Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Trending News

Will Ineos be a hit in Australia? | Analysis

The Ineos Grenadier wagon is already available in Australia and will be followed by the Quartermaster ute.

You have to admire ambition and innovation because those desires and actions have resulted in some memorable products: think Gates and his game-changing Apple brand and Musk and his EV revolution-leading, Tesla.

But ambition and innovation can only get a company so far. The company actually needs to consistently produce top-quality products for people to believe in their brand.

And that brings us to the British-made Ineos Grenadier, a 4WD wagon, and the Ineos QuarterMaster, the company’s ute offering.

There’s no doubt Ineos Automotive, a UK-based company, has rattled the cage of the world’s car-makers: here’s a British chemicals billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe whose chief goal at the moment, among many others, seems to be to entice a stack of 4WD buyers away from established off-road brands to his new, old-school (in spirit, at least) off-roaders.

And the much-hyped line-up – the wagon and the still-being-tested ute – have captured the imagination of pretty much everyone who likes cars – and it’s even grabbed the attention of those who don’t normally take any interest whatsoever in matters of a vehicular nature.

But will Ineos succeed in the Aussie market? Can its 4WDs take on the likes of the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series or the Nissan Patrol or Nissan Patrol Warrior, and will the Quartermaster be able to steal some sales from those of the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux or even, God forbid, dominate Toyota’s much-loved 79 Series LandCruiser?

Only time will tell, however, there are two big factors at play – one a positive and one a negative – when you consider the potential of these two British-made vehicles to pose a significant threat to the much more established wagons and utes here.

Real 4WD capability

When the all-new Land Rover Defender was unveiled back in September 2019, there was a global collective sigh of relief – it was different but it wasn’t terrible. But, at the same time, there was a pained groan from many die-hard Landie lovers who believed the “real” Defender was – sniff – no more.

Well, they needn’t have worried because Sir Jim and his merry mob of designers and engineers had been beavering away since 2017, concocting, then developing, then reworking, then testing-testing-testing their Defender substitute: the Grenadier.

The Grenadier is a clear homage to the Defenders of old, also with obvious styling nods to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, the Land Rover Discovery, and even with a tip of the hat to off-roaders such as Suzuki Jimny and Mitsubishi Pajero.

It would be powered by a 3.0-litre BMW-sourced straight-six petrol (210kW/450Nm) or diesel (185kW/550Nm) engine, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. And would be armed with real-world 4WD capability – but more about that soon.

Immediately, this hardcore 4WD set tongues a-wagging and imaginations running wild: it’s old-school cool and it’s the Defender that Land Rover should have delivered.

But is that ‘wow’ factor strong enough and enduring enough for it to lure people in and, more importantly, keep them coming back for more? Thing is, the Grenadier is much more than just the ‘wow’ factor because beyond the hype there is plenty of substance, after all this boxy traditional-looking 4WD has a ladder frame chassis, live axles front and rear, permanent four-wheel drive, and front-, centre- and rear-locking differentials.

The Quartermaster, unveiled at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, will be similarly off-road-capable and will be powered by a 3.0L straight-six turbo-petrol or a 3.0L straight-six twin-turbo diesel, teamed with an eight-speed ZF auto.

So, 4WD capability looks to be baked into both of these Ineos models – on paper, at least – and so they have definite potential as work trucks, hardcore off-road touring vehicles and/or recreational towing platforms.

There’s a heap more to get your head around with regard to the Grenadier’s and the Quartermaster’s 4WD-focussed underpinnings, off-road measurements etc, but for those deep dives, go have a read of all of our other Ineos-related coverage.


Big toys cost big bucks.

And the Grenadier pricing is pretty big.

The entry-level Grenadiers – the Utility wagon and the Station wagon – cost $109,000 and $110,000 respectively (excluding on-roads), at time of writing.

The high-spec Trialmaster (yes, trial NOT trail) and Fieldmaster cost $122,000 and $123,000 in respective Utility and Station wagon forms.

As for the Grenadier ute, well, the only way is up for the price: the entry-level Quartermaster will cost $110,000; and the Quartermaster Trialmaster edition (off-road grade) and a Fieldmaster edition (luxury grade) are expected to each cost about $123,000.

Sure, everything is more expensive these days but, geez, we’re really forking out for new vehicles these days, aren’t we?

What I reckon

There’s always room for a bit of healthy competition and you have to admit: the whole Ineos approach and product line-up so far is very intriguing.

Will Ineos work in Australia? At those prices, sales won’t be as red-hot as the British company might hope but with the Grenadier's spiritual father, the Defender, selling well here, it’s a shoe-in that we’ll soon see a few Grenadier and Quartermasters on our roads and bush tracks in the not-too-distant future.

No matter what, it’ll be fun to see what happens – and I’m looking forward to doing some independent testing of the wagon and the ute.

Marcus Craft
Contributing Journalist
Raised by dingoes and, later, nuns, Marcus (aka ‘Crafty’) had his first taste of adventure as a cheeky toddler on family 4WD trips to secret fishing spots near Bundaberg, Queensland. He has since worked as a journalist for more than 20 years in Australia, London and Cape Town and has been an automotive journalist for 18 years. This bloke has driven and camped throughout much of Australia – for work and play – and has written yarns for pretty much every mag you can think of. The former editor of 4X4 Australia magazine, Marcus is one of the country’s most respected vehicle reviewers and off-road adventure travel writers.
About Author
Trending News