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Facelifted Mercedes GLE to be revealed next week




the Mercedes-Benz GLE will receive a host of subtle design changes and technology upgrades as part of a mid-life facelift due to arrive in the UK later this year.

Slated to be fully revealed on Tuesday 31st January BMW X5 Rival was viewed by Mercedes on social media, with a picture of the model’s front and back obscured by shadows.

The most visible changes include modified front and rear bumpers, Mercedes S class-Style taillights and an updated front grille. The unveiled GLE also comes with a new alloy wheel design and a more comprehensive choice of exterior paint colors is expected.

The fourth generation of the GLE has been available in stores since 2019. This facelifted version will feature the latest iteration of Mercedes’ MBUX intelligent infotainment system with a host of assistance systems and technologies. Other areas of the interior will also be updated.

The GLE will likely adopt the same engine range as the existing car. In the UK, the GLE is currently offered with a choice of 2.0-litre petrol, diesel and electrified plug-in hybrid powertrains, starting at 272PS on entry-level 300d models.


An AMG-tuned GLE 63 will again lead the range, expected to offer over 603 hp and a 0-100 km/h sprint in under 4.0 seconds. The current car is powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine coupled to an electric motor.

Plug-in hybrid options, meanwhile, could get a battery upgrade, boosting the existing 31.2kWh unit, which currently offers up to 62 miles of all-electric WLTP range.

We’ll find out the full details next week, but expect the new GLE to command a slightly higher price than the outgoing car, which starts at £72,470 in the UK.


Google Doodle honors Kitty O’Neil, the original ‘fastest woman alive’




If you’re familiar with the life of Jessi Combs, then you’re probably familiar with the term “The Fastest Woman Alive” as combs earned posthumously the female land speed record after a tragic accident in the Oregon desert in 2019. Before that though Combs’ massive speed runs, Kitty O’Neil set records in the 1970s, even surpassing the men of her day. Today, Google honored O’Neil with a Doodle, so it’s time for a quick history lesson on the original “Fastest Woman Alive.”

O’Neil was born in Texas in the mid-1940s, and despite battling several childhood illnesses that caused her to lose her hearing, she became a competitive diver in her teens. She had great success, but a training accident while preparing for the 1964 Olympics resulted in a broken wrist and meningitis that could have prevented her from walking.

She went to swimming events but eventually lost her spark for water sports and switched to faster activities like water skiing and skydiving. Amazingly, she experienced another medical setback in her late 30s when she underwent cancer treatment.

In search of increasingly dangerous roller coaster rides, O’Neil turned to racing in the 1970s, competing in the Mint 400 and Baja 500. From there, she transitioned into stunt work, becoming the first woman to work with Stunts Unlimited, a major talent agency. She was involved in “The Bionic Woman” and “Smokey and the Bandit II” and prompted Mattel to create a Kitty O’Neil action figure.

In 1976, O’Neil ventured into the southeastern Oregon desert to set the land speed record for female drivers. She averaged more than 812 km/h and a top speed of 621 km/h, and later said she only used 60 percent of the car’s available power because she believed she would have exceeded 700 km/h at full power. However, her contract with sponsors prevented her from passing male driver Hal Needham, although he did not even get behind the wheel to record a speed.


In later life, O’Neil slowed down her stunt and driving careers after seeing colleagues being killed in action. She ended her career with 22 land and water speed records. She died of pneumonia in late 2018 at the age of 72 and was honored during the In Memoriam portion of the Oscars in 2019.

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What the CarExpert team would buy for the price of a new Ford Ranger




We’re only two months into 2023, but as things stand at the moment, the Ford Ranger has ousted the Toyota HiLux at the top of the sales charts.

It was the all-time best-seller in Australia for both January and February, and there’s no indication it’s slowing down anytime soon.

But what if you don’t want a ranger? Well, that’s what we asked car expert Team.

The rules for this challenge are simple. We chose the Ranger XLT bi-turbo four-wheel drive crewcab as our cutoff, with a pre-road sticker price of $61,990.

Yes, you can spend a lot more on a Ranger – and we might be playing that game soon – but for now we wanted to keep things relatively reachable.

Check out below what the team would be spending their hard-earned cash on, and let us know in the comments what you’d buy instead.


Alborz Fallah: Tank 300 ($55,990 Drive-Away) – and some mods

It’s not even a question for me.

I would buy a GWM Tank 300 and put 24 inch wheels on it and cover it in matte black and call it G TANK and live happily ever after.

I love this tank so much that I hope to be able to do just that when the car goes on sale properly.

Scott Collie: Subaru WRX RS Manual ($50,490 pre-road)

It’s not the car I really want, but rules are rules and the Honda Civic Type R is just too expensive to qualify. boo

I know the WRX isn’t perfect, but it does a lot of what I want it to do on a daily basis. It’s all-wheel drive for trips into the snow, manual, and has enough space for golf clubs in the trunk. It’s also damn fast.

I know it’s not quite the wild child it once was, but the latest model has plenty of potential that could be unlocked with a few select mods. The extra $10,000 that’s under budget is enough to get me an exhaust, along with some racy wheels and sticky tires (maybe) that would unleash the beast within.

How would I indicate it? Red, manual (as God intended), in RS form to have a nice interior finish.


I’d also invest in a roll of duct tape to permanently cover up the pesky driver monitoring sensor instead of having to dive through the menu system every time you hit the start button.

Jade Credentino: Skoda Octavia RS Wagon ($57,490 pre-street)

I would go for a Skoda Octavia RS Wagon in gray – similar to Audi’s Daytona Gray. I would also go for the sunroof and premium package if I could bump the budget up by about $1000 (You can’t – Ed.).

