Details of the new and updated medium and large cars launching in Australia in 2015.
Volkswagen Jetta update – January
An updated version of the slow-selling Volkswagen Jetta mid-size sedan will arrive early in the year, likely bringing with it a new price tag and revised equipment.
The Jetta also sees a minor facelift that makes it appear more like the current Passat, with revised headlights and a new front bumper.
Engine options may include a new 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo with 103kW of power (as seen in the Golf), but the Jetta could also persist with its existing 118TSI twin-charged petrol engine alongside a more powerful 155TSI turbo 2.0-litre and a 2.0-litre diesel.
Stay tuned for pricing and specs soon.
Read more about the Volkswagen Jetta.
Hyundai Sonata - February
February will see the return of the Sonata to Australia’s shrinking medium-car market. The new sedan will join the i40 sedan/wagon (which unlike the Sonata comes with a diesel option), giving Hyundai a two-pronged attack again after it dumped the previous i45 (called Sonata overseas) in early 2013.
Expect both the 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 183kW and 352Nm, and a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder version with 142kW/247Nm). We probably won't get the petrol-electric hybrid, however.
Mazda 6 update – February
A revised version of the Mazda 6 sedan and wagon will hit showrooms in February.
The Japanese company has updated the Mazda 6 with a bolder front-end, including an updated grille and LED headlights, while the higher-spec models get new-look 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside there are more significant changes, including the addition of a space-saving electronic parking brake and the addition of a new, higher-resolution 7.0-inch centre display, which makes use of Mazda’s MZD Connect infotainment software that is better tuned to handle smartphone tethering for internet connectivity and social media services.
Read more about the Mazda 6.
Ford Mondeo – March/April
The 2015 Ford Mondeo will become the most technologically advanced model in the company’s local showroom when it arrives in autumn.
All models come standard with front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, steering wheel paddleshifters, SYNC 2 infotainment system with satellite navigation and digital radio, 8.0-inch touchscreen, inflatable rear seats and the MyKey system.
The Mondeo Titanium heads the range with adaptive LED headlights, adaptive suspension, panoramic glass roof, leather sports seats with front and rear heaters, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, lane keeping aid and assist, and enhanced active park assist, among other features.
Mondeo hatch and wagon models will be available with three 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engines, including low- and high-output versions of an EcoBoost petrol motor (149kW/345Nm and 177kW/345Nm) and a single tune of a TDCi diesel (132kW/400Nm).
Pricing details will be announced closer to the Mondeo’s local launch, though it’s expected to largely mirror the positioning of the outgoing model, which costs between $31,490 and $48,490.
Read more about the Ford Mondeo.
Holden Insignia VXR — May
The Insignia was sold here in numerous form with Opel badges, but only the 239kW/435Nm turbocharged 2.8-litre V6-powered all-wheel-drive Insignia VXR will return.
Expect it to cost less than the $60K Opel charged for it. Once again it will be pitched as an upmarket Euro-flavoured mid-sizer with some serious punch. See our review of the Opel version here.
Chrysler 300 update - Q2
The second generation of this big American sedan has had its first makeover since its 2012 launch, which we’ll see sometime in the second quarter.
There are changes inside and out for the 300 that currently starts from $43,000. The front end adopts a smoother look, a revised grille and new LEDs while the rear features new bumper and tail-light treatment.
Trim and equipment are upgraded throughout the range, with cabin updates including a standard 7.0-inch digital display, new rotary dial gear selector and three-spoke steering wheel with available paddleshift levers.
Read more about the Chrysler 300.
Hyundai i40 update - Q2
Due in the second quarter is an upgraded version of the i40 sedan and i40 Tourer wagon, with a revised grille, new LED DRLs, new head and tail-lights and some minor cabin tweaks including, in European models at least, updated infotainment.
The 1.7-litre turbo-diesel engine option now gets 104kW of power and 340Nm of torque — up 4kW and 20Nm on the current car — while a 2.0-litre direct-injected petrol engine will also continue here. Euro versions also get a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, though whether we’ll get it here remains to be seen. We will bring you an update when we know more.
Peugeot 508 update - Q2
The new-look Peugeot 508 mid-size sedan and wagon will arrive in showrooms in the second quarter of the year.
The sharp-looking new model sees a major styling upgrade, with a new front-end and redesigned rear tail-lights increasing the visual presence of the 508.
Inside, there are new tech items such as a colour heads-up display, revised 7.0-inch touchscreen media system with reverse-view camera display and updated trim and upholstery.
Under the bonnet you can expect revised turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
Read our review of the updated 2015 Peugeot 508.
Toyota Camry update – Mid 2015
Arriving about six months later than initially anticipated will be the updated version of the Toyota Camry sedan.
The final incarnation of the Aussie-built mid-size sedan will bring with it a range of changes – the most dramatic being its styling, which moves away from the current car’s angular, boxy design to a sleeker, arguably more attractive appearance.
Don’t expect much in the way of drivetrain changes (the 2.5-litre four-cylinder will continue, as will the 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid), but the interior should see some significant improvements over the current car.
It should hit showrooms by the end of July, with pricing and equipment likely to be improved in light of plenty of competition in the medium car segment.
Read more about the Toyota Camry.
Toyota Aurion update – Mid 2015
The extent of the changes that we can expect for the 2015 Toyota Aurion remains somewhat unclear.
The Japanese brand’s V6-powered (Camry-based) sedan is set to be updated with a minor exterior rejig and updated interior. We’re yet to see any images of what to expect. However, with production of the Aurion winding up in 2017, we wouldn't expect huge alterations.
What we could see, though, are price and equipment improvements, particularly given the strong positioning of rival Aussie-made models such as the Holden Commodore and just-updated Ford Falcon.
Read more about the Toyota Aurion.
Subaru Levorg – Q4 (unconfirmed for Australia at this stage)
A decision on the Subaru Levorg – an Impreza-based station wagon with sporting credentials – is due by the end of March.
The Levorg (weird name aside) is available in its home market of Japan as, essentially, a WRX sports wagon, with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder ‘boxer’ engine pumping out as much as 221kW and 400Nm – the same amount seen in the Japan-only WRX S4.
There’s no manual option – it’s a CVT automatic only – but it seems the Levorg could prove a hit with buyers after a more versatile option than the WRX sedan.
Read more about the Subaru Levorg.
Volkswagen Passat – Q4
The newly redesigned Volkswagen Passat will arrive about a year after our first drive of the car, but based on our impressions of the mid-to-large sedan and wagon following the 2014 Paris motor show, it will likely be worth the wait.
The new Passat will be available in 132TSI guise with a 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine with 132kW/250Nm, and a 135TDI turbo diesel offering 140kW/400Nm from the same displacement. Those models will both be front-drive, with seven- and six-speed dual-clutch autos respectively.
There may be a range-topping 176kW/500Nm 176TDI 4Motion twin-turbo diesel, and/or a petrol-powered 206kW/380Nm (the same engine as in the Golf R). A 162kW version (same as is used in the Skoda Octavia RS) could also arrive.
The Passat currently ranges from $38,990 to $59,240 plus on-road costs, though that high-end price relates to the V6 4Motion model.
Read our 2015 Volkswagen Passat Review.
Kia Optima - Q4/2016
Potentially squeezing in right at the end of 2015, but more likely at the start of 2016, will be the all-new Optima mid-sizer.
As we have reported this model is expected to remain true to the current car in terms of its design, but is expected to bring with it a wealth of technical changes including a high-tech diesel hybrid drivetrain, a wagon body style and new turbo models for Australia.