Stamp duty for cars explained
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The secret to scoring big sales isn't really much of a secret at all. Just give the people what they want.
And the people want SUVs. Lots of them.
Never ones to miss out on capitalising on a potential market, the world's car companies have delivered, with the resulting boom in SUVs of all shapes and sizes helping lift high-riding sales above passenger cars for the first time since the invention of the rolling wheel.
And they're not done yet, with 2018 shaping as another boom year for SUVs, from fast ones to small ones, practical ones to super ones, and everything in between.
But with so much choice, these are tricky waters to navigate. So to help, we've trimmed down the list to the seven best SUVs arriving in 2018.
Some are more expensive than others, while some feature only in the dreams of us mere mortals, but all will be landing on our shores at some point over the next 12 months.
When Lamborghini - maker of cars that look like they've been sketched in crayon by 14-year-old boys - finally succumbs to the sensible SUV craze, you know the market is shifting.
Happily, though, Lamborghini's idea of sensible is a little different to everyone else's. Which is why the approx-$400k Urus is packing a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine good for 478kW/850Nm. And that power translates to a 3.6-second 0-100km/h sprint and a stonking 305km/h top speed.
And all of that is our kind of sensible. Expect the Urus to arrive in the second quarter of 2018, wearing an approximate $390k price tag.
When Alfa Romeo launched the all-new Giulia sedan, the motoring world collectively held its breath, wondering if this could at last be the start of the long-promised renaissance that had never quite materialised, or just another false start.
But then, the Giulia was pretty great. The Stelvio is the next (SUV-shaped) cab off the Alfa Romeo rank - sharing a lot of important bits with the Giulia sedan - so, we're pretty excited.
There's a brace of 2.0-litre petrol engines, as well as a four-cylinder diesel, but the one that's got us really excited is the 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that will live in the high-performance QV variant, paired with an eight-speed automatic and a four-wheel drive system that can direct bulk power to the rear wheels.
The first cars should arrive in the first quarter of the new year, with the QV variant to follow, and we're expecting pricing to start from about $60,000.
Yes, Infiniti remains something of an unknown in Australia, but the brand is hoping the QX50 will be the model that propels them onto more shopping lists than ever before.
It's also rather handsome, destined to be competitively priced, and it debuts some startlingly clever engine technology, including a world-first variable compression ratio engine that promises the torque and economy of a diesel, but with the performance of a turbocharged petrol engine.
Think of the Wrangler as the ultimate anti-soft roader, with Jeep's most capable model more at home at an actual rodeo rather than cruising Rodeo Drive.
And this all-new model marks the most significant change in more than a decade for the Wrangler - though you wouldn't immediately know it for looking at it - with new engines, a lighter body and new technology.
The mission this time around, says Jeep, was to make the Wrangler (still available with two or four doors, and a removable roof, and fold-down windscreen) more liveable when you're not summiting a mountain, but don't expect Euro levels of luxury here - this remains a purpose-built machine, even in the luxury-focused and four-door-only Sahara trim.
Expect pricing to start from about $40,000 when the Wrangler arrives towards the end of 2018.
Jaguar's smallest SUV, the E-Pace, will hit Aussie showrooms in April next year, building on the success of the bigger F-Pace, but also just (actually) building on the F-Pace - with the E-Pace sharing lots of its important bits with its bigger brother.
Expect the usual slightly confusing list of models (there are five engine variants, for example) from Jaguar - not to mention the options list - but the range will start with the base E-Pace model, at $47,750. And at that money, and looking the way that it does, we think it will sell like mobile hotcakes.
The five-seat, diesel-powered Endura is an important model for Ford, both because it enters into a busy segment, but also because a successful launch will help lay the bedrock for post local manufacturing success in Australia.
Details are still being kept under wraps, but expect a sub-$50k starting price, and an launch in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Holden has so far kept mum on the specification details for the Acadia, but has let some journalists (including our very own Mal Flynn) have a quick taste test of some engineering cars at the brand's Victorian proving ground, and he came away impressed.
It's every bit as important a car for Holden as the Endura is for Ford - and for much the same reason - with the big Acadia the car GM hopes will be able to take the fight to the Japanese brands in the large SUV segment.