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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.

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2020 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk: Private Fleet Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: The 2020 specification Cherokee Trailhawk from Jeep. It slots into the mid-sizer SUV market and in Trailhawk form comes well loaded with standard equipment. It’s the second generation of the overhauled model from a few years ago. Trailhawk tops a four model range, with Sport, Longitude, and Limited the other available options.

How Much Does It Cost?: $48,450 plus on roads. Head to the Jeep website for your local pricing due to varying state charges.

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Holden On To The Memory.

February 17, 2020. It’s the day after a very successful fund raising concert for Australia’s beleaguered fire fighting services. The country is on a high. Midday and the high is replaced by a collective sense of disbelief. It’s the day that many prophesied yet even more hoped would never come.

The name, Holden, would be consigned to the bin of history.

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Kia Confirms Stylish Sorento For 2020.

Kia has confirmed the rumours of what its forthcoming Sorento will look like prior to its first public appearance at the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show. Not unexpectedly, it features styling cues first flagged in the Seltos. There has been subtle changes to the styling, such as the change to the front and rear overhangs. These have been reduced with the result being the Sorento now looks longer in profile. The front end has strong relationships with the Seltos, including the restyled headlight cluster with Kia saying it has “Tiger Eye” LED running lights. These are said to mimic the lines around the eyes of a tiger. A longer bonnet and a push-back of the windscreen’s A-pillar by 30mm adds to that perception of length. The rear edges of the bonnet wrap around further into the uppermost edges of the front guards, and create the start of a character line that helps draw the eyes from front to rear. This takes the view to the completely new rear lights, in a stunning vertyical block design, rather than the previous broadsheet styling horizontally, and there’s a hint of Volvo’s SUV here. There’s also the Seltos relationship to be found here, with the rear passenger window having the fin reaching towards the roof as seen in the smaller car.Passengers are given more in the way of sophistication and comfort. Trim levels have improved with metallic tones, higher grade materials, and wood-effect cladding. A new 10.25 inch touchscreen becomes the centrepiece of the tech level inside the Sorento. That complements the brand new 1203 inch full colour and high definition driver’s information screen. Along with other tech, the forthcoming Sorento is easily the most technologically advanced Sorento offered yet.The cabin is spacious, and has an ambience highlighted by LED mood lighting. The front air vents have an uncanny resemblance to the tail lights of the revered Holden HR. Switchgear takes Kia’s ergonomics to an even higher level, with a balanced look and spacing.The 2020 Sorento will be officially unveiled on March 3.

ŠKODA Electrifies With An Irish Twist.

Škoda has released details of their first electric vehicle and it’s to be a SUV. It will be called “Enyaq”. The name is derived from the Irish name ‘enya’, meaning ‘source of life’. Enya itself comes from the Irish Gaelic word ‘Eithne’, meaning ‘essence’, ‘spirit’ or ‘principle’. The ‘source of life’ symbolises the car manufacturer’s entry into the new era of electromobility and is in line with the Škoda brand’s history claim: ‘Driven by inventiveness –clever ideas since 1895’.

It’s to be built on the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB) platform and will be the first car from the brand to be built on this platform.. With its first all-electric SUV, Škoda is establishing a new nomenclature that combines the ‘E’ in reference to electromobility with the ‘Q’ that characterises the final letter of Škoda’s successful SUV family. With the new Enyaq, the Czech car manufacturer is taking another leap into the new era of electromobility in 2020.

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Turbochargers For Beginners

It might look like a snail but with a turbo, your car certainly won’t be.

I could have called this post “Turbochargers for Dummies” but (a) anybody who is curious about how something works and wants to know more is not a dummy and (b) I don’t want to imply that those who want to have a vehicle with a turbocharger are dummies.

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Ford Adds A New Cat To The Family.

Ford has resurrected a former nameplate and given it to yet another new small SUV. The European produced Puma is currently scheduled to hit Aussie showrooms in the second half of 2020. The main family line are the small and medium sized hatched in the form of Fiesta and Focus.

It’s as yet unconfirmed as to the engine; the European specs have a 1.0L three cylinder petrol engine at the car’s launch a few months ago, with 92kW or 114kW. It’s said that diesel will be an option there and it remains to be seen if that’s optioned here. Transmission choice is likely to be a dual clutch auto that’s close to being signed off, as the current option in Europe is a six speed manual.

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Mitsubishi Expands Triton Range.

Mitsubishi has added two lifestyle driven models to the Triton range. Dubbed GSR and GLX-R, the titles are a mix of evocative history and a nod to the future. Companies are realising that for those that buy the big four wheel drive and off-road capable utes, they’re not necessarily being used for…off-road driving. They’ve become a lifestyle choice and the introduction of the pair mirrors that desire from a fickle market.

The GSR is perhaps the more visually worked over of the two and definitely leans towards the lifestyle, trend driven, marketplace. The wheels are black painted alloys and a diameter of 18 inches. The Mitsubishi “Dynamic Shield” is blacked out to provide a subtle, menacing, look. The headlight surrounds, skid plates, door mirrors, handles, and sidesteps are also all blacked out.

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2020 Nissan Leaf EV: Private Fleet Car Review

This Car Review Is About: The second iteration of Nissan’s electric powered passenger vehicle called Leaf. It’s a genuinely well thought out and engineered machine, with good city range, and a price point that should appeal. For the second generation it’s been facelifted (it’s now much prettier) and given a tickle to the driving range.How Much Does It Cost?: Nissan list it at $49,990 plus on road costs. The drive-away price will vary from state to state but figure on a something between $54 to $56K depending on your location.

Under The Bonnet Is: The battery can store up to 40kWh, which is good for 110kW of power and 320Nm. The dash display provides a clear look at current charge with expected range, plus output during driving on the fly. Depending on figures, there is an expected range of either 315km (based on NEDC ADR 81/02 combined cycle) but a more realistic figure is an a 270km indicative driving range (European WLTP combined cycle). This is a more useable figure and with studies showing most city based drivers in Australia clocking just under 40 kilometres per day, it’s user friendly in that respect.

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VFACTS Releases January 2020 Sales Figures.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has today released the new vehicle sales figures for the month of January 2020. This has been done for the first time with an updated reporting system.

Total new vehicle sales were 71,731, a decrease of 10,263 sales compared to 2019. Of that number, passenger vehicles numbered 20,494, whilst SUVs made up 35,393, and LCV (Light Commercial Vehicles) 14,035. Passenger cars were down by 7,556 sales, and SUVs down by just 547 for the same time last year. LCVs saw a drop of 1,774. In percentage terms these equate to drops of 26.9%, 1.5%, 11.2%, and and overall drop of 12.5% for January.

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