It’s pretty obvious SUVs are the go-to vehicle type at the moment, covering every market segment from the humble run-around, to the practical family car, outright performance machine, to the more glamorous pose-mobile. We thought we take a look at what are the top 10 best SUVs coming to Australia in 2024, in our opinion.
Obviously, there are plenty of other SUVs to look forward to in 2024, not just these ones. This top 10 is basically taking a look at some of the major launches planned for Australia, particularly SUVs that might be of interest to driving enthusiasts.
Links are provided in the titles below that lead to the latest details/local prices, if available.
10. 2024 Range Rover Sport SV – confirmed for Australia, Q4 2023
Ah, the mighty Range Rover Sport SVR. Aside from changing its name to the SV, the new performance variant will switch to a BMW-sourced V8 for the first time. This replaces the long-running 5.0-litre supercharged V8 based on the AJ-series engine family.
The new model swaps to Land Rover’s latest MLA-Flex platform as well, which brings in a range of pretty major improvements aimed at enhancing driving dynamics, safety and technology. There’s also an innovative new suspension system that is able to control the dampers and air springs to manage roll and pitch, to the point where it doesn’t need stabiliser bars.
Power comes from a twin-turbo V8 BMW engine that uses mild-hybrid technology, developing a whopping 467kW and 750Nm (or up to 800Nm during over-boost). That’s 50kW more than the supercharged predecessor. As a result, 0-100km/h is claimed in just 3.8 seconds.
Land Rover Australia has confirmed the new model will be available through invitation only to select clients. Prices start from $360,800 for the initial Edition One version.
9. Volvo EX30 – confirmed for Australia, early 2024
The EX30 is Volvo’s new small SUV, sitting below the XC40. It’s a fully electric model and forms part of the company’s push to become a fully electric vehicle brand by 2026. It comes in as the brand’s third all-electric model, behind the C40 and XC40, but it will arrive before the EX90 large electric SUV.
Three main variants have been confirmed for Australia, including two that uses a single-motor setup and a twin-motor version called the Performance Ultra. That latter model looks very promising as it features a pair of motors that combine to produce 315kW, fed by a 69kWh battery. However, the exciting part is that it will come in as the quickest-accelerating Volvo ever, offering a claimed 0-100km/h time of just 3.6 seconds.
Not only is the EX30 a quick little SUV, it also showcases a really cool and suave design, inside and out. Distinctive headlights and taillights connect it to its roots, while the really smooth and consistent lines provide a neat and yet adorable theme.
Inside, Volvo has applied its usual calm and fuss-free decor, with a single 12.3-inch upright touch-screen on the dash and that’s pretty much it. The rest of the cabin is decorated in soft and fine materials, with a completely open centre console mid-section and peeled-under dash. Even the electric seat control is a single, rounded-edge square pad to reduce clutter. Prices in Australia will start from the following (before on-road costs):
EX30 Single Motor Extended Plus: $59,990
EX30 Single Motor Extended Ultra: $64,990
EX30 Twin Performance Ultra: $69,990
8. Hyundai IONIQ 5 N – confirmed for Australia, early 2024
This will be epic. It’s Hyundai’s first fully electric N model, and it is anticipated to be one of the most fun-to-drive electric vehicles of the year. Forget about eco driving, this bad boy is ready to light up its rear tyres. It even features a Torque Kick Drift function like popping a clutch in a manual, as well as N Grin Boost mode, N e-shift and N Active Sound.
Hyundai Australia is yet to announce prices. Given the flagship IONIQ 5, in the regular range, starts from $84,981 (excluding on-roads), we’re guessing the N version will retail from around AU$110,000-120,000. The Kia EV6 GT, featuring a similar powertrain, starts from $100k, but it doesn’t feature hardcore components like the IONIQ 5 N.
Power comes from an 800V electrical system, with twin motors providing up to 448kW and 740Nm. Activate N Grin Boost and these outputs pounce up to 478kW and 770Nm. Hyundai says it’ll sprint from 0-100km/h in just 3.4 seconds with Boost, or 3.5 seconds without it.
