Best of the best­sellers

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Showroom - PAUL GOVER CHIEF RE­PORTER paul.gover@cars­guide.com.au

THE list of Aus­tralia’s best­selling cars from 2013 should throw up 10 quick picks for new­car shop­pers in 2014. But here at Cars­guide cen­tral we’re not con­vinced — on sev­eral fronts.

Our per­sonal show­room favourite, the Volkswagen Golf, ranked 14th last year and a cou­ple of the Top 10 fin­ish­ers fall well short of a five-star road test rat­ing.

Even the Toy­ota Corolla, which topped the scor­ers in 2014, only gets 3.5 stars from the Cars­guide crew. It’s a dull-but­wor­thy win­ner bested by the all-new Mazda3 that hits the road this week, the five-star Golf, and the top value Hyundai i30 that sets the bench­mark for af­ford­able small-car motoring.

Mazda is lucky that it has the new 3 for 2014. Even though the su­per­seded model sold well enough through De­cem­ber on the back of cut pric­ing and the Mazda badge, it’s dowdy and dated.

The third-ranked Toy­ota HiLux might have done best of the work-and-play utes that took four of the Top 10 slots last year, but it trails well be­hind the Ford Ranger and is beaten on value by both the Mit­subishi Tri­ton and Nis­san Navara.

Our per­sonal picks from the Top 10 list are not as ob­vi­ous or easy as you might think, so here’s a quick re­cap on the of­fi­cial VFACTS fin­ish­ing or­der last year: 1 Toy­ota Corolla 2 Mazda3 3 Toy­ota HiLux 4 Hyundai i30 5 Holden Com­modore 6 Toy­ota Camry 7 Mit­subishi Tri­ton 8 Holden Cruze 9 Nis­san Navara 10 Ford Ranger It’s a mixed bunch with a few gen­uine stars, both shoot­ing and fall­ing, as well as solid mid­field­ers that con­tinue to bat well and sat­isfy shop­pers in the world’s most com­pet­i­tive new­car com­pe­ti­tion.

For the Cars­guide crew, the hard­est choice is pick­ing be­tween the Holden Com­modore and Toy­ota Camry for our fam­ily favourite. The VF Com­modore is the best of its breed and the car we would choose for per­sonal use, be­cause it drives so well, but the Camry is the car we’d rec­om­mend to fam­ily and friends.

So, which of the Top 10 from 2013 would be the top three Cars­guide picks for a new-car pur­chase?

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