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Old 12-16-2007, 03:53 AM
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Its that time of year: annual Car of the Year Awards in Australia and NZ

End of another year, and another round of Car of the Year awards have been announced.

The main award, Wheels' magazine Car of the Year will be announced on January 22, 2008. However, many other awards have already been announced.

The first award was the Carsguide Car of the Year: Hyundai i30 wins Car of the Year | motoring news | carsguide.com.au.
This was surprisingly won by the Hyundai i30 CRDi. The VW Golf GT TSi was 2nd, the Mazda2 was 3rd, the Mitsubishi Lancer VR was 4th, the Mercedes C280 Avantegarde was 5th, the Holden VE Ute SV6 was 6th, Ford Mondeo Zetec was 7th, Subaru Impreza RS was 8th, BMW X5 3.0d was 9th, and BMW 335i sedan was 10th.

The next award announced was the Drive Car of the Year: Car of the Year 2007 - Drive.com.au.
The was won by the BMW M3, with the Ford Mondeo in 2nd, Lexus LS460 in 3rd, Mazda2 in 4th.

Then came the Best Cars Award, as judged by the Automobile Clubs of Australia (ie: NRMA, RACV, etc): 2007 Australia's Best Cars - NRMA Motoring & Services.
They don't chose a single car as their Car of the Year, but rather nominate the best car on the market in each class - in their view of course. Winners included: VW Polo TDI (Best Small Car); Honda Civic VTi (Best mid-size car under $28,000); Ford Mondeo TDCi (best mid-size car over $28,000); Toyota Aurion (Best Large Car); Honda Odyssey (Best People Mover); VW Golf R32 (Best sports car); BMW M3 (Best Luxury Car); Lexus IS250 (Best Prestige Car); Lexus LS450h (Best Luxury Car); Nissan X-Trail (best recreational 4WD); BMW X5 Diesel (Best Luxury 4WD); Land Rover Discovery 3 SE TDV6 (best All -Terrain 4WD).

Then we had Motor Magazine's Performance Car of the Year. They don't have a website, and since I'm in NZ I haven't been able to buy the January issue with the results just yet (its not out here yet). However, thanks to fordaustraliaforums, the result was: Porsche 911 GT3 1st; Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera 2nd; Audi R8 3rd; Porsche Boxster 4th and BMW M3 5th.

There have also been several awards announced in New Zealand.
The Mecedes C-Class won the National Business Review Car of the Year (note: the National Business Review is the leading finance newspaper in NZ). The Ford Mondeo was nominated as the New Zealand Herald Car of the Year (the NZ Herald is the best selling daily newspaper in NZ): Ford lives up to the buzz - 15 Dec 2007 - Motoring News - New Zealand Herald.

One of the leading monthly car magazines - NZ Autocar - has also announced its Car of the Year: Small makes it big in Car of The Year - New Zealand's source for motoring news on Stuff.co.nz.
The was won by the Mazda2, with the Holden VE Ute 2nd, Subaru Impreza 3rd, Ford Mondeo 4th, Mecedes C-Class 5th, BMW X5 6th, Lexus LS460 7th, Toyota Highlander (Kluger in Australia) 8th.

There will be more awards to be announced in New Zealand. The NZ Motoring Writers Guild will anounce its award, and Driver Magazine will also have an award.

The one thing that stands out from above is that the awards are all over the place. No two awards seem to be able to agree on the best cars released in 2007. The Mazda2 seems to be the car that does most consistently well - though it missed out on winning its class in the Best Cars Award.
The Mercedes C-Class seems to keep finishing about 5th. And the Ford Mondeo seems to be one of those cars that is either liked (finishing 2nd in the Drive award and winning the NZ Herald award) or disliked (finishing well down in the Carsguide award).

Part of the problem of course is defining exactly what a "Car of the Year" should be. Should it be the "best" car on the market regardless of price? In which case the Lexus LS460 and BMW M3 come to the fore. Should it be the most innovative car released in the year? The best value? The best selling? And should the award be limited to only cars released during a calender year, or be open to any car on the market?

Its worth noting that the Drive Car of the Year - the BMW M3 - was a very popular choice on the Drive blogs. The Drive judges clearly went with a car than can in many ways be regarded as "the best" car on the market - combining as it does huge performance with practicality and luxury.

