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The Ute we had to have: Amarok V6 manual confirmed; V6 Highline Black and Canyon coming

Volkswagen Australia has listened to its customers and fans and successfully lobbied for the Amarok Australia wanted: the powerful V6 Amarok fitted with a six-speed manual transmission and low-range transfer case.

In addition, the Australian Amarok range will expand in the coming months to include two new models: the permanent addition of the Amarok V6 Highline Black, and the return of the Amarok Canyon special edition.

From Bondi to Birdsville, Australians have taken to the class-leading performance of the V6 Amarok in droves, with the high-specification range of Volkswagen’s dual cab ute consistently outselling four-cylinder derivatives. In some months V6 variants have comprised more than 80% of Amarok sales.

While the Amarok’s eight-speed ZF automatic has proved extremely versatile in all conditions with torque available at the bottom of the rev range; for the off-road enthusiast, a manual variant of the V6 Amarok is still perceived as the Holy Grail for traversing peaks and shifting terrain. That has now become a reality thanks to the support of Australian fans.

Ryan Davies, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia, was delighted to offer this Amarok variant to customers.

“At every off-road, caravan and camping expo and Big Red Bash concert the team and I attend, we speak with current owners and members of the off-roading community who have begged us to bring an Amarok V6 manual to Australia,” Mr Davies explained.

“It was because of that passion that we were able to mount a case with our head office in Germany to build one and, based on Australia remaining the number one export market in the world for the V6 Amarok, we are finally able to offer this unique, Aussie-spec ‘Rok.”

Available from December, the Amarok V6 manual will be offered in the ever-popular Core model variant in keeping with the vehicle’s intended off-road focus.


Amarok V6 Core 4×4 Manual – Performance
Max power –165kW (180kW on overboost)
Max torque –500Nm
Transmission –6 Speed Manual
Towing –3.0 Tonne braked towing

Amarok V6 Highline Black

On sale this month, the Amarok V6 Highline variant offer expands to include a unique ‘Black’ specification, carrying with it a host of blacked-out features including 20-inch ‘Talca’ black alloy wheels, styling bar and side bars in high gloss back finish, black rear bumper, ‘Salipra’ cloth seat trim in Palladium colour scheme and, to complete the look, black badging on the Amarok’s tailgate.

The Highline Black becomes a permanent fixture in the V6 Highline range from August, and is available from an RRP of $64,990.

3.0 litre V6 TDI
Torque –580Nm
Power –190kW (200kW on overboost)

“Salipra” Cloth seat upholstery in Palladium (Vienna leather* with heated seats optional at extra cost)
Black headlining and pillar trims
“Discover Media” Navigation system with App-Connect

20-inch ‘Talca’ black alloy wheels
High gloss finish black styling bar (long design) and side bars
Gloss black exterior mirrors
Gloss black/chrome radiator grill bars
Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
Front bumper design element
Black rear bumper



Arriving next month, the Canyon model special edition returns, this time offered as a V6. The Amarok V6 Canyon TDI550 comes standard with the 550Nm V6 turbo-diesel offered in Core and Highline models, as well as the venerable 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.

More than just a ‘sticker pack’ special edition, the Canyon comes with a raft of special features that instantly make the unique Amarok stand out from the pack; these include: special ‘Canyon’ seat trim, dark tinted tail lights, 17-inch ‘Aragua’ alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, ‘Canyon’ door and tailgate decals and a black rear bumper.

The Canyon is available in four colours, Candy White, Indium Grey Metallic, Deep Black Pearl Effect and the iconic Outback Orange, which also uniquely comes standard with black guards over the wheel arches.

The Amarok V6 Canyon TDI550 will arrive in Volkswagen dealerships from September, and is currently limited to 350 units, priced from RRP $57,990.

Amarok Canyon Specifications

3.0 litre V6 TDI
Torque –550Nm
Power –165kW (180kW on overboost)

Cloth seat trim cover special edition Canyon
Black headlining and pillar trims
Multi-function display premium colour
Composition Media with App-Connect
Climatronic air conditioning system

17-inch ‘Aragua’ alloy wheels
Canyon door and tailgate decals
Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
Dark tinted rear taillights
Black rear bumper
Park distance control front and rear with reverse camera

Limited Edition Isuzu D-max X-runner Born To Freestyle

Isuzu UTE Australia (IUA) is excited to announce the arrival of the limited edition 19MY Isuzu D-MAX X-RUNNER, available in showrooms 1st May 2019.

Limited to only 645 units, the X-RUNNER will be available to purchase for $54,990 Drive Away in two finishes; Pearl White (exclusive to X-RUNNER) and Magnetic Red.

Managing Director of Isuzu UTE Australia, Hiroyasu Sato said the 2019 X-RUNNER was designed to be different, to make a statement with its commanding presence and bold and unique styling.

“The D-MAX X-RUNNER was first introduced back in 2011 to great success, with the latest X-RUNNER made available in 2017 seeing even more success amongst drivers seeking a bold-looking 1-tonne ute. With a number of unique features and accessories inside and out, and bolstered by its exclusive styling and exclusive paintwork, we fully expect that the 2019 X-RUNNER will be even more successful than its predecessors,” he said.

Based on an Isuzu D-MAX 4×4 LS-T, the X-RUNNER inherits key defining components usually reserved to the LS-T, including a six-way electric driver’s seat, leather accented interior, Passive Entry and Start System (PESS), all of which is powered by Isuzu’s exclusive 3-litre turbo diesel 4JJ1-TC engine—generating 430Nm of torque, matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The D-MAX LS-T itself has been given a refresh for 2019; featuring new-look 18-inch machined-faced matte black aluminium wheels, new Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) sidesteps and touches of matte black to the roof rails and body to accentuate the muscular look the D-MAX is renowned for.

Additional features that are exclusive to the X-RUNNER are a number of exterior styling tweaks, including X-RUNNER branding across the bonnet, doors, rear quarter and tailgate. The iconic ‘ISUZU’ tailgate branding and front fog lights has been refreshed with a unique dark grey finish, all of which is flanked by Isuzu branding finished in red. Contrasting against the matte grey finish of the iconic horizontal front grille is the signature ‘ISUZU’ badge now finished in red. Matching the striking look are a host of genuine accessories, such as Rear Park Assist, under rail tub liner and a sports bar finished in satin black, to complete the look.

The iconic red and black styling continues within—personifying the interior with X-RUNNER scuff plates, piano black finishes and defining red Isuzu badges and trims across the doors, dash and steering wheel. The distinguishing X-RUNNER styling has also been incorporated to other aspects of the interior; including piano black trims on the doors and centre console—for a premium look and feel—matched with the interior roof lining and pillars trimmed in black for a defining cabin presence. Contrasting with the acres of black and grey trim is lashings of premium soft touch materials with red stitched leatherette across the dashboard, doors, glove box and console lid, and genuine leather wrapping the steering wheel. The leather-accented seats inherited from the D-MAX LS-T have also received a unique finish; trimmed with red perforated genuine leather on body contact areas, flanked with dark grey leatherette on the seat bolsters and headrests for durability, all of which are sewn with X-RUNNER defining red stitching.

As testament to the confidence instilled within the very DNA of the limited edition Isuzu D-MAX X-RUNNER and all 19MY D-MAX and MU-X models, IUA has improved the comprehensive ownership care package program, Service Plus 6-6-7; encompassing a 6 Year Warranty, 6 Years Roadside Assistance and 7 Year Capped Price Servicing program.

To find out more about the 2019 Isuzu D-MAX X-RUNNER, please visit

Refreshed 19MY D-MAX and MU-X—driving customer satisfaction

  • Improved Service Plus Program 6-6-7 (6 Year Warranty, 6 Years Roadside Assist, 7 Years Capped Price Servicing)
  • Refreshed D-MAX exterior
  • Refreshed MU-X interior and exterior
  • Steering refinement for MU-X range
  • Safety options available including Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Front Park Assist

Having recently been awarded two of Australia’s premier Customer Satisfaction Awards by Roy Morgan; the ‘2018 Car Manufacturer of the Year’ and the ‘2018 Best of the Best’ awards, Isuzu UTE Australia (IUA) has introduced a number of updates to the 19MY D-MAX and MU-X range. These updates are positioned to continue IUA’s growth within Australia’s two most highly-contested segments; the 1-Tonne Ute and Large SUV segments.

Isuzu UTE Australia Managing Director, Hiroyasu Sato, said: “With the launch of the new 19MY D-MAX and MU-X, we see every opportunity to build on the success paved over the past decade, with a key focus on satisfying our customers with a quality product and great aftersales service.”