7. Polestar 3 – confirmed for Australia, Q1 2024
This is an interesting one because it’s made by Polestar, which is a division of Volvo, which is a division of Geely Holding Group based in China. However, despite its complex family tree, the Polestar 3 looks like a completely unique offering.
It’s based on Volvo’s SPA2 platform just like the upcoming Volvo EX90, and it features an impressively large 111kWh battery. With twin electric motors (front and rear), the system develops 360kW and 840Nm. With a full charge it also offers a very decent range of 610km.
Buyers will be able to option up to the Performance Package that takes output to 380kW and 910Nm. However, we think the suave design and cool demeanour of the overall package is what will win buyers over. And being a Polestar, we should expect excellent driving dynamics.
Prices have been confirmed to start from $132,900 in Australia (before on-road costs).
6. 2024 ‘MX5’ Hyundai Santa Fe – confirmed for Australia, first half of 2024
Hyundai’s new Santa Fe, codenamed MX5 (nothing to do with the sporty roadster from Mazda), goes for an all-new design direction. It’s boxier and more upright, perhaps harking back to a traditional ‘4WD’ body style. It does appear to have borrowed some inspiration from Land Rover, especially towards the back and the D-pillar. But if you’re going to copy a design, you might as well copy from the best, right?
Whatever it looks like, it will be quite a revolutionary new model. Hyundai is claiming a number of class firsts and class-leading features, including twin wireless phone charging pads inside, special ergonomic seats that allow you to relax, and even a sterilising tray to keep your phone clean.
Hyundai has confirmed it is killing off the diesel engine option with the new model. Instead, depending on the market region, it’ll be offered with a 143kW 2.5L petrol, a 207kW 2.5L turbo, and a 1.6L turbo hybrid and plug-in hybrid. It’s unclear what we’ll get in Australia. More details are expected to be announced later this year.
5. 2024 Toyota Prado / Lexus GX – confirmed for Australia, mid-2024
This is a huge deal, especially in Australia where the Prado is one of the most popular SUVs outright. It’s not uncommon for it to sneak into the top 10 overall VFACTS sales charts a few months every year. The next-generation switches to an all-new platform (for Prado), merging onto the TNGA-F layout as featured under the 300 Series big boy.
With that, the driving dynamics are set to be improved quite a bit thanks to a 30 per cent increase in rigidity, while the stabiliser bar disconnect technology we saw on the 300 Series will also make it way across, at least on some models.
In Australia the new Prado will come powered by a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder. Unfortunately, this is largely carried over from the current model but it will incorporate a mild-hybrid system like in the upcoming 2024 HiLux update.
Overseas, the new Prado is being presented with a 2.4-litre turbo hybrid (243kW/630Nm), a 2.4-litre turbo-petrol (207kW/430Nm), and even a 2.7-litre petrol (120kW/246Nm) in Eastern Europe and Japan.
Inside, Toyota has applied an all-new design that’s not only more modern, but also more practical. The design theme adds splashes of ruggedness, too, to help provide some character. Speaking of which, check out the exterior. It possess a lot of character, mainly around a ‘go-anywhere’ attitude. This should be an interesting one.
The Lexus GX will also join Australian showrooms for the first time. It’s essentially the luxurious version of the Prado, based on the same TNGA-F platform. Interestingly, in Australia it will be offered with a 3.4-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine. Outputs haven’t been locked in for the local spec but overseas the unit develops an impressive 260kW. This engine also develops 305kW in the Aussie LX 600.
4. Next-gen Volkswagen Tiguan – late 2023 reveal, expected mid-2024
It’s one of VW’s most popular models, but it has been around now in its current form since 2016. In other words, it is ready for a major update. And fortunately VW is busy working on the next-gen model, to the point where it has released some official ‘spy shots’.
Aside from sporting a new design language with a lower profile body and larger overall dimensions, the 2024 Tiguan is set to jump to VW’s MQB Evo platform, like the latest Mk8 Golf and Cupra Formentor. With this, expect improved driving dynamics and efficiency, and a new, roomier interior.
