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It’s funny what we can forget to do or check sometimes.  There was one couple who forgot to put the drain plugs back into their boat when they re-launched it at a new mooring site – oops – next morning boat submerged.  I had a friend who got ready for duck shooting and travelled for hours out to the hunting lake – oops – forgot the gun.

So take a tip here, and when it does come time to trade up the old car for a new one, don’t forget to check out all the cars that sit in your price range because there are so many options available these days.  One bracket of cars that can get overlooked is the mid-range price.  You can get some pretty nice, stylish drives around the $50k–to-$80k mark.  If you can run to this many “jolly green giants”, then you’re going to go passed most Hyundai, Ssangyong, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, and Honda cars in search of something a little more exotic.  Yes, there are even a few BMWs and the odd Audi cars you can buy for this sort of money, but what about something a little rarer and interesting?

Here is a list of cars worth a look, and believe-you-me some of these cars are very nice, high-end luxury cars with plenty of performance, comfort and safety:

Genesis G70

Genesis G80

Genesis G70 and G80 luxury sedans can be had from around $59k and $68k, respectively.  These are competing with equivalent BMW and Mercedes cars now that are fetching much higher prices than these exciting Hyundai Genesis cars.  Hyundai is the maker of the premium Genesis brand.

Infiniti Q70

Infiniti Q70 sedans are hugely entertaining drives with superb quality, looks and performance.  And at around $68k these quick, stylish RWD or AWD cars are a steal but too often overlooked.

Jaguar XE

Jaguar XF

A new Jaguar XE and XF sedan can be had for around $65 and $82k respectively.  Offering awesome handling and great engines these are eye-catching, awesome drives.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Did you know you can own a new Jeep Grand Cherokee for around $59k!  Loads of kit, very luxurious, big on safety, and an on-road/off-road king!

Kia Stinger

Kia Stinger for around $47k!  Yes, you heard that right.  A genuinely quick car with hot looks like this could be yours.

Lexus 300h

Buy a luxury Toyota for around $60k, known as the Lexus ES 300h.  Yes, it’s a hybrid with all the very best comfort, safety, build quality and luxury that cars double the price offer you.  Oh, and it has Toyota’s premium reliability.

Land Rover Defender

Land Rover Discovery

Need a premium off-road king?  Get yourself a new Land Rover Defender for around $60k or a Land Rover Discovery for just a little bit more.

Mercedes Benz AMG A35

Mercedes Benz GLC SUV

The three point star makes an appearance even.  For around $69k a new Mercedes Benz AMG A35 can be had.  That’s “AMG” performance and hot A-Class Hatch looks with all the mod cons including the gigantic and gorgeous touchscreen dash, AWD and serious handling for less than $75k.  Wow!  Another Merc worth a look for similar poundage and kit is the Mercedes Benz GLC from around $67k.  This is an SUV with plenty of equipment that includes the glorious touchscreens.

Peugeot 508

A special and very eye-catching Peugeot 508 can be had for just $53k or thereabouts.  This special French look, special luxury and special performance is a steal at this special price.

RAM 1500

Coming in at less than $80k is a new RAM 1500.  You can’t drive by un-noticed in a vehicle as big and as mean as this.  Off-road: no problem; towing: no problem.  This vehicle means business!

Range Rover Velar

A new Range Rover Velar for less than $70k would be a stylish look.  All the 4×4 power, style and luxury is on-board this Land Rover flagship.

Tesla Model 3

Yes, you can buy a quick Tesla for this sort of dosh!  A new Tesla Model 3 can be bought in Australia for around $67k.  Oh, wouldn’t that be classy!

VW Arteon

Volkswagen makes some very nice cars, and one of these which is super stylish is called the VW Arteon.  You can own this hot looking Coupe for around $67k.  Peugeot 508 or VW Arteon for best looks?  Your choice…

VW Touareg

A new VW Touareg can be bought for around $80k.  That’s starting to get up there for money handed over, but what you get is a premium luxury SUV with loads of space, style and safety.  Off-roading and towing is no problem for one of these amazing machines.

Volvo v60

Volvo V90

Volvo XC60

Don’t forget the sexy new Volvo V60 (from $56k) and V90 (from $80k) station wagons.  So nice and so comfortable to drive, these are great machines for the family.  A new Volvo XC60 is available for around $62k, and with this model you get the Volvo comfort and style along with off-road capability.  Did I mention Volvos were safe?

The FCAI Releases March 2020 Car Sales Numbers

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has today announced new vehicle sales figures for the month of March 2020 and not unexpectedly, it’s a story of sliding numbers. 81,690 vehicles were sold in the 31 days of March, with a breakdown of: 21,777 passenger vehicles, 39,171 SUVs, and 18,162 LCV (Light Commercial vehicles). That’s a respective market share of 26.7%, 48.0%, and 22.2%

What these numbers also showcase is a negative growth of 17.9% compared to March 2019 and the 24th consecutive month of falling sales. On a direct comparison of days available to sell, March 2020 sees a decrease of 17,752 vehicles compared to last year, and a daily decrease of 692 per day.

Toyota takes the top spot, with the Hi-Lux notching 3,556 sales and the brand itself selling 17,583. Mazda clocked second overall at 6,002, whilst Kia overtook its Korean relation, Hyundai, with 5,654 against 5,306.

Ford’s Ranger notched 3,108 sales for the second most popular vehicle bought, followed by the RAV4 from Toyota at 2,991. The Corolla wasn’t far behind at 2,812, whilst Holden finally had some sunshine, with Colorado finding 2,391 driveways to park in.

The Chief Executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said: “Many dealerships have opted to remain open to maintain support for customers, particularly from a service perspective, during this difficult period. Of particular importance are first responder and essential services vehicles. We must keep these vehicles on the road to ensure our communities continue to function and remain safe. In addition, we need to ensure those who physically attend their workplace can travel safely.

The motor vehicle is a safe form of transport during the pandemic, allowing occupants to preserve their personal distance from other commuters. Within dealerships, customer safety is of the highest priority, and automotive brands have initiated a variety of enhanced hygiene protocols and contactless consultations to maintain personal distance.”

The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 7,222 vehicle sales (-24.9%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is down by 6,489 vehicle sales (-14.2%); the Light Commercial Market is down by 3,326 vehicle sales (-15.5%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is down by 715 vehicle sales (-21.7%) versus March 2019.

Environmental, political, and economic factors are said to be behind the continued fall in sales.

(Information supplied by the FCAI)

More Motoring Matchmaking

We know that the number of cars on offer these days, both new and second hand, is pretty overwhelming. This is why we do our best to match up the right car with the right person. This is one of the reasons behind our car reviews, so you can get an idea of what each new vehicle coming onto the Aussie market is like (and quite a few second-hand ones as well, as our archive of car reviews goes back to 2008). Nevertheless, even this can be a bit daunting if you don’t know where to start.

Mercedes Benz Logo

It’s all very well for motoring enthusiasts who know their Mazdas from their Mercedes (what is the plural of Mercedes? Mercedi? Mercedeses? Mercedoi?). But what about those looking for a new car who don’t know quite so much?

Mazda Logo

To help out this category of people, we’ve put together a collection of stereotyped people along with their motoring needs and a suggestion as to what car would suit them best.  As before, if you can relate to one of these stereotypes but you already have a particular car in mind that you want, then you can go ahead and ignore the suggestion – or if you can’t stand the type of car we suggest for some reason (e.g. you object to the imagery of a particular logo, such as the serpent swallowing a humanoid figure of Alfa Romeo), then feel free to reject our suggestions!

