New faces, new deals

Herald Sun - Motoring - - LAUNCH PAD - PETER BARN­WELL PRE­VIEWS THE NEXT BUNCH OF CAR DE­BUTS

Car mak­ers are lim­ber­ing up for a rash of new and facelifted mod­els over the next month. Here are a few to look out for.

NIS­SAN NAVARA SERIES II

Nis­san is adding more mod­els to keep up with other brands’ bur­geon­ing ute line-ups. The NP300 name has dis­ap­peared and there’s a new 4WD midgrade SL with steel wheels and vinyl floor mats for tradies and fleets. Mi­nor changes in the dual cab’s sus­pen­sion aim for a bet­ter ride. Owner feed­back had the rear seat cupholder deleted. Re­vised spec means that, for ex­am­ple, the ST grade gets sat­nav while auto is avail­able on the RX 4WD dual cab-chas­sis. Driv­e­lines carry over and there are no changes to the styling or cabin. Some vari­ants in­crease by $1000.

MG

Hope­fully this not an­other false start for Chi­nese-owned Bri­tish brand MG, which has an­nounced its fac­tory op­er­ated Aus­tralian op­er­a­tion will start sell­ing a two-car range later this month. The MG3 and MG6 will sell in the light and small car cat­e­gories re­spec­tively in three grades apiece, Core, Soul and Essence. The MG3 Core starts at $13,990, the MG6 Core at $21,990. Pow­er­ing the MG3 is a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 1.5-litre four-cylin­der (78kW/137Nm) ex­clu­sively with five-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion. The MG6’s 1.8-litre turbo four­cylin­der (118kW/215Nm) drives the front wheels through a sixspeed dual-clutch auto only. The MG3 is un­rated by ANCAP while the MG6 gets four stars.

LEXUS IS

Re­vised front styling — the “spin­dle” grille in par­tic­u­lar — moves the pop­u­lar IS medium sports sedan closer to other mod­els in the range. The IS re­fresh ushers in other tweaks not im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous, such as a side char­ac­ter line pressed into the steel, larger LED day­time run­ning lights and new head­lights. In­side there are mi­nor de­tail changes to some switches and air vents and a 10.3-inch in­fo­tain­ment touch screen re­places the pre­vi­ous seven-incher. Pow­er­trains carry over and the line-up re­mains Lux­ury, Sport Lux­ury and F-Sport. Prices in­crease slightly.

Clock­wise from top left: Nis­san Navara; MG3 and (in­set) MG6; Lexus IS

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