2022 is set to be a big year for the automobile industry. The pandemic has slowed car innovation for the past 2 years, as factories were forced to shut down leading to massive production shortages in the industry.
As our world’s starting to recover and manufacturers are picking up the pace, the biggest brands are looking to storm the market with attractive new releases in 2022.
We’ve made a compelling list of the top 7 best SUVs coming to Australia in 2022. Some of them are even releasing late this year, so you can get your hands on them early before the New Year.
1. Ford Escape
Release Date: Early 2022
While it won’t be a complete redesign, the 2022 Ford Escape is bringing a lot of new spec upgrades in its stylish compact SUV. With this model, Ford is finally bringing its first plug-in hybrid vehicle in Australia.
The PHEV version will only be available on the ST-Line variant. It’ll be powered by a 2.5L petrol engine and a 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery. The combined output of both these units will give you 224 Hp or 167kW of power. With the base model, you’ll get a standard 2.0L engine. Also, there’s an option of FWD or AWD on all variants.
The 2022 Ford Escape will also double down on its safety specs. In addition to last year's safety specs, it’ll also have Rear Seat Occupant Alert, Reverse Cross-Traffic Braking, and Intelligent Speed Assist. The standard blind-spot monitoring is also upgraded on the upcoming model with an added Trailer Tow Lite feature.
2. Lexus NX
Release Date: November 2021
If you’re a fan of luxury SUVs, then you’ll be starstruck by the 2022 Lexus NX. The brand’s best selling model has gone through a major overhaul. It’s not just an improved engine, but also a superior interior and sleeker design compared to the previous model.
The entry-level Lexus NX250 will have a 2.5L naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, with 152kW power and 243Nm torque. There are also two other variants. The NX350 with a 2.4L 200kW/400Nm petrol engine, and the NX350h petrol-electric hybrid version. Both of the models will have an all-wheel-drive setup (AWD), while the base model is a front-wheel-drive (FWD).
It’s also bigger than the previous year's model in every dimension, with an additional 30mm ground clearance. The 2022 Lexus NX will also provide an improved cabin experience. It’ll have a massive 14.0-inch touch display with anti-reflective materials, so you don’t lose any brightness even in bright sunlight. Lexus also claims that the voice-recognition feature will be much better in this year’s model.
Lexus is also introducing a bunch of new safety specs, including wireless SOS calls, Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Tracking, and Safe Exit Assist.
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3. Honda HR-V e:HEV
Release Date: End of first quarter 2022
Honda has built up much hype surrounding its new HR-V launch in 2022. Although not much is still known about its all-around specs, its visual outlook seems like a major facelift from the previous models.
The 2022 e:Hev version completely ditches the traditional sporty and aggressive outlook of the HR-V and goes for a more premium and dynamic exterior. The first thing you’ll notice is the completely changed grille design and a larger hump at the back, instead of that round curvy tailgate. Although Honda hasn’t confirmed the exact dimensions, the car visually seems much larger than the previous model.
The 2022 HR-V e:Hev will be Honda’s first hybrid model in Australia. It’ll have a 1.5L petrol engine, along with two electric motors for total outputs of 96kW and 253Nm. It will switch automatically between the two driving modes. You’ll also have three different driving modes on the e:Hev - Econ, Normal, and Sport, along with different levels of battery regeneration.
Honda claims that the HR-V e:Hev will have a fuel economy of 5.4L/100km, and can reach 0-100km/h in 10.6 seconds. While most hybrid models like the Toyota C-HR focuses more on fuel efficiency, the 2022 HR-V e:Hev looks to achieve a perfect balance between fuel economy and powerful performance.
4. Mitsubishi Outlander
Release Date: Late 2021
The Mitsubishi Outlander is another popular SUV to receive a massive redesign in 2022. After the 9-year run of its existing fourth-generation model, the new Outlander will have a lot of styling tweaks, upgraded technology, and new engine options. It’ll also be the first-ever car in Australia to have a 10-year warranty.
The exterior design is much more aggressive in the upcoming model. It’ll also have 20” alloy wheels instead of 18’’ on the previous model. So, you can expect a better off-road driving experience. You’ll also get a larger cargo space in the new model.
