Pick the ONE

Meet the fi­nal­ists in Aus­tralia’s best-read and only rel­e­vant Car of the Year award

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story -

PAUL POT­TINGER

CARS­GUIDE ED­I­TOR

paul.pot­tinger@cars­guide.com.au PICK­ING the best car in a year of 1.1 mil­lion pro­jected sales is

Cars­guide’s task this week. As record Novem­ber sales of 98,700 were an­nounced, our team was test­ing its 10 plus one (we’ll ex­plain in a minute) fi­nal­ists in the 16th an­nual

Cars­guide Car of the Year. The can­di­dates and testers go through an ex­haus­tivee­val­u­a­tion regime.

There is an un­prece­dented num­ber of SUVs in the field, a re­flec­tion of this seg­ment’s dom­i­na­tion of the pas­sen­ger car mar­ket.

For the first time, there’s a dual-cab ute. Purists ar­gue th­ese are not cars but trucks. Yet they are the pri­mary ve­hi­cle for tens of thou­sands of fam­i­lies. So it’s in.

The fi­nal­ists’ coun­tries of ori­gin mir­ror your buy­ing pref­er­ences in 2012.

Four hail from Ja­pan, two each from Korea and Thai­land, one each from the EU, Aus­tralia and the US.

Even in a year of out­stand­ing pres­tige and lux­ury car re­leases— from McLaren through to the Porsche 911 to the Lexus GS—

Cars­guide’s pref­er­ence re­mains for cars the vast ma­jor­ity of us buy with our own money.

We’ll ad­dress the pres­tige cars of the year next week.

At barely un­der $60,000, Holden’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary Volt is the most ex­pen­sive car here. Five start un­der $30,000.

Wher­ever pos­si­ble we have stip­u­lated en­try level models with au­to­matic trans­mis­sions. ute com­par­i­son test, this lo­cally devel­oped tradie lug­ger-cum­fam­ily hauler is the best of the new gen­er­a­tion. most so­phis­ti­cated car ever to bear the Holden badge, a clever and above all prac­ti­cal elec­tric ve­hi­cle aug­mented by a petrol en­gine. con­fined to small cars. This is a big, qual­ity SUV with a ca­pa­ble and ef­fi­cient diesel en­gine. de­sign isn’t in­im­i­cal to the Corolla’s tra­di­tional virtues Prob­a­bly the next No.1 selle

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