offer a CVT 7-speed AWD with even autonomous emergency steering standard.  This is five-star safe, great on sipping small amounts of fuel and comfortable on any surface of road.  The Forester continues with the 136 kW/239 Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine, and the 2.0-litre mild-hybrid claims 6- to 7 litres/100 km.  The Forester offers generous levels of passenger space, and the luggage capacity can open to 1768 litres with the rear seats folded.  Of course, the Forester is known for going places that Physics suggest it shouldn’t.  It is capable off-road, just keep in mind that it’s not a “Landie”!

Subaru Outback

Surprise, surprise, here is another Subaru, and a favourite with surfers.  The latest Subaru Outback is the newest of a long line of wagon’s that have carried surfboards and surfers all around the country.  Subaru’s Outback is made for the surfer’s design brief, so it will happily go off-road, cruise the open road, accommodate a mattress and provide great accident protection.  Five-star safe and comfortable to drive, the 5-door Outback Wagon uses a 138 kW/245 Nm 2.5-litre boxer petrol four-cylinder driving all four wheels through a new CVT transmission.  Subaru’s Outback crossover is bigger inside and out, employs the company’s latest global platform and features all the latest safety technology.  You can tow up to two-tonnes, and you have a boot with up to 2144 litres!

Toyota

Plenty of choice in the Toyota brand. Take your pick out of the RAV4 (smallest), Kluger, Fortuner, Prado (largest), and Land Cruiser.  All will get you far and beyond the tarmac, the Prado and Land Cruiser being truly 4×4 bush bashing capable.  Comfortable, reliable, and safe.  Boot space starts at around 1800 litres for the RAV4 and gets bigger from here.

Volkswagen Touareg

Good things come from VW, as surfers well know – the VW Kombi being a surfing icon.  Well-dressed, big and brutish is what many of the ladies like, and the Volkswagen Touareg has it all.  Available as a huge 5-door SUV shape, the Touareg boasts five-star safety, 4×4 competence, and a huge boot (over 1800 litres).  Passenger space is right up there with the best in the business.  It is available with a choice of three diesel engines: two 3.0-litre V6s – 170 kW/500 Nm (170 TDI) and 210 kW/600 Nm (210 TDI), plus a ruthless 310 kW/900 Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 monster.

VW Tiguan Allspace

Over 2000 litres of boot space (Allspace version), a practical no-nonsense interior, 5-star safe, comfortable to drive, AWD availability, and the Tiguan starts to make sense.  It is also another vehicle that has self-parking capability.  With 4MOTION AWD and a dual-clutch six or seven-speed auto transmissions, the Tiguan is an impressive mid-size SUV.  The choice of motors is good; a 110 kW/250 Nm 1.4-litre and 162 kW/350 Nm 2.0-litre petrol turbo is available along with the torquey and thrifty 147 TDI 147 kW/400 Nm turbo-diesel.

Volvo XC60

Volvos are amazing cars to drive.  They are so comfortable, elegant, and boast all the best tech. Safety is a given, and the XC60 has up to 1792 litres of boot space.  Five-door SUV styling, an 8-speed automatic with AWD and you’re away.  Volvo’s XC60 SUV line-up is powered by petrol-only mild-hybrid 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines. The R-Design continues with the more powerful 220 kW/420 Nm B6 mild-hybrid powertrain while the Polestar Engineered sticks with the 311 kW/670 Nm T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain.  Both are nice and responsive engines.

Volvo XC90

Even with all 7 seats in place, the Volvo XC90 boot can hold up to 302 litres of luggage.  Folding down second and third rows makes way for 1856 litres.  A superbly comfortable, AWD capable, and delivering huge safety credentials, the new Volvo XC90 is a luxury SUV like no other.  All XC90s come with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning/assist, sat-nav, self-parking, AWD, an 8-speed automatic transmission and a fuel-saving idle-stop system.  The XC90 D4 is powered by a 173 kW/480 Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel.  The T6 petrol comes with a 140 kW/400 Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel.  The 2.0-litre plug-in petrol-electric hybrid XC90 T8 claims an amazing 2.1 litres/100 km fuel consumption and slingshots to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds!