... BUT HERE’S A TASTE OF WHAT YOU’LL DRIVE IN 2016
AWAY from the concept cars and other flights of fancy in Frankfurt, there was plenty of new metal that we will see in Australia soon. Here are the highlights.
It may look like the current Astra but this is new from the ground up and will be in Holden showrooms within 12 months to replace the locally built Cruze. Initially available with super-efficient 1.4 and 1.6litre turbo engines, the five-door hatch will come from the Vauxhall factory in Britain. The Astra wagon has not been confirmed for Australia. The hatch is likely to be priced closer to the Volkswagen Golf (starting at $22,990) than the Cruze’s current $19,990.
Online bloggers have been pretty harsh on the Sportage’s radical design but in the metal the German-designed but Korean-built SUV is one sharp-looking device. Expect the new generation Sportage range in Australian showrooms in January, priced not far away from the current $25,990-$41,590. As is the case currently, there will be petrol and diesel engine options.
The small-car class has found yet another niche. The Suzuki Baleno is bigger than the Celerio tiny tot and the Swift — but not quite as big as a Toyota Corolla. It’s not yet confirmed for Australia but once it gets the green light it will arrive in the second half of 2016, when price and equipment will be announced. If we were going to guess, however, the price will start from less than $20,000.
Billed as a concept, this is as close to production as a show car gets. The The Prius gets more daring with each new model and this is the most radical yet. The futuristic styling aims to polarise — Toyota reckons it resembles “an athletic shape inspired by a runner in the starting blocks” — but the teardrop shape is designed to slip through the air. New petrol engine technology will trim 10 per cent from the fuel consumption but exact details are still under wraps. Expect the fourthgeneration Prius early next year from about $35,000. second-generation Tiguan finally has a decent sized boot! The cargo floor almost doubles in length, there is more legroom for rear passengers and the second-row seat slides further. The new Tiguan will be on sale in Australia by about this time next year with petrol and diesel engines and starting prices below $30,000.
The new Megane goes on sale in Europe early next year and in Australia within 12 months, in five-door form only. Its sevenspeed dual clutch auto (similar to that used in the VW Golf) is expected to broaden its appeal. Meanwhile, Renault confirms it as the basis of the next generation Megane RS hot hatch — there will not be a three-door and it may miss out on a manual transmission, with a dual-clutch auto for the first time. Renault Australia is lobbying for the sixspeed manual to carry over.