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Motoring News

LEXUS GS 2012 – 2020

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

LEXUS GS 2012 – 2020

BY EWAN KENNEDY

Lexus GS is an upmarket Japanese sedan. In what was a bold marketing move it’s aimed at Australian buyers who had previously bought sedans from Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes.

In this Used Car Checkout  we look at the fourth generation  Lexus GS models that went on sale here midway through 2012.

Build quality of the Lexus GS is high, even better than the already very good Toyota models. This has been a strong selling point of Lexus and we have spoken to many owners of the GS and other Lexus models who praise the car for the immaculate way it’s put together outside and in.

Most Lexus GS models have rear-wheel drive. Some had all-wheel drive that was aimed at both driving in snow if you’re heading for skiing destinations. All-wheel-drive provides even better grip in models with larger engines when buyers want to hustle them along in a sporting manner. These aren’t exactly track day cars though.

The front the 2012 Lexus GS has a ‘spindle-grille’ that has a tightening of the sides of the area to create a distinctive shape that makes the mid-sized Lexus stand out from crowd.

2015 Lexus GS 200t F Sport

Interior styling of the Lexus has what reviewers called “elegant simplicity” saying it could be mistaken for an Italian machine in the way the primary instruments are large, clear and easy to read at the fastest glance.

The stitching of the leather on the dashboard adds to the Italian theme, as does the centrally mounted analog clock, a feature Maserati has used with great effect for generations.

While other carmakers have satellite navigation screens that look like an afterthought, the Lexus’s is obviously a major component in its own right. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the central screen is well shielded from light.

Lexus GS 250 is powered by a 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine that’s a heavily revised unit from the previous generation. It produces more power and torque (154 kW / 253 Nm) than previously, but the official fuel consumption was significantly reduced.

The GS 200t (’t’ for turbocharged) replaced GS 250 early in 2016 and is aimed at buyers who wanted plenty of grunt.

The 3.5-litre in the GS 350, (233 kW / 378 Nm) has sporting flair that made it much nicer to sit behind than the 2.5.

2016 Lexus GS F

Lexus GS 300h uses hybrid technology combines a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle petrol engine with a 650-volt permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor to provide a combined power output of up to 164 kW.

Rear seat legroom in the earlier Lexus GS models was a cramped, but the later models being reviewed here are significantly better. Try for yourself if there are likely to be tall travellers in the seat behind a lanky driver who likes to straight-arm the steering wheel. Boot size is good and it’s reasonably easy to load.

As with other marques dealers are predominantly in the major capitals and the Gold Coast. There’s quite good coverage in country cities and some senior Toyota mechanics have been trained to help out Lexus owners in emergencies.

Spare parts prices and servicing costs are about average for a car in this upmarket class and we haven’t had any complaints of availability of parts.

Insurance charges are moderate for a car in this class as most owners use their Lexus GS as comfortable cruisers rather than full-on sports sedans. Check with several insurance companies on price, but keep in mind that switching from you current insurer may not stand you in good stead if there’s a somewhat marginal claim in the future.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Before saying you are interested in buying the car take a full walk around it to check for any damage to the body, no matter how minor it is. Check the interior trim as well.

Have a full pre-purchase inspection before you commit to the car. A Lexus trained mechanic is best, some senior Toyota mechanics are trained on Lexus. Or arrange to have a senior inspector from your local motoring association do the work.

Test each of the functions on the stereo, electric seats, climate-control, windows, doors and so on. The owner’s handbook is an excellent guide as to what all the controls do. Be suspicious if anything doesn’t work to perfection because these are quality cars.

Make sure the engine starts virtually instantaneously.

The transmission should change ratios almost imperceptibly in any upmarket Lexus. If it doesn’t there may be problems.

During your test drive listen for unusual noises and look for the slightest sign of anything out of the ordinary.

Repairs will be expensive so get a quote for even the most minor defects. Better still ensure the seller has the car repaired before you buy it.

HOW MUCH?

Expect to pay from $12,000 to $18,000 for a 2012 Lexus GS250 F Sport; $16,000 to $23,000 for a 2014 GS250 F Sport; $18,000 to $25,000 for a 2014 GS300h; $23,000 to $31,00 for a 2015 GS200t Luxury; $26,00 to $35,000 for a 2017 GS300 Luxury; $30,000 to $41,000 for a 2015 GS450h; $34,000 to $45,000 for a 2019 GS300 Luxury; $43,000 to $58,00 for a 2018 GS450h; and $56,000 to $75,000 for a 2020 GS450h.

