We have never been more spoilt for car choices in Australia with more than 60 brands operating in our fearsomely competitive market, and offering a steady stream of fresh metal is one way of staying in the spotlight.
In 2019, more than 50 new or significantly updated models will roll out across most of the mainstream brands and a few of some smaller boutique manufacturers – and those are just the ones we know about!
Here’s our comprehensive list of new cars launching in 2019 to keep you in the loop if you’re thinking of treating yourself to a fresh set of wheels in the New Year.
The high-performance Stelvio range topper will be the fastest SUV in its class
Due date: January 2019
The twin-turbo V6-powered Stelvio Quadrifoglio – known as the Stelvio Q in Australia – has a 283km/h top speed and a 0-100km/h time of just 3.8 seconds. The Q adds all-wheel-drive underpinnings to the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission. It also shares much of the sports sedan’s equipment levels. Apart from a significant power boost over other Stelvio models, the new Stelvio flagship differs from the rest of the line-up via a more aggressive body kit and tweaks to improve aerodynamics, performance and handling.
Aston Martin DBX
Aston’s fourbie foray – some might say sacrilegious submission to the SUV scourge
Price: $240,000 and up
Due: October 2019
There are few details available yet on Aston Martin’s entry into the world of high-performance crossovers, but early imagery suggests that the British brand isn’t being shy about giving the high-riding DBX some off-road chops.
Based on the same platform that underpins the new DB11, the DBX will be a petrol-only proposition, with powerplants likely to be sourced from Mercedes-Benz. These could include Merc’s excellent 3.0-litre straight six at the entry level, while a flame-spitting twin turbo V8 could potentially power a range-topper.
Aston Martin Valkyrie
An almighty return to razor-sharp road rockets in incredible technological style
Price: $4 million
Due: December 2019
This is one outrageous rig, featuring arguably the most powerful naturally aspirated road-going engine ever built. The Valkyrie is being built in conjunction with Red Bull Technologies – legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey penned its sensuous form – while its monster 6.5-litre V12 motor is being built in conjunction with legendary British engine builders Cosworth. Early mail suggests it’ll boot out north of 820kW. Gulp.
With its gullwing doors, carbon fibre everything, and a hybrid power system to go along with that engine, the $4 million price tag should be no surprise. And if you’re thinking of snapping a couple up, too late – all 150 road and 25 track version slated for production have been claimed.
An all-new iteration of Audi’s gateway hatchback.
Price range: $30-40K
Rivals: Mini Cooper, Fiat 500
Due Date: March/April 2019
Spun-off from the new Volkswagen Polo platform, Audi’s box-fresh second-generation A1 city hatch promises to inject a great deal more sophistication into the bottom end of the German brand’s product portfolio. Now measuring over four metres long it’s physically bigger than before, but a range of new powertrains – including a 1.5-litre turbo four with cylinder deactivation – move the mechanical game along as well. Inside there’s a greater sense of maturity in the cabin furnishings, plus plenty of infotainment tech.
Another all-new Audi, this time in executive-grade large sedan form.
Price range: $80-120K (sub-Audi Sport variants)
Rivals: Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S90, Lexus GS
Due Date: First quarter of 2019
Evolutionary styling might make the 2019 Audi A6 look broadly similar to the current model, but get up close (and perhaps take a peek underneath) and the differences become pretty stark.
Sure, there’s still a quasi-hexagonal grille, sharply-creased sheetmetal and a generally broad-shouldered look to Audi’s upcoming E-Class fighter, however Audi claims it’s a much sportier-feeling car to drive while the adoption of mild-hybrid tech in every model helps curb the big sedan’s thirst.
Additionally, rear-wheel steering, active rear differentials, heaps of aluminium and a brace of muscular turbo diesel and petrol V6s amp up the A6’s driver appeal, while all occupants will benefit from the latest generation of the company’s ever-evolving infotainment system.
Audi’s original small SUV gains a mature new look and more equipment to separate it from the similarly sized Q2.
Price range: $45,000-$85,000 (estimated)
Rivals: BMW X2, Jaguar E-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Volvo XC40
Due date: June 2019
Read now: Audi Q3 unveiled
The all-new 2019 Audi Q3 features bold design cues taken from its bigger sibling, the Q5, to give it a more mature and attractive appearance than its predecessor. The new Q3 should also be more family-friendly and practical than before, and will benefit from a raft of infotainment, connectivity and driver assist upgrades.
