Land Rover Discovery’s softer side

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From boxy to svelte, Land Rover’s Discovery has undergone its biggest transformation since the advent of the nameplate in 1989. The biggest change is to the look, with the rounded design inspired by the smaller Discovery Sport.

The Discovery will be based on a car-like monocoque construction. Combined with more use of aluminium in the body it makes the Discovery hundreds of kilograms lighter than the one it replaces.

The new Disco, due in July, again gets the option of a four-cylinder engine, with Jaguar Land Rover’s new Ingenium 2.0-litre diesel available in two guises, one with 132kW, the other 177kW.

As well as better fuel economy, the smaller engine helps lower prices by almost 10 per cent, with the Discovery now starting at $64,300.

Nismo GT-R

Nismo GT-R

Nissan’s GT-R has long been known for supercar performance but with the arrival of the Nismo (or Nissan Motorsports) version it’s now got supercar pricing.

Power from the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 has been upped by 22kW as part of a track-focused update that also brings stiffer suspension, wider front wheel arches and wider tyres.

Then there’s the $299,000 price tag, almost 60 per cent up on the regular GT-R’s ask.

Audi Q2

New Q for Audi

The fourth SUV in Audi’s lineup is also the most affordable.

The new Q2 – which slots below the Q3, Q5 and Q7 – is priced from $41,100, just $1800 under the larger Q3 with the same engine. For that you get a 110kW 1.4-litre turbocharged engine driving the front wheels.

There’s also an all-wheel drive diesel ($47,900) and, down the track, an all-wheel drive 2.0-litre petrol.

As well as introducing a new styling theme for Audi’s Q models the Q2 brings a high level of standard equipment, including autonomous emergency braking, dual-zone climate control and sat-nav.

Volkswagon Golf

Updated Golf tees off

Volkswagen’s updated Golf will get autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology on all models as part of the generation 7.5 update. Sharing its basic shape with the outgoing Golf, the new model gets LED lights, among other equipment updates to freshen its appeal.

Styling revisions are subtle and include the bumpers, lights and front guards.

Volkswagen is also ditching the entry-level 92kW 1.4-litre engine in the 92TSI and instead utilising the 110kW version of the same engine that was previously reserved for the more expensive Highline.

Toyota Corolla

Brakes on

Toyota is now offering autonomous emergency braking on its popular Corolla.

Using a lidar and camera, the system operates at between 10km/h and 80km/h (AEB systems on most affordable cars operate up to 30-40km/h) to monitor traffic ahead and automatically apply the brakes if a crash is imminent.

The new safety system – which includes auto high beam and lane departure warning – adds $750 to the price of most models and is standard on the top-of-the-range Corolla ZR, which has jumped $930.

Jeep Grand Cheroke

Jeep ups ante

Ahead of the launch of the off-road focused Trailhawk version of the Grand Cherokee in April, Jeep is looking to boost faith in its brand with the announcement of a five-year warranty on all new models.

The extra two years of warranty also applies to current owners of model year 2015 and 2016 cars.

It’s teamed with five years of capped-price servicing and an unprecedented lifetime roadside assistance program covering all of Australia.

Written by Toby Hagon
March 22, 2017