This time, it’s the gents’ turn…

The Professor: David is known at his university for his brilliant research and for his lecturing style, which is full of digressions and tangents but still manages to be interesting… if you’re into applied mathematics.  In terms of motoring, David doesn’t need to carry much, except the laptop, a briefcase of students’ papers to be marked (yes, even in these online days, there are some of these) and maybe a suitcase to be carried to the airport before a conference.  With nearby conferences, he may take another passenger with him.  Whether he’s driving alone or whether he has a passenger, David’s brilliant mind often finds driving tedious and if he’s not careful, he will be a bit slow off the mark at red lights because he’s been finding the square root of the registration plate number on the car ahead of him.  There also have been a few close calls at intersections and lane changes.  As numbers do it for him and he has been known to use his own motoring habits as raw data, he’ll collect all sorts of statistics from the car’s trip computer and use them to make up real-life examples for his undergraduate lectures.

Suggested vehicle for David: Lexus ES, Audi A6, Volvo S90, Mercedes Benz E-Class, Skoda Fabia, Skoda Octavia, Mazda6

Volvo S90

The Sportsman: You usually find Bryan out on the rugby field or a field for any code of football, as long as it involves getting muddy and sweaty, and possibly bloody as well. Either that or you’ll find him in the showers afterwards. Bryan is generous minded and is the first to volunteer to drive everybody he can fit into a vehicle to an away game… and he gets a few laughs out of being the designated sober driver after the match who videos everybody’s drunken antics and posting them on social media (hopefully in a private message or on something less permanent like Snapchat). As ferrying a vehicle full of muddy, sweaty and possibly intoxicated adults can get a bit… fragrant… the vehicle should be easy to clean. A good sound system is a must for everybody to sing along to (or at least make a noise that can loosely be described as “singing” but sounds more like a donkey in pain).

Suggested vehicle for Bryan: Honda Odyssey, BMW 2-Series Gran Tourer, VW Touran, Toyota Tarago, Kia Carnival, LDV G10, Hyundai iMax, Peugeot 5008, Skoda Kodiaq

Kia Carnival

Cop Wannabe: Stephen loves cop shows and movies, and he nurtures a few dreams of entering the force. If Stephen wasn’t stuck behind the desk in his job as an accountant at the moment and loaded with mortgages and responsibilities, he’d sign up to train as a rookie. In the meantime, he tries to live his fantasy out when he’s behind the wheel, filling in time stuck in traffic daydreaming about being hot on the trail of a desperate criminal. This fantasy is particularly vivid when he’s got the family dog (an Alsatian, of course) in the back as his “K9 partner”.  If it’s his turn to carpool the kids, he has been known to tell some of these vivid stories, suitably edited for tender ears, to the kids to entertain them on the way.  During the ride, he is quick to pounce on infringements by other drivers and any misdemeanours by the kids, such as opening doors. He adores gadgets and telecommunications that play into his dreams of being contacted by a dispatcher, even if the dispatcher is the wife asking him to stop in for bread, milk and cat food on the way back from work.

Suggested vehicle for Stephen: Audi RS4, Audi A6 Avant, Volvo V60, Volvo V90, Subaru Levorg, Subaru Outback, BMW 5-Series Touring, BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Suzuki SX4, Land Rover Discovery, Mazda CX-9, Skoda Kodiaq

Audi A6 Avant

 

Ladies Looking For A Long-Term (Motoring) Relationship

It would be fun to run something along the line of a personalised matchmaking service but for cars, meaning matching people to cars. If you’re not a motoring enthusiast, the range on offer out there can be bewildering. What’s the best car for your lifestyle that’s going to suit you? While we might not be able to provide this sort of service – or at least not yet; we do our best to make the process of buying a great new car easy – we can at least describe a few lifestyles and types and make suggestions to help you find the new love of your life… in the automotive sense.

Of course, even if you can relate to any of these people, there may be other great cars out there that suit you to a T (whatever the T that suits you is) and that you love, so unless it’s totally impractical, you are allowed to go for it!

Ladies first, so here’s three typical, almost stereotypical, people and the sort of car that would suit each one best…

Busy Mama: Andrea has two children, aged 7 and 4, as well as a part-time job at the local dentist’s, where she works as the receptionist. Each day, she has to get the kids to school and kindy, get to work, then pick up the kids, get Jack to after-school soccer practice (and the match on Saturday morning), and grab some groceries a couple of times a week on the way home. A few nights a week, she leaves the kids with her husband and goes for a night out with the girls (lucky her!), which, at her stage of life, involves a book club but not the amount of alcohol that would put her over the limit to drive home. There’s the odd trip to the movies, shopping trip and visit to her mum’s to be done in the car as well.  The car has to be prepared for all occasions, meaning that the cabin and/or storage has to hold a few packs of nice healthy almonds or not so healthy muesli bars for emergencies when the kids are hangry, spare sweaters for when Jack left his at school, pen and paper for last-minute notes to the teacher, the reusable shopping bags, a lipstick, and somewhere to stash all the rubbish. then the groceries and school bags have to fit in as well. The budget’s a bit tight until little Violet starts school and Andrea can pick up more hours, so a frugal car is a must.

Best car for Andrea could be: Mazda 3 or a Mazda 2, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Hyundai i30, Suzuki Swift…

Mazda 3

Dog Lady: Meredith has been on her own for quite a few years now since the kids left home, got married and provided her with grandchildren.  For day to day purposes, the doggies are her children. Meredith has three dogs, each of which gets nothing but the best in the way of food, entertainment and medical care. Meredith is still active and mobile, but the dog park, where she chats to other doggy enthusiasts and lets the pooches have a good run, is a bit far for a woman of her age to walk with three lively dogs in tow.  When it’s not being used to ferry the dogs to the dog park, the grooming parlour or the vet, it is used to collect the groceries, most of which is jumbo packs of dog biscuits and doggy treats.  Now and then, it’s used to pick up some of the kids Meredith teaches piano to.

Best car for Meredith could be: Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4 or Kluger, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi ASX, Subaru Forester or Levorg, Nissan X-Trail, Ford Mondeo Wagon, Mazda 6 Wagon, Holden Commodore Sportswagon, Peugeot 308 Touring or 3008, Volvo XC60 or XC90 or V90…

Honda CR-V

Gen Z Getting Started: Kristy has just finished her nursing qualification and is in her first job at the local hospital. The hours are long and it can sometimes be a hassle finding space in the staff carpark, but she’s enjoying the work, mostly. Exercise is a great way to shake off some of the stress, so Kristy often stops off at the 24-hour gym on the way, so her yoga mat, stretchy bands, trainers and lycra leggings are always in the car, except when they’re in the wash… which is usually done at the laundromat on the way home. On her days off, Kristy likes to hit the beach and catch a few waves on her surfboard, stopping at the farmers’ market for fresh produce (sourdough bread, check; organic avocado, check; free-range eggs, check… hope the suspension’s soft enough that the eggs don’t crack on the way back home).

Best car for Kristy could be:  Subaru Forester or Levorg, Nissan Qashqi, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla Wagon or Hatch, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Hyundai i30, Mazda 2 or 3, Mazda CX-3, Renault Megane, Suzuki Vitara or S-Cross, Volvo V40, Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Rapid…

Subaru Forester

Is it Time we Scrap the Luxury Car Tax?

With the demise of the Holden brand now pencilled in for the end of the year, discussion has once again turned to the luxury car tax. That is, a measure that was introduced with the intention to help protect local manufacturers amid the slew of high-spec vehicles that one can only assume were deemed to be an ‘impediment’ to jobs and the economy.

