Cool SUVs Australia Will Never See
As an Australian wandering around the floor of the 99th annual Vancouver Auto Show, it's hard not to notice the SUVs that are unseen on Australian roads.
There’s plenty of unfamiliar SUVs that are yet to reach the land down under - but there’s just as many that will never make the jump.
Here we take a look at some of those SUVs that North American markets get to enjoy, but Australians will unfortunately just have to enjoy from a distance.
Lincoln is the Ford Motor Company’s luxury marque, and it's been pumping out increasingly luxurious and interesting vehicles recently with the flagship Aviator clocking in as its most attractive.
Canadian automotive journalist called the Aviator “one of the most beautiful SUVs I’ve seen” - and it's not hard to see why it would get such a reception.
Despite effectively being a massive brick of a car - as is the American markets traditional taste in SUVs - the Aviator looks sleek and modern - a classier take on Ford’s Explorer SUV - a model that the Aviator shares its underpinnings with.
While neither the Explorer or the Aviator will reach Australian shores - for now - the Nautilus is a vehicle that has a Ford counterpart plying the roads down under - the Ford Edge, or as its known locally, the Ford Endura - which is itself an attempt to fill the void left by the locally-produced Ford Territory.
The Nautilus shares its design language with the above mentioned Aviator - with sleek lines and an imposing grill, separating it quite clearly from its more mainstream equivalent in the Ford marque.
Same with the Aviator, the Nautilus is unlikely to ever reach Australia, and that’s a damn shame.
The massive Ford Explorer will live into a sixth generation, after a new model was unveiled earlier this year ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Explorer has been sold in Australia before - with examples of the second and third generations still on Australian roads.
Before anyone gets excited though, Ford Australia was quick to say that the next-gen Explorer would not be built in right-hand drive, kiboshing any additions to Ford’s current SUV range.
The new Explorer has the same underpinnings as the Aviator, available in rear and all-wheel-drive, with its size making it an attractive proposition for families and highway explorers the world around.
Looks pretty sleek wearing those shoes too.
Moving away from the Ford Motor Company and into the land of General Motors, the Chevrolet Blazer has been likened to an SUV-version of the muscle car Chevrolet Camaro with its aggressive grill and forward-leaning stance.
General Motors’ local arm in Holden has been importing its American SUVs like its going out of fashion since it ceased offering the Captiva - with the Equinox available since late 2017 and the Acadia on offer since late 2018 - the Blazer has a less clear path to Australian shores.
While Holden has left the door open to importing the Blazer to sit between the Acadia and Equinox - one small problem exists in that its currently only built in left-hand drive at General Motors’ Mexican assembly.
Subaru is a brand that’s synonymous with SUV’s these days. And if it's not an SUV then it’s all-wheel-drive.
The American-made Ascent was introduced to the North American market in 2017 when it was unveiled in Los Angeles, going on sale later in 2018.
The largest Subaru automobile manufactured, it slots in well above the Outback - the largest model Australians can drive away in.
While Subaru Australia might want to bring the three-row SUV to our shores, it faces a similar problem as other SUV’s on this list in that the right-hand drive market is too small for American factories to dedicate time to.
Another vehicle made for America, in America, the Telluride is Korean carmaker Kia’s three-row tank-like offering to the SUV-hungry North American market.
Debuting at the Detroit Motor show in late January, the Telluride has only been in production since February in Georgia and is yet to go on sale.
Coming in above the Kia Sorento in size, the Telluride boasts fairly common American design language in boxy lines and an aggressive stance - features it shares with its Hyundai counterpart, the Palisade, which will also not reach Australia.
The recently introduced Honda Passport is larger and boxier than the CR-V, with marketing leaning towards its strengths as an outdoorsy vehicle for explorers and adventurers with more offroading cred.
Debuted at the LA Motor Show, the chunky Passport owes its good looks to the Honda Pilot - an even larger SUV that’s currently in its third generation in North America - and not available down under.
The Passport is effectively a two-row counterpart to the huge three-row Pilot, which in its earlier generations almost looked like a Jeep.
And once again, Australians will be able to look, but not touch, as Honda Australia says there are no plans for the Passport to enter its Australian showrooms anytime soon.
- Chevrolet Blazer
- ford explorer
- Honda Passport
- Kia telluride
- lincoln aviator
- Lincoln Nautilus
- Subaru Ascent
- Vancouver Motorshow