In 2018 Australians bought more SUVs than passenger cars. And the rise and rise of the mighty SUV shows no sign of abating in 2019, if the plethora of exciting new models headed our way is any indication.
Much of the attention has been on popular compact and mid-size SUVs, however luxury high-riders are also big business. This upper segment is set for the biggest shake up in 2019 with all-new models dripping with luxury and new technology including electrified powertrains.
But don’t for a minute think that affordable SUVs will stagnate. Far from it! There’s plenty for budget-conscious SUV shoppers to get excited about in 2019.
Do any of these all-new 2019 SUVs cars have your attention? Let us know in the comments below.
Significance: 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, 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.
Significance: 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.
Significance: 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 chargable 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.
Significance: 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.
Significance: 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.
Significance: 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.
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.
Significance: 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.
Significance: 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.
Significance: 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.
Significance: 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.
Significance: 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 petrols 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.
Significance: 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.
Significance: Toyota’s mainstay medium SUV has been totally redesigned and offers more comfort and technology than ever before
Price range: $30,000 - $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.
Significance: 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.