MATT CAMPBELL August 29, 2012
Price changes and model upgrades for Toyota, Volvo, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and Holden.
Toyota LandCruiser Altitude
Toyota has added a new “special edition” version of its LandCruiser large 4WD known as the Altitude.
The Altitude model is based on the GXL, but adds 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a black leather interior with electric driver and passenger seat adjustment, and a cooler box in the centre console.
It’s powered by a 4.5-litre twin turbo diesel V8 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission as standard.
The Altitude is priced at $90,490 – a $2000 premium over the GXL but $9000 less than the similarly equipped VX model. Read more on the recently updated LandCruiser 200 series range.
Volvo has added a budget-focused front-wheel-drive diesel model to its top-selling model, the XC60 SUV.
The new XC60 D4 starts at $58,490 plus on-road costs – representing a $4000 discount over the previous entry model diesel. The front-wheel-drive D4 is powered by a 2.0-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel producing 120kW/400Nm, with fuel use rated at 6.9L/100km.
Volvo is also offering new tech options such as Active High Beam, which can dip the headlights to avoid blinding other drivers (available as part of the optional Driver Alert System pack), and a new Road Sign Information system which warns the driver of the speed limit and overtaking rules by spotting the signs with a camera (it’s available with the optional Driver Alert System and the optional adaptive cruise control/collision warning with autobrake option).
Other new options include 20-inch wheels, and a new colour (Rebel Blue), while the standard City Safety crash avoidance technology now works up to 50km/h, instead of 30km/h. The “Teknik” kit, which includes electric passenger seat adjustment, cornering headlights, satnav and blind spot monitoring, is available across the range.
Prices for the 2013 model year XC60 are unchanged, and as follows (all with automatic transmission):
T5 FWD petrol: $55,490
T5 FWD petrol Teknik: $60,490
3.2 AWD petrol $59,990
3.2 AWD petrol Teknik $64,990
D4 FWD diesel $58,490 (new model)
D4 FWD diesel Teknik - $63,490 (new model)
D5 AWD diesel $62,490
D5 AWD diesel Teknik $67,490
D5 AWD diesel R-Design $72,490
T6 AWD petrol $68,490
T6 AWD petrol Teknik $73,490
T6 AWD petrol R-Design $78,490
Kia’s Sorento SUV is now available in a special edition model known as the Global Circuit Limited Edition. It celebrates Swedish Adventurer Christer Gerlach’s circumnavigation of the world in his 2005 model Sorento – adding $3700 worth of extra gear for a $1000 premium.
The extras include side steps, an alloy nudge bar, towbar package, cargo area liner, carpet mats for driver and passengers, roof rails with cross bars and a big badge on the back. The pack is available on the SLi diesel ($47,190) and Platinum diesel ($51,180) models.
The Sorento competes with Hyundai’s Santa Fe, Ford’s Territory, Holden’s Captiva7 and Toyota’s Kluger. An all-new Sorento is due here next year.
Holden’s first plug-in hybrid car is on sale now from $59,990 plus on-road and dealer costs.
That price may seem high – and it is – but Holden has packed the Volt with plenty of gear, including safety items like a collision alert and lane departure warning system, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, eight airbags (dual front, front-side, driver and passenger knee airbags and full-length side-curtain airbags), as well as satnav, DVD player and voice control.
The Volt has also been awarded the maximum five-star ANCAP crash test rating.
The Volt is powered by an electric motor but also has a 1.4-litre petrol four-cylinder engine that works as a generator for the batteries. Unlike other hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius the Volt is only ever driven by its electric motor, which produces 111kW of power and 370Nm or torque, the latter of which is available from a standstill.
Holden claims the Volt can travel up to 87km on electricity alone, with the petrol engine increasing the overall driving range to 600km. Owners driving less than 87km between charges can drive the Volt purely on electricity, although the car will use at least one tank of fuel each year as part of its cycle to stop the fuel going stale.
Holden has teamed up with green vehicle subsidiary Better Place to offer a new plan for a home-base charging system. Prices for the systems range from $0 to $4699 depending on your location, with plans for the ACT including free electricity, while the rest of the nation still needs to pay for each charge (estimated at about $2.50). Subscribers can also opt for unlimited public charging at Better Place street charge points for a yearly fee.
VW’s mid-size Passat sedan and wagon will now come with standard satellite navigation and a reversing camera – at no extra cost to buyers.
Due on sale in September, the re-jigged Passat range will offer a host of minor tweaks that add value.
The standard satnav and rear-view camera join convenience touches such as an onboard 30GB hard drive and an automatically closing tailgate on the wagon model. The sportier V6 versions also now get steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters as standard.