Audi’s first plug-in hybrid will be the first diesel/electric SUV on the Aussie market.
Rivals: Mercedes-Benz GLE500e, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, Volvo XC90 T8
Due date: January 2019
Read next: Audi Q7 e-Tron review
Using the Audi Q7’s 3.0-litre V6 synced to an electric motor fed by a plug-in chargeable 17.3kWh battery, the new Q7 e-tron large SUV has a pure electric range of up to 56km and a combined fuel efficiency of just 1.9L/100km. Beyond the plug-in hybrid system, the Q7 e-tron shares the same specification as the Q7 3.0 TDI quattro, and the driver assistance and safety systems of the entire range.
Audi’s new SUV flagship is a big coupe-like alternative to the Q7
Price range: $128,900
Due date: January 2019
Closely following the design cues teased in the Audi Q8 Sport Concept unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the Q8 is a sportier, more luxurious sibling to the Q7 large SUV. It will be one of the most technically advanced Audis ever and is even able to park itself while you wait outside, although this may not be offered on Australian models. WhichCar understands Australia will get a 3.0-litre turbo petrol variant initially, possibly followed by a turbodiesel.
Audi RS5 Sportback
Take the Audi handsome A5 and transplant in the RS4’s powertrain. What’s not to like?
Rivals: Mercedes-AMG C63, BMW M4
Due: January 2019
Audi’s hotrod RS5 Sportback joins its wagon twin early in 2019, sharing the same 331kW/600Nm twin-turbo V6 powerplant that flings the grunt at all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic.
It’s a coupe bodystyle but equipped with four doors and a quasi-hatchback rear entrance. And because it’s an MY19 version of the RS 5 pairing, it’ll be graced with Audi’s digital dash, a heads-up display, wireless phone charger and rear USB ports. It’s also available with this exclusive green paint, too, called Sonoma Green.
Only a mild update for Audi’s pretty coupe and convertible but if it ain’t broke…
Rivals: BMW M240i
Due: June 2019
Audi’s agreeable little two-seat coupe is in line for a mid-life facelift, having been on the scene since 2016. Don’t expect much in the way of dynamic fireworks or mechanical makeovers; the TT’s relative lack of sales will dictate a commensurately modest spend on updates by the company.
Also a light refresh as per its TT little sister, but still packs the incredible V10 punch
Price: $395,000 (est)
Rivals: McLaren 570S, Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R
Due: October 2019
Even though the Audi to beat them all has already gone through a mid-life tweak, Audi says its mid-engined V10 high-performance coupe will score another light update later in 2019. It’s unlikely to score any substantial updates, given how late in its lifecycle it is, but expect perhaps a little tickle-up on the already potent 456kW headline figure, as well as a further tidying of its dynamics. Perhaps a more track-inspired version of its RWS rear-driver, too? Never say never…
BMW 1 Series
Baby Beamer is now less for the baby boomer with front drive
Due: November 2019
BMW is being pretty cagey on this one, but let’s have a swing anyway… Swapping to front wheel drive for the first time, the BMW 1 Series will still yield a performance variant – only this time it’s likely to mimic the M5 by offering all-wheel-drive in conjunction with a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. This will pitch it up against Mercedes-AMG’s inbound A-Class hotties.
Previous generation: BMW 1 Series First drive
Given the potential change to a front wheel drive layout, it does put questions marks around the fate of cars like the M140i – it may well even be given a stay of execution until BMW’s first real FWD hot hatch is, err, hatched.
BMW 3 series
The one that started the executive sedan movement now into its seventh iteration
Rivals: Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4
Due: September 2019
The all-new 3 Series will be built on top of a brand new platform, and will yield a new version of both the M3 performance sedan and the M4 coupe, which may just sneak in before Santa comes at the end of next year. Expect them both to retain a six-cylinder layout. First up, though, will be the 330i which will have M Sport kit as standard with an M Sport brake system, and the option of a limited slip rear diff.
BMW 8 Series
The return of one of BMW’s most-missed nameplates
Price range: $180-250K (non-M variants)
Rivals: Bentley Continental GT, Maserati GranTurismo
Due Date: First quarter, 2019
The BMW 6 Series has bowed out to make way for the long-awaited return of a legend – the 8 Series. Exciting, right? But don’t let the change in numbers fool you, for the 8 Series doesn’t necessarily represent any great increase in size, spec or sportiness. Generally speaking, the anticipated three-variant 8 Series family (two-door coupe, convertible and a low-slung four-door) will mirror that of the departed 6 Series range quite closely, and we expect their pricetags will too.