Owning an Isuzu ute or SUV just got better
Long revered as the benchmark of comprehensive ownership programs, IUA has witnessed the marketplace evolve, with similar ownership programs launching over recent years. As testament to the confidence instilled within the very DNA of all 19MY Isuzu D-MAX and MU-X models, IUA has improved the comprehensive Isuzu ownership program, Service Plus 6-6-7; encompassing a 6 Year / 150,000 Kilometre Warranty, 6 Years Roadside Assistance and 7 Year/105,000 Kilometre Capped Price Servicing program.

“Customer Satisfaction has always been at the core of our product, which is why after much deliberation we’ve revised our Service Plus 6-6-7 ownership program, ensuring we (IUA) put our best foot forward and continue to look after our loyal customers,” said Isuzu UTE Australia Managing Director, Hiroyasu Sato.

The 6 Year / 150,000Km Warranty is an evolution of the long-standing 5 Year / 130,000Km Warranty introduced in 2013. Based on feedback from the Isuzu UTE Dealer Network, IUA has increased the warranty coverage to cover the majority of typical owners’ mileage of less than 25,000km per year over the course of a typical 6 Year ownership period. This warranty coverage improvement has been designed to drive our customers’ further, adding peace of mind when it comes to knowing that their Isuzu is protected.

In the unlikely instance an Isuzu driver may require roadside assistance, rest-assured IUA have a comprehensive 6 Years Roadside Assistance program in place, an improvement on the 5 Year Roadside Assistance program that was also introduced in 2013.

Through continual refinement of Isuzu motor vehicles, Isuzu engineers have structured a highly competitive 7 Year Capped Price Servicing (CPS) Program for 19MY-onwards vehicles, the longest CPS program currently offered within the 1-tonne ute and ute-based SUV class. In fact, for up to 7 Years of ownership, the total cost of IUA’s capped price service program equates to only $3,600, making owning an Isuzu a truly satisfying and cost-effective experience.

Isuzu UTE Capped Price Servicing costs (19MY-onwards)

Interval Months/Km

1 Month
3,000 Km

12 Months
15,000 Km

24 Months
30,000 Km

36 Months
45,000 Km

48 Months
60,000 Km

60 Months
75,000 Km

72 Months
90,000 Km

84 Months
105,000 Km

Total Cost

Cost Inc. GST











The refreshed Isuzu D-MAX
2017 saw a host of major updates to the D-MAX powertrain (revised Euro-5 compliant 3-litre turbo diesel engine, generating 430Nm of torque and mated to a 6-speed transmission), followed swiftly by a myriad of updates again in 2018, designed to further enhance the package. The exterior of the 19MY D-MAX LS-T has been tastefully refreshed through the introduction of 18-inch machined-faced matte black aluminium wheels. The new-look wheels are wrapped in 255/60R18 Toyo Open Country Highway Terrain tyres, for uncompromised durability, all-weather grip and lower road noise.

Between the new bold wheels sit new-look sidesteps, a revision carried over on the LS-U, as well as the LS-T. Constructed from durable Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) and bolted to the robust body with steel brackets. These new sidesteps are engineered to improve routing water away from the face of the step, ensuring optimal levels of grip underfoot.

Atop the D-MAX LS-T cabin, are a refreshed pair of roof rails, finished in matte black. The new matte black trend works in synergy with the sharp-looking machined-face alloys matched with the muscular flared wheel arches and aggressive front-end aesthetics of the LS-T. LS-M and LS-U variants have also received a touch of black to the exterior, with all LS models (LS-M, LS-U and LS-T) receiving the matte black treatment to the radiator air intake on the front bumper, as well as the B-Pillars of all 19MY Crew Cab LS models. The final new addition to the 19MY D-MAX range is the inclusion of Isuzu’s Passive Entry and Start System (PESS) on the D-MAX LS-T 4×2—a feature previously reserved for the flagship Isuzu D-MAX LS-T 4×4 only.

he Isuzu MU-X: refreshed inside and out

Since the facelift and powertrain update (revised Euro -5 compliant 3-litre turbo diesel engine, generating 430Nm of torque, paired with a 6-speed transmission) introduced in 2017, the 7 seat Isuzu MU-X has enjoyed a robust look evoking a combination of toughness, adventure and comfort. Complementing the piercing Bi-LED headlights and muscular guards the MU-X is renowned for, the 19MY MU-X range has received aesthetic tweaks to create commanding, bolder look. Starting at the front, you’ll instantly notice the aggressively styled front grille, finished in grey and black on LS-M models and in chrome and gloss black on LS-U and LS-T models. The grille has been designed to route airflow to essential engine and cooling components while staying true to the iconic horizontal bar look made famous by Isuzu trucks over the past century.

The look for LS-U and LS-T models is further enhanced with the introduction of 18-inch machined-faced gloss black aluminium wheels. The new-look wheels are completed with road-biased 255/60R18 Bridgestone Dueler Highway Terrain tyres, for a balance between durability, passenger comfort, all-weather grip and lower road noise.

With a detailed focus on user-friendly functionality, durability and passenger-comfort, the 19MY MU-X interior features acres of proven-durable surfaces, elegantly mated with premium soft-touch materials in key areas. The aesthetically pleasing, yet functional interior design has been further enhanced with lashings of piano black trim touches on the doors, complementing the use of the premium finish previously introduced in the 18MY variants on the switches and console trim.
Highlighting the 19MY MU-X LS-T interior refinements is the new ambient interior lighting—illuminating directly from the doors to bask occupants in a soothing, warm ambient glow at night. This LS-T exclusive feature automatically switches on and off with the use of the headlights, located on the indicator stalk.

MU-X steering in the lighter direction

Stability, accuracy and sturdiness has long been recognised as traits associated with the feeling behind the wheel of an Isuzu. A trade-off for the tactile, utilitarian steering feel is the weight behind steering inputs. Tuned with Australian-customer feedback in mind, Isuzu has recalibrated the hydraulic steering rack on all 19MY MU-X variants for a smoother and lighter experience. Steering inputs at a standstill and at low speeds have been greatly improved—requiring less effort than the majority of the competition. Whilst the tactile steering feedback at medium to high speeds has been retained, giving 19MY MU-X drivers the best of both worlds; smooth and light steering for manoeuvring in carparks and surefooted weighted steering with excellent feedback at medium to high speeds.

Isuzu UTE Australia Managing Director, Hiroyasu Sato, said: “Recalibrating the MU-X steering to require lighter inputs while manoeuvring at low speeds, whilst retaining the sturdy firm feedback at medium to high speeds has given the
MU-X the best of both worlds.”

MU-X receives Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert options

IUA is now offering Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) as an optional accessory on all 17MY, 18MY and 19MY-onwards MU-X models.

Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) uses sensors embedded in the rear bumper to monitor the proximity of objects that may be in the driver’s blind spot, warning the driver before changing lanes or manoeuvring on the road.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) utilises the same BSM sensors in the rear bumper, monitoring the distance and proximity of oncoming vehicles when reversing from a carpark or backwards around a blind corner.

BSM with RCTA is available as an optional accessory for $955 RRP and can be retrofitted to 17MY-onwards MU-X models.

“Engineering BSM and RCTA to be available to be retrofitted to existing customer vehicles is a step in the right direction to continue to ensure that Isuzu remains synonymous with safety and continues to keep our customers satisfied,” explained  Isuzu UTE Australia Managing Director, Hiroyasu Sato.

Front Park Assist option for D-MAX and MU-X

Encompassing safety, confidence and convenience, Isuzu engineers have made Front Park Assist (FPA) available for all 17MY-onwards D-MAX LS models and all 17MY-onwards MU-X models. Utilising a three-stage radar sensor system across the front overhang points of the vehicle, FPA audibly warns the driver of any obstacles while manoeuvring in tight spaces, mitigating the chance of an accident. FPA is available an optional accessory for $545 RRP and can be retrofitted to 17MY-onwards LS-M, LS-U and LS-T D-MAX and MU-X models.

19MY Update Overview

Driven to deliver on the values customers have grown to expect, the 19MY D-MAX and MU-X range takes a refreshed approach to the segment, by matching an improved Service Plus program with new features and bolder looks—all the while staying true to the core-values that all Isuzu vehicles are built on.

Isuzu UTE Australia Managing Director, Hiroyasu Sato, said: “The 19MY D-MAX and MU-X range blends the capability, functionality and durability—attributes each Isuzu is renowned for, along with the commanding and bold aesthetics of a modern SUV and Ute.”