With the 33% tax applying to imported vehicles less than two years of age and valued in excess of $67,525 including GST, or a threshold of $75,526 where that car consumes no more than 7L of fuel per 100km, the topic is right in the spotlight as motoring groups call for its abolition. However, the government has distanced itself from scrapping the luxury car tax, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg firmly saying, “we have no plans to remove that”.

Given the tax will contribute up to $720 million to the Federal Budget by 2022-23, it’s not like the government doesn’t have an incentive to prop up another tax as long as Joe Public foots the bill. That’s despite the fact that the tax has long been considered a thorn in the side of the European Union and any prospect of a free trade agreement being struck with Australia. But while the amount of tax proceeds may seem like a sizeable sum, the costs to administer the tax are arguably as much as what it reaps.

 

 

What other circumstances have changed?

One of the key differences now, as opposed to when the tax was first introduced, is that the new car industry is in its worst position since the Global Financial Crisis. Let’s not forget either, interest rates are truly at an all-time low. For approximately two years now, there have been continuous sales declines each and every month. Holden’s sales have been in the gutter for much of that time, dropping significantly, with buyers transitioning to SUVs and other more-affordable and reliable brands.

In addition, the impact of the tax on some of those hardest-hit by natural disasters has started to unfold. More specifically, many farmers have bought vehicles that are slapped with a luxury car tax – and no, they’re not driving around in Mercedes AMGs or Ferraris for that matter, but workmanlike vehicles such as the Toyota LandCrusier or Prado – yet all the while, the effects of the drought continue to weigh on their livelihood. Motorists are ultimately the ones who foot the bill for the LCT, even though it was designed to be absorbed by dealerships.

 

 

The reality of the situation

Frankly, at the end of the day, Australians shouldn’t be slugged to protect an industry that no longer exists. The local manufacturing industry, while beneficial from a jobs perspective, was artificially supported for longer than was ever realistic or sustainable. In fact, it’s easy to argue that the plug should have been pulled on the LCT earlier, back in 2017 when Holden ceased manufacturing operations.

Even if the government has a vested interest in maintaining an otherwise unnecessary tax, the mechanics of it just don’t make sense when not only has it not been tied to inflation, but we are supposed to be trying to encourage people to adopt fuel efficient cars. Yet, here we are, punishing motorists who purchase ‘eco-friendly’ vehicles. That the luxury car tax has lasted this long, is a true surprise, particularly if we’re keen about kick-starting consumer spending to underpin the economy. Let’s not even get started on those unnecessary import tariffs either…for now at least.

So Much for Fuel Savings….

It’s no secret that a concerted effort has been made in many quarters of the automotive industry to push motorists towards more ‘sustainable’ cars that run leaner in terms of fuel consumption. Take a look at some of our favourite V8 models, which have slowly but surely been ‘downsized’ to a more efficient (turbo) four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine. Then, consider the prominence of hybrid or ‘eco-oriented’ vehicles, not necessarily here in Australia, but across the world.

However, what’s being overlooked from much of the discussion is the trend seeing more and more motorists step into SUVs all over the world. This is playing out in Australia as much as anywhere, with the segment now a clear frontrunner ahead of the once dependable passenger vehicle.

 

 

A closer look at the trend

On a global scale, it’s a trend the International Energy Agency (IEA) has taken aim at, citing the shift in buying preference as “the second-largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions since 2010”. Surprisingly, that’s even more than ‘heavy’ industry, which is taken to include production of iron and steel, cement and aluminium.

The fact that SUVs, on average across all makes and models, consume more fuel than passenger cars will hardly surprise anyone. That’s long been a well-known consideration, even among many car buyers. But the broader picture, with such a shift towards ownership of SUVs, is not just offsetting ‘consumption reductions from increasingly efficient passenger cars and the growing eco fleet – it has wiped out those savings altogether.

In more specific terms, the IEA says “SUVs were responsible for all of the 3.3 million barrels a day growth in oil demand from passenger cars between 2010 and 2018, while oil use from other type of cars (excluding SUVs) declined slightly”. At their current rate of growth, SUVs could add another “2 million barrels a day in global oil demand by 2040, offsetting the savings from nearly 150 million electric cars”.

 

 

Where to from here?

These points make for an interesting outlook. On the one hand, many manufacturers are promoting their future vision for an electric and ‘efficient’ future, yet on the other hand, buying trends point to a picture where motorists are moving in a different direction. The clear absence of options in the electric SUV market further complicates the matter, with the majority of efforts to create efficient cars being angled at the passenger vehicle segment.

If we’re serious about addressing vehicle emissions, what’s the actual plan going forward? Sure, we each have our own ‘needs’ and preferences as far as the cars we drive, but what will be required to drive a collective effort to cut fuel consumption across the board?

It’s Time for more Transparency with Vehicle Reliability Data

Local car manufacturers have long been reluctant to release information about vehicle reliability, just as they were with repair data until recent developments prompted a change. While said changes are a promising sign for motorists, it’s about time something was done when it comes to vehicle reliability data. The current standards and practices just aren’t good enough. Your new vehicle is likely to be the second largest individual purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. No one wants to end up with a ‘lemon’, so it follows that manufacturers should be more open when it comes to publishing information about vehicle reliability. That is, if they genuinely value their customers loyalty.

Source: Confused.com

What’s happening right now?

From an owner’s perspective, having full and complete information is invaluable when engaging in a decision making process. It’snecessary in order to filter out options that do not align with our needs. This is something that has been recognised abroad. From the US to the UK and other parts of Europe and Asia, industry surveys with motorists surrounding vehicle reliability are common practice and the results are published for all to see.

In turn, this ensures manufacturers not only receive feedback but are compelled to embrace it – to act upon it and improve their vehicles. Tesla, one of the industry’s most-recent entrants to the motoring space, has been one of the most prominent stakeholders in accepting feedback and it goes some way to explain why their growth has been off the charts as it becomes the most-expensive, publicly-listed car brand in the world.  The company is one of the first to admit they have had several notable problems with their ‘high end’ vehicles, however, their approach is all about finding the right solution(s) to improve motorists’ driving experiences.

In Australia, only half the feedback cycle is being undertaken. Motorists are often surveyed for their thoughts on vehicle reliability, but the results are rarely if ever made public. In fact, it’s hard to know in what way this information is being used given its guarded nature. That being said, it’s widely accepted that mechanical issues have improved some way in recent years – even if we are seeing an abundance of recalls that never seem to stop – but it has generally been the car companies with global reach, under pressure from research in other territories, that ongst the frontrunners in terms of reliability.

Source: Rac.com

What’s the other side of the equation?

If there is one thing to recognise in defence of manufacturers, the human mechanics of operating a vehicle cannot always be recorded. That is, whether a driver has adequately maintained their vehicle, followed through with appropriate servicing, and ultimately how they drive their car. Now you’re probably saying these things shouldn’t matter. And they shouldn’t. But for the purpose of a direct comparison between cars and manufacturers, it’s hard to compare the likes of a HSV driven by a P-plater, with a Toyota Camry driven by a retiree.

The other element to consider is that reliability data is only one piece of the puzzle. The type of failure, as well as the cost of repairs, should also be considered. One might expect that ‘luxury’ vehicles encounter fewer reliability issues, however, if each time this vehicle requires repairs that cost three times that of a ‘regular’ sedan, what are the results really demonstrating? Furthermore, with the majority of problems these days encompassing technology problems, can these issues be compared on the same scale as that of vehicles with mechanical problems?

