CARS

Top 10 new cars we wish were sold in Australia

It’s time to think of fresh ideas for the new year. The cars we want you to sell in Australia are:


Australia is a lucky country when it comes to choosing new cars, with over 60 brands and over 500 models competing for sales of 1.1 million vehicles each year.

Compare this to the United States, which has fewer than 40 major automakers competing for sales of more than 15 million vehicles a year.

Despite Vikings of new cars available in Australia, we still miss certain models developed for North America and other markets.



Unfortunately, investing in a right-hand drive vehicle design costs the same as investing in a left-hand drive vehicle, so Australia doesn’t have access to everything.

However, right-hand drive cars make up only about a quarter of the cars sold worldwide.

In addition, Australia accounts for only 1% of global vehicle sales, making it particularly difficult to secure new vehicles for the Australian market unless sufficient numbers are sold in other right-hand drive regions.



Those stumbling blocks aside, the list of new cars sold abroad is in no particular order and is likely to hit a home run in your local showroom. This could be an opportunity if the car companies involved put in a little extra effort.

It looks like someone has shrunk the Ford Ranger, but the Ford Maverick is about the same size as its big brother and actually has a more spacious and practical cabin.

It doesn’t go off-road like the Ford Ranger, and it can’t be towed or hauled, but the turbo four-cylinder petrol engine is lively and economical. in the suburbs.



Suitable for buyers who want the practicality of a double cab but prefer a more comfortable driving experience.

It is based on the stretched base of the Ford Focus hatch and Ford Escape SUV. These are made with left and right handle, so the platform is ambidextrous. Read our review of the Ford Maverick here.

Sadly, a Ford Maverick was also considered, but right-hand drive was ruled out. It was a big hit in the US, so it could be a long time before Ford reintroduces a right-hand drive version to our market.



This is Ford’s answer to the Jeep Wrangler, sharing its DNA with the Australian-engineered (but built in Thailand) Ford Ranger ute.

Ford Australia has the know-how to build the Bronco right-hand drive (the base chassis is ambidextrous), but the business case has yet to be added.

Jeep sells around 1,000 to 1,500 Wranglers in Australia each year, but Ford believes that’s not enough to make a business case for the factory-built, right-hand-drive Ford Bronco. .



However, Ford Australia and its Detroit headquarters are keeping the door open for a local retrofit program should the upcoming right-hand drive F-150 be successfully remanufactured locally and sold.

Towing a heavy load or carrying a ton will reduce the cruising range. But an empty Ford F-150 Lightning is magnificent. This is his one of the most notable vehicles we have tested in the past year or so. Read our review here.

It accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in less than 5 seconds and smoothes over bumps like a Ranger Rover (or Rolls-Royce).

As with the possibility of a right-hand drive Ford Bronco, Ford Australia and its Detroit headquarters are keeping the door open for the Lightning if an upcoming local remanufacturing of the right-hand drive F-150 goes smoothly. .

The US-built Toyota Kruger seven-passenger SUV is effectively Toyota’s family freighter in Australia.

Local buyers prefer the look of SUVs to personal transportation like vans. Also, Toyota’s Hiace van his based Granvia is selling poorly because it is too expensive and unwieldy for its target market.



The Toyota Sienna sold in the US shares its DNA and foundation with the Toyota Kluger, but with the practicality of the Kia Carnival.

I test drove the Toyota Sienna Hybrid when I rented it in the US earlier this year. Fuel economy was impressive (5.0L/100km).

So Toyota, given that the US manufacturing team already has a right-hand drive Kluger on the market, is there any chance you could add a right-hand drive Toyota Sienna to the list?

It’s a truly modern Toyota Tarago, and it’s conceivable to hit Australian families who don’t want or need an SUV.

it turns out drive He’s not the only one hoping to see the Hyundai Santa Cruz make it to Australia.



Like the Ford Maverick, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a car-derived pickup (sharing DNA with the Hyundai Tucson SUV) that offers the practicality of a double-cab ute with the maneuverability and fuel efficiency of an SUV.

Fingers crossed a factory-assembled right-hand drive Hyundai Santa Cruz to arrive at the Australian showroom.

