Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Finalists Announced


Australia's motoring clubs have announced the finalists for this year's Australia's Best Cars awards.

The 45 finalists are drawn from 15 categories ranging from light cars to all-terrain vehicles and high-priced sports luxury models.

The finalists range in price from the Hyundai Accent priced under $20,000, up to the Audi RS5 at more than $150,000. They use a broad array of powertrains including petrol, diesel and alternative energy vehicles.

"Australia's Best Cars is a service provided by the motoring clubs of Australia to help consumers make informed decisions when buying a new vehicle," Australian Automobile Association executive director Andrew McKellar said.

Finalists were drawn from more than 300 cars driven and assessed by the clubs' expert reviewers who have backgrounds in engineering, vehicle road-testing and motoring advice.

"These are the best cars in their category based on performance, value for money and safety," Mr McKellar said.

"With so many choices in the market buying a new car can be difficult, but these awards offer independent and professional advice to motorists," he said.

"Consumers are really spoilt for choice in the new car market: with more than 50 vehicles in the small car segment and some 80 vehicles in the SUV category it can be daunting," Australia's Best Cars chief judge Mark Borlace said.

"Car buyers will still be influenced by how they feel about the car but these awards hopefully make the process easier."

The Australia's Best Cars website offers a customised service for buyers to weight judges' findings to suit their own requirements.

"Australia's Best Cars is not intended as a Car of the Year award but as an ongoing service to car buyers," Mr Borlace said.

Eleven judges from clubs across Australia recently met at the Australian Automotive Research Centre for five days of intensive evaluation of the finalists.

The winners will be announced at a national ceremony in Sydney in November.

Best Light Car under $20,000

Hyundai Accent Active

Kia Rio Si

Volkswagen Polo 77 TSI Comfortline

Best Light Car over $20,000

Ford Fiesta LX (diesel)

Peugeot 208 Allure

Volkswagen Polo 66 TDI Comfortline

Best Small Car under $35,000

Hyundai Elantra Active

Hyundai i30 Active

Volkswagen Golf 90 TSI Trendline

Best Small Car over $35,000

Audi A3 TDI Attraction

BMW 116i

Ford Focus Titanium TDCi

Best Medium Car under $50,000

Kia Optima Si

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Volkswagen Jetta 118 TSI Comfortline

Best Medium Car over $50,000

BMW 320i

Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI Avantgarde

Volkswagen CC 125 TDI

Best Large Car Under $60,000

Ford FG Falcon G6 EcoBoost

Peugeot 508 Allure HDi

Toyota Aurion AT-X

Best Large Car Over $60,000

Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro

BMW 520i

Lexus GS 350 F Sport

Best People Mover

Hyundai iMAX (diesel)

Subaru Liberty Exiga 2.5i

Toyota Prius v

Best Sports Car under $80,000

BMW M135i

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Volkswagen Scirocco R

Best Sports Car over $80,000

Audi RS5 FSI Quattro

BMW M3 Coupe

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe

Best SUV under $40,000

Kia Sportage 2.4 SLi

Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport 2WD

Volkswagen Tiguan 103TDI

Best SUV over $40,000

Hyundai Santa Fe Elite (diesel)

Kia Sorento Platinum (diesel)

Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring (diesel)

Best Luxury SUV over $60,000

BMW X5 xDrive 30d

Range Rover Sport SDV6

Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI

Best All Terrain 4WD

Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo CRD

LandRover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE

Toyota Prado GXL (diesel)  


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