The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Cover Story -

AWAY from the con­cept cars and other flights of fancy in Frank­furt, there was plenty of new me­tal that we will see in Aus­tralia soon. Here are the high­lights.


It may look like the cur­rent As­tra but this is new from the ground up and will be in Holden show­rooms within 12 months to re­place the lo­cally built Cruze. Ini­tially avail­able with su­per-ef­fi­cient 1.4 and 1.6litre turbo en­gines, the five-door hatch will come from the Vaux­hall fac­tory in Bri­tain. The As­tra wagon has not been con­firmed for Aus­tralia. The hatch is likely to be priced closer to the Volk­swa­gen Golf (start­ing at $22,990) than the Cruze’s cur­rent $19,990.


Online blog­gers have been pretty harsh on the Sportage’s rad­i­cal de­sign but in the me­tal the Ger­man-de­signed but Korean-built SUV is one sharp-look­ing de­vice. Ex­pect the new gen­er­a­tion Sportage range in Aus­tralian show­rooms in Jan­uary, priced not far away from the cur­rent $25,990-$41,590. As is the case cur­rently, there will be petrol and diesel en­gine op­tions.


The small-car class has found yet another niche. The Suzuki Baleno is big­ger than the Cele­rio tiny tot and the Swift — but not quite as big as a Toy­ota Corolla. It’s not yet con­firmed for Aus­tralia but once it gets the green light it will ar­rive in the sec­ond half of 2016, when price and equip­ment will be an­nounced. If we were go­ing to guess, how­ever, the price will start from less than $20,000.


Billed as a con­cept, this is as close to pro­duc­tion as a show car gets. The sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Tiguan fi­nally has a de­cent sized boot! The cargo floor al­most dou­bles in length, there is more legroom for rear pas­sen­gers and the sec­ond-row seat slides fur­ther. The new Tiguan will be on sale in Aus­tralia by about this time next year with petrol and diesel en­gines and start­ing prices be­low $30,000.


The new Me­gane goes on sale in Europe early next year and in Aus­tralia within 12 months, in five-door form only. Its seven­speed dual clutch auto (sim­i­lar to that used in the VW Golf) is ex­pected to broaden its ap­peal. Mean­while, Re­nault con­firms it as the ba­sis of the next gen­er­a­tion Me­gane RS hot hatch — there will not be a three-door and it may miss out on a man­ual trans­mis­sion, with a dual-clutch auto for the first time. Re­nault Aus­tralia is lob­by­ing for the sixspeed man­ual to carry over.

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