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Carsguide Car of the Year

Publish Date: 29/11/2016

The 20th Carsguide Car of the Year winner is set to be announced later this year and in anticipation of its release, the top ten list has made its way online. Cars are judged on their performance in four categories; design, value for money, performance and safety.

Cars are assessed against the criteria but then weighted against the needs of relevant buyers. For example, a family-style SUV will have a heavier weighting for value and safety as those are criteria the real end users will value.

There can be only one winner, but as it stands the contenders are as follows:

Audi A4 1.4 TFSI
Praised for its value for money at $55,500 and impressive technology, the Audi A4 is a strong competitor with its classy interior and smooth drive.

Fiat Abarth 124
A strong contender from a luxury/sports perspective, the Abarth features a 1.4 litre turbo, Bilstein shocks and Brembo brakes which will give it points on the board for performance.

Ford Focus RS
With its demand far exceeding supply this year the Focus RS has already demonstrated its popularity amongst buyers. For a manual hatchback, it might be the dark horse in the race.

Holden Astra R1.4 auto
At $24,190, it’s the lowest priced of all the finalists, but the Astra doesn’t have value in the bag with the high-tech driving options only available in expensive option packs. Applauded for its driveability, it secures its place in the top ten.

Honda Civic VTi-L auto
The Civic’s standard-issue engine has been criticised for its lack of turbo and has been described as ‘underdone’, but offers a roomy interior, high-tech dash and classy styling giving it an edge over its competitors in the design stakes.

Jaguar F-Pace 20d
As the highest priced SUV in the top ten, the Jaguar’s standard safety offering is not on par with the remainder of the finalists; to get up to standard is an optional extra. This could see it suffer on the scoreboard as it has also been criticized for lacking in the usual interior finesse offered by Jaguar.

Kia Sportage SLi 2WD
Kia is no stranger to the Car of the Year race, with its Sorento taking out the title last year. What it lacks in engine power and safety features it makes up for with great value for money and a long warranty making Kia a threat to the competition a second time around.

Mazda CX-9 Sport FWD
Offering seven seats, the CX-9 appeals to the family buyer with great safety features and an affordable price at $42,490. Facing some criticism for its specification sheet, the CX-9 will have to rely on its high quality interior and turbo engine to get ahead of the pack.

Mercedes-Benz E300
The E-Class boats a luxury interior with an extensive dash display featuring so many tech features the vehicle almost drives autonomously. The biggest challenge the E-Class will face in this race is value, being the only car in the finalist list to attract the luxury car tax.

VW Tiguan Trendline 110TSi auto
With a bland yet spacious interior, the Tiguan’s utilitarian style will appeal to multiple customer classes. Technology features include auto safety braking and lane departure warnings, however concerns exist around long-term ownership costs calling the value category into question. 

Source: CarsGuide

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