The M850i coupe will be the first out of the blocks in the first quarter, packing a V8 wallop to the tune of 390kW and 750Nm. Performance should be mega, but expect an M8 performance flagship to arrive later and turn the wick up even higher.
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
As above, plus rear doors
Price: $200,000 plus
Rivals: Audi S8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Due: March 2019
While an M8 version of this sexy four-door coupe won’t hit the market until after 2019, the ‘entry level’ models will not be slow.
Available from early 2019 will be an 840d xDrive Coupe, powered by a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel, making 235kW and 650Nm.
The M850i xDrive Coupe M Performance that will arrive alongside it will offer a 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine with 390kW and 750Nm of torque, so that should be pretty darn handy.
The biggest member of the BMW line-up will head Down Under with a twin-turbo V8 version that won’t be available in Europe
Price range: $150K-plus
Rivals: Bentley Bentayga, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
Due date: June 2019?
Read next: 2019 BMW X7 vs Mercedes GLS on paper
The BMW X7 is huge. Its 5.2m overall length is one the longest in BMW’s range, exceeded only by the 7 Series limousine, which cannot match the X7 SUV’s 1.8m height, 2.0m width and 3.1m wheelbase. BMW says the luxurious seven-seat X7 will feature an ‘intelligent personal assistant’ who responds to voice control, and can activate ‘in-car experiences’ including satellite navigation. A BMW digital key also allows X7 owners to unlock and start the vehicle using their smartphone.
BMW’s revenant sportscar looks as wild and svelte as the concept that previewed the production version
Price: $75,000-$130,000 (est)
Due: March 2019
At long, long last, the new BMW Z4 will land in 2019. Lighter and simpler than the outgoing version thanks to a fabric roof, the Z4 is designed to chase cars like the Porsche Boxster and Alpine A110. Of course, it also shares its architecture with the forthcoming Toyota Supra.
No specifics on pricing yet, but it looks like there will be three models on offer; an sDrive20i, sDrive30i (just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) and the most potent, the M40i.
Power will be sent to the rear wheels, and the two sDrive cars will get a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. The M40i, meanwhile, will score a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-potter making a healthy 250kW and 500Nm.
The C5 Aircross has morphed into an SUV that harks back to comfortable Citroen’s of old.
Price range: $38,000 -$55,000 (estimated)
Due date: Mid-2019
Rivals: Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Peugeot 3008, Renault Koleos
Citroen says the new C5 Aircross will be the ‘most comfortable and modular SUV in its segment’ by drawing on its predecessor’s plush hydro-pneumatic suspension with tech that it calls “Progressive Hydraulic Cushions”. Ride comfort will be further enhanced by ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats that filter out road disturbances. The 4.5-metre-long C5 Aircross will make the most of its spacious interior by offering a wide centre console and flexible rear seating that can expand boot space from 580 to 720 litres.
Ferrari 488 Pista
Ferrari’s mid-engined V8 road scythe gets a crash diet and more power for the track
Due: December 2019
Should be called the Pista de resistance… for this is the defining light of Ferrari’s V8 prowess. Packing 530kW and 770Nm in a lighter, more aerodynamic form, the Ferrari 488 Pista is a trackday toy like few others – though we’d love to see how it fares against Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS…
Pricing falls under the ‘if you have to ask…’ category, but since you asked, it’ll cost near enough to $650,000… And that’s before the average $65,000 that Ferrari owners add to their new cars.
The Fiesta returns for another generation – but only as a hot hatch
Price range: $28K-$30K
Rivals: Volkswagen Polo GTI, Suzuki Swift Sport, Renault Clio RS
Due Date: Second quarter 2019
The Fiesta has long been a dynamic darling of the compact hatch set, and Ford will be cranking up the athletic ability of its next-generation Fiesta next year with the Fiesta ST hot hatch. However, the ST will be the only way you’ll get to put a new-gen Fiesta in your driveway, for Ford Australia has declined to bring lesser models in the range to local showrooms due to unfavourable exchange rates putting the squeeze on pricing. As for the ST, we’ve already driven it and declared it to be one of the best hot hatch options at its expected high-$20K price point. Expect to see it land sometime in the second quarter.
