The Road Ahead : December 2012
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 52 THE ROAD AHEAD DEC 2012/JAN 2013 MOTORING AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS THERE IS NO shortage of individual car of the year awards, with just about every prominent Australian media organisation offering its own take on the subject. However, most of these awards focus solely on new models that arrived on the Australian market during the year, which, for the main part, is like comparing apples with oranges. How do these newcomers compare with existing models, you might well ask? So while the idea of a 'hero' car -- one winner -- sounds good, its value as a consumer guide to most people in the market for a new vehicle is limited. Enter Australia's Best Cars (ABC), the long- running national annual car awards program that is much more than a 'beauty contest'. ABC is the most transparent awards program of its kind, being the only one that lists all scores for all judging criteria (between 19 and 21, depending on category) for every vehicle. Vehicles are scored throughout the year in three key areas: Value for Money, Design and Function and On the Road. Within each of these areas, there are up to eight criteria. Each is given a score of between one and 10, and are then weighted critical, high, medium or low, according to their importance to buyers in the relevant market segment. Each October, the top three vehicles in each category are assembled at the purpose-built Australian Automotive Research Centre at Anglesea in Victoria for a week of final testing and evaluation by a panel of 12 judges representing all state auto clubs, including Barry Green and John and Trich Ewing from the RACQ. After driving each vehicle and crunching the numbers one more time, only then are the 15 winners and 30 placegetters determined. Just who won, and why, this year are detailed on the following pages. GET IT IN WRITING The 2013 Australia's Best Cars magazine is a handy, on-call, reference to new vehicle buying. The magazine is available from RACQ branch offices and agents, as well as the online shop at racq.com, at the special member price of $7.95 (plus postage and handling if applicable). It is also on sale at newsagencies at the recommended retail price of $9.95. our comprehensive guide to best car buys STORY BARRY GREEN WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU? Australia's Best Cars (ABC) gives you the opportunity to decide the best car by selecting which criteria are important to you. Simply visit the website australias bestcars.com. au and click on 'My Best Car' and follow the steps from there. 'My Best Car' will calculate and identify the three cars, in order, that best suit your requirements. It's as easy as A,B,C.