Motoring news Feb 2017

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2018 Holden Commodore breaks cover

More than a year before it arrives in dealerships Holden has shown off its first imported Commodore. To be produced in Germany, the new car will be a rebadged version of the Opel Insignia sold in Europe.

The Commodore has shrunk and is now closer in dimensions to some mid-sized cars. It will also be offered as a hatchback for the first time, with a wagon also part of what is expected to be an expansive line-up when the car goes on sale in February next year.

The new Commodore will come with a choice of four-cylinder petrol or diesel engines, each driving the front wheels through an eight-speed auto. There will also be 3.6-litre V6 all-wheel-drive models.

Before the arrival of the new Commodore, Holden will usher in three limited-edition versions of the current V8-powered Commodore. They include the Director, a sports-luxury sedan, and the Magnum ute.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Giulia back in style

Alfa Romeo is back. Not that it ever left, it’s just that now the brand is “relaunching” with a model it hopes will cement it as a genuine luxury player and help boost lacklustre sales.

The Giulia goes head to head with luxury bigwigs such as the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Priced from about $60,000, the sedan drives the rear wheels and has an emphasis on design, value and driving excitement.

It will be offered with four engines: two 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrols, a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel and a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda’s turbo hatch

Honda will have some excitement back in its dealerships this year with the arrival of the sporty Civic Type R.

The turbo-charged hot hatch will be the pinnacle of the new Civic hatch line-up, which will be sourced from the same Thai factory that supplies the current Civic sedan.

A range of Civic hatches will arrive in Australia around May – expect a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine as well as a more powerful 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo – with the Type R due in the third quarter.

Suzuki Ignis

Small change

This year is shaping up to be big for small SUVs. Suzuki kicks things off with the new Ignis, Toyota will usher in the all-new C-HR in February, and soon after Subaru will replace its popular XV.

Audi will begin selling its compact Q2 by March, and late in the year Hyundai will bring in its yet-to-be-named small SUV.

Ford Escape

Escape plan

Ford has fleshed out its mid-sized SUV line-up with the addition of a Trend model priced from $32,990.

But the big news for Ford’s family five-seat SUV is a change of name.

The shortlived Kuga name (it only arrived in 2012) has been cast aside and the Escape badge revived for this update to the model.

Toyota Kluger

Safe move

Toyota will soon release an update for its seven-seat Kluger SUV, with styling tweaks and mechanical enhancements to improve driving manners, performance and fuel efficiency.

Also expect the standard fitment of Toyota Safety Sense, with autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning.

Report: Toby Hagon
Published in RoyalAuto Feb 17