Ford Focus Active
A jacked-up version of the Focus for those with an outdoorsy bent
Price range: $29,990
Rivals: Subaru Impreza XV, Fiat 500X, Citroen C4 Cactus
Due Date: second-quarter
The Focus hatch has already received its full model changeover by now, but the family will grow when the Focus Active rolls into Ford showrooms in 2019.
Following a similar format to the Impreza-based Subaru XV but described by Ford as a passenger car rather than an SUV, the Focus Active will bridge the gap between the regular Focus hatchback and Ford’s bona-fide SUV line-up. The ‘missing link’, if you will. Only one engine, a 134kW 1.5-litre turbo petrol, will be offered, and the Focus Active is strictly front-wheel drive with an eight-speed automatic.
Iconic workhorse plugs into the 21st century
Rivals: Toyota Hiace, Volkswagen Crafter, Hyundai iLoad, Mercedes Sprinter
Due date: August
It’s not quite confirmed for Australia at the time of writing, but Ford says the first electrified version of the humble Transit in more than half a century is under consideration. If green Transit power gets the green light for local sale, it will touch down in the second half of the year. As for competition, there’s not a lot of electrified commercial vehicle action in Australia with only the Renault Kangoo ZE full EV (and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV at a push) to apply any pressure... for now.
The Accord returns for a tenth time, and with a tech focus
Price range: Expected to be high $40K, low $50K
Rivals: Holden Commodore, Toyota Camry, Skoda Superb
Due Date: December 2019
Honda celebrates its 50th year of selling cars in Australia in 2019, and the biggest news on its car launch calendar is the arrival of the tenth-generation Accord at the end of the year.
Already on sale in the USA since mid-2017 the Accord will be something of a latecomer to Australia, however Honda’s hands have been tied due to delays in right-hand drive production. Rapidly declining demand in the mid-size car segment - where the Accord will sit - might temper sales somewhat, but Honda Australia says it won’t be gunning for big volumes with its next Accord. Rather, the family-sized sedan will instead be pitched into the market as a high-specification technological flagship to give it a point of difference.
Details are still under wraps, but don’t be surprised if the high-end strategy sees the Accord’s price of entry head north of $50,000.
Hyundai i30 N Fastback
The only way you can buy an i30 that isn’t a hatchback
Price range: $40,000
Rivals: Subaru WRX, Renault Megane RS, Honda Civic Type R
Due Date: Unknown
While some overseas markets enjoy the ability to buy an i30 in a more mature ‘four-door coupe’ bodystyle, Hyundai Australia says the i30 Fastback is not coming our way… unless you spend big on the high-performance N variant.
Fatter profit margins at the circa-$40K mark mean the European-built i30 N Fastback actually makes economic sense for Hyundai to sell in cost-sensitive Australia, even though lesser variants aren’t. For buyers looking at the existing i30 N, the impending option of a grown-up looking Fastback may prove quite alluring, especially as it retains all of the go-fast mechanicals of its hatchback brother.
Exact launch timing has yet to be settled, but the i30 N Fastback’s price should only wear a very modest premium over that of the hatch.
An all-new version of the archetypal Jeep arrives early next year with looks that still hark back to its 1940s origins.
Price range: $40K-$70K
Due date: January 2019
Rivals: Ford Everest, Suzuki Jimny, Toyota 76 Series Wagon
The all-new Wrangler will have plenty of 21st-century technology under its familiar looking skin including a new 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine, eight-speed auto, and a huge leap in interior presentation and equipment. Jeep is touting even greater off-road ability, but with suspension retuning aimed at improving road manners and ride comfort to overcome the current model’s weaker points. One weak point it seemingly can’t overcome is safety – with EuroNCAP deeming it worthy of just one star out of five during independent crash testing. The 2019 Wrangler range includes the entry-level Sport, the Overland and the more off-road focused Rubicon.
Kia’s first all-electric crossover promises a 600km urban range between charges.
Price range: From $55,000 (estimated)
Due date: November 2019
Rivals: Hyundai Kona Electric, Nissan Leaf
Read next: Kia plans EV push in Australia
Kia Australia has all but confirmed its Sportage-sized e-Niro will arrive toward the end of 2019, boasting a range between charges of up to 615km that will leave more expensive European models such as the Jaguar i-Pace and Mercedes-Benz EQC in its wake. The e-Niro will also feature independent rear suspension, advanced regenerative braking technology, battery heating for cold climates, LED lighting inside and out, a 451-litre cargo area and Kia’s seven-year warranty.