CAR BUYING TIP
Approach owners of the type of vehicle you’re thinking of buying if you see them in carparks or the like. They can be a great source of knowledge on the cars.

RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/

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2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

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2024 Lotus Emeya
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

 

By Jeff Gibbs

The all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, an upcoming electric super-sedan, has set a new benchmark in DC fast-charging technology. With its advanced 402kW peak charging speed, the Emeya can recharge its 102kWh battery from 10% to 80% in just 14 minutes.

Key Highlights:

  • Record-Setting Recharge Speed: The Emeya achieves a 10-80% top-up in just 14 minutes using a 400kW DC charger, maintaining an average charge speed of 331kW.
  • Rapid Range Addition: This translates to approximately 310km of added range in just 10 minutes.
  • Advanced Battery Technology: The Emeya’s cell-to-back battery structure incorporates a cutting-edge cooling system that significantly enhances thermal performance, surpassing many competitors.

Performance and Competition

The Lotus Emeya was tested against several high-profile electric vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz EQS, BMW i7, Tesla Model Y, Genesis G80, XPeng G9, Hyundai IONIQ 6, Nio ET5, and BYD Atto 3. This testing highlights the Emeya’s superior charging capabilities, narrowing the gap between the time required to recharge an electric vehicle and refuel a conventional combustion-engine vehicle. However, it’s worth noting that recharging the Emeya for a 310km range still takes five times longer than refueling a combustion engine car like the Porsche Panamera, which takes about two minutes.

Among its competitors, the XPeng G9 was the closest, achieving a peak charge rate of 320kW but averaging around 233kW as it approached 80% capacity.

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

Power and Speed

Designed to compete with the fastest electric vehicles on the market, particularly the Porsche Taycan, the flagship Lotus Emeya boasts impressive performance specs:

  • Acceleration: 0-100km/h in a claimed 2.8 seconds, matching the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
  • Top Speed: 256km/h.
  • Powertrain: Dual-motor setup delivering 675kW and 985Nm.
  • Transmission: Two-speed system for optimised performance.

Official Statements

Lotus Group CEO Qingfeng Feng emphasised the breakthrough in charging technology, stating, “With our industry-leading charging technology available today, Emeya pushes the boundaries for how an EV performs, providing drivers with the confidence to travel anywhere. We’re bringing an unrivalled driving experience in the ultimate grand tourer package, so drivers want to go electric.”

Launch and Availability

Customer deliveries have already begun in China, with the Lotus Emeya set to launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya not only sets a new standard for fast-charging electric vehicles but also promises exceptional performance and driving experience, making it a strong contender in the luxury EV market.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Pricing and Specifications: Base Price Increases by Nearly $10,000

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2024 Hyundai Santa Fe
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Pricing and Specifications: Base Price Increases by Nearly $10,000

 

By Jeff Gibbs

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe seven-seater now comes exclusively as a hybrid and is significantly better equipped, resulting in a base price increase of $9,450 compared to the previous V6 model.

Key Points:

  • Pricing and Specifications for the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hybrid-Only Model Available in Three Variants
  • Expanded List of Standard Features
  • Starting Price at $55,500 Before On-Road Costs

The entry-level price for the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe seven-seat SUV has jumped by nearly $10,000 for this larger, better-equipped, hybrid-only model, set to arrive in showrooms soon.

New Hybrid Powertrain and Design

The 2024 Santa Fe will be available in Australia solely as a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol hybrid, offering both front- and all-wheel drive options. The redesigned model features a larger, boxier body and includes more advanced equipment and technology. While a petrol-only 2.5-litre turbo variant may be added later to replace the previous V6, the diesel option has been completely discontinued for this new generation, according to Hyundai Australia’s latest information.

Price Increase Details

The starting price has risen to $55,500 plus on-road costs from the previous $46,050 plus on-road costs for the base petrol V6 model. The lineup now includes three models: an unnamed base grade, the Elite, and the Calligraphy, which replaces the Highlander.

