This year on CarExpert, we covered over 50 vehicles that had been revealed but were either ruled out for Australia or were otherwise unlikely to come here.
I shared this list with the rest of the editorial team and posed the question: which of these vehicles do you wish would come here?
That was just the list of vehicles we did cover – there were probably some small Indian-market SUVs and Chinese sedans that didn’t grace our pages – but nevertheless it was a diverse list.
There were LandCruiser-sized Havals (GWM Haval H5), and luxurious Toyota SUVs even more expensive than LandCruisers (Toyota Century SUV); smaller, more manoeuvrable Rams (Ram Rampage) and enormous Volvo people movers (Volvo EM90).
What cars did the members of the CarExpert team pick?
There are two cars I desperately want to see arrive in Australia and both are Chinese.
One is the Yangwang U8, for its unrivalled breadth of capability in the luxury SUV stakes. I mean, who doesn’t want an ultra-luxury family SUV that can do tank turns in your local lagoon? Seriously, this thing is like nothing we’ve ever seen and would likely be priced tens of thousands below its euro rivals.
Then there’s the Zeekr 001 FR.
Wow, just wow. This could easily be the next-generation Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo such is the design, never mind the interior or its performance stats. The fact that it’s yet another brand under the Geely umbrella warms my heart and inspires confidence.
Tesla Cybertruck. It’s the most ridiculous, objectively useless vehicle on the road. But I’d love to see them on sale in Australia.
It’s like the Ranger Raptor – whereby its function as a load hauling dual-cab ute isn’t really that good, but everything else that it does is just fun and thumbs its nose to the norms.
I understand why the Toyota HiLux Champ won’t come to Australia. It’s not designed to meet our safety standards, nor does it pack a lot of the equipment local buyers demand from even the most basic vehicles.
Why is it a shame we miss it? It’s a cheap, simple tool designed to get work done, rather than a lifestyle statement. It’s a throwback to what utes used to be, and would no doubt fill a gap in the local market if Toyota could price it around the $25,000 mark – which is what you’ll pay for a top-spec model in Thailand.
If you’ve read my previous responses on a number of our op-eds you’d already know I’m a HUGE fan of the Subaru Outback.
One of my few gripes about the car though, besides its fuel economy, is the Outback is quite a large vehicle. This can sometimes make it a little hard to navigate in tight urban car parks for example.
This is why I was really interested in the Levorg Layback, which to me perfectly balances having an SUV-like driving position with wagon-like practicality in a right-sized package.
I’m really disappointed this quirky Subaru isn’t coming to Australia because I can really see myself driving one.
It has to be Lucid, though the company does have plans to expand into right-hand drive… eventually. While the Air is the perfect replacement for a Model S in Australia, I hope the Gravity does eventually come to Australia.
Lucid, like Rivian, is one electric vehicle startup I’m really rooting to succeed.
The Saudi-backed, US-based EV manufacturer revealed this year its second model, the three-row Gravity SUV. It’s Lucid’s rival to the likes of the Tesla Model X and Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, but it’s vastly better looking than both.
It’s almost as handsome as the Lucid Air sedan, and is a technological tour de force: a 900V electrical architecture brings a DC charging rate of up to 300kW, while it rides on adaptive air suspension and has a 34-inch OLED display inside plus a separate touchscreen.
Lucid promises over 700km of range plus plenty of legroom for all three rows, as well as a 0-100km/h time of under 3.5 seconds. Did I mention it’s vastly better looking than a Model X or EQS SUV, too?
Just about every new Toyota revealed this year.
Why does Japan and North America get all the fun? Toyota has one of the most diverse model ranges and does the most volume in Australia – surely there’s room to bring some of its cooler products to ease demand off key model lines.
The new Prius is finally sexy, and as a plug-in hybrid could have been the start of a new era for a nameplate that pioneered the hybrid tech that has proven so successful for the Japanese auto giant.
Even moreso, the Crown family offers a range of cool, premium-leaning vehicles that could make Toyota interesting again (if you ignore the GR range). The Crown Sport in particular I can see as a successful seller in Australia.
I’d also like to see Toyota bring in the Alphard and Vellfire as official factory-backed imports. I see heaps of these on the roads as grey imports and people movers are coming up again – just look at the Kia Carnival!
Further, the fact that Lexus can justify bringing in the plush LM should show the bosses at Toyota Australia that it’s possible to play in the MPV space and occupy its on part of the market.
Anyway… rant over.
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