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GOOD NEWS FOR AUSTRALIA'S CAR MAKERS - MAJOR WINS IN AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS AWARDS

(Click here to view AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS 2012 Press Kit)

Two breakthrough locally made family cars have had big wins in the annual Australia's Best Cars awards announced today.

The first four-cylinder Ford Falcon has been named one of Australia's Best Cars, and hailed as the best Falcon yet.

It is the second year in succession that an economy-based Falcon has won.

The Ford Falcon G6 EcoBoost, powered by a turbocharged two-litre engine, is the 2012 winner of the Best Large Car Under $60,000 category.

In the opinion of the eleven judges, the 'Judges' Choice' was the Falcon EcoBoost.

The Falcon stood out amongst the 15 category winners, scoring highly in all major assessment criteria.

The Awards brought more positive news for the Australian industry.

Toyota's hybrid-powered Camry H won a major category award.

Australia's Best Cars is run by Australia's motoring clubs which represent more than seven million members.

It is the nation's most comprehensive and reliable vehicle testing and awards program.

Chief judge Mark Borlace said the EcoBoost Falcon outscored last year's winner, the Ford Falcon EcoLPi, in several key areas.

"Falcon's second win underscores the work Ford is doing to try to arrest the slide of large car sales by providing viable alternatives to the big six," Mr Borlace said.

"It is arguably the best mainstream Falcon yet."

Judges from Australia's motoring clubs found the four-cylinder Falcon matched the six-cylinder Falcon's acceleration while delivering better fuel economy and a smoother ride.

Toyota's Camry Hybrid H, another four cylinder car, has been named Best Car in the Best Medium Car Under $50,000 category.

The Camry is the first hybrid petrol-electric car to be made in Australia.

Judges found the new Camry Hybrid to be "the most rounded, best value vehicle of its type to hit the Australian market".

"Both Falcon and Camry provide big fuel economy wins for motorists," Mr Borlace said.

"The Camry returns 5.2 litres/100km in official figures and the EcoBoost Falcon delivers 8.1 litres/100km."

Australia's Best Cars assesses more than 300 cars in 15 categories, ranging from light passenger vehicles through sports cars and SUVs to people movers and all terrain 4WDs.

Other vehicles to star in this year's awards included:

Land Rover Discovery, which has won the All Terrain 4WD category eight times
Hyundai iMax, which has been awarded Best People Mover each year since it was launched in 2008
BMW M135i, bringing BMW's fifth straight victory in the Best Sports Car Under $80,000 category, and
Volkswagen Polo 66TDI which won the Best Light Car Over $20,000 title for the third consecutive year.

Eight car-makers shared this year's awards and five were multiple winners.

Seven out of the 15 categories were won by new vehicles to the Australian market - each one of them bringing considerable benefits for consumers.

The improved technology has not come at a cost for new car buyers.

Many winning vehicles received price reductions.

Importantly, there has been an increase in the number of models offering capped price servicing.

Mr Borlace said the 2012 winners were characterised by keener pricing, better all-of-life service costs as well as improved operating efficiency and economy.

The average fuel economy of the winners had increased better than four per cent compared with last year and carbon emissions were down 2.2 per cent, despite the inclusion of V8s and large SUVs.

"There is a definite trend towards meeting customer requirements for value, quality, reduced fuel consumption, and in important areas of social responsibility," Mr Borlace said.

Australia's Best Cars evaluates vehicles in up to 21 key areas and provides a numerical guide for potential car buyers.

An online tool called My Best Car allows car buyers to alter the weighting in each area to suit their own preferences and determine the best car for their own purposes.

For further information, contact:

James Goodwin, Director - Government Relations & Communications
Australian Automobile Association
Phone: +61 2 6261 4403 | Mobile: 0401 248 772
Email: james.goodwin@aaa.asn.au



 
IMAGES
Australia's Best Cars finalists 2012
Best Large Car under $60,000 Ford Falcon G6 EcoBoost
Best Medium Car under $50,000 Toyota Camry H
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Large Car under $60,000 - Wendy Machin President NRMA with Bob Graziano President and CEO Ford Australia's Ford Falcon G6 EcoBoost
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Large Car under $60,000 - Wendy Machin President NRMA with Bob Graziano President and CEO Ford Australia - Ford Falcon G6 EcoBoost
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Light Car under $20,000 -Ross Herron Australian Automobile Association President with Tony Barlow, COO KIA Motors Australia - KIA RIO Si
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Small Car under $35,000 - Ray Grigg President of RAA-SA with Edward Lee, CEO Hyundai Motor Company of Australia - Hyundai i30Active
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best People Mover - Esme Bowen Senior Vice President RAC-WA with Bill Thomas GM PR Hyundai Motor Company of Australia - Hyundai iMax diesel
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best SUV under $40,000 - Bob Bradley President Automobile Association of Northern Territory with Tony Barlow, COO KIA Motors Australia - Kia Sportage
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best SUV over $40,000 - Bob Bradley President Automobile Association of Northern Territory with Oliver Mann Director of Marketing Motor Company of Australia - Hyundai Santa Fe
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Medium Car under $50,000 - Geoff Leddy President RACQ with Matthew Callachor executive Director Sales and Marketing Toyota Australia - Toyota Camry Hybrid H
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Large Car over $60,000 - Hon. Duncan Gay, NSW Minister for Roads and Ports with Tony Cramb Chief Executive Lexus Australia - Lexus GS 350 F Sport
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Sports Car under and over $80,000 - Esme Bowen Senior Vice President RAC-WA with Tom Noble GM Marketing BMW Australia - BMW M135i & BMW M3 Coupe
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Sports Car over $80,000 - Esme Bowen Senior Vice President RAC-WA with Tom Noble GM Marketing BMW Australia - BMW M3 Coupe
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Medium Car over $60,000 - Geoff Leddy President RACQ with Tom Noble GM Marketing BMW Australia - BMW 320i
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Light Car over $20,000 - Ross Herron President Australian Automobile Association with Anke Koeckler, MD Volkswagen Group Australia - VW Polo 66 TDI Comfortline
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Small Car over $35,000 - Ray Grigg President of RAA-SA with Bob Graziano President and CEO Ford Australia - Ford Focus Titanium
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best Luxury SUV over $60,000 - Stuart Slade President RAC Tasmania with Anke Koeckler, MD Volkswagen Group Australia - VW Touareg
Australia's Best Cars 2012 - Best All Terrain 4WD - Stuart Slade President RAC Tasmania with Tim Krieger Marketing and Public Affairs Manager Land Rover Australia - Land Rover Discovery
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Australia's Best Cars 2012 VNR