We’re solely two months into 2023 to date, however because it stands in the intervening time the Ford Ranger has supplanted the Toyota HiLux atop the gross sales charts.
It was the outright best-seller in Australia for each January and February, and there’s no indication it would decelerate any time quickly.
However what should you don’t desire a Ranger? Nicely, that’s what we requested the CarExpert crew.
The principles for this problem are easy. We’ve chosen the Ranger XLT Bi-Turbo dual-cab four-wheel drive as our cutoff, with a sticker value of $61,990 earlier than on-roads.
Sure, you may spend rather more on a Ranger – and we would play that sport sooner or later – however for now, we needed to maintain issues comparatively attainable.
Take a look at what the crew would spend their very own hard-earned on beneath, and tell us what you’d purchase as an alternative within the feedback.
It’s not even a query for me.
I might purchase a GWM Tank 300, and put 24-inch wheels on it, and wrap it in matte black, and name it G TANK and dwell fortunately ever after.
I really like that Tank so very a lot, I’m hoping to do exactly that when the automobile goes on sale correctly.
This isn’t the automobile I really need, however guidelines are guidelines and the Honda Civic Sort R is simply too rattling costly to qualify. Boo.
I do know the WRX isn’t good, but it surely does a whole lot of what I need in a day by day. It’s all-wheel drive for journeys to the snow, guide, and has sufficient area for golf golf equipment within the boot. It’s additionally fairly rattling fast.
I do know it’s not fairly the wild baby it as soon as was, however there’s a whole lot of potential within the newest mannequin that could possibly be freed up with just a few alternative modifications. The additional $10,000 left beneath finances is sufficient to get me an exhaust, together with some racier wheels and sticky tyres (possibly) that might launch the beast mendacity inside.
As for the way I’d specify it? Purple, guide (like god meant), in RS kind to get a pleasant inside.
I’d additionally spend money on a roll of duct tape to cowl up the infuriating driver monitoring sensor completely, relatively than having to dive by way of the menu system each time you press the beginning button.
I’d go for a Skoda Octavia RS Wagon in gray – just like Daytona Gray from Audi. I might additionally go for the sunroof and Premium Pack if I used to be capable of push the finances by $1000 or so (You may’t – Ed.).
The wagon suits every thing I want for my week and even into the weekend. I can match a surfboard within the automobile or empty the again and head to the drive-in cinemas on a Saturday evening.
The usual options tick all my bins however I might splash the money for the extra options within the Premium Pack for heads up show, adaptive chassis management, and entrance and rear heated seats.
Now I’m down in Melbourne I’ve little doubt they may come in useful!
I’ve pushed loads of genuinely pleasant crossovers these days, together with the Cupra Formentor and turbocharged Mazda CX-5. The upcoming Mazda CX-60 additionally appears to be like like a compelling package deal, and slides in underneath $60,000 earlier than on-roads.
However no, sorry, I don’t want an SUV. I neither have youngsters nor a walker, so the additional area and better hip level aren’t obligatory.
A Cupra Leon VZ or Skoda Octavia RS is tempting, however I’m going to go along with the primary automobile I considered when this query was posed to me: a Kia Stinger.
The $60,000 cut-off doesn’t get me right into a GT, sadly, however I can get right into a 330S with the identical twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6 engine pumping out 274kW of energy and 510Nm of torque, in addition to a limited-slip differential and bi-modal exhaust.
I do miss out on some key security gear, to not point out some niceties like ventilated entrance seats, however I nonetheless get a sensible hatchback physique and a seven-year guarantee.
I additionally get the final inexpensive, mass-market rear-wheel drive sports activities sedan (okay, technically hatchback), simply earlier than Kia pulls the plug on it.
For me, it’s the Hyundai i30 N Drive-N Restricted Version sizzling hatch in Phantom Black Pearl with Hyundai’s in-house eight-speed dual-clutch transmission for $56,200 earlier than on-road prices.
It’s primarily based on the i30 Hatch N Premium with sunroof but it surely additionally will get incredible Alcantara seats and steering wheel, together with a set go very cool 19-inch cast alloy wheels in darkish Bronze Matte.
I’ve pushed this automobile on monitor at The Bend racetrack and it appeared faster than some other i30 N – regardless of the very fact its mechanical specs are the identical as the usual i30 Ns.
And to suppose that is nonetheless a sensible hatch in addition however extra monitor succesful that some other rival (besides the dearer Honda Civic Sort R) is a hands-down winner. it simply goes so effectively out of the field.
For me, it’s fairly arduous to go previous the Cupra Leon VZ, which at $56,490 drive-away is available in effectively underneath finances for some alternative choices and/or equipment.
In a world the place costs proceed to extend, with the ability to get a enjoyable, quick and well-equipped compact efficiency automobile underneath $60,000 is proving harder – however Cupra has you coated.
The Leon VZ is principally a Volkswagen Golf GTI by one other identify and face, with a extra targeted chassis and angrier look inside and outside. It’s additionally less expensive than its German sibling, which might solely be a plus.
I’d add the $2490 Leather-based and Sound Bundle primarily for the upgraded nine-speaker Beats audio system, whereas having a full leather-based inside with energy seat adjustment provides a contact of sophistication. I’d additionally shell out for a set of copper VZx alloys which can be out there as a $1260 accent.
Shut second place goes to a fully-optioned Audi A3 35 TFSI Sportback, which with its mild-hybrid 1.5 TSI petrol engine and raft of obtainable options is kind of the environment friendly little luxurious automobile at underneath $60,000 RRP.
I believe I’d be shopping for a Subaru Outback XT. I really like the idea of the Outback – it has the room you want, is lifted off the bottom, however isn’t simply one other SUV.
It was initially let down considerably by the engine but it surely now has a turbocharger, which bridges the hole. It’s a fantastic package deal.
If I had $60,000 to spend on a brand new automobile in the intervening time I might almost certainly go for the Subaru Outback XT Sport. I’d save the remaining for gas!
Different automobiles on my listing of choices embrace the Skoda Octavia RS wagon, Cupra Formentor VZ, and even the Mazda CX-60 G40e Evolve. The Outback XT wins out although.
The recently-introduced Outback XT is powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged flat-four engine producing 183kW of energy and 350Nm of torque.
This additional energy and torque over the common mannequin’s 2.5-litre naturally aspirated engine makes larger velocity manoeuvres resembling overtaking much more easy. The automobile is a bit thirsty although and requires a minimal of 95 RON premium unleaded petrol.
A few of my favorite elements concerning the Outback are the extraordinarily compliant journey in each city and rural environments, in addition to the spacious inside and couch-like seats.
For the kind of driving I sometimes do when not driving a press automobile, which is predominantly freeway and rural freeway driving, the Outback XT is one of the best choose for underneath $60,000.