Title fight is on
A homegrown hero makes the final list, writes Paul Gover
THE field is set for carsGuide Car of the Year 2010. The latest five contenders are revealed and complete the 10-car line-up for two days of backto-back assessment and comparison that will decide Australian motoring’s biggest prize.
Each is aiming to succeed the Volkswagen Golf as COTY champion.
The new contenders range from the smallest to the largest in the 2010 field, the baby Hyundai i20 and the Kia Sportage SUV, as well as the only homegrown hero in the field, the Toyota Camry Hybrid.
The Skoda Superb wagon and Subaru Forester diesel also survived the cull of more than 100 new models that hit Australian showrooms over the past year.
They are joined today by the contenders for Green Car of the Year and the People’s Choice judging (see Page 42).
Full details of the People’s Choice contenders are available from www.carsguide.com.au
The final ranking in the top 10 will be decided by nine carsGuide judges as well as fuel economy champion and retired rally star Ed Ordynski.
Here are the final five and their claim to COTY fame: HYUNDAI i20, from $15,490 Mark Hinchliffe MOTORISTS no longer have to compromise on style and substance when buying a light car. Hyundai has packed features and driving dynamics into the stylish i20, all at an attractive price with running costs that won’t break the bank.
This is another example of Hyundai getting it right in a tough and competitive sector. A recent $500 price rise dilutes the attraction marginally, though it brings a six-airbag cabin to join the ESP, Bluetooth and iPod capability. KIA SPORTAGE, from $25,990 Neil Dowling THE new Sportage marks a huge step for Kia with three models, two engines and two drivetrains.
The SLi turbo-diesel automatic is expected to be the most popular because of performance, an affordable $34,990 price and its high safety and equipment list. It’s well built, has great performance and handling, is economical and roomy — it even goes off the road. Even better, it is cheaper than the Hyundai ix35 that it is effectively cloned from. SKODA SUPERB WAGON from $40,990 Paul Pottinger THE wagon is back and the Czech contender is a large family car that brings European style and technical sophistication to a price point where the Commodore roams.
The basic engineering is good, there is excellent quality in the cabin, and surprise-and-delight features include a torch in the luggage compartment and an umbrella in a rear door. SUBARU FORESTER from $30,990 Paul Gover THE most car-like SUV of all has been a winner for Subaru since day one, though a makeover means it is more American-centric in everything from cabin size to styling.
The Forester gets a diesel engine but it’s available only as a manual and that hurts in auto-focused Australia.
It promises to drive like a car in the city but work well for weekend excursions, as well as bringing a higher seating position for older drivers. TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID from $36,990 Karla Pincott THE first hybrid off an Aussie production line makes the Camry a landmark car for local manufacturing— and for politics, with some of our greenmarked taxes at least going back into Australian jobs.
The donor Camry has been here for four years, and the hybrid version has been on sale overseas for about the same time, so that experience and the hybrid system largely borrowed from the thirdgeneration Prius adds the assurance of dependability. Still, there are other and similarly sized cars with similar economy and a far more engaging look and feel.
Aussie success story: (left) the Camry Hybrid is a landmark car for local manufacturers.
car of the year | 2010