Lambo’s SUV foray knocks Bentley’s Bentayga from the top sport as most powerful in class
Rivals: Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
Due: January 2019
What do you get when you blend the best elements from some of the world’s most premium brands and whack it underneath a body that a Hot Wheels designer couldn’t have dreamed up? The Lamborghini Urus. The five-door, five-seat Urus uses a Porsche-sourced twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 478kW and 850Nm, powering an all-wheel-drive system with the ability to send up to 87 per cent of drive to the rear end.
Read now: Lamborghini Urus Performance review
It’s backed by a traditional eight-speed automatic transmission, which forms part of a multiple drive mode system that includes Strada, Sport and Corsa road modes as well as Terra (land), Neve (snow) and Sabbia (sand) settings. There’s also an Ego mode that allows for a mix of personalised settings. The Urus uses components and tech found in cars like the Bentayga, Cayenne and Q7. It’ll do 0-100km/h in about 2.5 seconds, and its ten-piston brakes are the biggest ever fitted to any production car ever. Wow.
Wildest Lexus since the LFA days, but still not as batshit crazy
Rivals: Audi RS7
Due: November 2019
Could this finally be the sports car that defines the Lexus brand? The LFA was awesome but expensive and a bit oddball, but the RC F potentially powered by a brand new twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 – could be right on the money. Packing an expected 350kW or more, along with flared wheelarches, bigger tyres and a whole lot of attitude, it’ll surface late in 2019.
Mazda 3 – mid-2019
Mazda’s evergreen and much-loved all-rounder returns in its fourth generation
Price: $22,000 (estimate)
Rivals: Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30, Kia Cerato, Volkswagen Golf
Due: June (approx.)
In the middle of the year Mazda Australia will change over its popular Mazda 3 range with an all-new generation hatch and sedan, and while local details such as range structure and pricing are still far from ironed out, the design of the new 3 shows that Mazda’s mainstay small car is set to be a real looker. The hatch and sedan will be quite visually distinct from the B-pillar rearward – certainly more so than the current generation – and the local powertrain line-up is likely to include Mazda’s innovative and ultra-efficient SkyActiv-X supercharged compression-ignition engine.
AMG-lite strategy spreads to the smallest model of the Mercedes line-up
Price: $55-60,000 (est)
Due: late 2019
Merc will bring a mid-grade version of the barmy A45 hot hatch to market in the back half of 2019. The A35 is expected to offer around 225kW of performance from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, and it’ll retain an all-wheel drivetrain as well.
Full-fat A-Class gets even phatter but can it keep up with the Audi RS3?
Price: $80,000 (est)
Rivals: Audi RS3, Ford Focus RS
Due: late 2019
The high performance version of the new A-Class may well be the first hot hatch to push through the mythical 300kW mark for a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol powerplant. It’ll also bring adaptive dampers, all-wheel-drive, and much anger and rortiness to the up-to-now conservative new A-Class line up.
Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe
Long-rumoured addition to the AMG fold finally goes official
Price: $300,000 (est)
Rivals: Aston Martin Rapide, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Porsche Panamera, Audi RS7
Due: mid 2019
It’s an AMG GT but not as we know it. The oddly named GT 4-Door Coupe is the first hot sedan built entirely by AMG, and it shares underpinnings with the E-Class. Due in Australia mid-way through 2019, it’s expected to arrive in two guises; a 320kW GT53 six-cylinder and a 470kW GT63 twin-turbo V8.
Read next: 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe review
Even though it’s pretty closely related to the E63 sedan, the GT 4-Door brings with it some of the pomp and glitz of the AMG GT line-up, particularly in the cabin. Equally, though, you’ll get similar levels of performance from the excellent E63…
Mercedes-AMG Project One
Manic Formula One-engined hypercar threatens every road car record in the book
Price: $4m (estimated)
Rivals: Aston Martin Rapide, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Porsche Panamera, Audi RS7
When a car company says it’s built a race car for the road, it’s probably stretching the truth. In the case of Mercedes-AMG, however, it pretty much is the truth. Under the outlandish carbon skin of the Project One lies the complex, cutting edge heart of the same car that took Brit Lewis Hamilton to the 2017 and 2018 F1 World Championships.