“These updates to both the Isuzu D-MAX and MU-X, powered by Isuzu’s exclusive 3-litre turbo diesel 4JJ1-TC engine—generating 430Nm and matched with a 6-speed transmission—ensures we have a product to drive our growth in 2019” he concluded.

Pricing and Availability

The 19MY Isuzu D-MAX and MU-X range will go on sale nationally from the 1st of May through IUA’s comprehensive network of dealerships. For details visit

D-MAX Overview

Revered as the marque of the workman, the Isuzu D-MAX has grown in popularity over the last decade as the answer for drivers seeking the perfect balance between ‘tough and rugged’ utilitarian and passenger friendly versatility and refinement. Admired for its durability, practicality, towing prowess and serious off-road capability, the 19MY D-MAX range has been refined with a revised comprehensive ownership program, matched with a bold new look — increasing the appeal of IUA’s best-selling model.

MU-X Overview

Since 2013, the Isuzu MU-X has long been the solid choice for the family seeking an uncompromised seven-seat family 4WD; space for the entire family, a five-star ANCAP safety rating, exceptional fuel economy, serious off-road capability and of course robust turbo-diesel durability—something that Isuzu is renowned for. A sentiment that has resonated with Australian drivers since introduction—with the MU-X wearing the crown of Australia’s most-popular ute-based SUV, outselling the entire sub-segment over the past five-consecutive years. Keeping up with expectations, the 19MY MU-X range has been refreshed with premium touches inside and out, along with the revised comprehensive ownership program it shares with the D-MAX.

About Isuzu UTE Australia

Based in Brisbane, Queensland, Isuzu UTE Australia was founded in 2008 bringing the award-winning Isuzu D-MAX to Australia and then in 2013, the Isuzu MU-X 7 seat SUV. Despite being comparatively new to Australia, our global network is extremely well established with over 100 years of automotive experience and expertise behind us.

We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s largest trading and investment company, Mitsubishi Corporation with which Isuzu Motors Limited has extensive business arrangements. Isuzu Motors dates back to 1916 and is now the world’s largest manufacturer of trucks and diesel engines. Producing heavy, medium and light-duty trucks, buses, passenger vehicle engines, marine and industrial-use diesel engines, Isuzu Motors is at the forefront of vehicle chassis and diesel engine technology.

Our resources and our automotive knowledge are vast, and this shows in the quality of our product and level of service. With a network of over 150 authorised Isuzu UTE outlets across every state and territory in Australia, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service and support throughout the entire country.

Jimny Named World Urban Car Of The Year

The Suzuki Jimny has been named World Urban Car of the Year for 2019 at the New York International Auto Show.

In addition, the Suzuki Jimny also secured third place in the World Car Design of the Year award.

Vehicles were selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of 86 prominent automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world.

Upon receiving the award on behalf of Suzuki Motor Corporation Japan, President Toshihiro Suzuki said Suzuki are greatly honoured to receive the award.

“The Jimny is the one-and-only compact, authentic off-roader and we have kept true to this concept for almost 50 years. It now has many fans around the world who enjoy its excellent performance and one-of-a-kind functional design, both on and off-road. We accept this award on behalf of our fans, as well as with pride and confidence in our passion to build exciting cars to be the foot of our customers’ everyday lives” said Mr. Suzuki.

In the Australian market in excess of 1,500 orders for the all-new Jimny have been taken and over 450 examples registered and delivered to date.

The Jimny was announced as one of three finalists in the World Urban Car of the Year category and also the World Car Design of the Year at the Geneva International Motor Show earlier this year.

Suzuki has secured a top three position and finalist status in the World Urban Car category for three consecutive years.

Straight-Six Performance And Efficient Mild Hybrid Refinement For Range Rover

3.0-litre 400PS Ingenium petrol engine now available in flagship Range Rover

  • Flagship Range Rover SUV gets Ingenium straight-six balance, refinement and efficiency to enhance its peerless luxury and enduring appeal
  • Range Rover is cleaner and more responsive thanks to improved efficiency and more immediate power delivery of Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) powertrain
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto improve smartphone connectivity
  • Latest personalisation options, smarter tech and comfort features reinforce Range Rover’s position at the pinnacle of the luxury SUV segment

Wednesday 1 May 2019, Whitley, UK – Range Rover is renowned for combining peerless luxury and refinement with traditional all-terrain capability. Now, with the latest 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine, enhanced performance and quicker responses go hand-in-hand with improved fuel economy at the pinnacle of the luxury SUV segment.

The latest 400PS* Ingenium engine delivers 550Nm of torque that powers the new Range Rover from 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds  and to a top speed of 225km/h.

With the introduction of an electric supercharger that delivers immediate boost by spooling in 0.5s up to 65000rpm, the smooth and responsive six cylinder engine provides an impressive torque response, comparable with engines with much bigger displacement. This is thanks to the optimal coordination between electric supercharger and twin-scroll turbocharger, which virtually eliminates turbo lag.

The innovative combination of advanced features includes a twin-scroll turbocharger that, alongside Continuous Variable Valve Lift, boosts power by helping the new engine breathe with maximum efficiency. Not only does this optimise performance and fuel economy, while reducing emissions, it does so with the customary poise and refinement customers expect from a Range Rover.

These features, underpinned by the latest Ingenium petrol engine, form part of a Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) powertrain designed to bring enhanced efficiency to the range with fuel economy of 9.3L/100km and CO2 emissions of 212g/km** (NEDC equivalent combined). It is the latest step taken by Jaguar Land Rover to ensure it offers an electrified option on all new models from 2020.

Based around a new start-stop system, the latest 3.0-litre engine is paired with an electric motor that can harvest energy through deceleration and store it in a 48V battery. This energy can then be re-deployed through torque-assist, reducing CO2 emissions and the work load on the engine.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Traditional Range Rover strengths have been heightened with the introduction of the latest 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine. Advanced technologies, such as Continuous Variable Valve Lift, work alongside a mild-hybrid system that harvests energy as you drive, to improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions. The otherwise wasted energy is used to power the electric supercharger, which enhances vehicle capability by enhancing the torque curve at low engine speeds for greater responses. Superior comfort is achieved thanks to the natural mass balance of the engine, which allows it to run more smoothly.”

In addition, an updated paint palette includes two new colours, as Eiger Grey replaces Corris Grey and Portofino Blue is now available instead of Loire Blue. Customers can also choose a new 22in Gloss Black wheel, in addition to the existing 21in and 22in options.

The headlights on Range Rover have been updated to include two new features as standard. Available on both Matrix and Pixel LED systems, Sign Post Dimming identifies road signs and turns off the individual LEDs that could reflect back and cause glare for the driver. Tourist Mode has also been added to the Pixel system, allowing a driver to select whether they are driving on the left or right-hand side of the road and adjusting the beam pattern accordingly.

Connectivity has been enhanced with the addition of a new Smartphone Pack, fitted as standard across the range. Offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mobile device mirroring, it provides intuitive access to customers’ favourite compatible apps such as navigation and music streaming.

Owners continue to benefit from traditional capability features, for tasks such as Terrain Response 2. There is also a suite of safety technology, including optional Adaptive Cruise Control – featuring Stop & Go and Steering Assist – alongside High Speed Emergency Braking.

Australian pricing for the 20MY Range Rover will be released in May 2019, with first deliveries due from October 2019.

New Land Rover Defender Reaches 1.2 Million Kilometre Test And Development Milestone

Milestone moment on World Land Rover Day as new Land Rover Defender prepares to undergo unique Tusk Trust test

  • Ready for anything: New Defender reaches development milestone on World Land Rover Day as prototype fleet hits 1.2 million kilometre landmark
  • New challenge awaits: Specially-camouflaged prototype model is preparing to embark on field-testing with global Land Rover conservation partner, Tusk Trust
  • Unstoppable capability: Prototype will be put to work towing, wading and carrying supplies at the Borana Conservancy in Kenya to support vital conservation work
  • Tested to the extreme: Development fleet will complete more than 45,000 individual tests in some of the world’s most inhospitable places
  • World Land Rover Day: Land Rover celebrates 71 years of all-terrain expertise on 30 April – the anniversary of its original debut at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show

Tuesday 30 April 2019, Gaydon, UK: To celebrate World Land Rover Day, Land Rover has announced plans for the new Defender to complete a final phase of field testing with Tusk Trust, on location in Kenya.

A Defender prototype wearing a unique camouflage will experience life at the Borana Conservancy as part of Land Rover’s 15-year partnership with Tusk Trust.

The prototype will tow heavy loads, wade through rivers and carry supplies across unforgiving terrain in a series of real-world trials at the 14,000-hectare reserve.

