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An LPG-fuelled Australian six-cylinder car has made the finals of this year's Australia's Best Cars award.

The new Ford Falcon EcoLPi heads a strong field of alternative power source vehicles assembled for the prestigious judging.

Forty-seven per cent of finalists are not powered solely by a petrol engine.

Nineteen brands from eight countries make up the 45 finalists evaluated by judges from Australia's automobile clubs.

Diesel fuel powers 21 of the finalists, while two are petrol/electric hybrid and LPG fuelled.

Australia's Best Cars winners will be announced by the Australian Automobile Association at a gala event in Melbourne on November 29.

The Ford Falcon would be the first LPG-powered car to win if it prevails in the rigorous judging process.

Andrew McKellar, Executive Director of the Australian Automobile Association, the peak body for the motoring clubs, says vehicles are becoming increasingly diverse.

"It is clear there is more variety than ever in the marketplace," Mr McKellar said.

"The list of finalists reinforces that there is no longer any specific formula for certain types of cars.

"Even the traditional petrol-powered vehicles vary greatly in their approach - from small capacity, low-boost turbocharged engines to a 6.2-litre V8."

Finalists in the Best Large Car Under $60,000 category comprise a 2.0-litre diesel Peugeot, a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol Škoda and the 4.0-litre six-cylinder LPG Falcon.

The Best Medium Car Over $50,000 segment will be fought out exclusively by diesel-powered cars from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

"We even have a 1.4-litre twin-charged VW hatchback going up against a twin-turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder BMW coupe in the Best Sports Car Under $80,000 segment," Mr McKellar said.

The AAA motoring clubs considered more than 300 vehicles for Australia's Best Cars before testing the top three contenders in each of 15 categories.

The finalists are:

Best Light Car under $20,000
Hyundai Accent Active
Kia Rio Si
Suzuki Swift GL

Best Light Car over $20,000
Audi A1 TFSI Ambition
Ford Fiesta Zetec
Volkswagen Polo 66 TDI Comfortline

Best Small Car under $35,000
Ford Focus Sport
Hyundai i30 SX
Volkswagen Golf 90 TSI Trendline

Best Small Car over $35,000
Audi A3 Sportsback TDI
Lexus CT200H Prestige
Volvo C30 DRIVe

Best Medium Car under $50,000
Hyundai i40 Tourer Active
Kia Optima Platinum
Volkswagen Jetta 118 TSI Comfortline

Best Medium Car over $50,000
BMW 320d Lifestyle
Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI Avantgarde
Volkswagen Passatt CC 125 TDI

Best Large Car under $60,000
Ford FG Falcon EcoLPi XT
Peugeot 508 Allure
Škoda Superb 118 TSI Ambition

Best Large Car over $60,000
Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro
BMW 520d
Jaguar XF S Luxury

Best People Mover
Honda Odyssey Luxury
Hyundai iMax
Kia Grand Carnival Si

Best Sports Car under $80,000
BMW 135i Coupe
Volkswagen Polo GTI
Volkswagen Golf R

Best Sports Car over $80,000
BMW 1 series M Coupe
BMW M3 Coupe
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe

Best SUV under $40,000
Kia Sportage AWD Sli
Mitsubishi ASX 4WD
Volkswagen Tiguan 103 TDI

Best SUV over $40,000
Hyundai Santa Fe R series Elite
Kia Sorento Sli
Subaru Outback 2.5i wagon

Best Luxury SUV over $60,000
BMW X5 xdrive 30d
Range Rover Sport TDV6
Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI

Best All Terrain 4WD
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo CRD
LandRover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE
Toyota Prado GXL


For further information contact:

Andrew McKellar
Executive Director, Australian Automobile Association
P: 61 2 6247 7311

The Ford Falcon EcoLPi is in the running to become the first LPG-powered vehicle to win an Australia's Best Car award.