On top of that, there’s a whole new range of interior features to make your cabin experience more premium. Mitsubishi confirmed that the new Outlander will have a double sunroof, quilted leather and real aluminium interior finish, a new horizontal design that creates the impression of bigger cabin space, and a massive 10 speakers sound system.
The 2022 Outlander will also introduce a plug-in hybrid model. It’ll have a 2.4L petrol engine combined with a 13.8kWh battery. The electric motors will provide an output of 130kW and 332Nm. Although the standard Outlander variants will arrive in late 2021, the PHEV model won’t make its way to Australia until early 2022.
5. Nissan Qashqai
Release Date: January 2022
Like all the other major brands, Nissan has also gone back to the drawing board with its most popular compact SUV. But unlike others, Nissan has gone through a complete overhaul with its brand new Qashqai. From the engine to the exterior, interior, cargo space, everything feels like a major upgrade on this new model.
The 2022 Nissan Qashqai will have an enhanced exterior with prominent shoulder lines, and a larger sports-inspired V-motion grille. The new design also has slim LED matrix headlamps, which truly gives the car a premium and futuristic cyberpunk vibe.
However, the all-new Qashqai focuses more on improving its interior cabin experience. There’s a significant premium feel and distinctive design to the new cabin. You’ll have a new white ambient lighting, quilted leather-accented, including massage functions for the higher-end variants. Nissan will also give you 13 different colour options to choose from.
Nissan is also introducing a new 1.3L turbocharged petrol engine on the new Qashqai. This will be replacing the standard non-turbo 2.0L petrol engine that has been included in every Qashqai model for more than 10 years. The new engine will give you 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque.
Nissan claims that the 2022 Qashqai will have a fuel economy of 6.1L/100km, which is a significant improvement from previous years 6.9L/100km. Nissan will also launch a hybrid variant of the Qashqai, but that won’t make its way to Australia until late 2022.
6. Nissan Pathfinder
Release Date: First half of 2022
The large majority of Nissan’s SUV sales till now have been dependent on a single model, the Nissan Rogue. However, in 2022 Nissan is looking to take a bigger slice of the SUV market. That’s why they’re not just reinventing their compact SUV line, but also their larger family-sized SUVs.
Like the Qashqai, the Nissan Pathfinder is also seeing a major overhaul in 2022. The all-new Pathfinder features a range of styling packages and significant modern touches to its interior. While the infotainment system on the Nissan Pathfinder has always been a mess of buttons, the new model features a 9.0-inch touchscreen.
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder isn’t the most advanced or futuristic car, but it takes interior comfort and space to a whole new level. Not only it’s an eight-seater, but it also has a pair of leather coated luxurious captain’s chairs in the middle row, with the entire centre console between them. Nissan has also claimed that it’ll be their quietest cabin ever, because of the acoustic front glass and thicker second-row windows.
Although Nissan hasn’t confirmed its performance specs for the Australian market, the US version of the 2022 Pathfinder will have a 3.5-litre V6 engine with 209kW and 351Nm of output.
So, if you’re looking to buy a family SUV in 2022, then the newly reinvented Nissan Pathfinder is definitely the one to look out for.
7. Mercedes-Benz EQB
Release Date: Early 2022
Mercedes-Benz is set to release its 3rd all-electric vehicle in 2022. The EQB is a compact 7-seater SUV that’ll have similar features as the Tesla. The EQB will have a similar exterior design as the previous electric models, with a black panel grille and light strip.
The interior of the EQB will come with Mercedes-Benz’s upgraded MBUX multimedia system, with a widescreen display that combines both the driver’s interface and the infotainment system.
Mercedes is yet to confirm the exact specs of the EQB for the Australian market. The European model comes with a 66.5kWh battery pack that can provide up to 478km on a full charge. So, we can expect specs similar to that in Australia as well. It’ll also be capable of 100kW fast charging, which means going 10-80% in just half an hour.
So, If you’re willing to go fully electric in 2022, then the Mercedes-Benz EQB will be an exciting choice to look forward to.
2022 is going to be an exciting year for the SUVs segment. Whether you’re willing to go for a compact SUV, a large family vehicle, a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, or a fully electric model, there’s an option for everyone.