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.
The Kia Rio is a light car segment stalwart in Australia, but it will soon be retiring locally.
“The next (7th) generation Rio will not be produced in [right-hand drive],” Kia Australia today said in a statement, after reports confirmed the current car would not be replaced in the UK and mainland Europe.
“The award-winning Rio has been a tremendous car for Kia in the Australian market with 162,494 sold since its debut in mid-2000.”
“While the Rio nameplate will not continue locally, Kia does continue to offer its popular Picanto and Cerato ranges, with new models across various segments currently under study for our market.”
FULL STORY: Kia Rio being axed in Australia
An even bigger GWM Ute has been confirmed for an Australian launch, and will offer both hybrid and diesel power.
The Chinese automaker has confirmed it will introduce the larger Shanhai Cannon model here in the fourth quarter of this year, though CarExpert has been told the even larger King Kong Cannon remains under evaluation.
Sitting above the current GWM Ute, the Shanhai Cannon is larger, more premium, and offers a couple of new and different powertrain options.
CarExpert has learned the model will be offered locally with both hybrid and turbo-diesel diesel powertrains.
A longer-range MG ZS electric SUV is on the way to Australia, with orders opening from March and a batch already on the boat.
This ZS EV long range comes with a 72kWh battery and a claimed 440km WLTP driving range – compared to a 50kWh battery and 320km range for the ZS EV Standard Range.
Expect a price premium of roughly $5000 over the standard range, which kicks off at $44,990 before on-road costs (which vary by state).
FULL STORY: MG ZS EV Long Range in Australia from March
The BMW X5 and X6 have been given a mid-life update.
They have a new look, an updated interior, more technology, and an overhauled powertrain line-up.
Global production will start in April 2023. They’ll hit Australia in the third quarter of 2023.
GWM looks set to bolster its Tank range in Australia.
Along with the Tank 300 already confirmed for our market, the bigger and bolder Tank 500 looks likely to make the journey Down Under.
Although not firmly locked in for our market, the car is under “very serious consideration”.
“We think there’s potentially a market for this car in Australia, but we’re working on the business case with head office,” a GWM Australia spokesperson said.
CarExpert has already spied two examples – one right-hand drive – in Melbourne.
The Hyundai brand’s second vehicle on a dedicated electric vehicle platform, the Ioniq 6, has been priced for Australia ahead of its launch this month.
The range consists of three variants, with a choice of single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrains like the Ioniq 5 crossover with which it shares its E-GMP underpinnings.
Prices range from $74,000 before on-road costs for the Dynamiq to $88,000 before on road costs for the flagship Epiq.
FULL STORY: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 price and specs
The Volkswagen Golf R, along with much of the five-seat Tiguan line-up, has had its orders paused.
The Tiguan 110TSI is unaffected and is available to order, as is the longer Tiguan Allspace, but orders of the Tiguan R are on hold.
Work on the long-promised Ineos dual-cab pickup is close to being finished, with Grenadier utes already being built in company’s plant in Hambach on the French-German border.
Speaking to CarExpert at the launch of the Grenadier wagon in Scotland this week, Ineos’ commercial director Mark Tennant said the brand has been working on the ute in parallel with the wagon.
“We cannot be a credible OEM with just one product,” Mr Tennant told CarExpert.
A smaller, electric off-roader is due in 2026, using a different platform.
ANCAP published a raft of safety results this week, all of which were based on Euro NCAP testing conducted in 2022.
The BMW i4 received only four stars, with ANCAP marking it down for the performance of its active safety and driver assist technology.
ANCAP claims to have offered BMW Australia the chance to submit a local-market i4 for further testing with a chance at five stars, because in this market the car comes with more advanced driver-assist systems as standard than it does in Europe.
Yet it claims BMW declined, hence it was stuck with a mirrored Euro NCAP score.
The Peugeot 308 also received a four-star rating, with ANCAP noting lower scores in adult occupant protection assessment made it ineligible for a five-star rating.
More impressive were the five-star results for the Alfa Romeo Tonale, Citroen C5 X and GWM Ora.
FULL STORY: Alfa Romeo Tonale receives five-star ANCAP rating
FULL STORY: BMW i4 falls short with four-star ANCAP safety score
FULL STORY: Citroen C5 X earns five-star safety rating from ANCAP
FULL STORY: GWM Ora earns five-star ANCAP rating
FULL STORY: Peugeot 308 earns four-star ANCAP safety rating
The entry-level electric vehicle market has received another entrant in the GWM Ora, known in other markets as the Good Cat or Funky Cat.
A GWM Australia spokesperson confirmed the Ora would be gradually rolled out to help it understand the market locally, although supply can be ramped up if demand proves strong. Exact numbers haven’t been confirmed.
It’s taken a similar approach with the Tank 300 SUV.
The MG 5 is finally set to arrive in Australia, with government documents seen by CarExpert confirming it’s been approved for sale.
It’s set to go on sale in June or July, around the same time as the electric MG 4.
When it was first announced for Australia in late 2021, it had been earmarked for a late 2022 launch.
The small sedan will give MG a rival for the likes of the Hyundai i30, Kia Cerato, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla sedans. MG hasn’t occupied this segment since the MG 6 was discontinued in 2019.
Polestar is tackling the big dogs, with its new electric SUV arriving next year in two well-specified variants with pricing close to that of the BMW iX.
The 2024 Polestar 3 is set to arrive in the first quarter of 2024, priced from $132,900 before on-road costs in Long range Dual motor guise.
Initially, it will come standard with both the Plus Pack and Pilot Pack. Whether that means a lower base price is coming beyond 2024 is unclear.
The Performance Pack remains optional, bringing the price to $141,900 before on-road costs.
FULL STORY: 2024 Polestar 3 price and specs