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