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What's a good hybrid car to buy?
The default purchase for somebody looking for a mid-sized hybrid SUV is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. But if that’s too big, there’s the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid, C-HR Hybrid and even the Corolla Cross Hybrid which sounds like the marketplace is getting crowded but is really just a reflection of the appetite right now for cars like these. And that’s the catch; the waiting times for a brand-new example of some of these cars is out to many months and even years. So your plan to shop second-hand makes plenty of sense, but don’t expect any bargains in a market currently being dominated by lots of demand and less supply.
Beyond the Toyota brand (which has been doing hybrids longer than just about anybody else) there’s also the Mazda CX-30, Subaru XV Hybrid, Haval Jolion Hybrid, Kia Niro, Subaru Forester Hybrid, Nissan Qashqai e-Power, MG HS, Honda HR-V e and more. For something a bit bigger, try the Kia Sorento or Hyundai Santa Fe hybrids. There are others out there, too, that are probably bigger or more expensive than you need, but it's very much a growing scene in the Australian marketplace.
What are some good options to replace a 2004 Ford Fairmont?
Sadly, Aussie cars like the Ford Fairmont just aren't being made any longer. As you've correctly identified over many years and almost 300,000km, this big, rugged, relaxed type of vehicle was perfect for travelling in Australia, but the onslaught of SUVs and the death of the local car-making industry put an end to these big sedans.
There's nothing wrong with a Kia Sportage (in fact, it's a good choice) and you might find the effortless turbo-diesel version suits your needs and preferences quite well. You may also appreciate the higher ride height and easier entry and egress. But what you won't find in any mid-sized SUV is the same dynamic feel of a conventional sedan like your current Ford. This is not to say modern SUVs don't drive well; they do, and improved fuel efficiency and different packaging is all part of where the Australia car-park is going.
If you're not venturing off the bitumen, however, there are a few alternatives to an SUV in the form of some very accomplished medium-sized sedans. The Hyundai i30 Sedan would be one and, if you want to retain the rear-wheel-drive feel and big performance, then the Kia Stinger is another alternative to an SUV.
The other alternative would be to take the time and effort to seek out a later-model Ford Fairmont with fewer kilometres on its odometer and start over again with the packaging you clearly already enjoy.
What are the differences between the 2022 and 2023 Kia Sportage GT-Line?
Kia introduced the fifth-generation Sportage in 2021, so there won't be any wholesale changes to the car for a while yet. Kia – like most car-makers – is constantly fine-tuning specifications of its vehicles, so there may be a mild facelift of the car due in 2023 or soon thereafter, but it's unlikely to involve much in the way of engineering.
The biggest news for the Sportage range in 2023 is likely to be the introduction of a hybrid model. Kia isn't saying when that will be, however, and it could even be 2024 before we see it. The other new Sportage variant is likely to be a plug-in hybrid version which has been slated for the North American market, but not confirmed for Australia. Yet.
* Price is based on Glass's Information Services third party pricing data for the lowest priced Kia Mentor variant.The Price excludes costs such as stamp duty, other government charges and options.
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