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Trevor Collett | Mar 14, 2016

Toyota's all-new, fourth-generation Prius arrived this week, promising better fuel economy, more equipment, more luggage capacity and a more enjoyable behind-the-wheel experience.

The price has jumped slightly for the base model Prius, with the range now starting $2500 higher at $34,990 for the standard Toyota Prius.

At the other end of the scale prices have dropped by $1000, bringing the more feature-rich Prius i-Tech down to $42,990.

The first performance variant of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class has emerged, and it’s not a fire-breathing E 63 V8 bahnstormer as you might expect.

Instead the first 'fire-breathing, bahnstorming' Mercedes-AMG E 43 has arrived.

Following in the footsteps of the C 43 Coupe and SLC 43 roadster, the E 43 arrives with a twin-turbo 3.0 litre V6 under the bonnet, directing power to its rear-biased 4Matic all-wheel-drive system via a nine-speed automatic.

After years of behind-the-scenes work, Nissan Australia’s plan to bring a range of NISMO road cars to this market is coming close to fruition with the automaker confirming to TMR this week that NISMO’s consumer offerings are finally on their way.

But while an official announcement of the NISMO road car programme is expected to happen later this year, the first cars likely won’t touch Australian soil until early 2017.

Nissan’s General Manager of Corporate Communications, Peter Fadeyev, told TMR that it was too soon to specify timing for the release of any models.

In other news, Subaru let loose the first details of its all-new modular platform architecture, which will underpin all of the Japanese automaker's new models starting with the next-generation Subaru Impreza range.

The head of Mercedes-Benz's parent company Daimler said electric cars will need to have a single-charge range of at least 500km before the motoring public will consider them a viable alternative to petrol or diesel-powered vehicles.

Opel boss Karl-Thomas Neumann reportedly revealed that a new large SUV model may be on the way from General Motors, based on the next Insignia wagon.

Peugeot lifted the lid on its updated 2008 SUV at the Geneva Motor Show, ahead of its arrival in Australia later this year.

Volkswagen confirmed that the Beetle’s days in Australia are again numbered, but a special edition will go on sale before the iconic model departs our shores.

Mitsubishi revealed plans for the next five years, with the carmaker set to begin its largest product rollout in over a decade with one new model to be released each year between now and 2021.

Tesla news this week included an expected late-March debut date for the Model 3, along with hints from a ‘white hat’ hacker that a new P100D variant is on the way for the Model S.

BMW celebrated its 100th birthday this week, and to mark the occasion the German automaker wheeled out a special present to itself: the BMW Vision Next 100 concept.

Morgan’s latest model - the 3-Wheeler EV - went on show in Geneva, and the carmaker’s Australian distributor confirmed it’s heading our way.

Spyker is back - returning to the automotive fray this week with a new model called the C8 Preliator.



Plenty of new arrivals in Australia this week, and among them was the 2016 Toyota Prius. We drove the all-new model, finding it to be a much-improved version of a proven recipe.

Another new arrival was Citroen’s 2016 C4 Cactus, which we found to be a thoroughly decent style-focused city SUV, backed by a six-year warranty and capped-price servicing.

We found the 2016 Haval H2 LUX 2WD Automatic to be ambitious with a nice interior, but a little lacking at the price for safety options and equipment and with a driving experience that is a behind segment leaders.

Suzuki’s compact 2016 Vitara SUV is likely to score buyers simply based on its price and included equipment. We found it ticks most of the boxes people will be looking for, but the manual version is cheaper and a better drive.

We found the 2016 Holden Spark packs the right technology for its target market into a more universally-appealing exterior design than the departing Barina Spark, with a slightly increased price being, perhaps, its only negative.

The 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is, at a glance, Mustang through-and-through - but instead of appealing to Mustang loyalists, we found the EcoBoost opens up the Mustang experience to a new breed of buyers.

Finally, we found Peugeot’s 208 GTi 30th Anniversary is one of the best sporty cars Peugeot has produced since the 306 GTi bowed-out at the turn of the new millennium.

And that’s… the week that was.

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Filed under News the week that was 2016