The Road Ahead : December 2011
WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 50 THE ROAD AHEAD DEC 2011/JAN 2012 M OTORING AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS suv under $40,000 volkswagen tiguan 103 tdi LAST YEAR'S WINNER, the Volkswagen Tiguan, has just received a mid-life refresh and price reduction, which builds on an already solid foundation and further strengthens its hold on the Australia's Best Cars crown. Despite still being one of the more expensive vehicles in what is the largest and most hotly contested best cars category, the 103 TDI Tiguan's quality engineering, comfort and all-round ability, both on and off the bitumen, far outweigh the premium purchase price. The 103 TDI is the well-proven, 2.0-litre, turbo-diesel engine that can be found in a variety of strong-performing vehicles across the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda family. Teamed with a seven-speed DSG transmission, which combines the convenience of a conventional automatic with the efficiency of a manual transmission, the 103 TDI delivers a pleasing blend of performance and fuel economy. Fuel consumption, according to the official ADR test cycle, is a low 6.2 litres/100 km. Tiguan is also one of the better cars in the class for smoothness and quietness. Credit for this can be attributed mostly to the refined suspension that delivers a well insulated, comfortable ride, together with class leading handling. MLP: $34,490. suv over $40,000 kia sorento sli ALTHOUGH NOT TOPPING the tables in any of the three scoring categories, this didn't prove an obstacle for Kia Sorento to accumulate enough points to be a clear winner for the second year in a row, adding further kudos to one of the most improved automotive manufacturing brands globally. Modern, powerful and economical drivetrains, high levels of occupant safety, attractive value for money equation, almost best in class warranty and, more recently, ride and handling capability to meet the demands of our unique Australian roads are among its attributes. Sorento takes a bit of a hit in depreciation compared to similar priced vehicles from other makes, but the judges rated build and finish quality well above average so resale might be expected to improve in coming years. There is seating for seven, although the third row is more suited to children. Adults up front are catered for in comfortable and supportive seats with the driver getting eight-way adjustment including lumbar support. Second row passengers have the option of reclining their backrest for increased comfort and there is more than adequate leg room. Sorento matches other finalists for space. MLP: $46,190. SCORES TOTAL: 944. 2nd: Kia Sportage AWD SLi, 926. 3rd: Mitsubishi ASX 4WD, 892. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 1C, Depreciation 3M, Running costs 8H, Fuel consumption 9C, Warranty 5M, Insurance 3L, Standard features 7M. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 10C, Environment 7C, Comfort 9H, Space 6M, Practicality 7H, Ergonomics 9H, Build & finish 9H. ON THE ROAD: Performance 8M, Ride 9M, Handling 9H, Braking 8H, Smoothness & quietness 8L, Off Road Ability 7M. SCORES TOTAL: 1012. 2nd: Hyundai Santa Fe Elite, 1000. 3rd: Subaru Outback 2.5i, 982. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 8H, Depreciation 6M, Running costs 10H, Fuel consumption 7C, Warranty 8M, Insurance 6L, Standard features 5H. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 9C, Environment 6C, Comfort 9H, Space 8M, Practicality 8H, Ergonomics 8H, Build & finish 8H. ON THE ROAD: Performance 8M, Ride 8M, Handling 7H, Braking 7H, Smoothness & quietness 8M, Off Road Ability 9M. LEVEL OF WEIGHTED IMPORTANCE FOR EACH SCORE: L=LOW,M=MEDIUM,H=HIGH,C=CRITICAL.
February March 2012