It’s got a projected 0-100km/h time of just 2.5 seconds, courtesy of a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine teamed with four electric motors, and it’s making a neat one thousand horsepower (745kW). And its limited top speed is a measly 350km/h. Pricing is expected to be in the A$4 million bracket – though it’s rumoured that all 275 are already sold out. We’d bet that ardent Merc collector Lindsey Fox might be near the front of the queue.
Benz’s luxurious all-electric SUV will arrive in Oz boasting a 450km range and plenty of performance.
Price range: $125,000 (estimated)
Due date: September 2019
Rivals: Audi Q7 e-tron quattro, Jaguar i-Pace S, Tesla Model X
The EQC kicks off Mercedes-Benz’s electric future with an emphasis on performance as well as environmental sustainability. It packs an 80kWh lithium-ion battery capable of producing enough power to propel it from 0-100km/h in 5.1seconds via two electric motors turning each axle. The EQC is very similar to the current GLC mid-size SUV in terms of size and equipment levels.
The second-generation GLE premium large SUV will be the German carmaker’s most advanced model
Price range: $100,000 - $200,000 (depending on model)
Due date: April 2019
Rivals: Audi Q7, BMW X5, Range Rover
Sporting design features that originated with the 1997 M-Class from which it descends, the new GLE-Class is set to leap-frog competitors with technology making it even more advanced than Benz’s flagship S-Class sedan. This will include 48-volt ‘E-Active Body Control’ air suspension with the ability to control pitch and squat movements as well as roll, and Active Tailback Assist’ that used live traffic data to recognise traffic jams ahead and react accordingly before the driver even sees them.
V6 diesel joins the Mercedes ute range to worry the as-yet unchallenged Volkswagen Amarok
Rivals: Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger Raptor, Toyota Hilux
Due date: January
Until now, Volkswagen has claimed the title as Australia’s most powerful one-tonner, but the arrival of the Mercedes X350d returns V6 fire with 190kW and 550Nm of torque. It’s pricey but the German car maker is kitting it out with the goods to match.
Read next: Wheels Dual-Cab Ute Megatest: Introduction
MG hopes to boost sales in Australia with its premium-equipped new-generation medium SUV.
Price range: $27,000 - $37,000 (estimated)
Due date: Late 2019
Rivals: Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV-4, Hyundai Tucson
Based on the X-Motion concept revealed at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, the MG HS’s attractive lines appear to have been penned to directly take on the Mazda CX-5, with state-of-the-art driver assistance tech and German-rivalling upmarket cabin appointments to sweeten the deal. The latter includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.1-inch infotainment screen, soft-touch surfaces and eight-speaker Bose sound system. A gutsy 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine will be one of the engine options, with all-wheel-drive also available.
A major update and facelift of the fifth-generation ute.
It’s not quite a full new model but with more than 2400 changes including new sheet metal, updated six-speed auto, more cabin equipment and safety tech, the 2019 version is significantly different. A new flagship is also expected at a later date bringing a tough truck rival to the Ranger Wildtrak and HSV Sportscat.
Nissan’s all-electric hatch returns
Price range: $50-60K
Rivals: Hyundai Ioniq EV, BMW i3
Due Date: March 2019
The Nissan Leaf electric car will return for its second generation in March, following the same format (and built on the same architecture) as its predecessor, but packing in greater energy storage and more power than before. The styling has also been dialled back to take the Leaf in a more conservative direction, and there’s a greater emphasis on driver-assistance technology, giving the new Leaf some limited self-driving capabilities.
Car-to-grid charging technology also unlocks some interesting new avenues for the Leaf, potentially making it a part of an interconnected smart power grid and giving it the ability to passively earn its owner money while it’s parked. Try doing that with a combustion-engined vehicle!
Porsche 911 992
Yes. Yes it really is a new 911 but you’ll have to look very closely to spot the differences
Price: $240,000 (estimated)
Rivals: Aston Martin DB11
Due: mid 2019
The 992 burst onto the world stage at the LA motor show late in 2018, and should make Australian shores in 2019. While it’s built around the same architecture as the 991, the 992 has been pulled, poked, prodded and massaged to make more power, have better handling, feature more safety tech and generally be better and faster than any 911 that’s gone before.
Read next: First Porsche 992 911 images
The 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged drivetrain stays the same, but will now make more power and torque than before in fact, the acceleration times of the Carrera 4 could better those posted by the track focused 911 991 GT3.
