What our judges said
Paul Gover, national motoring editor: The right car won. The Golf was voted World Car of the Year when it landed in Europe and now it has claimed the big prize in Australia. I was surprised by the poor showing of the Prius, but it was shown up as a car — not a science experiment — in this field.
Kevin Hepworth: Daily Telegraph, Sydney: The E is all class. Outside the price range of most people but what you get for your money is a taste of the good life with automotive best practice. Fast, furious and a technological battleship but GT-R would be the hardest of the finalists to live with day-to-day, even if you managed to keep your licence.
Neil Dowling, Sunday Times, Perth: In a world of rapid change, Volkswagen stood back and reappraised its family hatchback. Changes to the Golf appear small yet the car is far better built, technologically breathtaking and has driving characteristics and safety beyond its price tag. The Prius is a highly-advanced car that showcases Toyota’s ability to bridge technologies of the past and future. Clever, but too far too fast.
Stuart Martin, Adelaide Advertiser: Golf feels solid and completes its designated tasks with German efficiency and even a little bit of flair. While it didn’t end up in the top spot on my votes, Godzilla proved to be greater than the sum of its parts, both on the track (where it is king) and on the road.