2017 was an historic year for Australian motoring with the end of domestic vehicle manufacturing. Holden, Ford and Toyota are now importers of vehicles, rather than local producers.
Nevertheless, there's a lot to look forward to in 2018, with a number of new models heading our way.
Motorists looking for more sustainable vehicle options will be looking forward to the arrival of the Hyundai Ioniq range. The Ioniq will be offered in three forms: hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or pure electric.
The hybrid and PHEV variants promise to bring some competition to the Toyota Prius with pricing starting from about $31,000 plus on-road costs (for the hybrid). Entry level models get automated emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind spot detection and radar cruise control as standard, making it an attractive option for green-minded safety-conscious fleet buyers.
The pure electric variant offers a range of up to 280km from its 88kw/295Nm electric motor and will be Australia's cheapest electric vehicle at about $43,000 plus on-road costs.
The eagerly anticipated Kia Stinger is a new frontier for the Korean maker - a rear wheel drive high performance sedan in the mould of previous Australian Commodores and Falcons.
It is being offered in six variants ranging from a 2.0 litre turbo or the top-spec GT with a 3.3 litre twin turbocharged V6 putting out 272kW of power at 6000rpm and 510Nm of torque between 1300-4500rpm.
On a down note, however, the Stinger has earned a mixed safety rating from ANCAP. While most of the range scored the maximum 5 stars, two of them scored just 3 because they lack safety systems like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and lane keeping assistance.
Holden ZB Commodore
The start of Holden's new import-only era is being heralded by the arrival of the all-new ZB Commodore.
With its front wheel drive and 2.0 litre turbo four cylinder engine, it's a radical departure from previous Commodores and what Commodore fans will make of it is anyone's guess. Motoring writers have certainly taken to it, however, praising it as better than the German Opel on which it's based.
Holden's engineers have worked on the suspension and handling so that it "feels like a Commodore" and at least one writer claims the "Eurodore" is better all-round than the previous all-Australian model. It's also very fuel-efficient, which will win it fans among fleet buyers.
Ford Ranger Raptor
Aussies just can't get enough of their all-purpose dual cab utes and Ford is set to tempt adventurous types in 2018 with the toughened-up off-road ready Ford Ranger Raptor.
Like Holden's Commodore, the Raptor's engine will be downsized. In the Raptor's case it's to a 2.0 litre turbo-diesel, yet it's expected to outperform the existing Ranger's 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre inline diesel five. It will be mated to a 10 speed automatic transmission with a low-range transfer case.
With a beefed-up chassis, all terrain tyres and ground clearance up to 250mm it promises to be a formidable off-road package when it goes on sale in the second half of the year.
Mazda has introduced its new Mazda 6 for 2018. From all accounts it's a quieter, more refined vehicle that continues Mazda's up-market push with a more stylish cabin. With its Nappa leather and Ultrasuede upholstery and tasteful wood trimming it's all part of Mazda's attempt to position itself as a premium brand for everyday drivers.
Under the bonnet Mazda is introducing the 2.5 litre SkyActiv turbo-petrol four-cylinder from the CX-9 into the GT and Atenza variants. It produces 170kW and 420Nm. A 2.2-litre turbo-diesel will also be on offer, along with a more laid-back 138kW 2.5-litre non-turbo petrol engine.
There's never been more choice available to you if you're in the market for a new car and 2018 is looking like a bumper year for new models. If it's time you upgraded to a brand new set of wheels for you or your business why not contact the experts at Fleetcare today?
Whether it's a novated lease or any other lease arrangement, Fleetcare has the experience you need to get you behind the wheel of a new vehicle with a minimum of fuss. Call us today on 134 333.