By the time the new Defender makes its public debut later this year, it will have passed more than 45,000 individual tests in some of the most extreme environments on earth. Land Rover engineers have taken the test fleet to the 50-degree heat of the desert, the sub 40-degree cold of the Arctic, as well as up to 10,000ft altitude of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to ensure the new Defender will take everyday life in its stride, for even its most adventurous customers.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director, Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said:In addition to the extensive simulation and rig testing, we’ve driven new Defender 1.2 million kilometres across all terrains and in extreme climates to ensure that it is the toughest and most capable Land Rover ever made. The incredible opportunity to put it to the test in the field, supporting operations at the Borana Conservancy in Kenya, with Tusk, will allow our engineers to verify that we are meeting this target as we enter the final phase of our development programme.”

With on-road dynamics honed at the Nürburgring facility in Germany and all-terrain credentials tested on the muddy roads of Eastnor, UK, the rocky trails of Moab in Utah, and the sand dunes of Dubai, the new 4×4 promises to bring unparalleled breadth of capability and new levels of comfort and driveability to the Defender family.

The new Defender has been designed and developed in the UK, at Gaydon, home to Land Rover’s world-class design, engineering and testing facilities. The new home of global Defender production will be Land Rover’s recently opened state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

Land Rover has been an official partner of Tusk Trust wildlife conservation charity for 15 years, helping to reach some of the world’s most remote locations. News of the testing initiative has been announced to mark World Land Rover Day, which is celebrated on 30 April every year to mark the world premiere of the original Land Rover at the Amsterdam Motor Show on this day in 1948.

New My19 Haval H9 – More Safety, Same Price

It’s always nice to get more for the same price.

SUV specialist HAVAL have upgraded their accomplished 7 seater 4WD by adding Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Departure Warning as standard across the HAVAL H9 4WD range.

The best news is that despite adding these new safety features, HAVAL will offer the MY19 H9 at the same price – $41,990 for the H9 LUX and the top of the range ULTRA at $45,990 – both driveaway.

The HAVAL H9 is driven by a turbo petrol engine generating 180Kw/350Nm matched to an 8-speed German engineered ZF transmission running a Borg Warner Torque on Demand transfer system. In addition to the new safety features, HAVAL continues to offer a host of standard features on the H9 LUX including tri-zone air conditioning, rain sensing sunroof, auto Xenon headlamps and wipers,  electro chromatic rear view mirror, rear camera, park guidance, all terrain control and HAVALs unique laser puddle lights.

The H9 ULTRA model adds heated and ventilated massaging front seats, a rain sensing panoramic sunroof, a 10 speaker INFINITY sound system, heated steering wheel, Comfort-Tec seating, electric folding 3rd row seat and adaptive front lighting that “looks” around corners.

HAVAL have also made their 7 year unlimited km warranty* and 5 year national roadside assistance through the Australian Motoring Clubs standard across the entire range.

HAVAL now has 22 Dealers located around Australia with another 3 Dealers expected in the next few months.

“Instead of the traditional approach of charging more for safety and luxury features, HAVAL is making them standard and at the same price” said Mr. Peter Mercuri – General Sales Manager of HAVAL Motors Australia.

MY19 HAVAL H9 4WD drive away pricing as of 17th April:

  • H9 LUX             $41,990
  • H9 ULTRA        $45,990


SUV specialists HAVAL have changed the name of their H2 entry model from “MT” to “City” and added a 6-speed auto version for only $1,000 more. Priced from $19,990 driveaway for the manual and $20,990 drive away for the auto, the HAVAL H2 City is Australia’s most affordable 5 star ANCAP safety SUV.

The HAVAL H2 City was developed for Australians looking for a safe, affordable new SUV on a budget.  Despite the low entry price, the HAVAL H2 City is surprisingly well equipped and spacious. It is powered by a four cylinder 1.5l turbo engine for smoothness, power and torque and is built on a SUV chassis with fully independent multi-link rear suspension for comfort.

Standard features include 5 Star ANCAP safety, all electric windows, Bluetooth, tyre pressure monitoring, 18” alloys, daytime running lights, electro-chromatic rear view mirror, keyless entry and start system, privacy glass and thicker sheet metal giving a confidence-inspiring “clunk” when the doors are closed. Two tone paint and two tone interiors are optional.

HAVAL have also made their 7 year unlimited km warranty* and 5 year national roadside assistance through the Australian Motoring Clubs standard across the entire range. HAVAL is now available from 22 Dealers located around Australia with another 3 Dealers expected in the next few months.

“Why buy a second hand car or SUV, when you can buy well featured, 5 Star ANCAP SUV backed by a 7 year unlimited km warranty?” said Mr. Peter Mercuri – General Sales Manager of HAVAL Motors Australia.

HAVAL H2 Driveway pricing of 17th April:

  • H2 City                        Manual $19,990, Auto $20,990
  • H2 Premium Auto       $22,990
  • H2 LUX Auto              $25,990

*HAVAL’s 7 year unlimited km warranty applies to private users. Commercial users receive a 7 year, 150,000km warranty

Mahindra Releases Limited Edition Black mHawk Pikup And Tradie Packs

Mahindra release their highly anticipated limited edition black mHawk Pikup.

National Manager, Ankit Taneja says “We are very excited to announce that this is the first time that Mahindra has offered a limited-edition vehicle to the Australian public. It was designed in Australia, for Australian conditions.”

Aussies can expect the same grit and power Mahindra is known for, featuring a 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine and 6 speed manual transmission. However, this limited edition Pikup is also perfect for those special occasions, sporting an all-new classy exterior with 17-inch black rims, black alloy sports bar and black side steps.

If that’s not enough to excite, throw in a custom black decal set and black flares and factory black bulbar for good measure. Whether it’s a night out in town or working hard on the job, the Black mHawk Pikup will seriously impress and Mahindra backs it with 5 years limited warranty and road side assist.

Other features include but are not limited to sat nav, reverse camera and ISO fix, designed for ultimate comfort. Pricing starts from just $38,990, see your local Mahindra dealer for more details while stocks last.

In addition to the release of the Black mHawk Pikup, Mahindra is also offering a great deal for all Tradies. For a limited time only, customers can drive away in a 4×2 Single Cab S6 Turbo Diesel Ute from just $23,990.

This incredible deal is inclusive of general-purpose aluminum tray, Bluetooth and cruise control a free ladder rack and tow bar, ensuring Mahindra delivers value for money.

Tradies can also opt for a 4×4 Single Cab S6 Turbo Diesel at only $26,990, that includes a free GPA tray (worth over $2000 in retail value). All Mahindra Pikup vehicles have Eaton differential locking as standard, giving traction automatically when needed in real time.

Whatever the trade, customers can expect the Mahindra Pikup to handle any task, with a braked towing capacity of up to 2.5 tonnes, while maintain a payload of 1 tonne, with excellent fuel economy.

To back Mahindra’s undefeatable design, the vehicles come with a 5-year limited warranty and road side assist.   For more information visit or

Great Wall Unveils Next Generation UTE

Great Wall Motor is set to unveil its next generation Ute at the Auto Shanghai Motor Show in April 2019.

The new Ute has been confirmed for Australia and New Zealand and will join the HAVAL SUV range to spearhead Great Wall Motor’s global expansion strategy.

The next generation Ute has been developed on a completely new platform to be shared with the HAVAL H9, providing greater comfort and refinement whilst ensuring superior 4WD and load carrying capabilities.

Whilst local specifications and timings are yet to be confirmed, four variants will be released in China – Dual Cab with short and long wheel base options, Single Cab and an off-road adventure model specifically designed for Australia and New Zealand.

The Ute will be available in turbo-diesel engine matched to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The Auto Shanghai Motor Show opens on the 16 April this year. Great Wall Motor will preview the new Ute together with other strategic models destined for global deployment, including electric and hybrid vehicles.

Mitsubishi Motors Goes “ABSOLUTELY Beyond Tough” with Bangkok International Motor Show model: the Triton Absolute

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today unveiled the Triton Absolute, a concept model of the acclaimed Triton that embodies the rugged, solid, and uncompromising nature of MMC’s flagship ute at the 40th Bangkok International Motor Show 2019*.

“The Triton Absolute concept is more robust, dynamic and powerful. It demonstrates our commitment to exploring a vision of the future Triton that will deliver on our ‘engineered beyond tough’ commitment to the Triton series – bold enough to be taken on even more adventurous treks to explore Australia’s rugged outback, which is one of Mitsubishi’s defining strengths.” said Mitsubishi Motors Australia CEO, John Signoriello.

