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10 Amazing Cars We Can’t Buy In Australia

Australia is one of the cluttered car markets in the world, with more than 50 brands vying for nearly a million sales each year.

But while frankly we’re spoiled for choice, that doesn’t mean we don’t miss out on things that will most likely do well here.

Often there are reasons why dealers in Australia are overlooked: There may not be a business case for right-hand drive production, maybe excessive demand from other regions is sucking up supply, maybe Local Design Rules threw the wrench into action.

But hey, let’s have a little fun with it and suggest a vehicle that each of the top 10 brands in the market by sales should bring to Australia, which they don’t currently offer (also as there are no plans to provide). Yes, there are reasonable explanations, but let’s look past that!

The current top 10 brands list as of the time of writing, which means January through November.


New Prius

This is easy, I even wrote comments column ready! And it’s a car that’s made with RHD and is readily available.

Imagine my surprise when I saw it New generation Toyota Prius when it was revealed in November. The world’s largest car company wondering how to reinvent its hybrid icon in an era defined by all-electric vehicles, decided to give it some new fanfare.

It looks great – sleek, stylish and completely unlike what we’ve come to expect from Toyota’s longtime eco-leader. The old model was full of weird folds and proportions, while generations ago were probably less clumsy but also more boring, which is worse.

However, this latest version, which has me rolling my eyes, will be the first Toyota Prius not to be sold in Australia. In making this decision, they learned the wrong lesson from the failure of the old model and pulled the plug at the wrong time.


Mazda 3 turbocharger

I was tempted to suggest CX-50 US market but I think Mazda has enough SUVs already.

What it lacks is a high-performance version of the luxury Mazda 3 hatch, although the car offers great dynamics and distinctive looks. This is not so in the United States, where Mazda3Turbo as a member of the squad, compete with Volkswagen Golf GTI and all the rest.

It runs a version of the 2.5 liter turbocharged engine used in Australia in CX-5 and many others, producing a strong 186kW of power and 420Nm of torque, combined with an on-demand AWD system.

It is true that it only comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and no three-pedal option, which is a negative, but you can’t win it all. I still want a crack.


Hybrid sports car

Although very tempting to say Telluride Full-size SUV purely because it looks good, the real answer is the Sportage Hybrid.

Yes, Kia’s petrol-electric hybrid Sorento and Niro there is an extremely tight supply and it is the same scenario for a larger sale sport – hence its absence – but that is not an excuse.

The Toyota RAV4 hybrid is Australia’s most popular SUV and needs some competition. The Sportage is one of the best mid-size SUVs out there, but between turbocharged petrol and diesel options, there’s still scope for a hybrid.

Why? Australians love them. They usually cost a bit more than regular gasoline and cut down on fuel bills. The Sportage Hybrid Korean market using a 130 kW 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 44 kW drivetrain powered by a small battery, while cutting fuel consumption to about 6L/100km.



While the Mitsubishi i-MiEV may be a weird-looking, impractical small, and extremely expensive car, it’s also a dead pioneer. After all, it’s an all-electric car that went on sale in Australia in 2010.

Fittingly, Mitsubishi has just revealed what is the spiritual i-MiEV successor, which means a small electric Kei car aimed squarely at Japan called the Mitsubishi eK X EV. With a length of 3.4 meters, it creates 4.1 m Mazda2 look big.

Unfortunately, this time around it won’t reach the shores of Australia, despite the fact that most of us live in crowded cities and despite the growing demand for low-cost electric vehicles. We think there will be a market in inner-city areas, even if it is difficult to meet local requirements.

Despite its tiny 20kWh battery pack, the Mitsubishi weighs just 1080kg, providing an urban range of 180km and even power transmission for two-way vehicles. Its drive motor produces 47 kW of power and 195 Nm of peak torque, and regenerative braking allows for single-pedal driving.