Buyers who option the driver assistance and visibility package – which includes a lane diversion warning system, bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights and is priced between $2600 and $2900 depending on the model – will now also gain a blind spot warning system.
Prices for the updated Passat range remain unchanged, as follows:
VW’s large SUV is now available in diesel only after the German brand dropped the petrol version due to low demand.
The company has also given the Touareg range some extra equipment, including the re-introduction of a reversing camera for all models and a standard fatigue detection system – which can assess the driver’s levels of concentration and suggest they take a break if needed – for all models.
The base model 150TDI version remains priced at $62,990, but gains 18-inch alloys, bi-xenon headlights with daytime running lights and leather seats. The front seats now offer 12-way electric adjustment.
The mid-range V6 TDI model is now priced at $78,990 and the top-end permanent four-wheel-drive V6 TDI 4XMotion model is $83,990. The changes for these models include adaptive air suspension and 20-inch wheels as standard, along with bi-xenon headlights and daytime running lights.
The new Touareg models will be on sale from September.
Hyundai has updated its ix35 compact SUV range, and extended the availability of the 2.0-litre petrol engine front-wheel-drive variant to the mid-range Elite trim level.
The base model Active now gets a 5-inch touch-screen audio system, while the mid-range Elite model gets added goodies including dual-zone climate control, an auto dimming rear-view mirror with in-built digital compass readout and a 6.5-inch media screen linked to a reversing camera and satnav. The top-end Highlander model gains satnav as standard, too.
The South Korean brand hasn’t added all the extra gear for nothing, though, with prices for the mid-range and top-end models heading north. Prices for the update ix35 range are as follows (plus on-road costs):
Hyundai has also updated its diesel-powered iLoad and iMax van ranges.
The van models are now available with a six-speed manual and five-speed automatic – an extra ratio for both – with each working to cut fuel use for the South Korean maker’s vans. Hyundai has also re-jigged the automatic version’s torque output from 392Nm to 441Nm.
Fuel use for the iLoad commercial manual van is down by six per cent to 8.0L/100km, with the new auto version at 8.8L/100km (a drop of eight per cent). The iMax people-mover is rated at 8.1L/100km in manual and 9.0L/100km with the automatic.
Prices for the three-seat diesel iLoad van start at $34,990 for the manual and $36,990 for the auto, while the six-seat crew-van diesel is unchanged at $36,490 for the manual and $38,990 for the auto. Petrol versions remain unchanged at $29,990 for the three-seat manual and $31,990 for the six-seat manual.
The diesel iMax eight-seater remains the same price, with the petrol priced at $37,290 and the diesel at $39,990 for the manual ($42,490 auto).
Mitsubishi’s struggling Lancer has seen a price cut to $19,990 for the base-model 2.0-litre petrol manual ES – a drop of $1700 on the previous model. The CVT automatic option adds $2250 to the price tag. It gets seven airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain and driver’s knee), Bluetooth phone and audio streaming with voice control, a leather-lined steering wheel with audio controls and an improved sound system.
A new mid-range LX model is priced from $23,990 for the manual and $26,240 for the automatic. The sportier VR-X model retains its 2.4-litre petrol engine, again with a five-speed manual (priced at $29,990) or with the optional CVT auto ($35,490).
The performance-focused 2.0-litre turbo Lancer Ralliart continues relatively unchanged with only the fitment of the new media system; it’s priced at $44,490.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Mitsubishi’s go-fast Lancer Evolution has seen cuts of up to $8900 over the previous model.
The entry-level manual Evolution is now $5400 cheaper at $56,990, while the dual-clutch automatic TC-SST version, which gains bigger brakes, different suspension and 18-inch forged alloy wheels, costs $61,990 (down $5400).
The top-of-the-range Evolution MR costs $65,990, a drop of $8900 over the previous version.
Mitsubishi’s ASX compact SUV has been given a mild facelift and tweaks to its suspension, steering and CVT automatic transmission.
The 2.0-litre petrol ASX front-wheel-drive base model gains steering-wheel audio controls and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. As with the Lancer, it has an optional ‘‘safety pack’’ for $995, which includes a reversing camera and sensors. It remains priced at $25,990 for the manual and $28,240 for the CVT automatic.
A new 2WD Aspire model has been added. It’s priced at $28,990 for the manual and $30,240 for the auto. Mitsubishi has dropped the cheaper diesel ASX 4WD but has cut the asking price of the better equipped, identically priced Aspire diesel manual and petrol auto 4WD versions to $34,990 (a drop of $2000).
These models now get a standard panoramic glass roof and an ‘‘easier to use 4x4 selector switch’’. The diesel version is also more frugal, down from 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres to a claimed 5.7 litres.