Volkswagen has shown the interior, and, fortunately, it doesn’t feature the existing touch-screen system. The current system has been criticised to the point where even VW executives have stepped in and said, no, it needs to change.
Preview images show a huge 15-inch screen in a tablet style, semi-separated from the dash, and VW has confirmed the boot grows by 33L to 648 litres. Also expect more legroom in the back, and VW has confirmed ergoActive pneumatic massage seats for the front as an option.
It’s unconfirmed if the Tiguan R performance variant will live on, but VW has said a range of turbo-diesel and petrol engine options will be offered, as well as a plug-in hybrid with an EV range of around 100km. The PHEV will also offer DC fast-charging.
A full debut will take place later this year, with Australian entry expected by around the mid point of 2024.
3. Porsche Macan Electric – debut November 2023 (maybe), arrive H2 2024
Yes, even Porsche is moving to electric vehicles. The next-gen Macan will be offered in pure electric form only, although petrol models are set to overlap for a certain period to help customers with the transition.
Details are not yet officially confirmed, but there have been more than a few clues and some insight reported in the media. Porsche has also sent out some teasers of the new model, which will be available in coupe form for the first time – as shown here thanks to a prototype we spotted in Germany.
Specifications have been reported to top out at around 450kW for the twin-motor system, with a battery size of up to 100kWh. That should provide a range of over 400km. With an 800-volt electrical system, the new model will offer fast-charging as well, just like the Taycan.
2. Next-gen ‘G45’ BMW X3 – Expected in H2 2024
The BMW X3 is the most popular model in the showroom in Australia. So far this year (through July), the local arm has shifted 2277 units, according to VFACTS figures, putting it ahead of the X5 (2105 units), the X1 (1931), and the 3 Series (1853).
For the next-generation model, codenamed the G45, it’s understood BMW will run the vehicle on two different platforms to accommodate the iX3 fully electric model. This could be a first for BMW, with the iX3 to shift over to BMW’s Neue Klasse layout leaving the X3 combustion-engined models on the existing CLAR platform.
In either case, the new model is expected to introduce the company’s new 9.0 operating system, which is an Android-based setup. There is some talk of the iX3 getting the next-next-gen ‘10.0’ system as well, as part of that Neue Klasse philosophy.
For the petrol lineup, BMW is set to drop the ‘i’ from the badge names, meaning the flagship M40i could switch to M40 instead. However, rumours suggest that model will move to the M50 name. The regular xDrive30i could switch to X3 30.
1. Nissan Patrol ‘Y63’ – expected some time late in 2024
This is a big one, not just physically. There have been numerous rumours and reports circulating in recent months that suggest Nissan will be switching to a twin-turbo V6 for the ‘Y63’. This would replace the beastly 5.6-litre naturally aspirated V8 of the current and long-running Y62.
Downsizing is mainly about reducing the emissions output of the existing ‘VK56VD’ V8, which currently stand at 334g/km. That’s a huge amount by today’s standards, with even the diesel-powered LandCruiser 300 Series emitting 235g on the same test.
According to an Automotive News report in the USA, the next-gen Y63 will come powered by a twin-turbo V6 petrol. A report from CarsGuide suggests it could receive a 335kW unit which will apparently power the upcoming Infiniti QX80. That’s more power than the V8 (298kW).
The next-gen model is expected to switch to a new platform as well, which doesn’t seem odd considering the existing model/platform has been around since 2010. Adjustable air suspension could be on the cards, while the interior will no doubt welcome a vastly refreshed layout, potentially with a 24-inch screen like on the upcoming QX80 (Monograph concept shown below).
A full debut is tipped to take place some time late this year, with Australian sales not likely to begin until well into 2024.
There are a heap of new SUVs coming next year. So many that it’s actually quite difficult to list just 10. Here are some other highly-anticipated models to look forward to:
- Kia EV9 – confirmed for Australia, arrives in October 2023
- BMW X1 M35i – priced from $90,900 in Australia, arriving by end of 2023
- Mazda CX-80 – confirmed for Australia, late in 2023
- Next-gen Audi Q5/Q5 e-tron (below) – likely later in 2024
- Volvo EX90 – confirmed for Australia, late in 2024