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News & Reviews
Last 7 Days

Mike Costello

Senior Editor

Latest Posts

2018 Lexus RX350L Luxury review
  • Plush and well-fitted interior; Kid-friendly third row broadens appeal; Plenty of safety and luxury features; Quiet, refined driving dynamics
  • Small screen with touchpad controller; Drivetrain is proven, but hardly advanced; Longer body waters down the edgy design language

OUR RATING
7.8 / 10

Most Recent reviews

2018 Lexus RX350L Luxury review

The seven-seat Lexus RX L expands the company’s large SUV range both literally and figuratively, answering a question posed by a number of prospective buyers.

Recent Posts
VFACTS 2018: Winners and losers, January to June
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VFACTS 2018: Winners and losers, January to June

The Australian new vehicle market remains on record pace, with half-yearly sales tracking 1.0 per cent up over 2017's high-water mark. VFACTS industry data compiled by the car companies' peak body, the FCAI, shows that 605,522 new vehicles were sold over H1. SUVs grabbed 42.7 per cent market share, stretching the lead over passenger cars (33...


Small SUVs the fastest growing segment in 2018
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Small SUVs the fastest growing segment in 2018

Small SUV sales have bounced back after a quiet 2017. This segment of jacked-up hatchbacks was the fastest-growing across the market to the end of June, up 30.4 per cent. Small SUVs own 11.9 per cent market share, equating to 72,269 sales across 24 brands competing for audience attention and money...


2019 Subaru Forester e-Boxer hybrid for Australia
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2019 Subaru Forester e-Boxer hybrid for Australia

Subaru Australia should launch its first petrol-electric hybrid vehicles before the end of next year, with first cab off the rank almost certain to be the new-generation Forester 'e-Boxer' mid-sized SUV, closely followed by a hybridised version of the smaller XV crossover. This timeline means the hybrid launch will come a little more than a year after the 'regular' new-generation Forester with its revised 2...


Honda Australia is 2018's most improved brand so far
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Honda Australia is 2018's most improved brand so far

Honda Australia's momentum continued in June, with the company setting a new monthly record of 7013 units, up 34 per cent over the same month in 2017. The result is a milestone in the company's 49-year history here, and was driven for the most part by its two SUVs, the HR-V and CR-V...


Subaru Forester turbo axed, company concedes buyer concerns
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Subaru Forester turbo axed, company concedes buyer concerns

Subaru Australia’s importer admits there are some buyers “concerned” at the lack of a higher-performance turbocharged petrol engine in the company’s new Forester. It’s not news, but the overhauled new-generation version of what has long been Subaru’s top-seller here will come with one engine only at launch: a 2...


2019 Subaru Forester review
Rating: 810 /10
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2019 Subaru Forester review

Flashiness takes a back seat to thoughtfulness in the 2018 Subaru Forester. It won’t set your pulse racing, but it's as honest, practical and unpretentious as ever, and still happy getting off the beaten path every once in a while.


Utes dominate the June sales charts
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Utes dominate the June sales charts

Australia’s three most popular new vehicles in June - perennially the biggest sales month of the year - were all pickups/utes. Clearly there were a lot of buyers taking advantage of end of financial year deals and incentives, and perhaps capitalising on certain tax breaks (such as fringe-benefit claims)...


VFACTS: June 2018 new vehicle sales
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VFACTS: June 2018 new vehicle sales

Australia’s new vehicle sales in June this year couldn’t quite match the record tally over the same month in 2017, but 130,300 units over 26 selling days is nothing to sneeze at. The June haul takes annual sales at the half-year mark of 2018 to 605,522 units, up 1 per cent on last year’s high-water mark...


Volkswagen Golf, Tiguan and Amarok selling up a storm
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Volkswagen Golf, Tiguan and Amarok selling up a storm

A supply-constrained Volkswagen Australia has issued a release celebrating strong sales for its top three models in June, even though its overall tally dipped slightly over the same month last year. Still, credit where it's due: the Golf, Tiguan and Amarok all claimed records during the year's busiest month, a period where the whole industry goes into overdrive for end of financial year...


SsangYong locks in Australian boss, return date
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SsangYong locks in Australian boss, return date

Korea’s SsangYong is coming back to Australia for another crack at our unusually competitive and fragmented new vehicle market. While we learned that little fact in March this year, we now know a little more about its plans, which include re-launching as an official distributor in the fourth quarter of 2018...


Subaru Australia wants seven-seat Ascent, but it isn't happening
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Subaru Australia wants seven-seat Ascent, but it isn't happening

Subaru’s Ascent replaces the long-dead Tribeca atop its range, but don’t expect this Toyota Kluger and Mazda CX-9 rival on our shores any time soon, despite Subaru Australia’s wishes. Subaru Australia is keen to offer the new three-row Ascent locally, but a lack of right-hand drive (RHD) demand outside our tiny market is standing in the way of a profitable business case...


2018 Mercedes-Benz X350d review
Rating: 7.810 /10
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2018 Mercedes-Benz X350d review

The Mercedes-Benz X350d V6 is a more enticing prospect for cashed-up pickup buyers than the four. Elements still feel compromised, but in some ways it's as premium as 4x4 utes in this segment get.


2018 Audi Q2 v Volvo XC40
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2018 Audi Q2 v Volvo XC40

From our vantage point, there’s barely a volume carmaker of note without a small crossover SUV – a high-riding hatchback with attitude designed for young up-and-comers and well-funded downsizers in equal measure...


Toyota Australia posts $137 million profit
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Toyota Australia posts $137 million profit

Toyota Australia posted a $137 million after-tax profit for the 2017-18 Japanese financial year, ending March 31, despite wearing $147m in “restructuring costs” from the closure of its Altona factory last October. The tidy sum is up on the $99 million profit the company posted last financial year, a sum watered down by $131m in incurred restructuring costs depreciated over a four-year period...