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The Week That Was: Mazda3 XD Diesel, Kia Sportage, Vale Sir Jack Brabham Photo:
 
 
Trevor Collett | May, 25 2014 | 1 Comment

Mazda announced this week that diesel power will soon be available in its top-selling Mazda3, confirming the XD Astina will launch locally in September.

The XD Astina will get the same 2.2 litre unit featured in the CX-5 and the Mazda6 producing 129kW and 420Nm, matched to either six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

And in breaking news, there are reports about that the Mazda3 MPS is on track for a 2016 debut, with power as high as 220kW and all-wheel-drive.


The 2014 Kia Sportage is now available, priced from $25,990 plus on-roads for the entry-level Si model with a new 2.0 litre petrol engine.

While power for the 2.0 litre engine option remains steady at 122kW, torque has increased 8Nm to 205Nm and fuel consumption has improved to 8.2 l/100km (down from 8.7) in the manual-equipped model.

At the other end of the range, pricing for the Sportage Platinum 4WD Diesel Automatic now starts at $41,390 plus on-roads.

Australia lost its most successful ever race-driver and F1 icon early this week, when Sir Jack Brabham died at the age of 88.

Sir Jack was world champion three times during his career, famously winning the 1966 Championship in a car of his own design and construction.

Brabham also competed at Bathurst and in the Targa Tasmania, along with countless other races during his brilliant career.


In other news, the BMW 228i coupe is now available to order in Australia, priced from $64,400 plus on-roads.


The Australian Motoring Festival got the green light this week, confirmed for March 26-29 next year, to be staged co-jointly by VACC and RACV at the Melbourne Showgrounds.


Two ‘most valuable brands’ surveys were conducted this week, with Mazda topping the table of auto brands in an Australian survey, while Toyota topped carmakers in the global Brandz survey.


Citroen’s ‘C’ class variants are now available with drive-away pricing in Australia until the end of June, while the updated DS3 was revealed ahead of a local arrival next year.


Tesla’s Model S will reportedly be priced from $95,000 plus on-roads when it arrives in Australia later this year, although official pricing is expected to be known in the coming days.


Volvo announced a price-cut for its S60 Polestar performer this week, breaking through the $100,000 price-floor at $99,950 plus on-roads.


Audi confirmed its 2015 Audi A3 e-tron will be priced at less than $60,000 for Australian customers, with the plug-in hybrid due to arrive in Q1 next year.


Mitsubishi has given its ASX an update for the 2015 model year, with the SUV gaining new features and a number of key refinements.


ANCAP secured a $2.2 million boost in federal funding this week, confirming that the program will survive in its current state for at least the next two years.


Hyundai’s hydrogen-powered ix35 (Tucson) is now available in the US, although customers will only be invited to lease the SUVs, for now.

 

REVIEWS

We drove the 2014 Kia Pro_Cee’d GT with Tech Pack this week; our verdict rates it highly as a well thought-out hatch with Kia’s best interior to date.


As the V8 Supercar circus headed to Perth, so did we, letting the 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar off the leash at the RAC Driver Training Centre. Check out our review.


Keeping with track-based reviews, we took the 2014 Audi S3 Sedan around Victoria’s Phillip Island circuit this week, and there wasn’t much we didn’t like about it.


We also took to the wheel of the 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth Esseesse for the Italian Connection Trophy Rally and despite the fussy driving position, we think this car is capable of restoring one’s faith in four wheels.


Finally, we got off the beaten track in the 2014 Ford Ranger 4WD utility, putting the popular 4X4's driving technologies to the test. It confirmed our view of the Ranger's capabilities and that the TMR Best Buy gong we awarded it in 2011 still stands.


And that’s… the week that was.

 
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