Let the bat­tle be­gin

The race for the biggest prize in Aus­tralian mo­tor­ing starts to­day re­ports Paul Gover.

The Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

THE FIRST FIVE FI­NAL­ISTS UN­VEILED

THE race for the biggest pr i ze i n Aus­tra l i a n mo­tor­ing starts to­day. The first five con­tenders are on the start­ing grid for the Cars­guide Car of the Year con­test of 2010, all aim­ing to suc­ceed the Volk­swa­gen Golf as the COTY cham­pion. They range from a sub-$20,000 Euro­pean hatc h to a pai r of $100,000-plus lux­ury con­tenders from two of the best-known brands in the busi­ness. The f i e l d wil l be f i l l e d next week with the an­nounce­ment of t he f i nal f ive a s well a s t he con­tenders for the Green Car of the Year award and the Peo­ple’s Choice judg­ing. The 10 fi­nal­ists for the COTY con­test have been culled from more than 100 new mod­els that hit Aus­tralian show­rooms over the past year and rep­re­sent ev­ery ma­jor class and cat­e­gory, from baby fuel mis­ers to sports cars and SUVs. The first five are the BMW 5 Se­ries, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Peu­geot RCZ, Suzuki Kiza­shi and Volk­swa­gen Polo. Their fi­nal rank­ing in the top 10 will be de­cided by nine Cars­guide judges from across Aus­tralia, who have more than 100 years of com­bined ex­pe­ri­ence in driv­ing and as­sess­ing new cars. For 2010, there is also a Cars­guide guest judge, fuel econ­omy cham­pion and re­tired rally star Ed Or­dyn­ski. The cri­te­ria for the COTY con­test is sim­ple - each car is mea­sured against an over­all stan­dard of ex­cel­lence in ev­ery­thing from safety and de­sign to com­fort, qual­ity and econ­omy as well as the ri­vals in its class.

– Paul Gover MERCEDES-BENZ E 250 CGI AVANT­GARDE SEDAN Price: $95,300.

En­gine: 1 . 8-litre tur­bocharged petrol four-cylin­der. Power: 150kW. Torque: 310Nm.

Trans­mis­sion: Five-speed au­to­matic, rear-wheel drive.

Econ­omy: 7.6 litres per 100km (com­bined).

PEU­GEOT RCZ

Price: $54,950 (plus $4100 op­tions fit­ted).

En­gine: 1.6-litre tur­bocharged petrol four-cylin­der. Power: 147kW. Torque: 275Nm.

Trans­mis­sion: Six-speed man­ual, front-wheel drive.

Econ­omy: 6.9 litres per 100km (com­bined).

– Neil Dowl­ing Price: $19,850.

En­gine: 1 . 2-litre tur­bocharged di­rect­in­jec­tion four-cylin­der. Power: 77kW. Torque: 175Nm.

Trans­mis­sion: Six-speed man­ual, front-wheel drive.

Econ­omy: 5.5 litres per 100km (com­bined).

– Paul Pot­tinger VOLK­SWA­GEN POLO COM­FORT­LINE

SUZUKI KIZA­SHI XL Price: $27,990.

En­gine: 2.4-litre four­cylin­der. Power: 131kW. Torque: 230Nm.

– Stu­art Martin

Trans­mis­sion: Sixspeed man­ual, fron­twheel drive.

Econ­omy: 7.9 litres per 100km (com­bined).

– Mark Hinch­liffe

BMW 535I SEDAN

Price: $128,900(+ $30,320 op­tions fit­ted).

En­gine: Three-litre twin-turbo six­cylin­der petrol. Power: 225kW. Torque: 400Nm.

Trans­mis­sion: Eight-speed auto, rear-wheel drive.

Econ­omy: 8.4 litres per 100km (com­bined).

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