We publish a ton of car news stories during the working week, and it can be tough to keep up with everything – which is the rationale behind this weekend list.
In short, here are some key articles from our news desk since Monday of this week summarised, just in case you missed them at the time.
After being leaked earlier this week, the updated SsangYong Musso and Musso XLV – or KG Mobility Rexton Sports Culmen and Rexton Sports Khan Culmen, as they’re now known in Korea – have been revealed.
The updated ute range hasn’t been confirmed for a local launch yet, but SsangYong Australia says it’s “estimated” to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2023 alongside an updated version of the related Rexton SUV.
Up front, there’s a new octagonal grille with horizontal ribs, as well as four-beam full-LED headlights with dynamic indicators and welcome/goodbye animations. The LED headlights replace the halogen and HID headlights of the outgoing model.
It’s no secret the current Mazda 6 range is nearing the end of its life, but we may finally have a clue about its successor – and it’s probably not what you were expecting.
While rumours of a rear-drive Mazda 6 based on the Large Architecture from the CX-60 and CX-90 SUVs with inline-six engines have been swirling for years, Mazda has ruled the idea out, and has remained quiet on the nameplate’s future at a global level.
However, the recent Shanghai motor show saw the Japanese brand’s joint venture in China tease a pair of upcoming electrified vehicles in a product presentation, one of which could be a new Mazda 6.
Sky-high used car prices are gradually returning to earth as production of new vehicles improves, but they’re still far more expensive than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the latest from Moody’s Analytics, which this week published its Q1 used vehicle price report stating average used car prices across Australia were 13.2 per cent lower than they were at their May 2022 peak, and down 9.8 per cent year-on-year (to end of March).
The bad news is, used car prices are still 51 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels. The temporary and seasonal backlog of new vehicles clearing quarantine in Australia as reported here has further subdued used-vehicle price declines in the short term.
New vehicle deliveries in Australia climbed a modest 1.3 per cent in April over the same month last year, finishing at 82,137 units.
This was driven entirely by growth in SUV sales (up 8.6 per cent), with both light commercials (down 13.1 per cent) and passenger cars (down 1.6 per cent) going in the other direction.
The Ford Ranger topped the charts, narrowly ahead of its Toyota HiLux nemesis, with Toyota’s RAV4 rounding out the podium.
Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia have more than tripled over the first four months of 2023 compared to the same period last year.
Australians took delivery of 23,926 pure EVs between January 1 and April 30, which is equal to 6.8 per cent overall market share. At the same point in 2022, EV sales and share were 7618 units and 2.2 per cent respectively.
EVs have also overtaken hybrids (21,693 registrations YTD) as the favourite form of electrification in Australia so far this year – in some part down to Toyota’s ongoing supply headaches.
Kia Australia has been forced to put a stop-sale on its top-spec Sportage GT-Line SUV as a result of ongoing component shortages.
Local product planning boss Roland Rivero told CarExpert the brand has paused orders of the flagship variants given the current supply issue and a growing bank of orders.
“Sportage GT-Line production is limited [currently] due to component shortages,” said Mr Rivero.
Rupert Stadler, CEO of Audi between 2010 and 2018, will soon confess to his role in Volkswagen Group’s Dieselgate emissions cheating scheme.
Stadler’s legal team told Automotive News he will make a full confession to a German court, and will pay a fine of €1.1 million ($1.8 million) in exchange for a suspended sentence.
Stadler, along with Wolfgang Hatz, the Volkswagen Group’s former head of engine development, and Giovanni Pamio, Audi’s head of thermodynamics in the engine engineering department, were charged with fraud for knowingly selling cars that were not compliant with emissions standards.
The Peugeot 2008 has received a mid-life update with freshened styling, a more powerful electric variant, and a new mild-hybrid model around the corner.
“The Peugeot 2008, including the e-2008, is an important part of our ongoing range in Australia,” said a spokesperson for Peugeot Australia.
“Anticipated launch details for the facelifted 2008 including timing, pricing and specification will be confirmed at a later date for the Australian market.”
The KG Mobility Rexton New Arena has been revealed as a refreshed SsangYong Rexton, complete with an overhauled interior.
The Rexton New Arena sees a similar set of updates to the related Musso.
SsangYong Australia says it hasn’t finalised a local launch yet for either model, but is estimating one for the fourth quarter of 2023.
The upcoming all-electric Mini Countryman has been captured without any camouflage during what appears to be a video shoot in the US.
This particular Countryman appears to be a top-spec all-electric SE variant due to the All4 and yellow S badges, signifying all-wheel drive and electrification, respectively.
Ford Australia will open online reservations for the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover on May 10, ahead of its arrival in Australia late this year.
Customers will be able to secure a Mustang Mach-E through a portal on the Ford Australia website from the afternoon of May 10. Final pricing for the range will also be confirmed at this time.
In order to reserve a Ford Mustang Mach-E you’ll need to select which variant you want, create a Ford Account, and pay a set reservation fee of $1000 to the authorised Ford EV dealer of their choice.
Honda Australia has confirmed the pricing of the Toyota RAV4-rivalling ZR-V mid-sized SUV with deposits now able to be taken ahead of its on-sale date of May 19.
Due to launch in the coming months, the Honda ZR-V range starts at $40,200 drive-away for the VTi X, and extends to $54,900 drive-away for the e:HEV LX hybrid flagship. A full pricing list is at the bottom of this story.
For context, the Toyota RAV4 range currently starts at $38,050 before on-road costs for the GX Auto 2WD, and extends to $56,650 before on-road costs for the Edge AWD Hybrid.
The new Amarok has finally started rolling into dealerships, and Volkswagen Australia is expecting solid supply once the initial burst of customers have received their cars.
The company has also confirmed service pricing for the ute. It’ll cost $1800 to service for five years or 75,000 kilometres with one of its prepaid Care Plans, undercutting the price of the equivalent package for a 2022 four-cylinder diesel by $200, and a 2022 turbo-diesel V6 by $400.
A full range of accessories has also been detailed.