Everything I need for my week and even the weekend fits into the trolley. I can pack a surfboard in the car or empty the trunk and drive to the drive-in on a Saturday night.

The standard features tick all my boxes, but I’d spend the money for the extra features in the premium package for heads-up display, adaptive chassis control, and heated front and rear seats.

Now that I’m down in Melbourne I have no doubt they will come in handy!

William Stopford: Kia Stinger 330S ($56,530 pre-road)

I’ve driven a lot of really fun crossovers lately, including the Cupra Formentor and the turbocharged Mazda CX-5. The upcoming Mazda CX-60 also looks like a compelling package, sliding under $60,000 ahead of the road.


But no, sorry, I don’t need an SUV. I don’t have kids or a walker so the extra space and higher hip point is not necessary.

A Cupra Leon VZ or Skoda Octavia RS is tempting, but I’ll be driving the first car that came to mind when I was asked this question: a Kia Stinger.

The $60,000 limit doesn’t get me into a GT unfortunately, but I can into a 330S with the same 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine pumping out 274kW of power and 510Nm of torque, plus a limited slip differential and bimodal exhaust.

I’m missing some key safety gear, not to mention a few niceties like ventilated front seats, but I still get practical hatchback bodywork and a seven-year warranty.

I also get the last affordable mass-market rear-wheel-drive sports sedan (ok, technically hatchback) just before Kia pulls the plug.

Anthony Crawford: Hyundai i30 Drive-N ($56,200 pre-street)

For me, it’s the Hyundai i30 N Drive-N Limited Edition Hot Hatch in Phantom Black Pearl with Hyundai’s in-house eight-speed dual-clutch transmission for $56,200 before road costs.


It’s based on the i30 Hatch N Premium with sunroof but also gets fantastic Alcantara seats and steering wheel, along with a set of very cool 19-inch forged alloy wheels in dark bronze matte.

I drove this car at The Bend circuit and it appeared to be faster than any other i30 N – despite the fact that its mechanical specs are identical to the standard i30 Ns.

And to think that this is still a practical hatch but more track-capable than any rival (other than the pricier Honda Civic Type R) is undoubtedly a winner. it just goes so well out of the box.

James Wong: Cupra Leon VZ ($57,990 Drive-Away)

It’s pretty hard for me to get past the Cupra Leon VZ, which at $56,490 is well under budget for some pick options and/or accessories.

In a world where prices continue to rise, it’s proving harder to get a fun, fast, and well-appointed high-performance compact car under $60,000 — but Cupra has you covered.

The Leon VZ is basically a Volkswagen Golf GTI with a different name and face, with a more focused chassis and angrier looks inside and out. It’s also a lot cheaper than its German sibling, which can only be a plus.

I’d add the $2490 leather and sound package primarily for the upgraded nine-speaker Beats audio system, while a full-leather interior with power seats adds a touch of class. I would also pay for a set of copper VZx alloys available as a $1260 accessory.


A close second place goes to a fully featured Audi A3 35 TFSI Sportback which, with its mild hybrid 1.5 TSI petrol engine and a range of available features, is a fairly efficient small luxury car for under $60,000 MSRP.

Paul Maric: Subaru Outback AWD Touring XT ($55,990 pre-road)

I would buy a Subaru Outback XT. I love the concept of the Outback – it has the space you need, it stands out from the ground, but it’s not just another SUV.

It was initially let down a bit by the engine, but now has a turbocharger to fill the gap. It’s a great package.

Jack Quick: Subaru Outback AWD Sport XT ($52,190 pre-road)

If I had $60,000 for a new car right now, I would most likely go for the Subaru Outback XT Sport. I would save the rest for fuel!

Other vehicles on my options list include the Skoda Octavia RS station wagon, the Cupra Formentor VZ, and even the Mazda CX-60 G40e Evolve. However, the Outback XT wins.

The recently introduced Outback XT is powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged boxer engine that produces 183 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque.

This extra power and torque over the regular model’s naturally aspirated 2.5-litre engine makes maneuvers at higher speeds, such as overtaking, much more effortless. However, the car is a bit thirsty and needs at least 95 RON premium unleaded petrol.


Some of my favorite parts of the Outback are its extremely forgiving handling in both urban and rural environments, as well as its spacious interior and couch-like seats.

For the type of driving I typically do when I’m not driving a press car, which is mostly freeway and country road driving, the Outback XT is the best bet for under $60,000.

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Recall Alert: Ford Bronco, Bronco Raptor Steering Can Lock




2022 Ford Bronco Raptorford started a recall for 343 bronco and 2022-2023 model year Bronco Raptor SUVs because their steering wheels can lock, preventing drivers from turning and potentially causing an accident. The recall affects 283 model year 2023 Bronco Wildtrak models and 60 model year 2022 Bronco Raptors.

Ford is telling the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the SUVs may have cracked steering wheel ball nut retainers. The crack can cause the ball bearings in the steering assembly to shift and bind, causing the wheel to lock up.

Ford is aware of a warranty case, but no accidents related to the defect. A customer brought in a Raptor that had lost power steering assist and was making a grinding noise when turning. Technicians found the cracked nut upon examination.

Despite the scary-sounding nature of the problem, Ford hasn’t issued a stop-driving alert for the SUVs. But we would advise anyone whose Bronco is making a grinding noise when turning to stop using it immediately and contact their dealer.

Dealers will replace the entire steering gear to fix the problem. Recall repairs are always free.

Many cars are often recalled more than once during their lifetime. Automakers try to contact every owner, but don’t always reach everyone. Find out if your car has pending recalls with the simple VIN tool in our recall center.

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