  • Base Model (AWD): Priced at $58,500, this is $8,950 more than the previous entry-level all-wheel-drive version, which used a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine. It is only $210 more than the entry-level Toyota Kluger Hybrid.
  • Elite Model: The hybrid AWD Elite is now $65,000, marking a $2,000 increase over its predecessor, which was the most affordable hybrid in the previous Santa Fe range.
  • Calligraphy Model: Prices for the Calligraphy variant range from $75,000 for the seven-seat version to $75,500 for the six-seat version, an increase of $5,450 to $5,950 depending on the configuration.
2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

Enhanced Features

The significant price increases are justified by a longer list of standard features. These include 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, dual 12.3-inch interior screens, dual-zone climate control, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat, all standard across the range. Many of these features were previously limited to the higher-priced Active and Elite versions of the Santa Fe.

Advanced Technology and Safety

Top-tier models now come with advanced technology such as semi-autonomous Highway Driving Assist, which can centre the car in its lane and assist with lane changes.

Performance and Efficiency

All variants are powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine paired with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack, delivering a combined output of 172kW and 376Nm (an increase of 3kW and 26Nm from the previous hybrid). This powertrain is coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, available in both AWD and, for the first time in Australia, FWD configurations.

Hyundai Australia claims a fuel consumption rate of 5.6L/100km, although it is not specified whether this applies to the FWD or AWD models. Despite the new model being approximately 250kg heavier than its predecessor, this figure is more efficient than the 6.0L/100km claimed by the outgoing Santa Fe Hybrid AWD and matches the efficiency of the Kluger Hybrid.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Prices in Australia:

  • Santa Fe Hybrid seven-seat front-wheel drive: $55,500
  • Santa Fe Hybrid seven-seat all-wheel drive: $58,500
  • Santa Fe Hybrid Elite seven-seat all-wheel drive: $65,000
  • Santa Fe Hybrid Calligraphy seven-seat all-wheel drive: $75,000
  • Santa Fe Hybrid Calligraphy six-seat all-wheel drive: $75,500

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe offers a notable advancement in hybrid technology, design, and features, albeit at a higher cost. Potential buyers will need to consider the improved capabilities and efficiency against the significant price increase.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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Nissan Keeps All Options Open for Qashqai SUV: Petrol, Hybrid, and Electric

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Qashqai
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Nissan Keeps All Options Open for Qashqai SUV: Petrol, Hybrid, and Electric

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Nissan is set to maintain a versatile approach for its Qashqai SUV, continuing to offer petrol, hybrid, and electric powertrains to cater to varying market demands. While the next-generation all-electric Qashqai is on the horizon, Australia is likely to continue with petrol and e-Power options for the time being.

Continued Production of All Powertrains

Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the UK will keep producing the Qashqai for global markets, complemented by production in Dalian, China, for the local market with partner Dongfeng. The Sunderland facility supplies Qashqais to over 100 countries, including Australia. Speaking to Australian media, Nissan’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Planning Officer for the AMIEO (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania) region, Francois Bailly, confirmed that the electric Qashqai will not replace existing models but will be produced concurrently to meet diverse market needs.

Qashqai Interior

Qashqai Interior

Electrification Strategy and Market Adaptation

Bailly emphasized the variability in market readiness for electrification. “The markets around the world are so diverse, there’s a speed of electrification that we could imagine different technologies at the same time in different markets,” he said. However, he did not confirm the all-electric Qashqai for Australia specifically, noting the growing but still relatively low EV market share in the region.

Current and Future Qashqai Offerings in Australia

In Australia, the Qashqai is available with two powertrain options:

  • A 110kW/250Nm 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine.
  • A 140kW/330Nm e-Power range-extender hybrid, which pairs a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor driving the front wheels.

For emissions-restricted markets like Europe, the Sunderland factory also builds a mild-hybrid version.

The facelifted Qashqai, expected to arrive in Australian showrooms by the end of the year, will likely retain the current powertrain options. It will feature updated exterior styling, improved cabin materials, and a new Google-powered infotainment system, although the latter is yet to be confirmed for Australia.

Investment and Production Plans

To prepare for the new all-electric Qashqai, Nissan has invested an additional £30 million ($AU57.7 million) in the Sunderland plant to accommodate the installation of heavy battery packs and high-voltage components. The Qashqai EV will share the production line with the internal combustion engine and e-Power hybrid versions, as well as the Juke small SUV and the upcoming new-generation Leaf crossover. This strategy allows for a seamless transition from the current Qashqai to the new models, ensuring continuous production of the popular SUV.

In conclusion, Nissan’s multipronged approach with the Qashqai ensures that the SUV remains adaptable to market trends and consumer needs, offering a blend of petrol, hybrid, and electric options. This flexibility positions the Qashqai to effectively meet the demands of diverse global markets, including Australia.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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