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Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

New Cars Due Shortly

Four cool new motor cars to keep your eyes out for that will become available in Australia shortly are interesting because they aren’t all that expensive, they look great and they offer some neat engine power options.

Let’s kick off with the next generation Hyundai Sonata.  Going up-market, the Sonata looks very stylish with its sleek ‘four-door coupe’ design.  If you stop and think why car manufacturers still offer a sedan in their line-up when so many more sales are made with SUV styling, it seems that there is a niche sector that still prefers a sedan over any other vehicle shape.  So, in order to capture the hearts of a stickler sedan-buyer, manufacturers are creating upmarket sedans instead of your bog-standard sedan to grab buyer’s attention.

Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai’s latest Sonata sedan is a premium product that has gorgeous lines, sits 30 mm lower than before, and is 25 mm wider.  The car’s short overhang, sloping roofline and low bonnet create a signature design that is appealing and head-turning.  Also head-turning is Hyundai’s “state-of-the-art lighting technology” where the ‘Hidden Lighting Lamps’ appear to be of a chromic material when switched off and then become dramatically lit-up when turned on – very cool!

Head inside the new Sonata’s cabin and the ambient mood lighting illuminates the dash and doors.  The car’s dash design is pretty, while a lower driver-focused dash, a big centre screen, a novel gear shifter, and rich leather seats give the classy upmarket interior the big tick.

The next-generation Sonata will launch in Australia in the second half of 2019, so if you like the look of it then you haven’t long to wait.

Renault Clio Interior

Moving to the exciting Renault Clio Hatch!  Inside the brand new Clio’s cabin is a rewarding high-tech cabin that is pleasantly different with its elongated central touch screen and digital driver’s display.  Seating space and comfort will be good, and on the practicality front, the Clio’s new rear has been designed to deliver a squarer boot with 391-litres of luggage carrying ability with the rear seats in place.  That’s 40-litres more than the Volkswagen Polo, and almost 60-litres more than you get in the latest Toyota Corolla ZR.

Outside, the Clio’s exterior design is really smart with an F1-blade design incorporated into the front bumper, a larger grille and more pronounced air intakes.  This Renault Clio has been tweaked and so becomes 14 mm shorter than the outgoing model and up to 30 mm lower in the roof.  This has been done in an attempt to improve the car’s aerodynamics while delivering on a much sportier, more low-profile appearance.  The new headlights are LED, with the same c-shaped graphics offered on the rest of the Renault range, while the rear lights have been revised to also include the brand’s signature ‘C’ keynote signature.  Nice chrome highlights along the side and rear of the car, along with gloss black window pillars and hidden rear door handles keep the latest Renault Clio looking very smart and attractive.

Another new Clio trim option also boasts more sporty trimmings without changing engine power, so you can opt for this one and enjoy a racier styled new Clio Hatch with a honeycomb grille, a perforated leather steering wheel and aluminium touch points about the cabin without the added expense of a more powerful engine.

Powering the new Renault Clio is a huge range of petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains.  Renault Australia says it wants to launch the new Clio locally in 2020.

Mazda CX-30

Mazda CX-30 Interior

Mazda Australia has a new compact SUV in the form of the Mazda CX-30 which sits between the CX-3 and CX-5 sizes, and Mazda considers this new model gives them an edge in the highly-popular SUV segment, as buyers look for models that suit their particular tastes and needs.

Mazda’s current compact SUV, the CX-3, has been successful in its segment.  It’s currently the second-best seller and a more popular choice with private buyers.  Mazda Australia’s head of marketing, Alistair Doak, says there’s been some negative media coverage on the CX-3 being too small, but consumer demand and the model’s success would suggest otherwise.  He also goes on to say, “But having said that there are also some people we know that say the CX-5 is a bit too big, something in between would be even better… you see the dimension (differences) between the cars (makes for a) clear differentiator between a CX-3, CX-30, and CX-5 – which is ideal because it’s a natural story we can tell customers and we can show them the options.  And we are all about choices and having options.”

Mazda’s elegant CX lines are shapely and attractive, and this line continues with the CX-30 model which is likely to use the new range of SkyActiv-X engines.  These new engines further optimise the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and bring the benefits of a diesel engine – such as a higher compression ratio and better fuel economy over a petrol powertrain.

Kia Niro EV

Coming to Australia soon will be the latest all-electric Kia e-Niro.  The exterior changes bring new bumpers, a new quad-LED ‘ice cube’ daytime-running light design, the option of full-LED headlights, new double-arrow LED lights in the front bumper, revised LED tail-lights, a new rear bumper, and silver-painted skid plate treatment with revised reflectors and fog-lights.

New features inside the Kia e-Niro compact SUV is a soft-touch dash top, gloss black trim with silver or satin chrome highlights, an optional 10.25-inch widescreen central display with UVO Connect online apps, and an available 7.0-inch driver’s instrument display.  An 8.0-inch central touchscreen and 4.2-inch TFT instrument binnacle is standard.  Two colour packs are also now available as part of the refresh, allowing buyers to specify Red-Orange accents which extend from the contrasting stitching to the dash trims, or a Plum pack that brings plum-coloured perforated leather upholstery with warm purple stitching, plum-coloured door armrests and satin chrome dash trim.

Kia’s e-Niro will be competitively priced but still offer some fine features like Lane Following Assist (0-180km/h) for semi-autonomous driving ability, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, driver attention warning, automatic high-beam, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and intelligent speed limit warning.

The brand new Kia e-Niro will form one of the two EVs Kia Australia plans on bringing to us shortly – with the other likely to be the new-generation Kia Soul EV.


  1. Bill Nixon says:

    The most important information about the Kia e-Niro is not mentioned. What is the range on a full battery charge. Without knowing this no buyer would consider buying it.
    The article also fails to mention what power options are available on the Hyundai Sonata, which certainly looks very appealing on the photos published. Is it going to be a competitor to the Kia Stinger?

    March 22nd, 2019 at 9:35 pm

  2. Denis TRAYNOR says:

    Thanks Guys.
    Can you please send a copy of this newsletter to my daughter –
    GOCA1315@HOTMAIL.COM as I’ll be buying next for her.
    She is very interested in AEV’s/Hybrids by the way.
    Regards – Denis

    March 24th, 2019 at 7:33 am

  3. Dave Conole says:

    The Sonata is more a “sister” car, as such, to the Optima, which Kia Australia is dropping. Hyundai do have something Genesis in mind apparently, Once we know for sure we’ll have a story here. Thanks for interacting with us!

    March 24th, 2019 at 4:44 pm

  4. Dave Conole says:

    A quick google seems to show a range of 260 miles for the e-Niro.

    March 24th, 2019 at 4:45 pm

  5. Dave Conole says:

    I’ve sent your response through to head office. Thank you for getting in touch.

    March 24th, 2019 at 4:46 pm