Many of us might dream of owning a Ferrari, but it’s not only budget realities that dictate the vehicle that’s more likely end up on our driveway.
With a population of about 25 million spread across Australia’s expansive land, it’s understandable why there is a diverse range of lifestyle needs or wants.
For example, are you considering a vehicle that could cope with the bush as well as the ‘burbs to help you explore our wonderfully vast country? Perhaps you’re a parent wanting to know if any cars go beyond Isofix child-seat anchorage points to make transporting kids an easier task. Or maybe you’re conscious of the environment and a supporter of sustainability and therefore seeking a vehicle that limits its impact on the planet.
Whatever your lifestyle priority, here Gumtree provides some thought-starters to help your decision-making. Find cars to fit your lifestyle today.
Isuzu MU-X (pictured)
From the makers of the popular D-Max ute comes this related seven-seater SUV first released in 2013. Using the same bulletproof turbo diesel engine and tough-as-nails four-wheel-drive hardware as the D-Max, complete with low-range gearing and underbody protection, the MU-X is engineered to go further off-road than the average family SUV. It will also tow bigger stuff – such as boats or caravans – thanks to a 3000kg brake towing capacity.
Volkswagen Multivan Kombi
Former hippies and current travellers rejoice – the Kombi name is back! This special edition of VW’s Multivan people-mover is more of a spiritual nod to the famous campervan of the 1960s and 1970s, yet its features do include a rear bench that converts into a bed. A standard Good Night package also adds a washable bed cover and, for all-important privacy, fabric window blinds.
Ever since a private importer first introduced the Japanese LandCruiser in the late 1950s, it has become a darling of the bush. It’s enormous in size these days, though it continues to be capable of monstering terrain away from bitumen. Effortless momentum is provided by a powerful V8 turbo diesel engine, while the big dimensions help create a spacious, and comfortable, interior. It’s not cheap, though buyers have the option of the slightly smaller LandCruiser Prado that is more affordable but still hugely capable off-road.
For Eco Warriors
Toyota Prius (pictured)
The Honda Insight was actually the first petrol-electric model in Australia, but the Prius followed quickly after and established itself as the poster child for the eco-car generation. Across four model lifecycles over nearly two decades, the Prius has altered in size and style – though always designed with a hint of futurism – but one thing has remained a constant: a clever and highly economical drivetrain that can run temporarily on electric power alone at low speeds before transitioning seamlessly to petrol power.
The Swedish brand’s new compact SUV isn’t yet available with a hybrid, but there are small-capacity petrol and diesel engines. More interestingly, there’s a sustainable twist to its interior. The XC40 is available with carpeting trim that is made predominantly from recycled plastic bottles. Those thoughtful Scandinavians are also planning to ditch single-use plastics from its offices and events by the end of 2019, while also aiming to achieve carbon-neutral global manufacturing by 2025.
Despite the signature double-kidney grille up front, the i3 looked like no previous BMW when it launched in 2014. The electric city car these days has a zero-emissions range of up to 200km, or up to 330km if you opt for the range-extender variant that uses a two-cylinder petrol engine to replenish battery power on the move. Range, as well as handling and occupant protection, is aided by the i3’s carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic (CFRP) passenger cell. BMW says 100 per cent of the energy required for the i3’s manufacture comes from renewable resources.
Ford Territory (pictured)
Sadly, Ford Australia’s landmark Territory – the only SUV ever built locally – was phased out in 2016 along with the Falcon on which it was based. There’s still a bargain to be had on the used-car market for families on a budget, however. Seven-seater variants give parents the choice between a third row of seats or a huge boot, there are 30-odd storage solutions placed throughout the cabin, and the split tailgate was a convenient feature more commonly associated with a posh Range Rover. That the Ford Territory was one of the best SUVs to drive regardless of price is a pleasant bonus.
VW-owned Czech car maker Skoda regularly produces vehicles that live up to its ‘Simply clever’ marketing tagline. Its medium-large SUV, the Kodiaq, is certainly one of them. Besides featuring seating for up to seven people with two third-row seats that lift out of the cargo floor, the Skoda ups the SUV-practicality ante with features such as a waste bin in the driver’s door pocket, a removable LED torch in the boot, and even umbrellas hidden in the doors. Oh, and fold down the second and third-row seats and you have a cavernous 2005-litre cargo area.
The second-generation HR-V isn’t as odd-looking as the original, and it’s definitely cleverer. It may be a compact SUV but it benefits from the same ingeniously flexible rear seating system as the Jazz and older versions of the Civic small car – allowing users to expand boot space by folding the seatbacks (like most SUVs) yet also enabling cargo to be loaded sideways through the rear doors (unlike most other SUVs). The centre console cupholders are also a ‘trap door’ design – sliding to reveal a previously hidden storage compartment.
Tesla Model S (pictured)
Fancy a car that can steer itself? Tesla’s Autopilot uses a complex array of sensors and a radar camera to monitor lanes and traffic and assume control of the steering, braking and acceleration for sustained periods, (however, the company stresses the driver must “remain active and alert” at all times). Other noteworthy features include the gigantic 17-inch touchscreen, a special air-filtration system capable of preventing contaminants from entering the cabin, and supercar-beating acceleration if you opt for the P100D model.
Range Rover Velar
The visually striking Velar introduced in 2017 debuted Jaguar-Land Rover’s slick Touch Duo Pro infotainment system, which comprises upper and lower 10-inch touchscreen displays that operate with the ease of an iPhone or iPad. There’s also an option for a 4G wifi hotspot to keep you fully connected on the move. An aptly named feature called Remote also allows owners to, well, remotely control functions – such as locking/unlocking and adjusting cabin temperature – away from the vehicle.
Mercedes’ signature model, the E-Class, can always be counted on for advanced technology. The latest-generation model introduced in 2016 features dual high-resolution widescreen displays for a large dose of dashboard sophistication, while semi-autonomous steering is available via the company’s famous Distronic adaptive cruise control system. An automatic transmission with nine gears aids fuel efficiency, while there’s technology that can help stabilise the car in heavy crosswinds, and clever air-driven seat bolstering that can help protect occupants in the event of a side impact.