Nonetheless, these points shouldn’t really take away from the point that we need further disclosure around vehicle reliability. The introduction of ‘lemon laws’ in recent time is certainly beneficial, but that’s a reactive response when buyers deserve more up-front information and certainty. In fact, manufacturers owe it to motorists, particularly if they are in search of brand loyalty and a vision to improve future cars.

Best And Worst Exterior Paint Colours For Resale

We’ve all heard those jokes about people who seem to be more concerned about what colour a car is rather than its practical performance (fuel economy, towing ability, safety specs, luggage space, etc.).  We’ve also probably tossed out a flip comment about go-faster red and go-faster stripes over the years.  Paint colour seems like just a matter of personal choice and preference.  However, if you’re buying a brand new car and you know that you are going to sell it off some years down the track, then you may need to bear colour in mind, as some car paint colours are better for resale than others.

Good paint colours are popular ones that don’t go out of style quickly. This means that it’s going to be quicker and easier to sell them in five or ten years’ time because they’ll still be in style. With a bad colour – which might be a fashionable colour – it could be a bit harder to sell the car later on because potential buyers may look at it and go “eww – that’s so 2020”, which may mean that you will have to let the car go for a lower price than you may have got otherwise.

The leading authority on car paint colour is the paint manufacturer Axalta. This company has complied stats on car colours for over 60 years and has tons of resources available (the most recent free annual car stats are from 2016) and there is plenty to keep any motoring trivia enthusiast happy for hours at their website.

By a quick look at some of the material available from Axalta without wasting time down too many rabbit trails, it seems as if good car colours, in terms of resale, are like good suit colours for guys or the little black cocktail dress for gals: simple, basic classics that don’t shock or startle. Honestly, when it comes to car paint colour that hold its value, conservative is the key.

The most recent (freely available!) stats from Axalta show that the most popular car exterior paint colours worldwide (and therefore the ones that are likely to have the best resale value) are as follows:

  1. White: 37% of new cars sold in 2016 were some shade of white; white has been #1 for quite some time now
  2. Black: 18%
  3. Grey: 11%
  4. Silver: 11%
  5. Red: 6%
  6. Navy blue: 6%
  7. Beige and brown: 6% (apparently, Russian sales made up most of these)
  8. Yellow and gold: 3%
  9. Green: 1% (again, mostly Russian sales)

The most popular colour for vehicles in the Asia-Pacific region (which includes us here in Australia) has been either white, silver or grey since 1973 – and it looks like this trend isn’t going to change soon!

(If you want the latest stats, broken down by region and by body style – yes, it makes a difference –then you have to pay to get the download. I’m tempted…)

To find the least popular colours, all that some bloggers and researchers do is to flip this popularity list upside down. However, you, like me, have probably noticed that some colours don’t even feature on this list.  Because cars with unpopular colours don’t sell as well, it’s hard to compile meaningful stats on them, as it’s hard to track what isn’t selling because there’s nothing to see or record.  Nevertheless, the following have been proposed as the worst car exterior paint colours for resale.  They’re not in any particular order, but you may notice that all of them are very distinctive and associated with particular decades!

  • orange: any shade of orange; this colour is only popular with die-hard Dukes of Hazzard fans
  • turquoise: metallic turquoise in particular is soooo 1990s
  • maroon: very 1990s and dated, which is weird for a shade of red
  • green (unless you’re Russian): olive or pea green from the 1970s is especially bad, followed by the vivid treefrog greens of the early 2000s
  • brown (again, unless you’re Russian): British Leyland. Enough said
  • pink: in fact, Ferrari has banned pink from its list of possible car colours coming out of the factory door, even for superstars paying megadollars for a custom paint job (if P!nk wants a pink supercar, she has to get a Lambo, which doesn’t mind what colour you pick if you’re willing to pay).
  • purple: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a purple vehicle that wasn’t a commercial tradie vehicle in company colours that had been custom-painted

The only exception I’d make to this list is the case of British Racing Green for Jaguar.  This is a tradition and it’s such an iconic colour for Jaguar that it holds its value better than other off-the-wall unique colours.  Can you imagine a Burberry in any colour other than beige?

However, if you are in the market for a second-hand car, you can make the car colour thing work in your favour. If you believe that a good horse is never a bad colour and that the same applies to cars, then you may be able to pick up a good reliable set of wheels that’s in an unfashionable colour so is going for a fraction cheaper than something mechanically identical in a “good” colour. I’ll never forget my tradie friend who picked up a metallic rose-pink trade van at a bargain price because of its colour – he downright owned that pink van and it certainly made him stand out from his competitors with ordinary white vans. OK, you need some serious cojones to pull off a pink tradie van, but it certainly worked for my friend!

Medium AWD SUVs You Can Buy in 2020

With and even bigger range of Mid-size SUVs now available, the answer has to be ‘Why Not?’.  Getting yourself into a new medium SUV is easier than ever with some good package deals, great warranties and service packages that are comprehensive.  Got yourself a small family and like to get out on an adventure?  Here is a list of all the medium SUVs on the market offering AWD.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Stelvio AWD

Want some style?  Alfa Romeo has got loads of ‘bravura’, ‘panache’ and ‘flair’.  Three levels of trim are available for the Stelvio and you get to choose either diesel or petrol power.  The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a smooth drive with great performance, handling and comfort.  Want a decent luxury SUV? How about a look at the new Stelvio?  Starting off with the Stelvio 2.0 AWD, here you get five seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 148 kW, 330 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.0 litres/100 km.

Next comes the Stelvio 2.2 TDi AWD which is similarly priced to the previous model.  Here you get the five seats, auto, Diesel, 2.2-litre, 154 kW, 470 Nm, 5-star safety and 4.8 litres/100 km.  Style, torque and low fuel bills are a given.

Punchy and fun to drive, the Stelvio 20 Ti AWD delivers five seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 206 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and 7.0 litres/100 km.

Audi

Audi Q5

Three forms of the 2020 Audi Q5 are available.  The Audi Q5 TDI Quattro 140 Sport offers five seats, auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 140 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and a 5.1 litres/100 km figure.

Next is the Audi Q5 TDI Quattro 210 Sport with five seats, auto, Diesel, 3.0-litre, 210 kW, 620 Nm, 5-star safety and 6.0 litres/100 km.  This is a phenomenally quick and satisfying SUV drive!

The most expensive new Audi Q5 with AWD is the TFSI Quattro 185 Sport model.  Here you get five seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 185 kW, 370 Nm, 5-star safety and 7.1 litres/100 km efficiency.

Steeping up to the Q5 from the Q3 means more space but without getting into massive territory.  Drive a new Audi Q5 AWD and you get the prestigious Quattro underpinnings with clever technology.  Luxury is aplenty, while the drive is always satisfying.  You’ll also love the digital driver’s display, too.

BMW

BMW X3

The BMW X3 gets into mid-size SUV territory.  The 2020 X3 is nice to look at, comfortable and practical.  Two models are available with AWD: The BMW X3 xDrive 20d AWD with five seats, an 8-speed auto, diesel power, 2.0-litre, 140 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and around 5.7 litres/100 km economy.  The BMW X3 xDrive 30i AWD has five seats, an 8-speed auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 185 kW, 350 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.8 litres/100 km economy.

BMW X4

You also get the choice of getting yourself into the sportier BMW X4 AWD models.  The X4 has sleek lines and looks good.  Practical interiors with nice trim and easy-on-the-eye materials all come together to make the new X4 a stylish and fun drive.  The BMW X4 xDrive 20d AWD has five seats, auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 140 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and 5.8 litres/100 km fuel efficiency.

