The Road Ahead : December January 2010
MOTORING AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS mid size $30,000-$50,000 vw golf 118 tsi comfortline large toyota aurion at-x STARTING WITH A list price well below its major rivals and with sound resale values, Aurion beats all comers on pricing and depreciation values. Backed by To yota's fixed-price servicing, it's also ahead of the competition for ownership and operating costs and continues to deliver impressive fuel economy. Perhaps less obvious are its environmental credentials, which match the best in class. While Aurion may not have the towing capacity of a Falcon or Commodore, it gives little away in terms of handling and chassis dynamics. The front-wheel-drive configuration enhances rear seat space, particularly when three are seated in the back, and an unencumbered boot ensures easy storage of large amounts of luggage. Inherent space and practicality are complemented by a swag of standard features, good driving dynamics, safety, fuel efficiency and low emissions, all at the lowest ownership and operating costs in the class. Safety remains a strong suit. Like Commodore and Falcon, the Aurion gets a top five-star ANCAP safety score. It would be easy to dismiss Aurion for being the older design among the locally built large cars. This would fail to acknowledge Toyota's efforts to keep it at the forefront of Australia's large car category. RRP: $35,490. SCORES TOTAL: 721. 2nd: Ford Falcon FG XR6 704. 3rd: Holden Commodore VE Omega 701. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 8 C, Depreciation 9 H, Running costs 9 C, Fuel consumption 6 C, Warranty 4 H, Standard features 6 H. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 9 C, Security 3 H, Environment 8 C, Comfort 7 C, Space 7 7 C, Practicality 8 C, Ergonomics 8 M, Build & finish 7 H. ON THE ROAD: Performance 8 H, Ride 8 M, Handling 7 H, Braking 7 H, Smoothness/quietness 8 M. visit www.roadahead.com.au/motoring MORE INFO WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 46 THE ROAD AHEAD DEC 2009/JAN 2010 LEVEL OF WEIGHTED IMPORTANCE FOR EACH SCORE: L=LOW,M=MEDIUM,H=HIGH,C=CRITICAL. THE SIXTH-GENERATION Golf launched earlier this year came with a host of mechanical changes. The most significant changes are under the bonnet, with new petrol engines that are smaller in capacity than the previous generation yet more powerful and providing better fuel consumption. The 118TSi uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine which puts out an impressive 118 kW of power, with the twin bonuses of turbocharging and a supercharger combining to deliver an extra 15 kW over the previous 2.0-litre engine. But to be a winner in a class that has nearly 50 contenders, you need more than a great engine and the Golf rates highly in the critically weighted areas of safety, as of safety ergonomics and environment. Strong levels of grip and sharp, responsive steering that convey all the right messages to the driver take this Golf up a level, and it's almost as much fun to drive as its sporty GTi cousin. Comfortline is also now better than its predecessor in ride quality. Hence, a perfect 10 for this, along with handling. With more than 26 million units built in various factories around the world to date, Golf surpasses the iconic Beetle by a long way and has forged a name that symbolises the best in a mid-sized package in its own right. PRICE: $32,990. SCORES TOTAL: 812. 2nd: Volkswagen Jetta TDI 761. 3rd: Mazda6 Classic 746. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 9 H, Depreciation 10 M, Running costs 8 M, Fuel consumption 4 H, Warranty 5 M, Standard features 6 H. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 10 C, Security 6 H, Environment 9 C, Comfort 8 H, Space 6 M, Practicality 6 M, Ergonomics 9 H, Build & finish 8 C. ON THE ROAD: Performance 9 H, Ride 10 M, Handling 10 C, Braking 9 C, Smoothness/quietness 9 H.
February March 2010