(Click here to view AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS 2011 Press Kit)
New levels of standard equipment and technological innovation set by this year's Australia's Best Cars winners are a boon for new car buyers, according to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).
This year's winners are equipped with class-leading consumer technologies, safety equipment and fuel-efficient drivelines - setting a standard for all vehicles in the Australian new-car market, AAA executive director Andrew McKellar said.
"Consumers are the real winners when it comes to the value presented by this year's category winners," Mr McKellar said.
"Australian motorists are increasingly tech-savvy, and they expect new cars to offer the latest in consumer technology to complement their busy social and work lives.
"At the same time, a rise in the cost of living has seen consumers trend toward cars that use less fuel compared with equivalent older models.
"Developing safe, efficient and well-equipped new models is a major cost for any automotive manufacturer - one that has been shouldered by the consumer in years past.
"The manufacturers of this year's winners have delivered models that are particularly well equipped, offer outstanding occupant safety and are efficient to run - while remaining affordable."
The average fuel consumption of this year's winners (across all categories) has dropped to 7.37 litres per 100 kilometres (down from 7.4 litres), with small vehicles posting the most significant gains.
As an example, the winner of the Best Light Car Under $20,000 award, the Kia Rio, uses just 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres compared to last year's winner, the Hyundai i20, at 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres.
These savings are delivered with a substantial improvement in performance, with the Rio producing 30kW more power than the previous winner.
Mr McKellar said the efforts of manufacturers in bringing better value-for-money vehicles to the Australian marketplace was commendable.
"Active and passive safety features - like side curtain airbags and electronic stability control (ESC) - were once exclusive to the most expensive luxury models, but are now fitted to even the most basic models.
"With fuel prices trending upward and an intensely competitive new car market, the coming years will see manufacturers working hard to deliver new models that push the boundaries of safety, performance and efficiency even further," he said.
Director - Government Relations & Communications
Australian Automobile Association
Phone: +61 2 6261 4403
Mobile: 0401 248 772