“While only a concept at this stage, we will assess the feedback from customers in Australia and overseas towards a more aggressive Triton which will guide the brand’s future product development.”

The striking design of the Triton Absolute will showcase the robustness of the ute’s frame, and convey the rugged and uncompromising presence of the Triton in every environment. This special model’s protective body paneling, rugged style, and enhanced LED lighting take on the “ABSOLUTELY Beyond Tough” nature of the new Triton, which has evolved across generations of the outstanding, rugged ute series.

Underpinning the Triton Absolute is a wider track to accommodate heavy duty off-road tires, while the upgraded suspension not only raises the body by 50mm for improved ground clearance, it provides more suspension travel and delivers superior ride and handling.

MMC expects the bold and ambitious model to resonate strongly with ute enthusiasts everywhere by embodying the proven mechanical durability and go-anywhere performance capabilities of the Triton, which were further advanced with the launch of the 2019 model in Thailand last year.

The Triton Absolute will be showcased over the coming 12 months to gauge public interest and feedback.

Expensive or Cheap?

Firstly, something is only expensive if it costs a lot and it is rubbish. If you buy a product for $50 and it breaks the third time you use it, or you buy a similar product for $199 and you use it heaps of time and 10yrs later it is still going strong which one is more expensive? Price alone does not deem something expensive or cheap.

We have become a throw away society, we buy something, we use it and we throw it away. With such an emphasis on reducing our impact on the planet then surely buying quality products that provide us with years of use are better than cheap products that do the job but don’t last long. I doubt we will be passing down our cheap internet bought fridge to our kids the way your dad passed his 30yr old Engel down to you, a story we hear so often.  So, do we buy once and buy quality or do we buy cheap rubbish multiple times and be fooled into thinking we are saving money because its ‘cheap’?

Lets look in terms of 4×4 and camping gear, this is after all a 4×4 and camping site. You are looking to buy camping gear, lets say it is a swag. One company has one for $250 and another company has one for $399. They are very similar in size and looking at the numbers the $250 swag is better value for money than the $399 swag, or is it?

There’s a pretty well known saying, no idea where it started, that goes something like “You get what you pay for”. This couldn’t be truer when it comes to 4×4 and camping accessories.

Lets go back to the swag example. There are many considerations that need to be taken into account. Things such as the quality, thickness and durability of the canvas. The zippers that are used, the type of poles the swag uses, the mattress, what about the warranty? What about the service provided by the shop? Are they going to look after you down the track if there are issues with the product?

All of this combines to make up good value for money.

What about shopping around and buying the same product for a cheaper price? Lets say you live in Sydney, you want to buy the swag. You decide on the $399 swag because the canvas is thicker, the stitching is more superior etc. Now you start to trawl the internet looking for the best price. The local camping shop down the street sells the swag for $399, the manufacturers RRP. You find an online store selling the same swag for $349 with free postage. Bargain, surely its a win win. Maybe not. You buy the swag and you have an issue with it and it needs a repair under warranty. You email the online store and get no reply, you ring and leave messages and nothing. When you finally get through you are told to post the swag back, at your expense, then they have it for ages before sending it back and the repair isn’t up to scratch. Have you saved $50?

Not all online stores are like this, we have an online store, but the risk is there. The product and the price you pay for it don’t make up value alone. When you go to a store and speak to a salesperson their time, their knowledge and then the ability to go back to the store if you have an issue all add value.

A cheap price tag does not instantly make something good value. An expensive price tag doesn’t always mean quality either, but more often than not a higher price will mean a higher quality.

Castrol say ‘Oils ain’t Oils”, this is true of other products and 4×4 and camping gear is no exception. One of the main things that need to be considered when deciding whether or not to buy the ‘cheap’ or the ‘expensive’ product is how often you plan to use it. If you only need it for one trip or as an emergency spare then a cheap one might do the trick. If you are buying something you plan to use on a weekly or monthly basis and you want it to last for years to come then splash out and spend the cash on a quality product from a reputable brand.

I often hear people say that not everyone can afford the expensive item, which is fair enough, but in saying that after considering the points discussed above which is going to cost you more in the long term? Is saving a bit longer for the better quality item going to be the best in the long run?

The 4wd Zone prides itself on sourcing quality products from innovative and reputable companies. When you shop with us you can be assured that the product you are getting is a quality product and should you have issues we’ll be there to help you out.

I hope this article has given you something to think about next time you are out looking at products.

Do I Need a Winch?

Winches, Accessories and Parts

Do you need a winch? Its a common question and one that can only be answered after considering a few things.

Firstly, do you or do you plan to do any solo travel? When traveling in a group with other vehicles you can often escape without needing a winch, depending on the type of driving you plan to do. If you travel alone, especially in remote locations, then a winch really is cheap insurance. If you get stuck then a winch means self recovery is generally easily possible. If you don’t have a winch you will need to rely on a good Samaritan coming along and helping pull you out, in remote areas this might be days as opposed to hours.

Outback Armour Winch Recovery Kit

Secondly, what sorts of trips do you plan to do? Will you be traveling on graded roads to camp sites, setting up and enjoying the scenery or are you headed bush to find the most challenging tracks to push your vehicle to and often beyond its limits? If you plan to do the latter than you will most certainly need a winch.

Winches are great to have in case of an emergency or to get you through that tricky section of track with as little damage as possible. The only real disadvantage to getting a winch fitted is the increased weight over the front of the vehicle, an aftermarket suspension kit can correct this though.

What do I need to consider when buying a winch? The old ‘you get what you pay for’ statement couldn’t be truer here. Sure there are heaps of cheap winches on the market that are promoted as being super powerful and simply amazing, and this might be true, but for how long? You don’t want a cheap winch failing in the middle of nowhere and leaving you stranded. Quality brands have a service network around the country and most auto electricians can easily source parts if you have an issue miles from home.

How often will you use it? Are you only getting it fitted as a ‘just in case’ measure? A cheap winch might do the trick here, however not using a winch can actually do harm, moving parts can seize and when you go to use it nothing happens. Whatever you choose to buy checking it regularly and doing some routine maintenance like lubricating the necessary components and checking electrical connections is vital.

Winch Cable Damper

Do i get a winch cable or winch rope? Winch rope really has come along way in recent years, it is strong, light weight and easy to handle, it costs more but if it is in the budget I’d recommend it over winch cable any day. It is also safer too, when steel winch cable snaps it recoils and has the potential to do serious damage or injure people. Winch rope doesn’t do this and when it snaps it drops to the ground much quicker. Handling it is easier because it is lighter to lug up and down the track, there are no stray strands of steel wire to cut you and if in a hurry you can coil it up quickly wrap it around the bullbar and find somewhere safe to wind it back in. The weight reductions also help with increasing your payload and reducing the weight over your front axle.

Something else to consider is the waterproof rating. IP68 is the best you can get. IP stands for ‘Ingress Protection’ and the numbers after indicate the level of protection. The first number signifies the protection of vital components from foreign materials, i.e dust, 6 indicates the highest level of protection and means complete protection and no ingress of dust. The second number signifies the protection from the ingress of water. 8 is the highest in this instance and means complete protection from continued submersion in water at depths greater than 1 metre. 7 is up to 1 metre. I wouldn’t purchase a winch unless its rating was IP67 or IP68, 68 is obviously the best.

What about the size of the winch? For smaller four wheel drives a 8000 pound would be suitable or 9500 pound would be ideal and is a more common size anyway. If you have a larger four wheel drive which isn’t heavily loaded and you aren’t going mud bogging then a 9500 pound winch will be more than enough. If you have a heavy four wheel drive that is loaded up and/or you tow a caravan or camper trailer than you’ll need a 12000 pound winch. Don’t skimp on the size thinking you’ll save money, winches do have a limit and if you over work it you’ll damage or destroy the winch.

Snatch Block

What about recovery gear? In the last blog I talked about what I think are the 5 must have recovery items. These don’t change if you buy a winch, you just need to add a few more when you buy a winch (see the winch kit from Outback Armour pictured)

You will need; winch cable damper, a couple of extra shackles, snatch block, tree trunk protector, winch extension strap and gloves.

A winch cable damper is a weighted blanket type product that hangs over the winch cable and velcros together. It helps to weight the cable/rope down and minimise recoil in the event of a cable/rope breaking.

Extra shackles are handy if you need to re-divert winch lines to change the angle of line pulls etc.

A snatch block is a pulley, the wheel inside the block alloys the winch cable to change directions and it can be used to increase the pulling power of the winch by creating a double line pull (for another blog).

