The Road Ahead : December 2010
MAKES YOUR DAY 43 DEC 2010/JAN 2011 THE ROAD AHEAD AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS MOTORING assessments of acceleration and braking, safety ratings, interior noise levels, pricing, depreciation costs, running and repair costs, fuel consumption and standard features. So, if you want comprehensive information on the nation's best cars, it's as easy as ABC. Think the judges have got it wrong? No worries, just go to the ABC website and click onto the My Best Car tool. Simply select the category that best describes the type of vehicle you wish to buy (e.g., Small Car), then adjust the weighting of each criteria, based upon what's important to you. My Best Car will calculate and identify the three cars that issues such as servicing, insurance and warranty, not just the car's on-road ability. Each vehicle is assessed, given a 'raw' score from one to 10 for each criteria, and then weightings (Low, 0.2; Medium, 0.4; High, 0.8; Critical, 1.0) are applied to yield the final score. These weightings can vary from category to category, based on research and feedback from car-buyers emphasising the things they say are important for each class of vehicle. For example, pricing is weighted as Critical in People Movers but only Medium in Luxury SUVs. Anything that can be measured, is. This includes interior space, computer score highest according to your personal requirements. www.australiasbestcars.com.au ANOTHER GOOD READ The 2011 Australia's Best Cars magazine is the definitive read for anyone in the market for a new car. Profiling more than 300 vehicles, the magazine is available from RACQ branch offices and agents or online at www.racq.com, at the special member price of $7.95 (plus postage and handling if applicable). light over $20,000 volkswagen polo 66 tdi comfortline THIS IS A new category, introduced to look at the premium end of light car market, where buyers are prepared to pay more for what they want but expectations are also higher. Polo 66TDI Comfortline is a tiny car that's big on ability, quality, safety and features. This smart looking five-door hatchback brings a touch of German luxury design and attention to detail to the light car sector. It also tends to be more involving and enjoyable to drive. Supporting the solid construction, six airbags and electronic stability control deliver a reassuring five-star safety rating. For a diesel, the 66 kW engine is smooth and quiet, with a strong 230 Nm of torque developed between 1700 and 2500 rpm providing class-leading driveability. Unlike many diesel models which are manual only, Polo offers the choice of a five-speed manual or seven- speed auto DSG transmission. Polo's combination of a comfortable ride, securely-planted road feel and precise steering is a real standout. In the context of this class, leg room is reasonable and the headroom is good. A close check of ongoing ownership expenses, such as servicing, repairs and insurance, shows the Polo 66 TDI's costs over five years to be the lowest in class. MLP: $22,350. SCORES TOTAL: 825. 2nd: Peugeot 207 XT, 733. 3rd: Ford Fiesta ECOnetic, 728. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 10 H, Depreciation 9 M, Running costs 9 M, Fuel consumption 10 C, Warranty 5 H, Insurance 8 L, Standard features 7 H. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 10 C, Environment 8 C, Comfort 8 M, Space 7 L, Practicality 8 M, Ergonomics 8 M, Build & finish 9 H. ON THE ROAD: Performance 8 H, Ride 8 H, Handling 8 H, Braking 7 H, Smoothness/quietness 8 L. visit www.australiasbestcars.com.au MORE INFO LEVEL OF WEIGHTED IMPORTANCE FOR EACH SCORE: L=LOW,M=MEDIUM,H=HIGH,C=CRITICAL.