Incoming

THE NEW METAL HEADING OUR WAY

JEEP WRANGLER

Jeep’ off-road icon is imminent in Sport, Overland and Rubicon spec, with 2.2-litre turbo-diesel power and torque allied to an eight-speed auto, a classier cabin, more refined road manners and better ride. Will potential buyers be spooked by the one-star Euro NCAP safety rating?

NISSAN LEAF

Second-gen Leaf could change the electric car game if priced right. It’ a more conventional-looking package with greater energy density and therefore battery range, as well as improved performance, and a focus on driver assistance tech that allows some self-driving functions.

TOYOTA RAV4

The bigger, all-new RAV4 promises to be from the ‘New Toyota’ mould, which means driver appeal and ride/handling smarts are part of the package. A petrol/ electric hybrid, torque-vectoring AWD and off-road focused ‘Adventure’ version with multi-terrain modes all have our interest.

AUDI A1

Ingolstadt’ bigger, second-gen baby is set to usher in greater class, including a richer cabin and cutting-edge infotainment to properly justify the premium over its Volkswagen Polo platform donor.

JANUARY

ALFA ROMEO Stelvio Quadrifoglio

AUDI RS5 Sportback, Q7 e-tron quattro, Q8

FORD Endura, Everest update

JAGUAR F-Pace update, SVR

JEEP Wrangler

LAMBORGHINI Urus

LAND ROVER Range Rover P400e plug-in

LEXUS CT200h update

MERCEDES-BENZ X350d, C63 AMG update

MITSUBISHI Triton

SKODA Fabia facelift

SUZUKI Jimny, Vitara update

FEBRUARY / MARCH

AUDI A1 and A6

BMW 3 Series, 8 Series, i3 update, X7 30d and M50d, Z4 (Feb); BMW i3 update (March)

HYUNDAI i30 N Fastback, Kona Electric, Veloster

KIA Cerato hatch + GT, Picanto GT

PORSCHE Macan facelift

ROLLS ROYCE Cullinan

TOYOTA RAV4 and Prius

Wishlist

If you don’t ask, you don’t get

FORD FIESTA

Fiesta as well as the (now delayed) ST? Okay, the mainstream Fiesta’s Oz noshow status is unlikely to change, but the ST’s three- or five-door status may still be up for negotiation. Can we have the five-door, please? (Or, even better, both body variants.)

TheMarket 2018; NOT A BOLTER YEAR

HIGHLIGHTS The total market for 2018 tallied 1,153,111 units in a year that was good to SUVs (43 percent of the total market), utes (light commercials represented 21 percent of the market) and small cars (17 percent of the market). Toyota (with an 19 percent market share), Mazda (10 percent), Hyundai (8 percent), Mitsubishi (7 percent) and Ford (6 percent) filled places one to five respectively, with both Mitsubishi and Toyota up compared with 2017.

LOWLIGHTS A tough economic climate on the back of declining residential property values, tighter lending and drought among other factors saw the 2018’s total market drop by 36,005 sales or 3 percent compared with 2017’s record year. While three of four SUV sub-segments and 4x4 utes grew, most other segments took a hit. Worst were medium, large and sports cars, down 27, 53 and 32 percent respectively.

Winning 16% INCREASE

HONDA CR-V

Honda’s medium SUV was up 16 percent in December and rounds 2018 up 70 percent on 2017. Its smaller SUV sibling the HR-V was the only other Honda to see growth in 2018, by a modest 2.6 percent YTD.

Tanking 70% DECREASE

HOLDEN ASTRA

Emblematic of the Lion’s woes – Astra is actually Holden’s bestselling passenger car – the Euro hatch was down 70 percent in December and 27 percent year-todate. Its 1067 sales pale alongside model’s December 2017 tally of