When winching you should NEVER just wrap a cable around a tree and connect it back onto itself with the hook, not only will this damage your winch cable/rope it will ring bark and kill the tree. As a result you use a tree trunk protecting strap to wrap around the tree and anchor the winch to this. An extension strap is exactly that, an extension for your winch if the winch line wont reach an anchor point.

Gloves are vital when winching, especially when handling steel winch rope, they get burrs and stray bits of wire that cut your hands easily.

My best advice is buy the best quality winch that your budget will allow. The 4wd Zone sells Warn, VRS and Kingone winches. Warn’s has winches ranging from $1300 for the Tabor models right up to the Platinum Zeon which costs up to $3600. VRS winches have an IP68 rating and start at $949. Which model you buy and how much you spend does come down to what has been discussed above. Frequency of use, type of use etc.

If you are unsure of what you should be drop in and see us and we can help you choose a winch that is suitable for your needs.

Pacsafe Travelsafe 5L and 2L Portable Safe Bags

Society is every changing and unfortunately we waved goodbye to the days where you could leave your keys in the ignition and the windows down when you parked in the main street and ducked into the shops.

Now, everything has to be hidden away and locked up like Fort Knox because there are people that walk among us that think they have the right to take what someone else worked for to buy.

Pacsafe are leaders in travel security with a range of products to help you secure your belongings when you are away from home.

In this article we’ll look at the Pacsafe Travelsafe 5L and 12L portable safe bags.

What makes the bag a safe? Couldn’t you just slash it open? The answer to both those questions is 360 eXomesh, a mesh bag woven into the bag itself making it slash and cut proof. See the below diagram from the Pacsafe website.

The eXomesh system surrounds the bag and incorporates the braided steel cable that is used like a drawstring to seal the bag and lock the contents inside.

The braided cable has a locking system that secures it closed and the braided steel cable is long enough to loop it around a fixed object within a motel room, a campsite or inside a camper trailer or caravan.

We’ve included an embedded Youtube video from PacSafe’s Youtube channel which demonstrates how it is used.

So, what do we think of the product?


  • Lightweight
  • Packs flat so can be transported in the bottom of a suitcase so you have it when you need it
  • Peace of mind leaving valuables back at camp or in the room or in the car safely so you don’t have to lug them around
  • I don’t like the small flimsy looking padlock that comes with the bag. If I bought one I would invest in a better larger padlock, the bag itself is excellent.

The 4wd Zone sells both sizes and prices start from $109.95, click here to go to the online store.

Our Top 5 Must Have Recovery Gear List

There is such a huge variety of recovery gear available and its hard to know what is essential basic kit and what is a luxury you can slowly add to your recovery kit with time.

So, to help you get sorted and get out on the tracks and not get caught short we’ve created this Top 5 List to help you select the must have recovery gear to get you started.

1) Snatch Strap

Every good recovery kit MUST have a good quality snatch strap.

If you are unfamiliar with the function of a snatch strap, in short, it is a large elastic band. One end is secured to the bogged vehicle and the other to the recovery vehicle. A small amount of slack is left in the middle and the recovery vehicle moves forward at a reasonable speed (not to fast), as the recovery vehicle takes up the tension on the strap it stretches, once it reaches full stretch the recoil of the strap returning to its original length ‘snatches’ the stuck vehicle out.

It is also important that you spend money on a good quality snatch strap from a reputable brand. There are huge forces at play during a snatch recovery and if things break serious injury or damage to vehicles can occur. The 4wd Zone stocks VRS (Vehicle Recovery Systems), Outback Armour and Opposite Lock’s Mean Green recovery products, all of which are manufactured and tested to meet Australian Standards. $30-40 snatch straps are a no go and we don’t recommend them at all.

2) Shovel (preferably with a long handle)

Any recovery kit needs a good shovel, we recommend a long handled post hole type shovel, the long handle allows you to reach right in under the vehicle when required.

A shovel is particularly useful in beach recoveries because getting unstuck will often require moving sand from in front of the wheels to help forward movement. In the bush a shovel is handy for track building and track modifications and in mud the same applies as the beach.

The are also handy back at camp for the essential work of fire building and that call of nature.

A shovel can be bought from any hardware store however The 4wd Zone sells a handy piece of kit, which is a Combo Shovel that can be pulled apart to save space and can be used as a long handled post hole shovel or a short D-handled spade.





3) Bow Shackles

Safe recoveries will nearly always require a shackle, unless you have rated recovery hooks.

Always purchase rated bow shackles, NEVER buy D-shackles from your local hardware store. Bow shackles are rated for the rigors of 4wd vehicle recovery.

It is always a good idea to have at least two of them and if they aren’t brightly coloured spray some bright paint on them so they are easy to find on the ground if you drop them or sit them down.

As can be seen in the picture the steel bow shackle has some writing stamped into it. Of particular note is ‘MLL 4 3/4T’ on the left. MLL stands for ‘Maximum Load Limit’ and the 4 3/4T means it’s MLL is 4750kg or 4.75 tons. If you have a shackle that does not have a rating stamped on it then do not use it for recoveries and buy rated shackles.

Ideally you should have at least 2 shackles in your kit as a minimum, if you don’t have a winch and only carry a snatch strap then 2 will be more than enough.

When using a shackle they should never be done up tight, if you do them up tight the forces exerted during a recovery can tighten the shackle more and make it impossible to undo. Instead tighten it all the way up and back it off half a turn.

Bow shackles are strong and have been used in vehicle recovery since the dawn of time however if a recovery point fails a heavy shackle becomes a nasty projectile. New to the market are soft shackles, made from the same material used to make winch ropes, they are strong and light weight so in the event of a failure they don’t become a weighted projectile flying towards a vehicle or person.

The 4wd Zone stocks quality, rated, bow and soft shackles.

4) Rated Recovery Points

If you use your vehicle off road then rated recovery points are vital. Attempting a recovery without them is likely to end up with damaged property and injury to people.

Front mounted recovery points can be located on some winch rated bullbars, whilst others can be purchased and fixed to the chassis of your vehicle (as pictured). Be mindful of hooks and loops already on your vehicle because many are tie down points used to secure the vehicle during transport and are not rated for use in recovery situations. If you are unsure consult your vehicles manufacturer.

When it comes to rear mounted recovery points a perfect tool is your vehicles towbar (if fitted). Having said this don’t break rule number one of attaching a strap to a vehicle for a recovery and be tempted to dropping the eye of the strap over the towball. NEVER use a towball as a recovery point. The ideal product is a hitch receiver recovery point (pictured) which slides into your towbar receiver and is held in by the same pin that secures your towball receiver. If you don’t have a hitch receiver recovery point take your towball out and feed the eye of the strap into the receiver and put the locking pin through the eye of the strap.

Another handy tip is to make sure your recovery points are painted a nice bright colour. Many will come already painted bright yellow, red another bright colour however some are black. This might not seem like much but when your vehicle is stuck in mud looking under the car trying to find a point the same colour as the chassis is difficult. If it stands out it is easier for others to find if you cant get out of the vehicle to hook a strap up.

5) Air Compressor and Tyre Pressure Gauge

What does a compressor have to do with vehicle recoveries you might ask? More than you think would be an accurate answer.

Tyre pressures play a vital role in off-roading, especially beach driving. If you go onto the beach with highway pressures (35psi give or take) you will almost certainly get bogged, if you don’t your vehicle will have to work much harder. Lower your pressures considerably, sometimes as low as 12-14psi depending on how soft the sand is, and your tyres footprint is dramatically increased giving you more flotation and grip.

The same applies in mud and lose gravel, increased traction from a bigger footprint means you are less likely to get stuck. When driving in areas with sharp rocks lower tyre pressures allow your tyres to flex and mould around sharp edges as opposed to being punctured. Getting out of a slightly sticky situation might be as simple as letting a bit more air out of the tyres, if you go lower than usual be sure to re-inflate them back to where you had them. On bush trails pressure need not be lowered as much as the beach and 20-25psi is generally sufficient.

Pressures can be dependent on your tyres, their size and their construction. Tyres with stiffer and thicker sidewall will need lower pressures to get the same effect as a thinner side walled tyre such as a highway terrain tyre.

I haven’t mentioned a tyre deflator as being essential because a stick or a screwdriver is enough to push the valve in and lower the pressures however they do make life easier and something I highly recommend if you go bush regularly.

When you’ve finished your fun and it is time to head home on the black top you need to re-inflate your tyres back to highway pressures (each vehicle is different and there should be a sticker inside the front door frame of the vehicle with recommended pressures) and that is where the compressor comes in. Driving on road at highway speeds with low pressures in your tyres can cause the carcass of the tyre to head up considerably can cause premature wear, damage to the side walls and tyre failures. Always take the time to ‘air up’.

