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.
Australia's Best Cars 2012 finalists
*All vehicles are listed in alphabetical order.
|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 |
| || |
- Subaru Liberty Exiga 2.5i
|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)
For further information contact:
Director - Government Relations & Communication
Australian Automobile Association
0401 248 772