The Week That Was: Ford Focus, Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Pajero Photo:
Trevor Collett | Sep, 06 2015 | 3 Comments

Ford's updated Focus arrived in Australia this week, with a refreshed line-up and pared-back powertrain choice.

A new turbocharged 1.5 litre four-pot engine now powers the mainstream Focus range, while rejigged suspension, steering, and additional noise-deadening have improved refinement

A range restructure sees the base-grade Ambiente model dropped, leaving the Focus range comprised of the Trend, Sport, Titanium and the (already updated) high-performance ST flagship.

After a leak, and then a small batch of official images without any supporting info, Kia came to the party this week with info about its new Sportage medium SUV ahead of its Frankfurt Motor Show debut.

Frankfurt will play host to the full, official unveiling of the new Sportage. The model is critical to Kia's European success and represents nearly 25 percent of the brand’s European sales.

The new generation Sportage will also be the first to feature a GT Line specification, already seen in Europe on the Cee’d hatch.

Mitsubishi has given its Pajero an update for 2016 which will see the 4WD solider on into its tenth year on the market.

Only 12 months have passed since the Pajero was last updated, and this latest refresh sees new interior features and improved connectivity as the major focus.

From this month, Pajero customers will find a new seven-inch infotainment screen in the 4WD’s interior which will bring the triple-treat of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and a DAB digital radio in the months ahead.

In other news, and staying with Mitsubishi, the all-new Triton ute now has petrol-powered models in the range with prices starting from $21,990 plus on-roads.

Holden teased its updated (and last, as we know it) Commodore, with a single shadowy image of the VFII showing some of what we can expect from the final locally-built Commodore model.

Mazda released the first pricing details for its updated BT-50 pickup, with the range to start from $25,570 plus on-road costs.

Hyundai revealed its first N Sport model this week, with the covers coming off the i20 N Sport warm hatch.

Nissan detailed pricing and specifications for its remaining NP300 Navara models, as the carmaker gears up for the arrival of the full range by year’s end.

Toyota Australia announced full details of its updated LandCruiser Prado range, with the re-engined models promising more power, torque, refinement and equipment at a modest increase in price.

Staying with Toyota, the carmaker’s all-new Prius was uncovered in spy photos, strapped down in transit while being airfreighted from Japan.

Audi announced the imminent arrival of the SQ5 TDI plus; a turbo-diesel performance SUV which turns the wick up on the regular SQ5 with its peak power and torque outputs of 250kW and 700Nm.

Citroen importer Sime Darby confirmed that its funky C4 Cactus hatchback will arrive in Australia in one specification level, but will boast a dizzying 23,184 possible configurations.

Renault added a new model to its local Renault Sport line-up, with the new Megane RS 275 Cup Premium replacing the outgoing 265 Cup Premium.



We drove the 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara ST-X this week, and approved of the new ute’s neat lines, SUV-like interior and work ethic.

Kia’s 2015 Sorento Platinum CRDi AWD proved to us that the Korean carmaker ‘got serious’ about its seven-seat SUV, which is powered by one of the best diesel engines in the segment.

Jaguar’s 2016 XE sedan is low, swift and dynamic at the wheel and luxuriously trimmed inside. We found it has the capacity to surprise a lot of buyers, particularly those considering models from Germany’s ‘big three’.

We drove Audi’s 2015 A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid this week, finding it no different from any other A3 but with proper green credentials and an interior quality typical of Audi.

In case you missed it earlier, Ford’s updated 2015 Focus is now on sale in Australia and we drove the Trend, Sport and Titanium variants at launch - the new 1.5 litre turbo is one appealing engine.

The 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Auto is huggable but rabid and packing a concentrated serving of MINI’s hallmark handling, priced from $49,950 plus on-road costs.

We found the top-drawer 2015 Toyota Camry Atara SL is a more polished car than its predecessor, with a new face, more features and a sweeter ride.

Toyota’s 2015 Prado GX, GXL, VX and Kakadu variants are now sporting a new diesel engine with new appeal, offering a new-found refinement, smoothness and quietness. Check out our review.

Finally, we found the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Automatic re-sets the benchmark for affordable, open-top fun with thread-the-needle steering, masses of grip, and an alert, smooth-shifting automatic.

And that’s… the week that was.

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