Remember something hyundai grandeur? It was the company’s flagship sedan in Australia from 1999 to 2011 across two generations. While it has been discontinued at local galleries, the nameplate continues in its home country of Korea, with a brand new version revealed in October.

The profile is defined by a single lettering line that runs horizontally from the headlights to the taillights, on the clean and tidy sides, with frameless doors and flat handles. Instead of the traditional three-box shape, the D-pillar has a lighter slope to give the look of a fastback.

Despite its futuristic look, its engine is old-fashioned internal combustion – to begin with, at least. Options include a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, a 3.5-litre six-cylinder petrol and a 1.6-litre petrol-electric hybrid.

The cabin is advertised as an “oasis for relaxation and recuperation”. The designers used real wood, aluminum and natural dyed Nappa leather that is quilted in the traditional Korean style. Yes, we know cars are dying, but don’t pretend this isn’t cool.



My heart says Bronco, my soul says F-150 Raptor, but my head knows what’s going on. Australians love their cars and there is 100% of the market for right-hand drive-based lightweight models.

The Maverick focuses on the US (no, not the improved GQ Patrol) is not a body-on-frame all-terrain vehicle, rather, it is a monocoque body built on the same skeleton as the Ford Escape and Sports Broncoaimed at city-goers who want a ute that doesn’t run like a truck.

At 5072mm long on a 3076mm wheelbase, 1844mm wide and 1745mm tall, the Maverick is 374mm shorter and 133mm narrower than the Ranger. Hybrid power is standard in the United States, although there is a gasoline-only option.

I’m sure an RHD version – it wasn’t the rampant US demand that made this possible – would give Ford another hit like the version Mustang, Everest Moutain and forest ranger.



China’s MG has skyrocketed on the sales charts and is the leader in electric cars with ZS EV (AKA Australia’s cheapest tram) is currently on sale for about $40,000 MG 4 EV about to bloom.

But one option that doesn’t appear here, but is sold in the UK RHD market, is electric wagon MG 5 EV with a claimed driving range of over 500km, V2L functionality and a 578L wide trunk.

In the UK, it also costs £1500 more than the ZS EV ($A2700), meaning it will most likely cost less than $50,000 given the ZS’s starting price of $44,990.

Sure, it’s not the most exciting looking car, but practical and affordable EVs are what Australia needs more of, not less.


D-Max AT35 Arctic Truck

There aren’t many Isuzu products that don’t come to Australia, because this brand only produces D-Max and MU-X and both are very famous here.

Arguably a blind spot is the absence of a heavily modified top-of-the-line D-Max sold at dealerships, to compete with HiLux Rogue, Navara Warrior Pro-4X and all the rest.

This is not the case for our friends in the UK, where the Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 is sold. It comes with wild flares, Bilstein suspension and seasoned off-road tires.

Granted, versions sold on mainland Europe do with the 1.9-litre diesel instead of the 3.0-litre favored by Australians, but that minor and easily remedied problem aside, it seems to be winner.


Basic BRZ Cup Car

The Subaru BRZ coupe It’s the most fun thing you can have with your outfit, but you know what more of our car enthusiasts want?

A stripped-down model with steel wheels, manual transmission only, no inner screen, upgraded cooling system and bolts available for racing belts.

In other words, there’s almost nothing to distract you from the high-revving flat-four engine and rear-wheel drive chassis, rated at 173kW and 250Nm.

What about the special edition, Subaru Australia?


T-Roc Cabriolet

Okay, bear with me. Volkswagen Australia has a history here with short-lived convertibles like the Golf Cabrio, Eos and of course the Beetle.

In Europe, the company’s top pick is based on Funny T-Roc small SUVwith a chopped roof and less than two doors.

At 4.3m long, it’s roughly the size of a Golf 6 (RIP) softtop, its roof drops in just nine seconds and it has the prevailing high-rise SUV style. Granted, the Range Rover Evoque softtop is a failure, but this one will be cheaper.

The engine is a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol with a modest 115kW and 250Nm, but who needs the power to cruise the beach?

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