Its also worth noting that both Carsguide and Drive had a "readers choice" Car of the Year. The Commodore VE Ute won that award on Carsguide and the Drive award went to the Holden Commodore VE Berlina.
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Part of the problem of course is defining exactly what a "Car of the Year" should be. Should it be the "best" car on the market regardless of price? In which case the Lexus LS460 and BMW M3 come to the fore. Should it be the most innovative car released in the year? The best value? The best selling? And should the award be limited to only cars released during a calender year, or be open to any car on the market?
Furthermore, should these awards be given to specific models, or a complete range? Even Wheels Magazine, who famously award a range (unless its a Leyland) always seperate cars like a Golf GTI, WRX STi, EVO, M3 etc from the rest of the range.
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:25 AM
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However, the main Australian Car of the Year Award is the Wheels Magazine award.
To be eligible for Wheels Car of the Year, a car must meet certain criteria. These are listed on this page: Wheels - COTY opts for ESP.
The reason that there are no supercars in the Wheels award is due to the sales criteria. Hence no Audi R8 or Porsche 911 GT3. However, they are eligible for Motor Performance Car of the Year Award (Motor is Wheel's sister magazine).

Wheels has narrowed down its list of candidates for this year's award, with some rather surprising rejects.


And rejected were (see: Wheels - COTY 2007 - NOT NOMINATED for full details)
BMW 3-series CC
Chrysler Sebring
Citroen C4 Picasso
Dodge Avenger
Dodge Nitro
Ford Focus CC
Holden Epica
Hummer H3
Jeep Compass
Jeep Patriot
Mini Cooper
Peugeot 207
Peugeot 207CC
Proton Satria
Skoda Octavia
Ssangyong Actyon
Suzuki SX4
Volvo C30.

Some surprising omissions there. The Skoda Octavia in particular should be in the main COTY testing. Also surprising that the Peugeot 207, Holden Epica and Volvo C30 missed out. The failure of the Epica to make it to the final round means there are no Holdens in this years Wheels COTY (note: utes are not eligible for the Wheels COTY since they are commercial vehicles, hence no VE ute).

The full list of cars to reach the final nomination stage are (see Wheels - COTY 2007 - NOMINATED for full details):
Audi A5/S5
BMW M3
BMW X5
Ford Mondeo
Honda Civic Type R
Honda CRV
Hyundai i30
Land Rover Freelander 2
Lexus LS
Mazda2
Mercedes Benz C-Class
Mitsubishi Lancer
Nissan X-Trail
Nissan Dualis
Skoda Roomster
Subaru Impreza
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Kluger
Toyoa Landcruiser 200 Series
Volkswagen Eos.

The field isn't as high quality as previous years. Its hard to nominate a winner from that lot.
Mazda2 seems most likely. Other strong contenders seem to be the Mercedes C-Class, Mitsubishi Lancer, Lexus LS, BMW M3, Ford Mondeo and Subaru Impreza. Though the Land Rover Freelander and VW Eos may just surprise.
Wheels does place a premium on dynamics and safety, with value for money also important. That would suggest that the Mazda2, Mondeo and Impreza will fight it out as all three score well on the dynamics/safety/value for money fronts. However, the Mondeo suffers problems with having too much weight for the engine. Its fine with the turbo-diesel, but is by all accounts less impressive with 2.3 litre engine. The Mazda2 may struggle slightly on refinement. The Impreza seems to be more mature than the previous model and by all accounts the whole range drive well - not just the WRX. On the downside, it is certainly more polarizing in its looks and some reports suggest that the RS model is not necessarily better than the Mazda3 in the compact class.
Also, I won't be at all surprised to see the Lexus LS, BMW M3 or Mercedes C-Class take the award - provided they are viewed as value for money and in the case of the M3 not too narrowly focussed.

For me though, logic suggests that the Mazda2 will win, with the Mondeo keeping it honest depending on how detrimental the judges determine its relative lack of performance to be. The Subaru Impreza will keep these two honest. I think that the others to make the final ten will be the Lexus LS, BMW M3, Mercedes C-Class, Mitsbuishi Lancer, Toyota Kluger, VW Eos and Land Rover Freelander.
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Last edited by motorsportnerd; 12-16-2007 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpv_gtho View Post
Furthermore, should these awards be given to specific models, or a complete range? Even Wheels Magazine, who famously award a range (unless its a Leyland) always seperate cars like a Golf GTI, WRX STi, EVO, M3 etc from the rest of the range.
Yes, I note that this year Wheels has nominated the Civic Type R. Interesting nomination. It is a 3-door whereas more nomal Civics are four door, but I wouldn't have thought it much more than a very hot range topping Civic.
In the case of the Golf GTi a few years ago, Wheels refused to nominate it saying it wasn't different enough to the standard Golf to justify inclusion.

