Upsize the action
The home-grown Aurion V6 only started to gain respect late in 2012, even outselling the Falcon in December as the family Ford started to slide. So buyers might have finally discovered the Aurion’s hidden talents, including a 0-100km/h sprint time that aces the Falcon and Commodore, impressive quality, a big boot and a coveted Toyota badge. The 2012 cars, complete with superbly refined and powerful V6, are being run out from $29,990 driveaway. Unprecedented. Downside: overtly styled sports model, with puny foglights and tail-pipes. It’s easy to get lost in the maze of compact SUVs, which can be the only reason one of the pioneers is often overlooked. Suzuki has added a front-drive ‘‘urban’’ model to the Grand Vitara range, sharpening the price to $26,990 drive-away. The Navigation edition, pictured, is $29,990 drive-away with a 2.4-litre engine (others in this price range are 2.0s), automatic transmission, alloy wheels, Bluetooth with music streaming, rear camera and, as the name implies, a navigation unit. We liked the revised Kia Sorento so much it made our Car of the Year top10 shootout. The Korean family wagon is well made, well equipped and nice to drive. The five-year warranty is a bonus. So why does it sell at a fraction of the rate of the other seven-seater SUVs? It’s a mystery to us.