If you prefer petrol power, then the BMW X4 xDrive 30i AWD has five seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 185 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.8 litres/100 km credentials.

Ford

Ford Escape

A very nice medium-size AWD Ford SUV is offered.  You are sure to find a model to suit your needs.  Safe, practical and comfortable, the 2020 Ford Escape is a trusty companion capable of carrying the small family when needed and delivering crisp handling and great engines.  Two engines power the five variants; so one is a 132 kW Diesel with 400 Nm of torque on offer and excellent fuel efficiency.  The other engine is an Ecoboost petrol-fed unit that puts out 178 kW and 344 Nm of torque.  This is a strong engine that performs very well.  All models use a smooth shifting auto gearbox and come with 5-star safety.  The models on offer include Trend, ST Line and Titanium trims.

Holden

Holden Equinox

Where Ford treads you’ll always find a Holden equivalent nearby, or maybe that should be the other way around!

Holden provides the comfortable and spacious Holden Equinox.  Well equipped, loads of options, comfortable seating, plenty of space and 5-star safety are strong Equinox features.  The LTZ-V AWD models get all the flashy equipment and are really nice vehicles to drive.  Two engines are available; the petrol model uses a 188 kW 2.0-litre engine with 353 Nm of power.  Expect around 8.4 litres/ 100 km for this one.

The other Equinox AWD engine is the 100 kW, turbo-diesel unit with 320 Nm of torque and a fuel efficiency figure around the 5.7 litres/100 km mark.

Honda

Honda CR-V

Well known and well-loved is the trusty Honda CR-V mid-size SUV.  It is one of the original first mid-size SUVs, so it’s been around for a few decades now.  Putting it right into the modern market place, the 2020 Honda CR-V AWD models are very roomy, comfortable and practical vehicles boasting loads of high-tech equipment as well as a seven-seat option.  Good strong engines and smooth power delivery make the new Honda CR-V a nice drive.  With the new Honda CR-V variants you get five/seven seats, auto, petrol, 1.5-litre, 140 kW, 240 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.4 litres/100 km fuel efficiency.

Hyundai

Hyundai Tucson

Stylish new Hyundai Tucson models are available with AWD.  Depending on the level of trim, there will be plenty of variants to suit your needs.  Hyundai’s latest HTRAC AWD system allows toque to be delivered and distributed on demand to ensure that fuel efficiency is optimized.  If you can get yourself into the Limited versions you are loaded to the hilt with modern features that include all the high-tech features some high-end luxury cars offer.  The diesel engine is a real gem, while the petrol alternative is smooth and responsive.  1.6T AWD variants offer five seats, auto, petrol, 1.6-litre, 130 kW, 265 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.7 litres/100 km efficiency.  2.0R AWD variants offer five seats, auto, diesel, 136 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and around 6.8 litres/100 km efficiency.

Jaguar

Jaguar E-Pace

Jaguar enters the medium SUV market place with its highly desirable new range of E-Pace SUVs.  Style, luxury and driving dynamics are all part of the special E-Pace package.

E-Pace D150 has 2.0-litre diesel power, 110 kW, 380 Nm and around 5.6 litres/100 km.

E-Pace P200 has 2.0-litre petrol power, 147 kW, 340 Nm and around 8.0 litres/100 km.

E-Pace 250 has 2.0-litre petrol power, 249 kW, 365 Nm and around 7.7 litres/100 km.

E-Pace R-Dynamic D180 has 2.0-litre diesel power, 180 kW, 430 Nm and around 5.6 litres/100 km.

E-Pace R-Dynamic P250 has 2.0-litre petrol power, 184 kW, 365 Nm and around 7.7 litres/100 km.

E-Pace R-Dynamic SE P250 has 2.0-litre petrol power, 184 kW, 365 Nm and around 7.7 litres/100 km.

E-Pace R-Dynamic SE P300 has 2.0-litre petrol power, 221 kW, 400 Nm and around 8.0 litres/100 km.

All models have a nice smooth auto gearbox, 5-star safety and are impressive to drive.

Jeep

Jeep Compass

A new Jeep Compass AWD won’t break the bank but it will tame the terrain.  You are always going to look good in the new Jeep Compass which is just as happy scampering off on the school run as it is crossing a stream.  Trailhawk models a serious off-road vehicles built for exploring trails and other off-road excursions.  Inside a new Compass there is plenty of space with nice seat comfort.  Premium safety features and plenty of equipment keep the Compass at the head of the field.

Jeep Compass Limited 4WD delivers five seats, auto, petrol, 2.4-litre, 129 kW, 229 Nm, 5-star safety and around 9.7-litres/100 km efficiency.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4WD offers five seats, auto, petrol, 2.4-litre, 129 kW, 229 Nm, 5-star safety and around 9.8-litres/100 km efficiency.

Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep Cherokee is always a winner in the luxury medium SUV class.  Recently spruced up and making a statement, both the Limited and Trailhawk models use the same strong 3.2-litre, 200 kW, petrol-fed motor with 315 Nm of torque.  There is always plenty of power on tap, and the ride quality is smooth and comfortable.  Off-road ability is outstanding.  Plenty of space and equipment keep the drive relaxed and in control.  A roomy five seats and 5-star safety completes the desirable package.

Kia

Kia Sportage

The good looking Kia Sportage is well appointed, comfortable and nice to drive.  With tidy handling and a decent ride, the Sportage is proving popular.  Try and get into the higher spec models and you’ll be sitting in an impressively comfortable, classy medium SUV.

The Kia Sportage 2.4-litre petrol variants (EX AWD, GT-Line AWD) use the same responsive 2.4-litre motor with 135 kW and 237 Nm.  Expect around 8.5 litres/100 km fuel efficiency.

The Kia Sportage 2.0-litre diesel variants (LX AWD, LX Plus AWD, GT-Line AWD) have great power plants in the form of a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, 136 kW, 400 Nm motor.  Excellent fuel economy sits at around 6.4 litres/100 km.

All models come with AWD, auto gearboxes and 5-star safety.

Land Rover

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Off-road kings, Land Rover, offer AWD medium SUV buyers the chance of getting into the legendary Land Rover Discovery Sport.  Premium 4×4 technology and formidable off-road prowess has the 2020 Discovery tackling tough terrain in comfort and with ease.  On-road ride and comfort is equally impressive, and engine performance is strong whatever the task.  You also get the option of having seven seats, too.  New infotainment technology and stylish interiors make travelling in a new Discovery very enjoyable.

P200 R-Dynamic S – 5 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 147 kW, 320 Nm, 5-star safety, 7.9 l/100 km.

P250 R-Dynamic S – 7 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 184 kW, 365 Nm, 5-star safety, 7.9 l/100 km.

D180 R-Dynamic S – 5 seats, auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 132 kW, 430 Nm, 5-star safety, 5.6 l/100 km.

P250 R-Dynamic SE – 5+2 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 184 kW, 365 Nm, 5-star safety, 7.9 l/100 km.

D180 R-Dynamic SE – 5+2 seats, auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 132 kW, 430 Nm, 5-star safety, 5.7 l/100 km.

Also under the Land Rover name is the very nice Range Rover Evoque.  Style, luxury and off-road/onroad prowess makes this vehicle a premium choice.

Range Rover Evoque

P200 R-Dynamic S – 5 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 147 kW, 340 Nm, 5-star safety, 7.7 l/100 km.

D180 R-Dynamic SE – 5 seats, auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 132 kW, 430 Nm, 5-star safety, 5.7 l/100 km.

P250 R-Dynamic SE – 5 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 184 kW, 365 Nm, 5-star safety, 7.9 l/100 km.

