New HiLux trio for Toyota

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Toyota HiLux

Toughening up

Toyota will add three new models to its HiLux line-up to take advantage of unprecedented demand for $50K-plus utes.

The trio of dual-cab utes – Rogue, Rugged and Rugged X – will sit above the top-selling SR5, which sells from $54,440.

Due in Australia about May, the new HiLux models are targeted at the likes of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak, which at times has had people queuing to own one.

All have black details in lieu of chrome for a tougher look.

The Rogue has a luxury focus while the Rugged and Rugged X have unique under-body protection, wheel-arch flares, a snorkel and winch-ready steel front bumper for more off-road capability.

The new HiLux variants have the familiar 130kW 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, while the Rugged and Rugged X downsize the SR5’s wheels and tyres to 17 inches (from 18), something better suited to serious off-roading.

Peugeot 5008

Seven in style

Peugeot’s distinctively styled 5008 has gone on sale priced from $42,990.

The mid-sized SUV has seven individually folding seats, a big part of its practicality tilt towards families.

The Allure and GT Line are powered by a frugal 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, while the flagship GT gets a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.

The 5008 gets Peugeot’s digital instrument cluster as well as a long list of standard features.

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Jeep Wrangler

Jeep’s Aussie angle

The all-new Wrangler will go further off-road than any other jeep, courtesy of new technology and a new structure.

Not that you’d spot it from the outside, which is an evolution of the Wrangler look, itself inspired by the original Jeep Willys.

The classic circular headlights and utilitarian look grace a fresh look that incorporates aluminium panels to reduce weight.

Even better is that the Wrangler is the first Jeep to have undergone testing and validation in Australia, all part of a plan to better equip them for our expansive and varied terrain.

It will still pack a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine, mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

Mazda CX-8 SUV

Mazda adds an ‘8’

Mazda has confirmed that the CX-8 SUV will arrive in the back half of 2018 as a diesel-powered seven-seat alternative to the CX-9.

The CX-8 is slightly smaller than CX-9, but it comes with a more efficient 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, which will appeal to those looking to go big distances or tow.

The luxury and performance is also being boosted in the Mazda6 mid-sized car by adding a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine option.

Producing 170kW and 420Nm, the engine is shared with the CX-9, bringing significantly more torque to boost performance.

LDV T60 dual-cab ute

New budget Chinese ute

Chinese car maker LDV has added its budget-priced T60 dual-cab ute to the segment.

There are two models, starting with the Pro priced from $30,516 drive-away and ending with the Luxe (from $34,726) that features softer suspension and more equipment, including smart-key entry, leather and electric seats.

Powered by a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel making 110kW, all variants drive all four wheels.

Written by Toby Hagon
February 13, 2018

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