Best of the bestsellers
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 Even though the superseded model sold well enough through December on the back of cut pricing and the Mazda badge, it’s dowdy and dated.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?