D180 R-Dynamic HSE – 5 seats, auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 132 kW, 430 Nm, 5-star safety, 5.7 l/100 km.

P250 R-Dynamic SE – 5 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 184 kW, 365 Nm, 5-star safety, 7.9 l/100 km.

P300 R-Dynamic HSE – 5 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 221 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety, 8.1 l/100 km.

Lexus

Lexus NX

Balanced, sleek lines are part of the new 2020 Lexus NX AWD models.  It has to be one of the classier looking mid-SUVs on the road, and with Lexus’s latest hybrid technology part of the model’s line-up you can have a luxury SUV ride, comfort and space with a fuel efficiency that brings you relief at the pump.  Premium interior infotainment and technology, classy leather materials, and fit-and-finish that are second-to-none are all reasons why this is among the leading luxury SUV variants on the road.  Excellent safety features and premium space add to the quality Lexus NX package, so the deal is 5-star safety and 5-seats.  A smooth ride comfort and boasting plenty of grip all helps to make the new Lexus NX AWD SUV highly desirable.

One hybrid powertrain powers the NX 300h, NX 300h F-Sport and NX 300h Limited.  This powerplant uses a CVT Auto, a 2.5-litre petrol engine with a combined output of 145 kW, 210 Nm and a fuel efficiency of around 5.7 litres/100 km.

The 2.0-litre Turbo petrol engine boasts 175 kW and 350 Nm to give plenty of grunt.  Running with the 6-speed automatic gearbox, this set-up returns around 7.9 litres/100 km fuel usage.

Mahindra

Mahindra XUV500

Available as a highly appointed SUV, the new Mahindra XUV500 is spacious, comfortable and easy to drive.  Good turbo-diesel power and economy should appeal to plenty of people after a well appointed AWD medium SUV.

The Mahindra XUV500 AWD W10 has seven seats, auto, diesel, 2.2-litres, 103 kW, 320 Nm, 4-star safety and around 8.1 litres/100 km fuel efficiency.

Mazda

Mazda CX-5

Petrol and diesel alternatives, classy looks and a nice drive to match, the Mazda CX-5 is popular for good reason.  Hard to beat with so many pros including a competitive price makes the models in the Mazda CX-5 stable highly desirable.

The Mazda CX-5 GSX AWD Petrol and Limited AWD Petrol use the same engine, the only difference being in equipment levels.  Both are five-seater, auto, 2.5-litre petrol, 140 kW, 252 Nm, 5-star safe, 7.4 litre/100 km mid-size SUVs.

The Mazda CX-5 GSX AWD and Limited AWD Diesel variants run with a 2.2 turbo-diesel motor boasting 140 kW, 450 Nm and 5.7 litres/100 km efficiency.  These engines are some of the best in this class of vehicle.  They are strong performers and very efficient.

The Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo has the 170 kW petrol variant with 420 Nm of torque.  Smooth, punchy performance makes this a class act too.

Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz GLC

Mid-size Mercedes Benz SUVs are known as the GLC Series of vehicles.  Luxurious, desirable, classy, safe and stylish are just some of the words used to describe this nice range of medium SUVs.  Coupe styling is also on offer.  They are pricey, but then they are very good.

All models seat five in comfort and use 9-speed automatic gearboxes.  AMG models use a Speedshift gearbox.  One hybrid model is available (300 e).  Again, the GLC range of Mercedes Benz SUVs lead the way on the performance front; the AMG models deliver as much as 700 Nm from their 4.0-litre, 8-cylinder engines.

Mercedes Benz GLC models include the: 300 AWD, 300 e AWD, AMG 43 AWD, AMG 63S AWD, Coupe 300 AWD, Coupe AMG GLC 43 AWD, Coupe AMG GLC 63S AWD.

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Two mid-size SUV models with AWD are available to the buyer.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross AWD in XLS and VRX forms offer five seats, auto, petrol, 1.5-litres, 112 kW, 254 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.7 litres/100 km.  The turbo engine and the very good eight step CVT are matched really well for an enjoyable drive while delivering a refined ride and comfortable transport.  Loaded with the latest infotainment and safety goodies you’ll enjoy the Eclipse Cross’s nice modern looks and classy cabins.

Mitsubishi Outlander

The Mitsubishi Outlander has been a go-to mid-size SUV for quite some time now, and with its latest offering it remains a highly competent medium SUV.  Petrol, hybrid and now a new Diesel engine give the Outlander plenty of clout.  Underpinning the Outlander is an excellent AWD system that manages slippery conditions with ease.  CVT and conventional auto gearboxes are available.

So, LS, XLS, XLS Sport and VRX versions run with a 2.4-litre, 126 kW, 224 Nm petrol powerplant that offers around 7.2 litres/100 km efficiency.  All are CVT, however you can choose the VRX with a 6-speed auto if you prefer.

With 366 Nm of torque and a very good all-round fuel efficiency of somewhere in the vicinity of 6.2 litres, the XLS and VRX can be had with this excellent turbo-diesel motor delivering 112 kW of peak power.  This makes a strong case for those on the look out for a reasonably priced diesel powered mid-size SUV.

Ready to be blown away?  Those in the know, will already be enjoying the Mitsubishi Outlander in PHEV form.  Why?  Under the hood is probably the best petrol/ev combination for any of the mid-size SUVs in 2020.  Luxurious and well appointed, the PHEV also manage to get as low as 1.9 litres/100 km! Enough said…

Nissan

Nissan X-Trail

People are loving the nice curvy styling of the latest Nissan X-Trail.  Solid dynamics, decent performance, great 4WD systems with decent off-roading potential, plenty of space, reasonable pricing and plenty of very good equipment all add up to make the new X-Trail another desirable SUV.

Nissan X-Trail 4WD variants start with the ST, step to the ST-L and then top out with the loaded Ti.  Each uses the same peppy 2.5-litre petrol with 126 kW and 226 Nm.  You can expect around 8.3 litres/100 km fuel efficiency for all the models which come with the auto gearbox as standard.  Practical roomy interiors, good luggage space, seating for five and 5-star safe, the X-Trail is to be liked.

Porsche

Porsche Macan

Porsche get into the mid-size SUV market place with a variety of premium AWD Macan models.  They demand a high price but then, like Mercedes equivalents, they are very good SUVs – more orientated towards sport/luxury than being a true off-roading SUV.  Comfortable and very sporty with great road manners for the enthusiast, the AWD Macan is pure driving pleasure.

The Porsche Macan uses a 185 kW petrol engine delivering a top speed nearing 230 km/h.  A 0-100 km/h sprint time of 6.5 seconds should be enough to have plenty of fun on the drive to work!

The Porsche Macan S uses a 260 kW petrol engine delivering a top speed nearing 254 km/h, and it has a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds.

The Porsche Macan GTS uses a 280 kW petrol engine delivering a top speed nearing 261 km/h, and it has a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds.

The Porsche Macan Turbo uses a 324 kW petrol engine delivering a top speed nearing 270 km/h, and it has a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 4.3 seconds.

Renault

Renault Koleos

Renault has two very decent AWD medium SUVs that are often overlooked in the masses.  Don’t forget to check out a new 2020 Koleos 4×4.  Riding on the same platform as the Nissan X-Trail you get a very good off-road system that is more than adequate for plenty of adventure.  A petrol and diesel are offered both of which are very well equipped, spacious and comfortable.  The Koleos looks smart and flowing, boasting striking LED DRLs and a classy set of alloys.

