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Australian 4WD & SUV Buyer's Guide

Australian 4WD & SUV Buyer's Guide April Issue#31 2018

4WD & SUV Buyer’s Guide purely focuses on the vehicles that are newly available on the Australian market. Each description identifies the car’s weaknesses and its strengths with no-holds barred, as well as detailed tables on prices, standard equipment, the cost of major options, performance, fuel consumption and much more. This Buyer’s Guide also shares with its readers the latest news and happenings from the exciting world of automotive mobility. Helping you choose the 4WD or SUV that works best for you, this magazine is perfect for any car enthusiast.

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2 Issues

in this issue

4 min
mercedes x-class from $45,450

Most cars take five years to come to life, from a design sketch to hitting the showrooms. Mercedes didn’t want to wait that long and did a deal with Nissan to use the Navara as the basis of its new X-Class pickup. The X-Class has different sheet metal, wider tracks front and rear, extra strengthening points along the chassis, four-wheel disc brakes (versus the Nissan’s rear drums) and retuned suspension and steering. The four-cylinder engines — single and twin-turbo 2.3-litre turbodiesels — are identical to those in the Navara, right down to their power and torque outputs (120kW/403Nm and 140kW/450Nm) and are matched to the same six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmissions, with all but the base models having part-time 4WD, a dual-range transfer case and a locking rear diff, for genuine off-road…

3 min
mg gs from $23,990

The MG GS compact SUV is built in China by that country’s largest car manufacturer, the state-owned Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation, which rescued the MG brand from oblivion when its British parent went belly-up in 2005. Pricing kicks off at $23,990 for the 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbopetrol/six-speed manual/front-wheel-drive Vivid, with 17-inch alloys, Bluetooth, reverse parking sensors, automatic headlights and an electric parking brake. MG GS Core, at $25,990, adds a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission, rear camera, hill holder, dual-zone air with rear vents, Arkamys audio, leather-wrapped wheel, with infotainment controls and a cooled storage box. The Soul variant, with 18-inch wheels, more supportive front seats, leather upholstery and lumbar adjustment, an eight-inch touch screen, navigation, fog lights and automatic wipers, is $28,990. It’s then a big jump to the $34,990 MG GS Essence X,…

3 min
jeep renegade from $26,290

The Renegade, Jeep’s smallest SUV, is made in Italy and shares architecture and many components with the Fiat 500X. Entry point is the $26,290 Sport, powered by the 81kW/152Nm 1.6-litre ‘E-TorQ’ four used in numerous Fiat models, matched with a five-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels only. Sport is also available with a 103kW/230Nm 1.4-litre ‘MultiAir’ turbopetrol four and a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, priced at $28,990. The same drivetrain in Longitude specification is $32,390. That’s followed by the Limited, packing the same 1.4-litre engine and a more premium fitout, at $36,290. This leaves the 4x4 Trailhawk at the top of the heap, equipped with the 130kW/230Nm 2.4-litre, naturally aspirated ‘MultiAir2 Tigershark’ four with a nine-speed auto as standard. It’s priced at $40,290. Weighing in around 1.4 tonnes and with a feeble 81kW on…

3 min
bmw x3 from $66,900

With the arrival of the third-generation X3, BMW once again has a competitive player in the premium medium-SUV class. Replacing a model long since overtaken by newer rivals, the 2018 X3 has a roomier and much more attractive interior, plus better ride comfort and handling. The embrace of SUVs is a global trend and competition for the growing horde of customers is intense. BMW knows its new X3 has to be very good to stand a chance against competitors from Alfa, Audi, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Range Rover and Volvo. The look of the new X3 interior is based on BMW’s still-fresh 5 Series. The SUV’s instrument panel has a similarly classy layout and likewise houses the latest, and very impressive, iDrive 6 version of the company’s infotainment system. Like the 5 Series and…

4 min
audi q5 from $65,900

Today’s Audi Q5 might seem barely changed since the original in 2009, but there’s exciting new stuff underneath its almost the same skin. Kicking off from $65,900 for the 2.0-litre TDI diesel quattro and $73,211 for the 2.0-litre TFSI petrol quattro Sport, the second-generation Q5 has switched to the Volkswagen Group luxury brand’s high-tech MLB modular transverse architecture, also underpinning the latest A4. The upshot is a significantly lighter yet stronger body than before, the adoption of sophisticated five-link independent suspension (with optional air springs for a smooth, supple ride — something the previous Q5 struggled with) and enough driver-assist safety to make a Volvo engineer blush. Clean surfaces, obsessive quality, precision shutlines — all are expected Audi hallmarks, yet the Q5 ups the ante anyway with a spacious and airy cabin boasting…

1 min
jeep wrangler

The new Jeep Wrangler arrives late in 2018, in short-wheelbase, two-door and long-wheelbase, four-door body styles, plus soft and hardtop variants. Wrangler Sport, Sport S and Rubicon grades are offered, plus a new Sahara grade in the four-door. New Wrangler is bigger than its predecessor, but lighter thanks to the extensive use of aluminium and a magnesium tailgate. It’s still a body-on-frame design, however, with five-link live axles and coils at both ends. Engines include a new 200kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbopetrol, matched with an eight-speed automatic, plus Jeep’s ubiquitous 3.6-litre V6 Pentastar, with 212kW and, in 2019, Jeep’s new 3.0-litre V6 Eco Diesel, with 193kW and 600Nm of torque. Off-road ability is in Wrangler’s DNA, and the new model offers Command-Trac and Rock-Trac part-time, dual-range drivetrains, 277mm of ground clearance, approach/ramp over/departure angles of…