Monday, November 15, 2010

Battle begins for 2010 Drive Car of the Year award

Final judging for the prestigious 2010 Drive Car of the Year awards is taking place this week, under the watchful eyes of an expert panel of judges from the motoring industry.

The awards provide a comprehensive consumer guide to the best cars on the Australian market, with thorough criteria followed for testing each vehicle to find the 2010 Drive Car of the Year. Judges test each car in a range of driving conditions, from speed humps to country roads and torturous dynamic exercises conducted in a controlled environment. More than $3 million worth of new cars will be rated for real-world performance, safety, value, running costs, practicality, re-sale and driving dynamics.

Motoring experts with a combined 100 years of road testing and motoring knowledge have scrutinised 47 nominees in 14 categories across 20,000km of testing in the most extensive trials of their kind in Australia.

One winner is chosen in each category spanning the entire new-car market, and the vehicle that offers the best overall package will be named the Drive Car of the Year 2010. The winners will be announced at an awards breakfast in Albert Park on November 25.

"This is the biggest and most comprehensive test of its kind in Australia," Judge and Drive National Editor Toby Hagon said.

"We look at every facet of the most impressive new cars on sale today and put them through an arduous testing process that looks at everything from how good the cup holders are and whether you really can fit seven people inside to its driving manners and environmental friendliness."

Testers spend six days putting each of the 47 cars through their paces on a specially chosen road loop that takes in smooth freeways, lumpy back roads, stop-start suburban driving and country cruising, as well as dynamic assessment in an approved testing facility.

Drive Car of the Year 2010 contenders:

·         Best City Car: Ford Fiesta LX defends its title against Hyundai's i20 Active, Nissan's Micra and Volkswagen's Polo 77TSI.

·         Best Small Car: 2009 Car of the Year, Volkswagen Golf 118TSI, takes on Mazda3 Neo and Renault Megane.

·         Best Medium Car: Mazda6 Classic tries to repeat its 2009 success against previous champion Ford Mondeo Diesel and Suzuki Kisashi XL, Toyota Camry Hybrid and VW Jetta 118TSI.

·         Best Large Car: Holden Commodore Omega Sportwagon is trying to unseat 2009 category winner Nissan Maxima ST-L.

·         Best Luxury Car Under $60,000: Germany vs Sweden as Volvo S60 takes on Volkswagen Passat CC and Mercedes-Benz C200 CGI.

·         Best Luxury Car Over $60,000: 2009 champion, Jaguar XF 3.0d, is joined by stablemate Jaguar XJ 3.0d to fight off the German challenge from BMW 535i and Audi A8 4.2 FSI.

·         Best Performance Car Under $60,000: Volkswagen Golf GTI defends a perfect record against Renault Megane RS250, Subaru Impreza WRX, Ford Focus RS and the V8-powered Holden Series II Commodore SS-V.

·         Best Performance Car Over $60,000: Can the potent Porsche 911 Turbo unseat the FPV GT, Audi RS5 or the double category champion, BMW 135i Coupe.

·         Best Convertible: The top is down and the gloves are off as Porsche Boxster takes on Nissan's 370Z Roadster and Mercedes-Benz' E250 CGI.

·         Best Ute: Australia invented the ute and this is an-all Australian affair: Holden Commodore SS Ute vs FPV Falcon GS Ute.

·         Best SUV Under $40,000: Unanimous 2009 choice, Subaru Outback, is challenged by Honda CR-V Sport, Kia Sportage SLi and Nissan X-Trail ST-L.

·         Best SUV Over $40,000: The Swedish incumbent, Volvo XC60 D5, takes on the German challengers, Porsche Cayenne Diesel and BMW X5 xDrive 30d.

·         Best People Mover: Honda Odyssey takes on Nissan Dualis Ti Plus 2 2WD and Volkswagen Caravelle.

·         Best 4WD: A two-horse race as the rugged new Toyota Prado GXL diesel takes on 2009 champion, Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6 SE.

·         Green Innovation: Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Toyota Hybrid Camry, E-85 Holden Commodore

·         Safety Innovation: Volvo Pedestrian Avoidance Technology, Ford Mondeo Titanium, BMW 7 Series

·         People's Choice: Open to all category nominations

·         Car of The Year: Overall automotive excellence for 2010

For more information, go to
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