Fieldays 2021: what the car (and ute!) enthusiast needs to see
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The biggest agricultural show in the world since Covid-19 came into our lives is up and running: Fieldays 2021 is open until Saturday June 19 at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton.
Fieldays is also traditionally New Zealand's substitute motor show: new-vehicle distributors bring out their latest stuff to show off to a big and broad audience. But with stock and supply still an issue internationally, some big names are absent this year: no Toyota or Mitsubishi, for example.
But those that have pitched their marquees for 2021 are aiming to make a really big impression. So join us here for a whirlwind tour of the automotive highlights (be sure to check out our video at the top of the page), and remember: the show is open every day from now until the gates close on Saturday June 19 at 4pm.
Naturally, this is the place to see NZ's biggest-selling new vehicle in many forms: the Ranger ute is out in force, from the new flagship Wildtrak X to a ComTRUK version created by aftermarket supplier Fully Equipped, showcasing various load-carying options.
Appropriately given the Government's "feebate" announcement this week, there are also Ford PHEVs including the Transit/Tourneo in the "commercial zone" of the tent and the new Escape plug-in ($60,990-$66,990), which will begin Kiwi deliveries in September (with a nice $5750 rebate for buyers).
It wouldn't be Ford without a few Mustangs: come and see the new Mach 1 (above) and Fanga Dan's drift car in new livery.
Show your Ford keys and you can also score lunch from the in-house Burger Fuel stand.
Sadly, we won't see Holden at Fieldays again. But the new GMSV performance brand is keeping at least some of the dream alive, with debut of the latest Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ at the show: 313kW/624Nm and 4.5 tonnes tow rating.
No right-hand drive Corvette as yet - at least not in physical form, although there's no shortage of 'Vette merch to get you started!
Great Wall Motors' brace of brands Haval (SUVs) and GWM (utes) have undergone almost complete model renewal in NZ this year. Fieldays marks the first time all the new vehicles have been gathered together for the public to see.
The Jolion compact SUV (replacement for the H2) and medium-sized H6 (launched only a few weeks ago) are front and centre, joined by the GWM Cannon ute tested by DRIVEN earlier this year.
Hyundai usually dominates the Fieldays landscape and this year is no different, even from a different location to previous events (now right beside the main gate).
There's a motor-show vibe, with new models not yet on sale including the Ioniq 5 (also seen at eworld last month), all-new Tucson and the forthcoming petrol-electric hybrid version of the big-selling Santa Fe. It'll also be the first look at the facelifted Kona II for many punters.
Isuzu is keeping Fieldays tradition with its self-drive test track - the difference being that this year it has the all-new D-Max ute and MU-X SUV on offer. There's a chance to climb a hill, articulate an axle or two and see what the latest generation of light commercials can do off-tarmac.
The more truck-like styling of the new Navara is the centrepiece of the Nissan stand - especially the range-topping Pro-4X model.
The brand's popular SUV range is also on display and it's also a chance to see the much rarer big daddy of the lineup: the Patrol V8.
SsangYong hails from Korea while LDV is part of the giant Chinese automotive group SAIC. But both are under the umbrella of Great Lake Motor Distributors in NZ.
The whole range is on display, but look out for a facelifted Rhino and if you're keen on taunting North Korea, check out the DMZ edition: just six available, finished in military green and complete with gun racks in the back (see gallery below).
Of more mainstream interest might be LDV's sharp-looking new T60 ute (above), featuring a 2.0-litre biturbo engine making 160kW/480Nm and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The NZ-developed Jimny Safari special edition acts as meeter/greeter at the Suzuki stand. Inside is the Japanese maker's full modle range, but Suzuki is also somewhat unique among the automotive brands at Fieldays 2021 in also manufacturing a huge range of rural/recreational equipment. So glance across from the tiny cars and you'll see everything from farm bikes to outboard boat engines.
VW always has a big presence at Fieldays. Aside from new passenger cars like the Golf 8 and the return of the Passat Alltrack crossover, there's a big focus on vans this year. Check out the new Caddy, which has has a major upgrade in terms of interior styling and technology, or the California campervans: the classic Transporter-based Ocean or the supersized Grand.