2017 sees a slew of new cars enter the Australian market, while more than a few favourites are getting a comprehensive makeover. Here’s CarsGuide.com.au’s picks for the new year.
A Kuga by any other name, Ford is taking advantage of a styling makeoever to rebadge the softly-selling small SUV to fall in line with a range with a lot of Es in it, including Everest, EcoSport and Edge.
A new Trend 1.5-litre petrol will open the batting a bit lower for Ford at $28,490.
The reborn Compass replaces two cars (Compass and Patriot) in the Jeep stable, and it’s sized to sit below the Cherokee and above the Renegade. Expect petrol and diesel – as well as a off-road-orientated Trailhawk version – when it bounces in around in the last quarter in 2017.
Holden Astra sedan
Holden turned off the Cruze production line late last year, and the Opel-designed Astra sedan will serve as its replacement. Due in May, the car will be sourced form Korea and be tuned more softly than its hatch counterpart. It’ll be powered by a 110kW 1.4-litre turbocharged four-potter.
Honda Civic hatch
A radical reshape is the highlight for the tenth-generation Honda Civic hatch, due early in 2017. It’s gone for an overtly sporty theme this time around as it attempts to regain the ground it’s lost over the last five years.
Aussie spec cars are likely to use the same 1.8-litre naturally aspirated and 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines as the current cars.
Expect the majority of the line to be powered by a new 2.0-litre direct injection four-cylinder engine, while the warmed-over SR models are set to score a 1.6-litre turbocharged donk. A single diesel variant is also on the cards when the i30 launches in the middle of the year.
Mazda CX-5 and MX-5 RF
Don’t call it a facelift… the newest version of Australia’s best selling SUV has scored a subtle yet comprehensive body makeover that touches every panel, while the interior has been tweaked, too.
Expect the same grades and powertrains to flow through when the CX-5 lobs in the first quarter of the year.
While the the MX-5 soft top wins hearts, the hard-top version of Mazda's sportster will win heads and sales. A clever targa-style electric roof adds real-world practicality to the clever little rear-driver, which has just gone on sale in Australia.
The Impreza-based crossover is enjoying a late life flourish after a relatively slow start in Australia, and the updated version of the XV – based on the all-new Impreza that launched in December – won’t stray too far from the currently formula, according to Subaru insiders. This means a more contemporary look, a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre boxer engine and about the same space as an Impreza hatch.
It’ll go on sale locally in the middle of the year, after debuting in Geneva in March.
Toyota C-HR and Camry
Die to land in February, Toyota’s long-awaited baby crossover is expected to be a hot commodity – so much so that there are already whispers that it’ll be limited in supply locally, as worldwide demand is expected to take the bulk of production.
Powered by an 85kW 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, it’ll come in manual, CVT, front and all-wheel-drive variants.
Toyota turns off its Altona production line for the locally built Camry on October 3, and it’ll be replaced by a Japanese made version that will come with two distinct looks, as well as four- and six-cylinder engines as well as a hybrid version. No date has yet been given, but it’ll be around October.
Volkswagen Golf 7.5
A new 110kW 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine could replace the 1.4-litre entry level motor, while the rest of the range will be imbued with a host of new safety and interior tech, like an active dash and post-collision assistance, which can steer and stop a car after a crash.
The entire range, including the wagon, the Alltrack and the hatch, will start to filter through in the middle of 2017, while updated versions of the GTI and R will land later in the year.