They have nominated the M3 this year - and it is a strong contender. They say that it is 80% different from normal 3-series. I guess next year they will nominate the Evo X for the award as well on the same basis.
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Old 12-16-2007, 05:01 AM
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In the Civic's defense, IIRC we recieve the US model Civic sedan, whilst the Type R is the UK/European model.

Going back a few years, the XR6T gave alot to the BA Falcon winning in 2002. Without it, its hard to say the Falcon still would have won. The XR6T alone as well, its unlikely to have won. Last year, there were arguments that the VE Commodore didnt deserve it based on how poorly specced the base model was, although the top spec SS-V and Calais-V were very good value. Same argument as the BA could be made for the VE.
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Old 12-16-2007, 05:30 AM
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Base models are poorly specced that is why they are a base model......
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:41 AM
fpv_gtho fpv_gtho is offline
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Thats no excuse though. The VE Omega still doesnt have equipment like more than 2 airbags and stability control standard, which the base model Aurion does have, as well as a 6 speed auto.
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:55 PM
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IMO the M3 should not be car of the year. Performance car of the year yeah sure but as a car of the year its neather cheap nor practical. Drive is quite reckless telling people that they should go out and buy a $150,000 coupe for running there family around or going to work.

Out of all the publications wheels and motor seem to get what COTY and PCOTY are about. The others seem to have strange reasoning for picking one car over the other, especailly drive.

Some examples for this was giving offroad car of the year to the 200 series Land cruser over the Land Rover LR2 because the Land Rover brand isn't known for build quality. It had nothing to do with with the actually build quailty of the car which was fine.

Also they seem to include alot of facelifted cars ie mazda3 and even cars from last year ie aurion and even cars that haven't been released that recently ie Falcon, oddessy and 380.

Drive can't seem to decided whether they want to do the best car you can buy out of all of them or a actual COTY which they seem to have butched.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:36 PM
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New Corolla and new lancer??.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:12 PM
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New Corolla and new lancer??.
New corrolla as coty the year is laughable since it doesn't match current crop of small to medium cars that have been out for the last 2yrs.

The lancer hasn't exactly been getting rave reviews.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:39 PM
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Tell me if I'm nuts here on 2 things,

When i see the new corrola i see some old in it, I think my eyes are playing tricks it's slightly like the Aurion/Camry feeling i had looking at it.

And when i see the new Lancer i see again old, When i look front and rear nothing but as soon as i look at the door skins pillars i feel oldness.

Sometimes it's like when you see the BA you know the AU is right there that kind of look?.

So in that if that's maybe slightly true are they new?.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlickHolden View Post
Tell me if I'm nuts here on 2 things,

When i see the new corrola i see some old in it, I think my eyes are playing tricks it's slightly like the Aurion/Camry feeling i had looking at it.

And when i see the new Lancer i see again old, When i look front and rear nothing but as soon as i look at the door skins pillars i feel oldness.

Sometimes it's like when you see the BA you know the AU is right there that kind of look?.

So in that if that's maybe slightly true are they new?.
your defently not nuts. The rolla hatch looks very similar to the previous one and the sedan looks dated not fresh or modern (doesn't seem to stop people buying them).

The lancer looks a fresher version of the older one and draws on design que's from the 90's models. IMO cars should have some linerage from one model to the next to give them identy, otherwise what would be the difference between one model line and another if designers just went with was in at the time.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:01 PM
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your defently not nuts. The rolla hatch looks very similar to the previous one and the sedan looks dated not fresh or modern (doesn't seem to stop people buying them).

The lancer looks a fresher version of the older one and draws on design que's from the 90's models. IMO cars should have some linerage from one model to the next to give them identy, otherwise what would be the difference between one model line and another if designers just went with was in at the time.
Glad i'm not nuts this time..

I don't like the Rolla much but i do like the new Lancer, Actually i see some Orion in the front of it from the pics, the more i look the more i think dam that looks like a Orion from the rubbish pics we seen.
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:13 AM
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Great discussion is going on. I agree with SlickHolden.!
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