Details of the new and updated people-movers and MPVs launching in Australia in 2015.
Citroen C4 Picasso – February
The smaller, five-seat version of the Citroen Picasso will arrive in February, giving the French brand a competitor to rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.
The tall-bodied hatchback impressed CarAdvice founder Anthony Crawford at when he drove it in France in 2014, and given the French brand’s larger Grand C4 Picasso seven-seater sets the benchmark in its segment in many regards, it’s expected the new smaller model will give the struggling marque another alternative to the conventional five-door crowd.
Pricing isn’t yet confirmed, but a starting point between $35,000 and $40,000 is likely.
Read more about the Citroen C4 Picasso.
Kia Carnival – February
In February, the new Carnival people-mover arrives, replacing the aged outgoing model that for years reigned as Australia’s top-selling people-mover.
It’s a completely new design both inside and out, and will give the Korean a good chance to return serve against the new Honda Odyssey. Australia will get the eight-seat configuration with a choice of 2.2-litre turbo-diesel or 3.3-litre GDi V6 petrol engines.
Toyota Prius V update – Mid 2015
The new-look, revised Toyota Prius V will debut in Australia in about June following its unveiling at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show.
The updated model gets a revised front-end design including LED headlights, as well as a slightly more muscular front bumper with integrated LED daytime running lights. At the rear it sees minor changes, including new tail-light inlays.
The interior sees some further enhancements, including a new media system and centre stack display, as well as revised materials through the cabin. The cockpit should be quieter and more comfortable, according to the brand, as there have been changes made to its suspension and its noise insulation has been increased.
Expect the same 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain, with perhaps a minor improvement to its fuel consumption rating (currently 4.4L/100km).
Read more about the Toyota Prius V.
LDV G10 – second half
LDV is expected to expand beyond commercial vans into the passenger vehicle market with the G10 people-mover in the second half of 2015.
Designed to satisfy European tastes and safety and quality standards, the seven-seater is powered by a modern 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 165kW and 345Nm.
It’s likely to be priced to take on the likes of the Proton Exora (from $25,990 driveaway) and the Ssangyong Stavic (from $29,990 driveaway).
A 14-seat bus is also understood to be on the cards for a local introduction in the back half of 2015.
Holden Zafira — Q3/Q4 (unconfirmed for Australia at this stage)
Holden is understood to have its eye on a fourth Opel vehicle in 2015, and we suspect it could be the Zafira people-mover.
This small seven-seat MPV was slated to go on sale as an Opel for $36,990, but never quite made it here before Opel Australia shut its doors. It would fill a niche for the brand and Holden has sold a previous-generation version of the car before.
Note: In 2016, expect more Opel vehicles such as the all-new Astra, and possibly the Corsa (sold here in past decades as the Barina before that car’s sourcing switched to Chevrolet South Korea) and perhaps even the Viva.