Check out our range of quality air compressors here.

Summing Up

If you conducted a survey of people around a campfire everyone you asked would tell you something different when it comes to what recovery gear you should always have with you.

The list above is our guide based on experience over the last 15 years of four wheel driving.

We’ll be doing some more regular blog entries and we’ll cover a different topic each time, if there is a topic you’d like covered feel free to shoot us an email and we’ll work on featuring the topic in an entry.

Next time we’ll be looking at winches.

All-new Jimny Launches In Australia

The long awaited Suzuki Jimny will this Saturday return to Australian dealerships as part of a dual Australia Day launch alongside the new Suzuki Vitara.

The all-new Jimny fully embodies the core character of the one-and-only, small, lightweight 4X4 vehicle following nearly 50 years of worldwide popularity.

Featuring a functional exterior and interior, ladder frame body, advanced ALLGRIP PRO 4WD system with a low range transfer gear, which can be easily switched from 2H (2WD-high gear), 4H (4WD-high gear) and 4L (4WD-low gear).

The most technically advanced Jimny to date with Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS), hill descent control, lane departure warning, six airbags, high beam assist, Electronic Stability Control (ESP), reversing camera and LED headlights all fitted as standard equipment.

For the powertrain, a more powerful and fuel efficient 1.5 litre engine is adopted with an output of 75kW. Available in a 5-speed manual transmission and also a 4-speed automatic transmission.

Furthermore, other specifications include:

  • Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
  • 7-inch multimedia satellite navigation
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Reversing camera
  • Digital climate control & air conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Front fog lamps
  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Privacy glass

Heritage design elements have been carefully included in the new design, including round head lamps with independent indicators, front grille with vertical openings, horizontal slit-like design and finally, gathered rear combination lamps.

Six body colours will be made available including a new colour developed exclusively for the all-new Jimny: a high-visibility “Kinetic Yellow”.

  • Kinetic Yellow + Bluish Black Pearl
  • Brisk Blue Metallic + Bluish Black Pearl
  • Chiffon Ivory Metallic + Bluish Black Pearl
  • Jungle Green
  • Medium Gray
  • Superior White

Recommended retail pricing is as follows:

  • 5-speed manual transmission: $23,990
  • 4-speed automatic transmission: $25,990

With an additional paint charge of $500 for metallic and $1,250 for two-tone.

Suzuki Australia General Manager – Automobile, Mr. Michael Pachota said the return of the legendary 4WD into Australia is a proud moment.

“I am extremely proud to launch the all-new Jimny in Australia – a global winning recipe that dates back to the 1970’s. Five years in development has captured 40+ years of heritage that makes this vehicle an icon in the Australian 4×4 landscape.”

Isuzu UTE surpasses sales records with 10th consecutive year of growth

  • December 2018 sales total: 3,244 (10.5% increase on December 2017)
  • 2018 sales total: 27,640 (7.1% increase on 2017)
  • D-MAX results:
    • 4th in 1-tonne Ute segment (up from 5th in segment in 2017)
    • 2nd in 4×2 1-tonne Ute sub-segment
    • 3rd in December 2018 sales: 2,184 (6.3% increase on 2017) & 13.0% market share
    • CY’2018 sales: 18,550 (4.7% increase on 2017) & 9.3% market share
  • MU-X results:
    • Australia’s best-selling ‘ute-based SUV’ 5-years running
    • 4th in SUV-Large<$70K segment (up from 6th in segment in 2017)
    • 3rd in December 2018 sales: 1,060 (20.0% increase on 2017) & 11.6% market share
    • CY’2018 sales: 9,090 (12.4% increase on 2017) & 7.9% market share
  • Customer Satisfaction on track to be in top-two Automotive brands for 2018 according to Roy Morgan Research

Driven towards a target of 10 years of continual growth to commemorate the 10th Anniversary in Australia since starting in 2008, Isuzu UTE Australia (IUA) has established a new annual sales record of 27,640 vehicles in 2018 — successfully growing the two-car brand by 7.1% YOY, according to figures published by VFACTS. Despite falling just shy of the ‘Decade of Double Digit Growth’ goal, IUA performed strongly in a softening market in Q4’18 by posting our highest-ever December sales result, retailing 3,244 vehicles — an increase of 10.5% on the previous year. Proving uber-popular amongst Australian 1-tonne Ute and SUV owners, IUA has for the second year in a row ranked as the 13th best-selling automotive brand nationally, out-selling some well-established brands including, BMW, Audi, Suzuki and Jeep.

Labelled as the ‘year of the ute’, 2018 has played witness to the highest sales performance for the Isuzu D-MAX, achieving 18,550 sales within the 1-tonne Ute segment — a 4.7% lift YOY. December alone netted a strong 2,184 units for 3rd in segment and 13.0% market share — an increase of 6.3% on the previous year. D-MAX reconfirmed itself as one of Australia’s favourite Utes — climbing the ladder from 5th into 4th position to outsell the Holden Colorado (18,301), Nissan Navara (16,469) and Volkswagen Amarok (9,290). D-MAX traded blows with Colorado across several months in the head-to-head YTD sales race, before cementing its 4th position ahead of Holden Colorado in December. D-MAX 4×4 ranked 5th within the sub-segment — recording 13,223 units with a 3.3% lift YOY. Whereas D-MAX 4×2 ranked 2nd within the sub-segment — posting 5,324 units with an 8.2% increase YOY.

On the other side of the Isuzu coin, the 7-seat Isuzu MU-X has broken the previous sales record set in 2017, achieving 9,090 sales in 2018 — a solid 12.4% lift YOY. MU-X achieved its highest monthly sales total with 1,060 sold in December for 3rd in segment and 11.6% market share — posting a stellar 20.0% increase over the December 2017 result. With approximately thirty models within the hotly contested SUV-Large<$70K segment, MU-X has performed exceptionally — leap-frogging Hyundai Santa Fe (7,523) and Mazda CX-9 (8,094) from 6th in 2017, into 4th nationally for 2018. In QLD, MU-X (2,697) did better yet, concluding the year in 2nd behind Toyota Prado (5,302). With the strongest-ever results under its belt, the MU-X has successfully retained the crown as Australia’s number 1 selling ‘ute-based SUV’ nationally, outselling Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (6,566), Ford Everest (5,482), Toyota Fortuner (3,592) and Holden Trailblazer (2,606) — marking the 5th consecutive year the MU-X has topped the ‘ute-based SUV’ sales chart. To put that in context, MU-X is selling almost 3 times as many as Holden Trailblazer (9,090 vs 2,606) and more than double Toyota Fortuner (9,090 vs 3,592).

Customer Satisfaction has remained a core priority of IUA in 2018, with Service Retention Campaigns and ongoing CSI and SSI Programs boosting and improving Customer loyalty and satisfaction. Roy Morgan is yet to release a conclusive ‘Customer Satisfaction’ annual report for 2018, but to date IUA has consistently traded the #1 position with another Japanese automotive brand over the last 6 months and is on track for a top two finish.

“The Australian market is unique, with over seventy automotive brands bidding for a spot in customers’ garages nationwide.” commented IUA Managing Director, Mr. Hiro Kuramoto. “However, the sentiment towards Utes and SUVs has never been stronger and are the leading segments within the market — the exact segments the D-MAX and MU-X sit — and in 2018 we witnessed our strongest result in 10 years, with more customers choosing an Isuzu than ever before.”

“Suffice to say we have one of the most loyal customer bases in the market, owing much of our success to satisfied customers who have proudly advocated for the brand — referring their friends and family to Isuzu UTE. 2018 played host to key improvements to our product and service offering — Service Plus 5-5-5; 5 year warranty, 5 years roadside assistance and 5 years Capped Price Servicing package — reconfirming our reputation for performance, dependability and value. With customer feedback in mind, our Dealership network has been further refined to better cater for our customer’s needs and expectations with 149 outlets across every state and territory in Australia. 2019 brings with it a new decade for IUA, with new challenges and targets to strive towards. However, we are here for the long haul and committed to our current and future customers.” concluded Mr Kuramoto.

About Isuzu UTE Australia

Based in Brisbane, Queensland, Isuzu UTE Australia was founded in 2008 bringing the award winning Isuzu D-MAX to Australia and then in 2013, the Isuzu MU-X 7 seat SUV. Despite being comparatively new to Australia, our global network is extremely well established with over 100 years of automotive experience and expertise behind us.

