Australia’s New Sweetheart

Posted on 12 September 2012 by Tony Santos

Mazda 3 Chevrolet Cruze

Something curious is taking place Down Under- for the first time in fifteen years the King of the Australian road, the muscular Holden Commodore, is being usurped by a new breed of small, city-friendly, economical hatchbacks. Nothing could be further from the sweat and dust of the outback, from the masculinity that for many defines the Australian psyche – and has for years shaped their automotive predilections.

The new upstart responsible for causing this seismic shift on Australia’s roads is the Mazda3. The first thing you notice about this sleek hatchback, is that despite its relatively diminutive stature, it is anything but a ‘girly’ motor. Its sculpted bonnet crashes down like a wave off Bondi Beach into a downright aggressive front grill. In fact the front grill is so wide and so in your face that it gives the Mazda3 the air of a cocky teenager, challenging its elders and the status quo of their outdated beliefs. Underneath the bonnet there are a variety of options, from a super-efficient diesel engine to a super-fun 2.0 DISI petrol engine. It’s the latter that really allows you to enjoy the lightweight body of the car – and any car looking this sporty really deserves a bit of oomph under the deck. It’s really not hard to see why this car has captured the imagination of Australian drivers. If you’re looking for more information then click here.

Whilst the Commodore may be slipping in popularity, Holden are not prepared to give up their dominance over the Australian motoring market without a fight. Their contender? The Cruze hatchback. Although less in-your-face than the Mazda3, it still has something about it which lets you know it has a wicked side. It may not be the leather clad biker you don’t want your daughter dating, but it’s no choir boy either. With the Cruze, Holden are looking to win back the fleets which have been the back bone of their business – fleets which have had to look towards greener options – and it looks to be in a good position to do just that. The decision to include both a turbo diesel and the 1.4 intelligent Turbo induction petrol engine is indicative of how important economy is to their target market. The latter engine is able to make a 1000km trip on a single tank, which is handy if you’re crossing the outback! Although selling well, the Mazda3 is still proving the more popular of the two, although some believe the more restrained looks of the Cruze- and its home field advantage- will see it win out in the end. For more info check out this here.

The Mazda3 and the Cruze may be the new sweethearts of the Australian road, but Australia hasn’t quite given up on its macho image just yet. The Toyota Hilux outsold both last month and cars don’t come much more butch than that!

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