Show and sell

The Geneva he­roes headed for our shores this year



The se­cond gen­er­a­tion of Subaru’s smash-hit soft-roader main­tains the for­mula, adding rugged looks and high-rid­ing sus­pen­sion to the lat­est Im­preza plat­form. It gains Subaru’s EyeSight for­ward crash avoid­ance tech­nol­ogy and a new in­te­rior with a larger touch­screen. The fru­gal yet slightly un­der­pow­ered 2.0-litre four-cylin­der car­ries over, matched to a CVT auto. Ex­pect it in the se­cond half of this year.


The lat­est gen­er­a­tion of the pop­u­lar hatch should ar­rive midyear. Ex­pect a choice of a 1.2-litre four-cylin­der and a turbo 1.0-litre three-cylin­der, with man­ual or auto trans­mis­sions. The Swift fi­nally gets An­droid Auto and Apple CarPlay and rear-view cam­era. Radar cruise con­trol and au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing are yet to be con­firmed. Un­like most cars in this seg­ment, our Swift is likely to be built in Ja­pan.


For the first time, the real Commodore re­place­ment has been dis­played in the metal. Cover the Opel In­signia badge and you have the new Commodore. En­gine op­tions will be 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo or turbo diesel (front drive) or 3.0-litre V6 (AWD). Top-end mod­els will have in­tel­li­gent high-beam that doesn’t daz­zle on­com­ing cars, plus radar cruise con­trol with au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing and lane-keep­ing tech­nol­ogy. Per­for­mance fans: don’t hold your breath for a turbo V6 — Opel re­it­er­ated there was no room un­der the bon­net as the en­gine was a late in­clu­sion.


We’ve all but for­got­ten how good small wag­ons are, given our ap­petite for city-sized soft­road­ers. Hyundai Aus­tralia is wrestling with the same dilemma. The i30 wagon shown in the metal for the first time at Geneva is new from the ground up and gets the new i30’s pre­mium in­te­rior — plus, of course, the mas­sive cargo hold. It’s ac­tu­ally roomier than the lat­est com­pact SUVs.


Yes, most Nis­san com­pact SUVs look the same these days. The Qashqai’s makeover brings a more up-mar­ket ap­pear­ance and more tech. Au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing is now avail­able, as is semi-au­ton­o­mous

stop-start traf­fic jam as­sis­tance — tech­nol­ogy once ex­clu­sive to lux­ury cars. Ex­pect the up­date by the end of the year.


Kia’s cut-price $14,990 drive­away city hatch stacks up well — but its re­place­ment, due later this year, is set to raise the bar. In Europe, en­gine op­tions will be a su­per fru­gal 1.0-litre three­cylin­der turbo or a 1.25-litre non-turbo four, the lat­ter more likely for Aus­tralia. Au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing, also avail­able in Europe, has yet to be con­firmed for Aus­tralia. An­droid Auto and Apple CarPlay will be fit­ted, as will a rear-view cam­era. With the ex­tra equip­ment, ex­pect the man­ual to be $13,990 drive­away and the auto $15,500.


Mitsubishi took a bold step to­wards be­com­ing an SUV spe­cial­ist with the world pre­miere of the Eclipse Cross, a com­pact five-door with all­wheel drive to go on sale in Aus­tralia late this year. It will slot be­tween the ASX and Out­lander. A new turbo 1.5-litre four will be teamed with man­ual or CVT, while the 2.2litre turbo diesel four will turn a man­ual or eight-speed au­to­matic. The Eclipse Cross is de­signed to ap­peal to style­con­scious cou­ples, in­clud­ing empty-nesters, says pro­ject boss Hiroshi Ya­mauchi — who con­cedes its de­sign makes it less prac­ti­cal than the ASX or Out­lander.


The lat­est Tiguan is larger than the orig­i­nal — but now it has grown again. The Allspace, a stretched Tiguan with seven seats, neatly fills the gap be­tween its com­pact donor and the full-size Touareg fam­ily SUV. Petrol and diesel en­gines — and equip­ment lev­els — are likely to mir­ror much of the reg­u­lar Tiguan range. Prices and equip­ment will be re­vealed closer to the car’s ar­rival here, in about 12 months.


The budget baby hot hatch looks fa­mil­iar but it is com­pletely new from the tyres up. The big news is un­der the bon­net — its turbo en­gine is a 1.5-litre three-cylin­der, rather than 1.6-litre four, with out­puts that eclipse the lat­ter (147kW/ 290Nm). Ford says it reaches 100km/h in 6.7 sec­onds (0.2 quicker than cur­rent car). An ar­ti­fi­cial sound en­hancer pumps some en­gine growl into the cabin through pipes un­der the bon­net, and also some syn­the­sised noise via the car stereo speak­ers. The in­te­rior has had a ma­jor makeover, with a tablet-style cen­tral dis­play screen with Apple Car Play and An­droid Auto. The new Fi­esta ST will be built in Ger­many in five-door and three-door body styles (Aus­tralia pre­vi­ously only had the three-door) but Ford Aus­tralia is yet to an­nounce if we will get one or both mod­els when it ar­rives next year.


It’s a good year for revheads — the se­cond Type R in two years has been un­veiled and this one is com­ing to Aus­tralia, by year’s end. Price, equip­ment lev­els and per­for­mance claims are yet to be an­nounced. Honda aims to pitch it be­tween the Golf GTI

and Golf R mod­els, so ex­pect $45,000$50,000. The 2.0-litre four­cylin­der turbo, with re­spectable but not class lead­ing out­puts (235kW/ 400Nm), is matched to a six-speed man­ual.

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