When it comes to manoeuvring narrow roads and getting out of a snarl-up, smaller cars are ideal. Small and medium cars have proven to be the most suited cars for city life. However, most people tend to associate the small size with inferiority. On the contrary, it is not the case.
Today, there are very many small cars in the market that pack fantastic features. Below we look at some of the best small and medium cars that will be arriving at our local market this year.
Late last year, Hyundai Australia confirmed that the Sonata would be available to the Australian market. The company's Australian division also revealed that the old Sonata was no longer being built.
The previous-gen has been in the local market for about five years, having been unveiled in 2014. Apart from the major facelift back in 2017, nothing major was added to the car. It was available with a 2.4L petrol engine and 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine. It made the car a preferred choice of New South Wales and Queensland policing fleets.
As of the moment, Hyundai is set to bring the new Sonata. Hyundai Australia's GM of production planning Andrew Tuitahi revealed, "We're looking at how to bring the new one in – how we can establish a good model line-up, good pricing, and bring something interesting to the market."
It will be available with a 143kW/254Nm 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. It is not clear yet, but a 134kw/264Nm 1.6L unit may come along with it. It is scheduled to hit the market as the year will be coming to an end.
Audi RS7 Sportsback
The new generation Audi RS7 is scheduled to be available to European auto dealers within the first quarter of the year. Audi’s Australian division has confirmed that the car will also be available locally around midyear.
Audi is yet to communicate the price tag of the car, but with the superb features it comes with, expect to pay quite a sum for it. The vehicle is powered by a stonking 441kW/800Nm 4.0L twin-turbo V8 petrol engine. Audi revealed that the car takes 3.6s to accelerate from 0-100 km/hr.
Standard features include LED headlights, progressive steering, 21-inch cast aluminium arch fillers, and driver assistance systems. It is available as a four- or five-seater. Expect to see an impressive car as soon as it gets in the country.
Mercedes AMG CLA 35
The Mercedes AMG CLA35 sedan is scheduled to be available locally this year. At its reasonable price tag, the CLA35 will be a competitor as soon as it arrives.
The car features a 225kW/400Nm 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. It is available as an all-wheel-drive with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Standard features for the variant making its way to Australia include dual-zone climate control, hands-free access to the boot (electrical), keyless entry and electrically adjustable seats (front). Mercedes AMG disclosed the pricing of the sedan at $69,800.
Mazda 3 G25
The new Mazda 3 car is one of the vehicles that should not be omitted from an average car shopper's list this year. A 2.5L 4-cylinder engine powers the Mazda 3. It is offered with a 6-speed automatic or manual transmission.
When it comes to infotainment, it has an 8.8” widescreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The Mazda 3 will cost anywhere between $30,000 and $40,000.
Porsche, over the past few years, has shown interest in eco-friendly cars. The Volkswagen-owned brand first started with plug-in hybrids and made its way to the full-electric category.
The automaker’s new sedan EV is branded Taycan. The car will be available in Australia in the fourth quarter of the year.
It is not yet known how much the Taycan will cost, but a rough approximation of around $200,000 for the lowest grade seems just about right. Locally the car will be available with standard features such as Porsche Dynamic Light Plus, LED headlights, 20-inch ‘Sport Aero’ alloy wheels, and red brake callipers.
On the interior side, it comes with a partial leather touch featuring leather seats with 14-way electric adjustment. The car will also sport a 10.9” infotainment system.
Porsche Australia revealed that the Taycan would be available in 3 grades - 4S, Turbo and Turbo S.
BMW M8 Gran Coupe
The M8 Gran Coupe from the German-owned brand comes as a sedan instead of a coupe. Commonly viewed as the Audi RS7 rival, the BMW is a great car. A V8 twin-turbo engine similarly powers it. The 460kW/750Nm 4.4L engine under its hood allows it to gain from standstill to 100km/hr in just 3.2 seconds.
It is expected to hit the market at the same time as its coupe counterpart. BMW confirmed that it would be available in Australia starting from the second quarter of the year. However, the two-door variant will arrive earlier.
Nothing concrete has been said about its price, but an estimate can be calculated based on the M8 Coupe’s price tag of $300,000. How far it goes past that price remains to be the biggest question.
For sports car lovers, here is a car to be excited about. There is no shortage of fans and lovers of the Mazda MX-5 locally. This year will see things become even better with updates on the car.
Although these updates aren't that big, they will keep the car in the list of the best small cars for a while. The new changes include new upholstery options as well as paintwork.
The MX-5 comes with a 1.5- and 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. It is also available with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Which brand is that again?
Well, Australians can get a break for not being aware of the Polestar. After all, it is but a new brand in the market. Polestar is the go-fast line of vehicles by Chinese-Swedish motor company Volvo.
Although Polestar 2’s predecessor, Polestar 1, was a plug-in hybrid, the automaker has finally decided to offer the market something new, better and yes, all-electric.
The Polestar 1 didn’t make it to the Australian market, but that won’t be the case for the new sedan. Expect to see the Polestar 2 in our roads starting from “the later part” this year according to Volvo Australia PR executive Greg Bosnich.
Judging by Greg Bosnich’s words, the Polestar 2 will be in the local market around the fourth quarter of the year.
Coming as a convertible, the LC 500 from Lexus will arrive in our local market mid this year. The LC500 will be the third convertible to be introduced by Lexus. The previous two didn’t exactly steal the show, but this latest one will likely do better.
On paper, the car’s features seem impressive and worth your consideration. The LC500 convertible will be powered by a 351kW/540Nm V8 5.0L engine.
The Lexus LC has previously earned the reputation as one of the most stylish lines of cars, and the latest convertible body style will make it even better. Its pricing remains unknown at the moment.
Volkswagen introduced the Passat -140TSI Business just this month. A 140kW/320Nm 4-cylinder turbo-petrol engine powers the new facelifted Passat. It also features an updated multimedia system with Apple CarPlay support, albeit this will be available for the high-spec variants.
The Passat also has a suite of driver assistance systems with advanced functionalities. Other features include 18” alloy wheels, LED headlights, three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist.
The sedan variant costs about $46,000 plus on-road costs.