We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s largest trading and investment company, Mitsubishi Corporation with which Isuzu Motors Limited has extensive business arrangements. Isuzu Motors dates back to 1916 and is now the world’s largest manufacturer of trucks and diesel engines. Producing heavy, medium and light-duty trucks, buses, passenger vehicle engines, marine and industrial-use diesel engines, Isuzu Motors is at the forefront of vehicle chassis and diesel engine technology.

Our resources and our automotive knowledge are vast, and this shows in the quality of our product and level of service. With a network of over 149 authorised Isuzu UTE outlets across every state and territory in Australia, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service and support throughout the entire country.

New Mitsubishi Triton

New Mitsubishi Triton Overview

MITSUBISHI Motors Corporation’s (MMC) pickup truck series celebrated its 40th anniversary in September, 2018. In the 40 years since the launch of the Triton (L200) to the end of September 2018, cumulative global sales have topped 4.7 million units as the series enjoys wide-ranging support around the world.
The current Triton combines the functionality and reliability that define a pickup truck with passenger car levels of comfort, embodying a Sport Utility Truck concept that sees it widely used for both private and commercial purposes as it meets the diversifying needs and wishes of customers.

The new Triton carries over, and also sees an evolution in, its Sport Utility Truck features. Driven by the “Engineered Beyond Tough” development key phrase that runs through the series, it sees a focus on improvements to the reliability and durability required in commercial use and to the comfort and ride sought in private use. The exterior styling adopts the latest a generation of Mitsubishi’s front face design in projecting a more powerful appearance. Other elements making it significantly more competitive include an upgraded 4WD system that gives improved all-terrain performance, the addition of advanced active safety and driver assistance systems, and an interior with improved quality and functionality in a cabin that is quieter and more comfortable.

  • New-generation Dynamic Shield Concept

The front end design uses Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield Concept, which gives expression both to the powerful performance sought in a pickup truck and to the peace of mind that stems from its role in protecting both vehicle and occupants. Other revised elements in the front face include: the high engine hood line; the highly visible and damage-resistant placing of the front lamps, and the use of beefier chrome parts in a vertical/horizontal arrangement. The result is a new-look front face that embodies the “Engineered Beyond Tough” development key phrase through its imposing road presence and sense of dependable reliability.

  • Improved all-terrain performance on 4WD models

Easy-Select 4WD allows easy switching between 2WD and 4WD modes and offers 2H, 4H and 4L transfer case settings. Super-Select 4WD-II offers 2H (rear-wheel drive), 4H (full-time 4WD), 4HLc (lock up) and 4LLc (lock up in low gear) modes to deliver optimum traction and handling characteristics for all surfaces. GLS and GLS Premium models equipped with Super-Select 4WD-II now also have a new Off-road Mode that offers specific GRAVEL, MUD/SNOW, SAND and ROCK modes to maximise all-terrain and grip performance through the integrated control of engine power, automatic transmission and traction control wheel slip parameters.

  • Advanced active safety technologies

The new Triton is available with advanced active safety systems that provide all-directional support for safe driving. These include Front Collision Mitigation (FCM) autonomous braking, which uses camera and laser radar systems to detect cars and pedestrians; Blind Spot Warning (with Lane Change Assist); Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA); and Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS).
The new Triton is also available with driver assistance systems that help improve safety: the Multi-Around Monitor generates on the display a bird’s eye view image of the area around the vehicle; Parking Sensors provide audible warning and a visual alert on the Monitor when obstacles around the car are detected when parking.

Arrive safely with the five-star Holden Acadia SUV

  • All new Holden Acadia seven-seat SUV scores a five-star ANCAP safety rating
  • Acadia is the first GM vehicle tested to the new 2018 ANCAP/Euro NCAP protocols
  • Acadia passes ANCAP’s tough new safety test with flying colours
  • Holden engineers calibrated advanced safety systems to Australian conditions
  • Acadia has a rear seat reminder to make sure nothing is left in the summer heat

The all new Holden Acadia seven-seat SUV has achieved a five-star ANCAP safety rating. Acadia is the first vehicle from the General Motors stable to be safety tested to the new 2018 ANCAP/Euro NCAP aligned protocols and it’s passed with flying colours.

“Arriving in style is a given with the Acadia,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Dave Buttner, “but arriving safely is the most important thing. I am really pleased to see the Acadia achieve a five-star safety rating, and that Acadia scored so well under ANCAP’s new and tougher Euro NCAP aligned protocols.

“I am exceptionally proud of the enormous effort that has been put into establishing Acadia’s safety credentials. A lot of highly qualified people across Holden, and more broadly in GM, have worked hard to calibrate what are leading edge safety systems and make certain they work as intended in Australian conditions.”

Mr Buttner wasn’t the only one pleased with the results. According to ANCAP, “The Holden Acadia impressed across the range of assessment areas with high scores for Adult Occupant Protection (94%), Child Occupant Protection (87%), Vulnerable Road User Protection (74%) and Safety Assist (86%).

ANCAP’s Chief Executive, James Goodwin, went on to say, “These are impressive results and it is encouraging to see Holden offer such a strong safety performer in this competitive family SUV segment. The collision avoidance technologies fitted to the Acadia performed very well.”

The Acadia scored full points in testing of its lane support systems, autonomously maintaining lane position within line markings as well as the un-marked road edge. The Acadia also intervened in overtaking scenarios, passing the more critical emergency lane keeping tests.

Holden’s new Acadia features a Lateral Impact Avoidance system that combines the Side Blind Zone Alert and Land Keep Assist technology to alert drivers changing lanes if another vehicle is either in or approaching their blind spot, further reducing the risk of a collision.

All Holden Acadia SUVs are fitted with a comprehensive suite of safety features as standard equipment. In addition to its seven airbags which provide side head-protecting curtain airbags and extend to cover all three seating rows, the Acadia has the following safety features standard across its entire range:

  • Traffic Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Assist
  • LED Daytime Running Lamps
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Lateral Impact Avoidance
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Forward Collision Alert with Head-Up Warning
  • Following Distance Indicator
  • Rear Park Assist
  • Rear View Camera

The Holden Acadia SUV also features an innovative rear seat reminder that alerts the driver to check the rear seat rows before departing the vehicle, ensuring that nothing or no-one is left behind in the summer heat.

Australia Day Launch Set for All-New Jimny And New Vitara

Eagerly awaiting Australian consumers will get their hands on the all-new Jimny and new Vitara Series II as of Australia Day 2019.

Suzuki Australia has today confirmed both new models will be available at dealerships across the country for test drives and purchase from January 26, 2019.

An increasing cult-following and enthusiasm surrounding the Jimny sees the current interest sitting well over 200 pre-orders before full specifications and pricing are confirmed for the Australian market.

In Australia, the Vitara has been awarded Drive’s Best City SUV three years running with the Vitara RT-S in 2015, followed by the Vitara Turbo in 2016 & 2017.

Suzuki Australia General Manager – Automobile, Mr. Michael Pachota said the introduction of the all-new Jimny and new Vitara on Australia Day 2019 was most suitable for the Suzuki brand in Australia.

Both the Jimny and Vitara have a strong heritage and following in Australia, which has been none more evident than the demand for pre-orders since the all-new Jimny was confirmed for the Australian market.”

Further adding, “The Vitara that Australian’s know and love only gets better with considerable improvements to safety and design. The new Vitara will certainly continue to maintain its outstanding value for money for consumers.” said Pachota.

HAVAL Breaks The $20k Barrier With New H2 SUV

When HAVAL talk about value for money, they really mean it with the release of their new H2MT SUV priced from $19,990 drive away. This makes the HAVAL the lowest priced, 5 star ANCAP safety 4 cylinder turbo SUV in Australia.

To launch of the H2MT, HAVAL have introduced an industry leading 7 year unlimited km warranty available until the end of this year.

“It’s a new price point combined with one of the longest factory warranties in Australia” said Bill Soo, HAVAL’s Marketing Manager.

“Australian’s work hard to make ends meet and for many, the decision about a new car often means making difficult compromises – either in their children’s education, renovations or retirement savings. The launch of the H2MT is way of making safe, high quality SUVs more accessible to more Australians” he said.

The HAVAL H2 MT is well specified with a 1.5L 4 cylinder turbo engine, Bluetooth, cruise control, reverse parking sensors, 18” alloy wheels, a spacious cabin, auto park brake, tyre pressuring monitoring, front, side and curtain airbags and 6 speed manual transmission.

The HAVAL H2 SUV range is priced from:

  • H2 MT Manual – $19,990 driveaway
  • H2 Premium Auto – $22,990 driveaway
  • H2 LUX Auto – $26,990 driveaway