Welcome back to your weekly wrap up of car news and reviews, where we find all the best stories of the week and condense them down into one easy read

After much deliberation and zero controversy or strong opinions from anyone, Australia has finally welcomed its first fully-electric ute in the LDV eT60.

While electric vans are coming in thick and fast here in Australia, utes are a far rarer commodity and we are excited to see how this technology holds up under worksite pressure, an issue we delved into within our review this week.

this week on chasing cars: ldv et60 price shock, rav4 updated for 2023 and stinger here to stay

Mazda outlined its electric future and teased an EV roadster concept

It wasn’t the only electrification news we saw this week, with Mazda and Alfa Romeo laying out their future plans, Abarth revealing its first electric hot hatch and Honda confirming that its new hybrid Civic would be here before Christmas.

We also published six reviews for you to scroll through for the Christmas list, covering everything from the enthusiast-focused Porsche 911 Carrera T to Peugeot’s surprisingly luxurious 308 hatch – so go take your pick.

LDV eT60 reviewed and priced

Buyers of the LDV eT60 ute will need to ask themselves two questions before they follow through with their purchase decision: firstly do they want to pay $100,000 driveway for what is, ultimately, a very basic ute? And secondly, do they want to own the first factory-built all-electric ute ever sold in Australia?

As it turns out, a lot of people do – particularly fleet buyers and companies who have made grandiose claims about switching over their fleet of utes to EVs as soon as the technology becomes available. Your move, says the local distributor for LDV.

this week on chasing cars: ldv et60 price shock, rav4 updated for 2023 and stinger here to stay

If you want an electric ute you have pricelessly one option, and it’s a pricey one

A fat price tag is one thing, but an absence of basic active driver safety aids is quite another, especially in 2022, and it was this that led to Chasing Cars handing the eT60 a low review rating of 5/10.

A new generation of the eT60 is said to be on the way, we hope it’s an improvement.

Toyota RAV4 updated for 2023

Australia’s most popular SUV, the Toyota RAV4, has been updated for the 2023 model year with more safety and convenience features – but they’ve come at the expense of a price rise.

Buyers will pay between $2150 and $2820 more depending on the variant, with the entry price for the base non-hybrid GX FWD now starting at $36,550 before on-road costs.

Most notably Toyota has upgraded the multimedia screen to a 10.5-inch display on higher grades, backed by new software and hardware that supports wireless Apple CarPlay.

this week on chasing cars: ldv et60 price shock, rav4 updated for 2023 and stinger here to stay

The updated Toyota RAV4 scores new interior technology and safety aids

Buyers also net a full-width 12.3-inch digital driver’s display on high grades or a 7.0-inch unit on lower ones – but all RAV4s now get more advanced AEB capable of preventing some intersection collisions plus emergency steering assistance.

Other minor changes include an upgraded reversing camera and an additional ground-monitoring camera under the front bumper on the Edge and Cruiser grades.

The Kia Stinger is dead. Long live the Kia Stinger

If there is one motoring yarn that’s kicked around far too much it’s the eternally ‘close to death’ status of the cult-favourite Kia Stinger.

After a fresh crop of rumours emerged once again, we did our due diligence and spoke to Kia Australia’s general manager of product planning Roland Rivero who told Chasing Cars “we don’t see it disappearing anytime soon” – or at least not for 2023.

this week on chasing cars: ldv et60 price shock, rav4 updated for 2023 and stinger here to stay

Just like in this picture, the Kia Stinger isn’t going anywhere

It comes after the Stinger was dropped from the New Zealand and UK markets where the Stinger hasn’t enjoyed the sales success that it has in Australia – where generations of being weaned on go-fast large sedans have apparently bred some underlying loyalty for the Kia.

Emissions regulations are also said to be making it harder for Kia and its buyers harder to justify with the Stinger’s twin-turbo-petrol V6 not known for its hybrid-like fuel consumption – even if it’s actually not too bad for such a big engine, with a combined rating of 10.2L/100km.

Car and SUV review highlights this week:

Like the look of the Premcar-tuned Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior but don’t like the idea of spending $70k on a ute? Well, the new SL-badged Warrior offers much of the same fun off-roady bits for $10k less, but is it still good value?

It’s not often that Alfa Romeo launches a new car and from our first drive we think there is a bit of potential in the new Tonale small SUV – though it’s not without its faults.

this week on chasing cars: ldv et60 price shock, rav4 updated for 2023 and stinger here to stay

The new Tonale aims to bring some of that Alfa brilliance to the small SUV segment for the first time

The new-generation Peugeot 308 has just landed in Australia and is keen to justify its higher price with a cabin that’s layered with technology and a general fit and finish which is even higher than its under-appreciated predecessor.  Overall though, it was good enough to earn itself a rare 8.5/10 on our scoring scale. Read or watch our review here.

No Porsche 911 is cheap – this, we know well – but the new Carrera T packs a decidedly ‘purist’ focus in its mission and yet is one of the cheapest options in the line-up and our first drive in the US this week showed why it should be on your wishlist. Read or watch our review here.

this week on chasing cars: ldv et60 price shock, rav4 updated for 2023 and stinger here to stay

Ready for an EV hot hatch? We are

Other car and SUV news we covered this week:

  • Abarth this week announced its first electric vehicle, the 500e hot hatch, with a 113kW/235Nm electric motor on the front axle providing a 0-100km/h sprint time of around seven seconds, though being a hot hatch, it’s likely the real performance will be found in the corners. 
  • Honda has confirmed the Civic eHEV (marketing speak for ‘hybrid’) will go on sale in Australia with a single, fully-loaded grade priced at $55,000 driveaway – which seems a tall ask when a Toyota Corolla Hybrid starts at $30,630 before on-road costs but let’s wait for the review…
  • Kia has confirmed to Chasing Cars that it will usher in a facelift for the Picanto hatch in 2023, despite already being one of the best-equipped affordable small cars in its segment.
  • This week we spoke to the folks at LDV who told us their data indicates young tradies are turning to cheap new utes – like the T60 – over second-hand Toyota Hiluxes, which have historically been the go-to choice. 
  • Mazda has announced it will spend USD$10.6 billion to electrify its vehicles, with the first range promised by 2025 before a full-scale rollout in 2028 to 2030. And Mazda being Mazda, it teased a new sports car following the announcement.
  • Alfa Romeo also confirmed its electrification plans, setting out a goal to launch five EVs by 2027 including a large SUV.
  • Alfa Romeo has tragically confirmed that it has no plans for a ballistic Quadrifoglio version of its Tonale small SUV as the car maker believes there would be little market interest in such a vehicle. 
  • South Korea is aiming to embrace level four autonomous driving technology by 2035 – also in this article: we explain the different levels and current state of the movement. 
  • Along with its new ute, LDV is bringing electrification to its Deliver 9 large van. Priced from $99,990 before on-road costs, the van has around 275km of range but doesn’t compromise on interior space despite its huge battery. 
  • However, those after a people mover should look to LDV’s Mifa 9 instead. It’s not cheap at $106,000 before on-road costs but it does come with over 440km of range and plenty of equipment.  

Keyword: This week on Chasing Cars: LDV eT60 price shock, RAV4 updated for 2023 and Stinger here to stay

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