The car that surfaced as the dizzyingly gorgeous Mission E concept rolls out in production form
Price: $240,000 (estimated)
Rivals: Tesla Model S, Porsche Panamera
Due: Dec 2019
Long shot for 2019, this one, but Porsche is pushing hard with the development of its Taycan electric sedan. It runs on an all-wheel drive system driven by a twin-motor setup. The motors are permanent magnet synchronous, and the system is based on the one developed for the 918 Hybrid.
Read next: 2020 Porsche Taycan confirmed for Oz
A 160kW/300Nm motor drives the massive 21-inch front wheels, while either a 240kW/340Nm or 320kW/550Nm motor will drive the even bigger 22-inch rears, depending on your spec. Porsche is already claiming a 0-100km/h sprint of 3.4 seconds, with a top speed limited to 250km/h… and what it says is usually true. Add to that a 500km claimed range on the larger 95kWh battery, and 800-volt charging that can give you 400km of range in 20 minutes (or 100km in four)… where do we sign up?
Ooh la la! Who knew a midsize sedan could look this good?
Price range: $40K+
Rivals: Volkswagen Passat, Toyota Camry, Mazda 6
Due Date: June 2019
After a couple of generations of extraordinarily soporific 508s, Peugeot has shaken off whatever ailment afflicted its design department and released a stunning mid-size pair in the form of the 2019 Peugeot 508 sedan and wagon.
Strong visual links with the 3008 and 5008 are in evidence both inside and out (a very good thing), and the new 508 looks modern, dignified and flaunts a far more premium aura than most would expect of the French brand. Lightweight engineering also promises more than a skerrick of dynamic aptitude as well. Translation: it’ll drive like a dream when it gets here in mid-2019.
Renault joins the one-tonne ute revolution at last, but is it fashionably late?
Price: $26,000 to $55,000 (estimated)
Rivals: Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara, Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado, Mazda BT-50
Due date: December
After a protracted gestation and a drawn out arrival date, it looks like Renault will finally weigh into the potentially lucrative dual-cab ute contest on red dirt. Like the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, the Alaskan also takes its underpinnings from the popular Nissan Navara, and although exact Australian specifications are yet to be confirmed, it’s likely the French contender will offer a high-end version with lots of kit as well as a more affordable workhorse at the entry point.
Baby of the Ram range gets a more manageable thirst without sacrificing grunt
Price: $95,000 (estimate)
Rivals: Ford Ranger Raptor, Chevrolet Silverado, Volkswagen Amarok V6
Due date: January/February
From launch, the smallest Ram in the line-up was available only with gas-guzzling V8 power, which likely put off a few fence-sitting fans. A V6 diesel version is on the way and it compromises little for the extra efficiency. Exact output figures are yet to be finalised for the Australian launch but the 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged diesel could produce up to 200kW and 600Nm. That compares with the current 5.7-litre V8 which pushes out 291kW and 556Nm.
The baby Range Rover will mature to reflect its bigger siblings while offering more interior space
Price range: $64,000 - $105,000 (estimated)
Due date: May 2019
Rivals: BMW X4, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Porsche Macan
Land Rover Australia is yet to detail the full 2019 Evoque line-up, but has confirmed that three diesel four-cylinder engines and three turbo petrol engines will be available with 48-volt mild hybrid technology. It’s 10mm wider and has a 20mm longer wheel base to provide more leg and elbow room, with boot space also increasing, by 10 percent, to 591 litres. The roof is 11mm lower though, resulting in a sportier coupe aesthetic resembling the Velar.
Returning South Korean ute brings sharp pricing, neat features and class-leading warranty
After a two-year hiatus, SsangYong is back on Australian turf with a factory backed operation and a four-model assault for its relaunch. Leading that charge is the Musso one tonner, which makes a good case for itself with standard AEB, enticing prices and an unbeatable seven-year warranty.
Suzuki goes back to the future to revive its mini 4x4’s iconic styling and serious off-road cred.
Price range: $27,000 - $29,500 (estimated)
Due date: February 2018
Rivals: Jeep Compass Trailhawk, Jeep Wrangler
It has questionable road manners and safety, but if initial reaction is any guide the new Jimny will be one of the most popular releases of 2019. The boxy fourth-generation Jimny retains its ladder-frame chassis, live front and rear axles and dual-range transmission that’s still activated by a proper lever. But there a few modern touches including a large infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android auto connectivity. It will also come with a more powerful 1.5-litre petrol engine (up from 1.3L) petrol four-cylinder engine with a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions.