The Renault Koleos Intens/Sport 2.5 4×4 uses the responsive 2.5-litre, petrol engine with 126 kW and 226 Nm.  You should get around 8.3 litres/100 km fuel efficiency out of one of these and its linked to the smooth auto gearbox.

The Renault Koleos Intens/Sport 2.0 4×4 offers the turbo-diesel engine in auto with plenty of power (128 kW) and a hefty 380 Nm of torque.  This is the one to get if you need a Koleos for towing, but check out the 5.5 litre/100 km fuel efficiency – which you should match pretty closely.

Your new Renault Koleos comes with a comprehensive suite of 5-star safety features, and out on the open road it happily lopes along effortlessly and quietly.

Skoda

Skoda Kodiaq

For practicality, safety and style, the latest Skoda Kodiaq leads the way.  A healthy boot space, sliding and reclining rear seats, seven seats, loads of storage space and a comfortable ride, the Skoda is a perfect mid-size SUV.  A diesel and petrol option gives the buyer flexibility.  Well equipped, well built and capable off-road, the 4×4 footprint is assured and well balanced for any road surface you care to travel down.

The Kodiaq Style and the Kodiaq Sportline models are offered with a 2.0-litre petrol engine delivering 132 kW and 320 Nm.  But you can also get your Kodiaq with the superb 2.0-litre turbo-diesel packing 400 Nm of torque and 140 kW.  Both engines are linked to a smooth auto gearbox.

Subaru

Subaru Forester

Another medium SUV that’s been through plenty of generations – one of the first of its type, in fact – is the 2020 Subaru Forester.  This SUV delivers a great package in various trims that all run with the smooth 4-cylinder, 2.5-litre petrol, auto with 136 kW and 239 Nm.  You should be able to get around 7.4 litres/100 km on average.

The latest Forester remains a solid buy, built nice and strong with 5-star safety, loads of new technology and X-Mode for its AWD capability.  A good drive.

Toyota

Ever reliable, Toyota has a nice new RAV4 for sale for 2020.  Only titivated up last year, the new RAV4 is an SUV that, in hybrid format, uses the new E-Four AWD system.  Linked to the smooth and free revving 2.5-litre petrol, the combination of petrol/hybrid technology brings an excellent fuel efficient medium-size SUV to this rather large SUV segment of the market.  In hybrid form the RAV4 delivers 131 kW of power and 221 Nm of torque, perfect for everyday driving.  Fuel consumption can get as low as 4.7 litres/100 km.  You’ll find the hybrid is available for the RAV4 GX, GXL and Cruiser models.  The hybrids use a CVT gearbox for delivering power down to the AWD system.

The other engine that’s available for the Toyota RAV4 Edge AWD is the 2.5-litre Dynamic Force direct injection petrol engine which is linked to a very nice 8-speed auto.  It has a few more horses under the bonnet with 152 kW and 243 Nm at the ready.  Fuel consumption for the Edge is around 7.5 litres/100 km.

Safety is 5-star, so you get a loaded mid-size SUV with Toyota Safety Sense that includes active cruise control, a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure alert, lane trace assist, auto high beam and road sign assist.

Seating is spacious and comfortable for the long haul, while the audio and other infotainment systems are all the latest tech.  Plenty of options allow you to individualize you RAV4 to your tastes and there is even things like a panoramic roof.

Volkswagen

VW Tiguan

No more diesel options for VW’s Tiguan, however the two petrol engines deliver nice, smooth power and decent response.  One of the 2.0-litre petrol Turbo units puts out 132 kW and 320 Nm, while the other jumps to 162 kW and 350 Nm.  Allspace models add a third row of seats to make it possible to carry seven occupants including the driver.

Handy 4×4 systems make the 2020 VW Tiguan pretty good for going off-road.  5-star safety and decent fuel consumption rates all add up to making the pleasant Tiguan easy to live with and very handy to have when you want to escape for the weekend.  The Tiguan interiors are smart and well put together.

Volvo

Volvo XC60

Volvo’s XC60 slots into the mid-size SUV segment perfectly.  It is one of the most stylish medium SUVs on the market; it looks great from any angle.  You also get the Thor hammer DRLs which catch attention instantly.

Out on the road the new Volvo XC60 performs very well with plenty of power and refinement.  The ride is very comfortable, aided by the very comfortable seats.  Take it off-road and the XC60 handles pretty much anything that comes its way – without being an out-and-out bush basher.

Engines come in the form of petrol, diesel and hybrid – all of which are 2.0-litre capacity.  The hybrid is the most powerful engine, with 265 kW maximum combined output and as much as 440 Nm of torque.  The hybrid is known as the T8, and with all that power comes an amazing 2.1 litres/100 km of fuel usage –why would you want anything else?  It is pricy though…

D4 and D5 XC60 variants pack a tonne of torque from their diesel engines.

The T5 has: 5 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 187 kW, 350 Nm, 5-star safety and 7.3 litres/100 km.

The D4 has 5 seats, auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 140 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and 5.2 litres/100 km.

The D5 R-Design has 5 seats, auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 173 kW, 480 Nm, 5-star safety and 5.5 litres/100 km.

The T6 has: 5 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 235 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and 7.7 litres/100 km.

The T8 R-Design Hybrid has: 5 seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 265 kW, 440 Nm, 5-star safety and 2.1 litres/100 km.

 

Small SUVs You Can Buy in 2020

Judging by sales trends, the commanding popularity of owning and enjoying an SUV will continue into 2020.  So, what can you buy this year if you’re looking to get into a small SUV with AWD?  Let’s take a closer look.

Audi

Audi Q2

Audi has the sparkling little Audi Q2 AWD.  You can get this one in the Q2 TFSI 140 kW Quattro Sport mode with five seats, a 7-speed auto, petrol, 2.0-litre Turbo, 140 kW, 320 Nm, 5-star safety and with 6.4 litres/100 km fuel consumption.

For way more performance the hot little SQ2 TFSI 221 kW Quattro is stunningly quick.  Available with five seats, a 7-speed auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 221 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.4 litres/100 km fuel consumption.

Audi Q3

Audi also offers the slightly larger Audi Q3 with Quattro underpinnings and good looks.  You will enjoy the new Q3 45 TFSI with five seats, a 7-speed auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 132 kW, 320 Nm, 5-star safety and around 6.7 litres/100 km fuel consumption.

The punchy performance of the Q3 S-Line 45 TFSI will delight.  It comes with five seats, a 7-speed auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 169 kW, 350 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.6 litres/100 km fuel consumption.

BMW

BMW X1

The smallest BMW SUV with AWD is found in X1 guise.  Known as the BMW x-Drive 20d 4×4 you have something quite special to get yourself around.  The Twin-Turbo diesel is a beauty with plenty of pep, great driving dynamics and low fuel usage.  It comes with five seats, an 8-speed auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 140 kW, 400 Nm, 5-star safety and around 4.8 litres/100 km fuel consumption.

BMW X2

BMW also offer a small SUV in the form of the X2 AWD.  The X2 has low, sleek lines; however it still has SUV status.  You can get this nice looking, nice driving vehicle with five seats, an 8-speed auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 141 kW, 280 Nm, 5-star safety and around 6.5 litres/100 km fuel consumption.

Honda

Honda HR-V AWD

The smallest Honda SUV comes in the form of the HR-V.  Available with AWD, five seats, auto, petrol, 1.5-litre, 96 kW, 155 Nm, 5-star safety and around 5.3 litres/100 km fuel consumption.  The HR-V won’t break any land speed records but it does deliver comfortable, efficient transport with loads of technology and safety features.

