Details of the new and updated medium and large SUVs launching in Australia in 2015.
Skoda Octavia Scout – March
The Skoda Octavia Scout has been a long time coming, having been revealed globally way back in February 2014.
The higher-riding version of the Skoda Octavia wagon wears butch body cladding and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels with chubby tyres and a higher ride height.
The Scout also features different interior trims unique to the rough-and-tumble model, while the regular Octavia‘s high level of interior presentation and refinement has been carried over.
Expect both petrol and diesel versions of the Scout, and pricing should start in the $30,000s.
Read more about the Skoda Octavia Scout.
Subaru Forester update – March
The Subaru Forester will see a long-awaited diesel-auto drivetrain option in March.
The 2.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder ‘boxer’ and continuously variable transmission (CVT) auto seen in the recently revised Outback will finally grace the engine bay of the Forester, which has been hamstrung somewhat by its manual-only oil-burner option since way back in 2010.
Expect other minor changes for the entire Forester line-up, with the possibility of a new touchscreen media system and some trim adjustments as part of the update.
Read more about the Subaru Forester.
Jeep Grand Cherokee update - Q1
The flagship Summit version will be the first in this big Jeep’s range to adopt a heavily revised interior, arriving first quarter with changes cascading to lower models later in the year.
America’s famous 4WD brand has yet to reveal details of the changes, though CarAdvice understands cool new technology and upgraded materials will be the stand-outs.
Refinement levels will be raised with tech based on noise-cancelling headphones, which insiders say will bring a “whisper quiet” driving experience.
Read more about the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Mazda CX-5 update – Q1
The updated Mazda CX-5 will be on sale locally before the end of March, though it could be hard to tell the difference between the previous version and the mildly updated model from the exterior.
The grille and headlights have been tweaked, the latter of which include new-generation adaptive LEDs. It also gets revised daytime running and new-look tail-lights with LED signatures.
Inside, there are further changes including revised front and rear seats with extra cushioning, more sound insulation (claimed 10 per cent cabin noise reduction at highway speeds) and an electric parking brake.
The CX-5’s infotainment system gains an upgrade to the MZD Connect system that puts greater emphasis on reducing the driver’s workload for information processing.
Read more about the Mazda CX-5.
Kia Sorento - April
This new-look Sorento also uses 2.2-litre turbo-diesel or 3.3-litre GDi V6 petrol engines, a more upmarket design inside and out and comes with the promise of improved NVH levels.
While European-spec versions will be offered with five or seven seats, all Australian-delivered models will have a 5+2 layout as standard.
Haval H8 – First half 2015
Chinese SUV maker Haval will announce its arrival in Australia in the first half of 2015 with its first model, the H8.
The size of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Haval H8 teams a 160kW/324Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with a ZF six-speed auto that drives either the rear or all four wheels.
Unlike Australia’s existing cut-price, made-in-China models, the H8 boasts impressive safety credentials, coming standard with six airbags, electronic stability control, hill start assist and hill descent control, reverse-view camera, rear sensors, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Other standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, auto xenon headlights, push-button start, sunroof, leather upholstery, electric front seats, three-zone climate control, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Pricing for the Haval H8 is set to be announced early in 2015.
Read more about the Haval H8.
Mitsubishi Outlander update – First half 2015
An updated version of the Mitsubishi Outlander will hit Australian roads during the first half of 2015.
Mitsubishi is rushing through the facelift for its third-generation mid-sized SUV, which only launched locally a little over two years ago.
The updates will focus on the car’s exterior styling, and are expected to take inspiration from the Outlander PHEV S-Concept that debuted at October’s Paris motor show.
The facelift is expected to bring angular headlights integrated into a bold horizontal grille, sharper bumper and intake lines, and restyled tail-lights and rear bumper.
The cabin is also expected to be freshened up with new trim patterns and materials.
Read more about the Mitsubishi Outlander.
Nissan Murano – Mid 2015
The arrival of the third-generation Murano will complete Nissan’s overhauled SUV line-up, joining the new or recently updated Juke, Qashqai, X-Trail, Pathfinder and Patrol.
The style-centric large crossover trades its toothy grin for Nissan’s ‘V-Motion’ grille and boomerang headlight design, while matching tail-lights, a disguised D-pillar, and heavily contoured door and side panels make for an emotional, characterful design.
The premium cabin is filled with leather and digital displays, and adaptive cruise control and the 360-degree around view monitor head a long list of driver assist safety systems.
Power continues to come from a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, which produces 194kW and 325Nm.
Production will shift from Japan to Mississippi in the US for Australia-bound 2015 Murano vehicles.
Read more about the Nissan Murano.
Ford Everest – Q4
The all-new Ford Everest will be one of the most capable, technologically advanced, safest and most fuel efficient SUVs of its kind when it launches in Australia towards the end of 2015.
As with the Ranger ute on which it’s based, the 2015 Ford Everest owes much to the team at Ford Australia, which took the lead role in its design and engineering.
While the Everest retains the Ranger’s body-on-frame construction and front suspension layout, the seven-seater gets a more sophisticated and car-like solid rear axle with coil springs and a Watts linkage in place of the ute’s leaf spring setup, as Ford targets a more refined and comfortable ride.
The Ford Everest will offer one of the broadest drivetrain line-ups in its class, with three turbocharged engines (2.0-litre petrol, and 2.2- and 3.2-litre diesels), manual and automatic transmissions, and rear- and four-wheel-drive layouts.
Claimed segment-first driver-assist features include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping aid, active park assist for hands-free reverse parallel parking, and curve control, which detects if the vehicle is entering a corner too quickly and applies braking force and reduces engine torque to safely slow the vehicle.
The Everest will be produced alongside the Ranger in Thailand and will target the Toyota Prado, which is priced from $55,990.
Read more about the Ford Everest.
Honda CR-V diesel update – Second half 2015
Sourcing its diesel-powered CR-V variants from the UK means Honda Australia will have to wait a long time to gets its hands on the facelifted model (the Thai-built CR-V petrol facelift has been on sale since the beginning of December).
The diesel model will bring substantial changes when it arrives in the back half of 2015, including trading its 2.2-litre diesel engine for a 1.6-litre unit with 118kW and 350Nm (up 8kW) and gaining a nine-speed automatic transmission in place of the current six-speed unit.
The CR-V diesel will also benefit from a series of cosmetic changes to bring it into line with the facelifted petrol range, including updated headlights, grille and bumpers, while also gaining Honda’s Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system.
Read more about the Honda CR-V diesel.
Haval H9 – 2015
The Chinese newcomer is looking to take down the Toyota Prado in 2015 with its seven-seat all-terrain H9 SUV.
Sharing its 160kW/324Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine and ZF six-speed automatic transmission with the more urban-focused H8, the Haval H9 is made to go off the beaten track, offering four-wheel drive and an all-terrain control system.
Six airbags, electronic stability control, front and rear sensors and a reverse-view camera are standard, while other available features include adaptive xenon headlights, push-button start, leather upholstery with seat heaters, touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation, and twin DVD player screens for second-row passengers.
Australian specifications and prices will be announced closer to launch (timing is unknown at this stage).
Read more about the Haval H9.