Show and sell
The Geneva heroes headed for our shores this 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.
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.
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.
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 fourcylinder 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.
HYUNDAI I30 WAGON
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 semiautonomous stop-start traffic jam assistance — technology once exclusive to luxury cars. Expect the update by the end of the year.
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 2.2-litre turbo diesel four will turn a manual or eightspeed automatic. The Eclipse Cross is designed to appeal to style-conscious couples, including empty-nesters, says project boss Hiroshi Yamauchi — who concedes its design makes it less practical than the ASX or Outlander.
VW TIGUAN ALLSPACE
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.
FORD FIESTA ST
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.
HONDA CIVIC TYPE R
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 four-cylinder turbo, with respectable but not class leading outputs (235kW/ 400Nm), is matched to a sixspeed manual.