Thinking of buying a Mazda CX-9 or Toyota Kluger? Best pay attention. After months of uncertainty surrounding its availability to RHD markets, Hyundai has confirmed its full-size Palisade SUV will arrive Down Under. Two engines will be offered (3.8L V6 petrol and 2.2L 4cyl diesel) and the option of seven- or eight-seat cabin configurations. Expect pricing in the $50-70K bracket.
The first all-new Yaris in over a decade arrives with cutting-edge safety tech (including an airbag between the front seat passengers) and the option of hybrid assistance to its standard 1.5-litre three cylinder petrol. Prices are tipped to jump sharply and start close to $20K.
The Pumaís arrival finally means the miserable Ford EcoSport is no more. Where that small SUV was gutless, cheap and dreary, the Fiesta-based Puma is a marked improvement in every area. Itís pricey, though. The base car starts at $29,990...
ALFA ROMEO GIULIA Q
Alfa has updated our favourite Giulia and Stelvio variants, giving the Quadrifoglio twins improved infotainment, LED taillights, some lashing of carbon trim and a lairy new shade of green paint. No more power, sadly.
Aston Martin DBX & Vantage
Volante Audi SQ5 TDI & R8 facelift
Ford Puma & Escape
Honda CR-V facelift
Hyundai i30 sedan & Sonata
Genesis GV80 & G80
Kia Sorento & Picanto facelift
Land Rover Defender 110
Lexus LC 500 facelift
Mazda 3 Skyactiv-X
Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
Mercedes GLB & GLA
Porsche 718 GTS
Alpina B3 Sedan and Touring
Audi RS6, RSQ3 & e-tron
Honda Civic Type R update
Hyundai Santa Fe facelift, Palisade
Kia Stinger facelift
Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder
Porsche 911 Turbo S, 911 Targa & Cayenne GTS
Suzuki Swift facelift
Alfa Giulia and Stelvio Q facelift
BMW M2 CS & X3 hybrid
Kia Stonic & Carnival
Lexus LC 500 Convertible
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross update
Porsche 911 Turbo & Taycan
Toyota Yaris Cross, GR Yaris & Supra
BEACONS GLIMMER IN THE GLOOM
HIGHLIGHTS If you want to survive an economic downturn, build big utes, cheap Chinese SUVs, and niche British sports cars. Great Wall and Haval are up 19.5% and 96.7% YTD respectively. Ram continues to rock a 31.3% YTD growth, while Lotus grew a massive 500% compared to the same time last year.†Okay, so that may be skewed by the fact it sold just one car last May compared to five in the month just gone.
LOWLIGHTS Genesis is still struggling to find traction after almost a year in the market. Just five models rolled out of the Korean brandís showroom last month.†While the market is up compared to Aprilís COVID-19 affected slump, this is the lowest May figure in 26 years, and makes this the longest sustained downturn in new car sales since the GFC. Some of the brands hit worst by the slowdown are Renault (-40.2% YTD), Citroen (-55%), and Alfa Romeo (-39%).
Tiguan has its tail up
Hats off to Volkswagen for massively ramping up sales of the Tiguan SUV in May. Only 156 left dealers in April, lifting to 451 units in May, an increase of 189%. Also worth a mention is the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (up 180%), the Honda HR-V (+147%), and the Mazda 3 (+130%). Mazda did well, with the CX-5 +128% and the CX-3 up by 124%.
Not really. But still...
Truth be told, itís hard to find a vehicle that sells in significant numbers that didnít increase sales hugely between en ly April and May. But some were clearly better positioned to take advantage than others. Take Toyota. Sales of the much-lauded new RAV4 lifted by a mere 23%. Blame that on supply rather than demand.