New faces, new deals
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.
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.
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