Hyundai

Hyundai KONA AWD

Hyundai offer their small SUV in AWD as well as in FWD.  Both the 1.6T AWD and the 1.6T Elite AWD use the same engine and underpinnings with the difference being price and equipment levels.  With a new Hyundai KONA AWD SUV you will enjoy five seats, a 7-speed DCT transmission, petrol, 1.6-litre, 130 kW, 265 Nm, 5-star safety and around 6.7 litres/100 km fuel consumption.  The KONA’s nice styling, price and drive add up to a nice experience.

Jeep

Jeep Renegade

Yes, you can get yourself a legendary Jeep as a small SUV.  Jeep’s compact SUV has all of Jeep’s 4×4 mastery with its proven technology and ruggedness always a hit.  Known as the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk; with this model you have serious off-road potential that boasts low gearing for tough terrain.  You also get five seats, an auto gearbox, petrol, 2.4-litre, 129 kW, 230 Nm, 5-star safety and a fuel consumption of around 7.5 litres/100 km.

Lexus 

Lexus UX250H

The smallest Lexus SUV with AWD comes in the form of the UX250H; and it’s a hybrid.  Sleek lines, plenty of style, loads of luxury, excellent performance and handy cabin space make the new Lexus UX250H a discerning small SUV choice.  The UX has also been designed by a female engineer who also had a hand in the CT200’s design.  This comes with five seats, an auto transmission, hybrid – petrol/electric power, 2.0-litre combustion, 135 combined kW, 190 Nm, 5-star safety and a fuel consumption around 4.7 litres/100 km.

Mazda 

Mazda CX-3 AWD

A real winner with equally nice looks and a nice drive, it’s hard to walk by a new Mazda CX-3 AWD.  Known as the CX-3 GSX AWD, you get a small SUV that has all the style as well as a comfortable interior, great technology and a fun drive.  The CX-3 AWD comes with five seats, an auto gearbox, petrol, 2.0-litre, 110 kW, 5-star safety and a fuel consumption around 6.7 litres/100 km.

Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz GLA AWD

As a compact SUV, the new Mercedes Benz GLA AWD versions though almost car-like do offer some SUV credentials.  It is based on the A-Class platform and is excellent – as you would expect.  It is Mercedes Benz after all!  This offer one of the nicest cabins in this class of car, particularly when you add the huge centre touchscreen and figure-hugging seats.  These are also really nice driving cars with superb performance.  If you don’t mind the higher price, then you’ll love these.

The Mercedes Benz GLA 250 4Matic has five seats, an auto gearbox, petrol, 2.0-litre, 155 kW, 350 Nm, 5-star-safety and a combined fuel consumption of around 7.0 litres/100 km.  The Mercedes Benz GLA AMG 45 4Matic is the most powerful small SUV money can buy.  It’s also the priciest!  With this model you get five seats, an auto gearbox, petrol, 2.0-litre, 280 kW, 475 Nm, 5-star safety and a combined fuel consumption of around 7.5-litres/100 km.  A 0-100 km/h dash can be performed in around five seconds.

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi ASX AWD

Mitsubishi offers the excellent new ASX XLS AWD.  This small SUV has a very modern style and offers its power from the excellent 2.2 turbo-diesel engine.  This is a standout performer and perfectly matched for the ASX AWD version.  The 2020 ASX cabin is comfortable, stylish and safe.  You get the AWD version with five seats, auto, diesel, 2.2-litre, 112 kW, 366 Nm, 5-star safety and a 6.0 litres/100 km fuel consumption.

Nissan

Nissan Juke AWD

Nissan Juke has its small AWD model with the funkiest styling in this class.  It’s all about cool looks, style and fun with this one.  You can get the AWD Nissan Juke in Juke Turbo form which delivers a great drive, tidy handling and plenty of personality.  The Nissan Juke Turbo has five seats, auto, petrol, 1.6-litre, 140 kW, 240 Nm, 5-star safety and a punchy drive with a fuel consumption of around 7.4 litres/100 km.

Ssangyong

Ssangyong Korando AWD

Very plush and comfortable, the 2020 Ssangyong Korando looks good and is nice and practical.  Offered in AWD as the Korando 2.0 TDi it comes with a good price, five seats, auto, diesel, 2.0-litre, 129 kW, 360 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.3 litres/100 km fuel consumption.  This is proving a popular buy around the world, and for good reason too; this is a solid, stylish, nice driving and comfortable small AWD SUV.

Subaru

Subaru XV AWD

Based on the Impreza platform, the new Subaru XV 2.0i Sport and Premium models are very handy off-road, while remaining dynamic on-road.  This is a competent, stylish small SUV that can easily scamper off road when required.  Both the Sport and Premium models come with five seats, auto, petrol, 2.0-litre, 115 kW, 196 Nm, 5-star safety and around 7.0 litres/100 km fuel economy.

Suzuki 

Suzuki Jimny 4×4

The extremely desirable and popular little Suzuki Jimny has impressed worldwide and is available in Australia with plenty of options for trim, technology and trim levels as well as manual and auto options.  These are a delightful 4×4 SUV to drive with the added benefit of being able to tackle some serious off-road terrain.  Even experienced 4WDers rave about them.  This latest model has delivered and offers plenty for the adventurer.  Manual versions are fractionally more fuel efficient, being able to return around 6.4 litres/100 km compared with auto versions which are around 6.9 litres/100 km.  Both the Suzuki Jimny Sierra and Sierra 2 Tone offer five seats, auto and manual options, petrol, 1.5-litre, 75 kW, 130 Nm and 3-star safety.

Suzuki S-Cross AWD

Suzuki’s S-Cross is really a glorified Hatchback with a higher small SUV riding stance, a peppy little engine, excellent build quality, and all at a handy price.  The AWD version is known as the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross LTD AWD, and it is nice and comfortable to drive.  It’s also nice and practical with genuine seat comfort and space.  You get five seats, auto, petrol, 1.6-litre, 88 kW, 156 Nm, 5-star safety and a 6.3 litres/100 km fuel consumption.

Suzuki Vitara AWD

With its nice styling, safety and comfort, the new Vitara is a very well-priced small SUV with great driving dynamics too boot.  It’s based on the S-Cross platform.  The latest Vitara has been pumped with high-tech safety features and also shows off its bold styling in many bright colour combinations.  You’ll have fun with this one, and the Vitara is well built too.  The Suzuki Vitara JLX AWD is the base model and offers five seats, auto, petrol, 1.6-litre, 86 kW 156 Nm, 5-star safety and 6.3 litres/100 km fuel consumption.  The Suzuki Vitara Turbo AWD and AWD 2 Tone are great fun cars to drive.  With these you get five seats, auto, petrol, 1.4-litre, 103 kW, 220 Nm, 5-star safety and 6.2 litres/100 km.

Toyota 

Finally, to wrap up the available new small SUV drives, the Toyota C-HR is superbly built, nice to look at, comfortable and has hybrid technology.  2020 has the C-HR with smoother lines and a special Toyota Safety Sense suite.  This is a reliable performer, and a small SUV drive that delivers AWD traction which is great for gravel roads as well as city streets.  The Turbo AWD, Limited AWD and Limited AWD 2 tone all offer five seats, auto, petrol, 1.2-litre, 85 kW, 185 Nm, 5-star safety and an average fuel consumption of around 6.5 litres/100 km.

As you can see there is plenty of choice in the abundant selection you’ll find in the small SUV market place.  Today’s modern technology, new materials and reliability make for enjoyable new car ownership.  You can see why plenty of people are ditching their small hatchbacks for a more solid small SUV stance.