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The 2012 Car Showroom Favourites

by Brad Leach - 02/01/13

We don’t do ‘Car Of The Anything’ here at Car Showroom. Too subjective, too many good cars…and limiting the choice to vehicles launched this calendar year often does a does a dis-service to some excellent contenders.

Instead, as you may have noticed reading our reviews, we have a field of ‘Car Showroom Favourites’. These are our top contenders in each category and – in a market as crowded as the Australian new car market – we don’t have a fixed number in each segment.

Here are the Car Showroom Favourites as at 31 December 2012:

Compacts Cars


Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Up. If money was no object: BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

 

Small Cars


Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and i30, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Golf. If money was no object: Lexus CT200h

Hot Hatches


Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV and Mito QV, Ford Focus ST, Renault Megane RS265, Volkswagen Scirocco. If money was no object: Subaru WRX STi spec R

 

Mid-Sizers


Ford Mondeo, Hyundai i40, Kia Optima, Mazda6. If we won lotto: BMW 5 Series, Infiniti M Jaguar XF, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class; Volvo S60

 

Full-Size Sedans


Chrysler 300; Ford Falcon EcoBoost

Prestige Sedans


BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ, Mercedes-Benz S Class

Compact SUVs


Ford Kuga, Honda CR-V, Nissan Dualis. If money was no object – Audi Q3, BMW X1

Mid-Size SUVs


Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5. If we won lotto: BMW X3, Lexus RX, Range Rover Evoque

Full-Size SUVs


Ford Territory, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Kluger and Prado. If money was no object: BMW X5, Infiniti FX, Mercedes-Benz ML-Class, Range Rover.

Utes


Ford Ranger, Mazda BT50, Nissan Navara, Toyota Hi-Lux, Volkswagen Amarok

Drives Of The Year


New model launches came thick and fast in 2012 and, as usual we got to see some of Australia’s most memorable roads and test tracks. In alphabetical order out top four were:


Infiniti: Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (and Gold Coast) provide the best drivers’ roads within a short distance of the airport. Launching its entire model range, Infiniti presented us with several lops through the Glasshouse Mountains – brilliant drive, brilliant views, brilliant weather.

 
Isuzu D-MAX: Palm Cove, just north of Cairns in the middle of winter is just about as good as it gets (particularly when Melbourne is enduring a particularly cold and wet season!). Isuzu delivered with a superb combination of roads and off-road tracks in the hinterland…after-all, a long way from anywhere in FNQ ‘Cattle Country’ is the ‘fair-dinkum’ Australia where utes are king. We should be proud to show this part of Australia to tourists – not just the Sydney Opera House and Great Barrier Reef.

Mazda MX-5: We saw a bit of Kingscliff and the Gold Coast this year but the sporty Mazda MX-5 was just made for the great roads in the hinterland. A spot of rain closed the roof but didn’t decrease the fun factor.

 
Toyota 86: a brand new rear-drive sports car, the driver training facility in Canberra and multiple Australian Rally Champion Neale Bates…well that’s a combination that’s sure to impress.

 

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