Australia’s Best Car Winners Announced
The Australian-made Ford Falcon XT was last night named as Australia’s Best Large Car by the country’s peak motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association, and constituent motoring clubs – NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAASA, RACWA, RACT and AANT.
The new Falcon achieved the first 5-star safety rating for a locally made vehicle and helped overcome a tumultuous year for Ford, including massive changes within the Australian automotive industry, and now picking up the major Australia’s Best Cars award.
The Best Cars winner in the popular Small Car category is the Mazda 2 Neo.
Australia’s Best Cars is the country’s most thorough, independent, consumer-oriented new car awards program and last night’s 12 category winners were awarded following an exhaustive assessment of more than 280 vehicles throughout 2008. Other winners are shown at the end of this release.
AAA Executive Director, Mike Harris, said the Best Cars’ judges short-listed 36 finalists across 12 categories, which were then extensively road tested during an intensive week of assessment before the winning vehicles in each category were decided.
“These cars have been assessed against three criteria – value for money, design and on-road performance,” Mr Harris said.
“The judges are seeing a steady improvement in the quality of vehicles on the Australian market – particularly in the area of safety equipment and crash test results alongside their on-road performance.
“They have to perform well in crash tests conducted by Australia’s leading crash test and vehicle safety advocate, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, and the ANCAP results show vehicles are definitely safer today without compromising performance.
"These are consumer awards where every score on every vehicle is made available to help buyers make informed purchasing decisions.
“The finalists are a good set of cars – we are very pleased with the sorts of cars that have come on to the Australian market this year.
Best Cars Chief Judge, RACV’s Ernest Litera, said the Ford Falcon award was a great result for local manufacturing.
“The winning 2008 Ford Falcon XT represents a concerted effort on product refinement – the model is not an all-new chassis and engine but more a refinement to the engine to produce better performance and fuel economy,” Mr Litera said.
“The ride and handling package has also improved significantly and feels more like the quality cars we would expect to come out of Europe, without compromising on space, touring ability and towing that Australians also often look for.”
On the Best Small Car, the Mazda2 Neo, Mr Litera said the car provided all the attributes consumers were looking for in today’s small car category.
“The Mazda is an affordable price, has good fuel economy, is a ‘zippy’ performer, and actually feels a lot more like an up-market vehicle,” he said.
“It is an around-town sort of car with some real quality in it.”
Australia’s Best Cars winners and all vehicles assessed can be viewed on www.australiasbestcars.com.au or by purchasing the Australia’s Best Cars magazine at newsagents and participating outlets.
Subs and picture editors: See the full results and photo gallery at Australia’s Best Cars media gallery: http://wic011v.server-secure.com/vs101361_secure/media/
Login: australias_best_cars_awards Password: winnersphotos2008
Australia’s Best Car Winners 2008
Best Small Car
Best Mid-Size Car under $28,000
Hyundai i30 SX
Best Mid-Size Car over $28,000
Best Large Car
Ford FG Falcon XT
Best People Mover
Best Sports Car
BMW 135i Coupe Sport
Best Luxury Sports Car
Audi TT-S TFSI Quattro
Best Prestige Car
Audi A4 TDI
Best Luxury Car
Best Recreational 4WD
Volkswagen Tiguan TDI
Best Luxury 4WD
BMW X5 3.0d
Best All-Terrain 4WD
Land Rover Discovery 3SE TDV6