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Australian 4WD & SUV Buyer's Guide

Australian 4WD & SUV Buyer's Guide

May Issue #37 2021

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
bmw x6 from $127,900

Launched in 2008, BMW’s then controversially styled now has a few imitators due to its success. What it loses out to the closely related X5 in space and practicality, the divisive design icon makes up for in attitude and individuality. The cheapest X6 is the $127,900 xDrive30d, powered by a 190kW 3.0-litre turbodiesel driving all four wheels — like the rest of the range — via an eightspeed automatic transmission. Priced from $130,900, the xDrive40i produces 250kW from its 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbopetrol. The $163,900 xDrive50i features a 330kW 4.4-litre twin-turbopetrol V8, with the $148,900 Pure variant running the same drivetrain minus antiroll, active steering, metallic paint, Harman Kardon audio and a few other features. Top of the heap is the $218,900 X6 M, with the 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 tuned for a berserk 460kW…

3 min
toyota fortuner from $49,080

Toyota discounted Fortuner by more than $5000 in late 2017 to fire up sales; they’ve taken $3000-$4000 of that back for the 2021 update. The base Fortuner GX is $49,080 plus on road costs. That’s still more than $10,500 cheaper than Prado GX – which has the same drivetrain – and $8010 less than the 2.0-litre Everest Trend. Fortuner GXL costs $54,350 and Crusade, tested here, is $61,410. In late 2020 Fortuner received the same 2.8 litre turbodiesel/six-speed automatic drivetrain upgrade as Hilux and Prado. Peak power increased 20kW to 150kW and torque by a hefty 50Nm to 500Nm. So it now shares class leading outputs with Ford’s 2.0-litre turbo Everest. Maximum claimed towing weight is 3100 kg. At Fortuner’s gross vehicle mass of 2800kg, (including towball download), its legal maximum trailer weight is…

3 min
maserati levante from $127,000

Until the Levante, no SUV had ever worn the trident badge of Maserati. But you would never guess from the way this weighty Italian drives. Equipped as standard with air springs and variable dampers, the Levante is more agile on a curvy road than a high-riding 2.2-tonne five-seater has any right to be and, thanks to a little help from Jeep, has more off-road ability than any customer is ever likely to exploit. Maserati’s starting point for development was the Ghibli sedan, and the SUV’s overall length and wheelbase are almost the same. Major changes for the Levante include suspension hardware designed to deliver greater wheel travel, plus the adoption of standard pneumatic suspension that can hoist the vehicle up to 40mm higher for off-road work or lower it by up to…

4 min
nissan qashqai from $28,290

Just why Nissan chose to name its small SUV after a group of nomadic tribes from Iran is anybody’s guess. The Qashqai traditionally use donkeys to get around. Presumably that’s not the connection Nissan was trying to make… All models run a naturallyaspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine, with a humble 106kW of power and 200Nm of torque, put to the road via six-speed manual or continuously variable (CVT) transmissions. Qashqai has no off road pretensions, so the entire range is front wheel drive. Pricing opens at $28,290 for the base ST manual. CVT adds $2000; it’s standard on the $32,290 ST+, the $34,300 ST-L, tested here, the $35,900 Midnight Edition and the $38,790 bells and whistles Ti. In addition to ST’s keyless entry and starting, fast glass on all windows (with opening and closing via…

3 min
peugeot 5008 from $51,990

Most car reviewers head for the driver’s seat when a new model arrives. With the seven-seat Peugeot 5008, however, you’re best to start your test drive at the tailgate. You might be wowed by the dealer opening the rear hatch with a deft swing of their foot near a sensor hidden under the bumper. Each of the back two seats can be removed in about 15 seconds, creating a large, deep load area or, if you play with the Meccano-like plastic support planks, a flat cargo space with a cubby underneath. Adding to its flexibility, each of the three seats in the second row can slide forward or back, or be folded flat individually, enabling you to find the right balance between carrying kids and cargo. The final flourish: each of the three seats in…

3 min
mitsubishi outlander from $29,990

The base front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre petrol/five-speed manual Outlander ES fiveseater is $29,990. A 2.4-litre engine/continuously variable automatic (CVT) drivetrain adds $2500 and two extra seats another $1000. The all-wheel-drive 2.4-litre petrol CVT ES seven-seater is $34,990, or $35,990 with seven seats. Seven seater LS 2.4 is $35,490 with front-wheel drive and $37,990 with all-wheel drive. The 2.2-litre turbodiesel AWD sixspeed automatic seven-seater LS is priced at $41,490. Exceed all-wheel drive sevenseaters cost $43,990 (2.4/CVT) and $47,490 (2.2/six-speed auto) respectively. The CVT transmission tries as hard as it can to flatter the 2.4-litre petrol engine but it’s a struggle at times. In normal drive mode the Outlander is sluggish off the line and slow to reach your chosen speed. CVTs can be efficient and responsive — but not this one. You get a lot of noise and…