Tidy trio on the way
Clayton’s party) in Australia but its first hybrid SUV is a smart move. The X5 40e’s $118,900 starting price matches its diesel counterpart and then whips its sibling’s tailpipe on emissions.
The hybrid uses a claimed 3.3L/100km, despite cranking out 230kW/450Nm from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo and electric motor.
Standard gear includes adaptive suspension, reversing camera, powered tailgate, automated parking, adaptive cruise control and top-of-therange satnav.
It handles better than most anything this big. Its low-slung battery pack shouldn’t hurt the centre of gravity.
The lithium-ion array below the cargo hold doesn’t take up too much room, with 500L left for luggage.
BMW claims a 6.8-second time for the 0-100km/h run.
End of month.
AUDI A4 AVANT
Wagon versions of the fourringed make’s small sedan are due this month priced from a predicted $64,000. That puts the Avant at a $3000 premium to the regular 2.0-litre fourcylinder petrol sedan.
Expect a similar jump beyond the $69,900 needed to get behind the wheel of the performance 2.0-litre sedan with all-wheel drive.
The specification is impressive. There are 8.3-inch screen with satnav, digital audio and support for Apple Carplay and Android Auto, powered front seats, LED headlamps and tri-zone climate control.
The quattro sport model goes up a rim size to 19-inch Audi Sports wheels, adds sports suspension to match the upgraded engine’s 185kW/370Nm and has powered folding side mirrors. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard for front and all-wheel drive models.
If Audi follows the sedan route, both Avant versions will have a $1900 assistance upgrade bundling adaptive cruise control, collision warning, active lane assist and turn assist.
End of month.
1.25-litre four-cylinder isn’t averse to revving.
Rear passenger space is above average and a small cargo area is the main concession the Picanto makes for its size.
If it is priced at the expected $13,490 for the manual ($14,990 auto), it could meet Kia’s 300-amonth sales forecasts, given its seven-year warranty and capped price servicing.
Mid-month. Kia Picanto, main; BMW
X5 40E, above right; and Audi A4 Avant