But Kia’s Telluride didn’t arrive in Australia as a factory-assembled right-hand drive car. This is because it is made in the USA and the assembly line is not set up for right hand drive production.

Hyundai Australia had access to the Hyundai Palisade because it is manufactured in South Korea on the same ambidextrous production line as the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Kia, please sort this out. What a great looking vehicle. A few years ago, I tested a Kia Telluride in the US as a judge for World Car of the Year and was impressed. Like the Ford Maverick, the Kia Telluride is a sell-out success in the US.



With the regular Puma range already on sale in Australia, the Ford Puma ST could be an opportunity for our market. So with parts and service support already in place, the Puma ST is right hand drive and factory built.

One of the stumbling blocks is the proposal for manual transmission only at the moment.

But even if the Ford Puma ST were to be available with automatic transmission, it would still be an attractive drive and would extend its appeal to a wider audience. accounted for less than 5% of sales.

The Chevrolet Tahoe 7-seater SUV comes in regular and long body styles. Both are huge. Even the smallest Chevrolet Tahoe outsmarts the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series and the Nissan Patrol.



Considering the Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrol have record sales in Australia, I think the Chevrolet Tahoe is an easy one.

It’s not as capable off-road as a Toyota or Nissan, but it doesn’t have to be. How many people go off-road anyway?

For the concrete cowboys (and cowgirls) and mall crawlers among us, the Chevrolet Tahoe has many acres of space, can carry or tow a lot, and is more of a car than a Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol. It has similar driving dynamics.

Given that the dashboard, firewall, engine and much of the frame is shared with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, it was remanufactured by Melbourne’s Walkinshaw Automotive Group for General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV). A time when GMSV plans to expand its portfolio.

Once the Chevrolet Tahoe crosses the line, look for the next car on your list.

The Cadillac Escalade is basically a Chevrolet Tahoe, but with a new body and an overhauled (and much more luxurious) interior.



Much of the remanufacturing work for the right-hand drive conversion, which is hidden from view, could be shared with the Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Silverado 1500, but the challenge for the Cadillac Escalade was the need to design a new right-hand drive dashboard. There is something. .

The tools to do so alone cost millions of dollars, but if GMSV can find a way to make this financially viable, it will offer serious competition to top-end SUVs from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. .

What’s wrong with the Chevrolet Tahoe and the Cadillac Escalade? They’re hit with the luxury car tax (US pickups aren’t), adding 33% to the cost of an already expensive donor vehicle and costly retrofit process.

As much as Mazda likes touting its “Zoom-Zoom” image and cars that are fun to drive, the Japanese brand hasn’t had a hot hatch in its lineup for over a decade.

An ideal candidate for a modern Mazda hot hatch, it’s built in Mexico for the U.S. market. Unfortunately it is not right hand drive.

The Mazda3 Turbo uses the turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine from the Mazda CX-9, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.



0-100km/h performance is in the 6.0s, and it’s as fast as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, with all-wheel drive grip.

Considering Mazda is a Japanese company and Japan is a right-hand drive country, we can definitely find a way to offer the Mazda3 Turbo.

If you were counting, the new Toyota Prius is number 11 on our list, but as we’re putting this story together, we made an exception after the car was announced.

A new 5th generation model is about to be released overseas.

In addition to its sleek looks (click here for the full story), the Toyota Prius was one of the pioneers of hybrid movements, so we think it deserves a return to our Australian showrooms. -up uses half the fuel of comparable petrol models today.

Toyota’s Prius was designed to be unlike any other, but Toyota has found that buyers are just as happy with hybrid technology in a conventional-looking car.



But it’s time to celebrate the Toyota Prius for the first time in 20 years.

We hope that Toyota Australia will reconsider its position with the Prius and the badge will return to local showrooms.

Without it, the latest model would be the first Toyota Prius not sold in Australia.

Joshua Dowling has been a motor journalist for over 20 years, most of his time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motor editor and one of the early members of the drive team) and Newscorp Australia. He joined CarAdvice/Drive in 2018 and has been a World Car of the Year judge for over a decade.

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