Tesla Model 3
Tesla’s long-awaited ‘affordable’ EV, but is it really?
Price range: $60K+
Rivals: Nothing, really
Due Date: Mid-2019
Few cars are more heavily hyped than the Tesla Model 3, and the most affordable model from the American auto maker has endured an interesting start to its life. Production difficulties have crimped supply and Tesla is still working through fulfilling the huge number of pre-orders. Right-hand drive markets like Australia have been a low priority thus far.
The first deposits by would-be Australian owners were put down in March 2016, but Elon Musk himself says deliveries to Australia aren’t expected to begin until “around mid-2019”. A long time to hold out for a car that will, by the time it reaches here, already be halfway through its lifespan, but for some people the promise of a comparatively affordable premium electric car is too enticing to ignore.
There’s no denying the Californian start-up tech company’s ability to surprise and produce notable vehicles in a relatively short development period. But seemingly ambitious statements from outspoken founder Elon Musk should also be taken with a grain of salt. And the same goes for Tesla’s plans to produce a pick-up or ute-like model. If one does eventuate, it’ll likely arrive with similarly record-breaking performance as the rest of its line-up. Emphasis on ‘if’.
Toyota’s mainstay medium SUV has been totally redesigned and offers more comfort and technology than ever before
Price range: $30,00 - $55,000 (estimated)
Due date: April 2019
Rivals: Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Jeep Cherokee
One of the most significant new cars for 2019, the all-new Toyota RAV4 promises to shake up the highly competitive medium SUV market by setting new benchmarks in terms of standard features and modern powertrains, including a petrol/electric hybrid. It will have the option of torque-vectoring AWD and multi-terrain drive modes to help it grip, lending itself to a more off-road focused version called the ‘RAV4 Adventure’. The new RAV4’s bigger exterior dimensions will result in significantly more interior space and comfort, while the interior designs will be more upscale than the current model.
Price: $70,000 (estimated)
Due: Late 2019
Seven years… that’s how long it’s been since Toyota first hinted that it might revisit the notion of a medium-sized sports coupe. Now, after a long and fruitful collaboration with BMW, the Supra is finally on the horizon (and maybe as soon as the Detroit Motor Show in January).
Stats are virtually non-existent on the internally coded A90 Supra, but figure on outputs of around 250kW and 450Nm, as well as an estimate weight of around 1500kg, a short wheelbase and wide front and rear track widths.
It’ll stay true to the notion of a rear-wheel-driven, six-cylinder petrol-powered two-door, though it may well forgo a manual gearbox (which really isn’t a drama these days; autos are generally quicker, and the Supra will get a ZF/BMW eight-speeder and a BMW limited slip diff). It’ll sit above the 86 in both size and price; we guess (hope?) that Toyota won’t make the Supra too premium at the base.
VW’s large SUV is now a truly premium offering that’s dripping with comfort and technology that rivals its Audi Q7 cousin
Price range: $83,000 - $120,000 (estimated)
Due date: May 2019
Rivals: Audi Q7, BMW X5, Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLE
The first all-new Touareg since 2010 is the most luxurious and technologically advanced Volkswagen SUV yet and is built on the same platform as some of the world’s most luxurious high-riders including the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus. Featuring interior trim levels that range from lounge-like to the sporty R-line, creature comforts will include VW’s biggest panoramic sunroof yet, 18-way electronically adjustable seats with high-quality leather detailing.
Read next: Australia's Best Dual Cab Utes
Volvo’s product renaissance continues with an intelligently-designed sedan
Price range: Unknown
Rivals: Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Lexus IS, Jaguar XE
Due Date: Early 2019
Volvo plays to its Scandinavian strengths with the new S60, which takes the elegant design language introduced by the XC90, S90, XC60 and XC40, and wraps it in an incredibly handsome four-door bodystyle – with an interior that wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end interior design mag.
A V60 wagon equivalent will join it too, and between them they’ll take on the dominant Germans in the mid-size premium market with a range of 2.0-litre petrol and diesel powerplants – some with extensive electrification and a fuel-saving plug-in hybrid capability. If the rest of the modern Volvo line-up is anything to go by, the Germans will have some very stiff Swedish competition on their hands.