Australian motoring’s most prized award is set to be a battle royale
THE field for Wheels Car of the Year has rarely, if ever, been stronger than that assembled for the 2019 showdown. Last year’s finalists, the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Skoda Kodiaq and the Volvo XC60 subtly morph into the Stelvio, the Karoq and the XC40, so right there you have a trio that many would consider likely to go deep into the competition.
Mass market favourites like the Toyota Corolla and the Ford Focus just can’t be ignored, and the massive 50-car long list contains some cars that could easily come up on the rails and spring a few surprises. The Hyundai Santa Fe and Volkswagen Polo have both won big Wheels comparison tests, so we’re aware of their credentials going into the competition. Would you bet against a maiden victory for BMW with its new X5? Mazda’s CX-8 also demands to be taken seriously, especially given that its sister vehicle, the CX-9, measured up very smartly against the judging criteria of function, safety, efficiency, value and technology to take the win in 2017.
One car will emerge at the end of an intense week and it’ll deserve the accolades. Many extremely good vehicles will have fallen by the wayside. Here are 10 cars that have undoubtedly caught the eye of our testers in the lead-up.