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Mazda6 and Ford Ranger stand out in Australia’s Best Cars

Tuesday, 21st Feb 2017

Judges have crowed the Mazda6 Touring as the pick of the bunch for 2016, while the Ford Ranger redefines the workhorse image of Dual Cab Utes, as announced today through the Australia’s Best Cars awards.

ABC Chief Judge, and RAA Senior Manager Mobility & Automotive Policy, Mark Borlace said the Mazda6 Touring won the ‘Best Medium Car under $50,000’ category as well as the ‘Judges’ Choice’ award.

“Once upon a time Australians needed a big car for a big country, but these days the line between medium and large cars is blurred and the choice is often not what size you want but more about the balance between power and economy,” said Mr Borlace.

“That’s one reason why the Judges’ Choice, the Mazda6 Touring, came from this category.

“Then of course there’s the new breed of family wagons, like this year’s Best Family Wagon the Kia Carnival SLi, that provide large car features in contemporary packaging.

“Kia’s 2.2 litre turbo-diesel engine isn’t the fastest in the class but its broad spread of strong mid-range torque, together with smooth-changing six-speed gearbox, delivers good performance for everyday driving, while still returning respectable fuel consumption.”

RAA, in conjunction with the other motoring clubs, run Australia's Best Cars annually and it is the largest independent new car assessment and awards program in Australia.

More than 150 vehicles are put through their paces each year against criteria such as value for money, design, functionality and on road performance.

“The surprise category this year was by far the 4x4 Dual Cab Utes, which became the biggest seller in the Australian market in 2016,” said Mr Borlace.

“And we think it’s for good reason. Think of them as sophisticated SUVs with a tray back – so for many people the ute is the perfect combination of work, play and family transportation.

“After so many years as workhorses, they now redefine how we think about our motoring needs.

“The category winner was the Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 which excelled in all the things that these utes are bought for, such as being great towing as well as having a practical design.”

All 15 winning vehicles performed the best in their respective categories against lots of competition.

“These awards aim to influence the new car market by challenging brands to continually lift their game in terms of safety, performance and affordability standards,” said Mr Boralce.

More information can be found at

Australia’s Best Cars 2016 



Best Micro Car

Kia Picanto Si

Best Light Car

Suzuki Baleno GL

Best Small Car under $35,000

Kia Cerato S

Best Small Car over $35,000

BMW 1 Series 125i Sport Line

Best Medium Car under $50,000

Mazda6 Touring

Best Medium Car over $50,000

BMW 3 330i Luxury Line

Best Large Car under $70,000

Hyundai Genesis

Best Family Wagon

Kia Carnival SLi

Best Sports Car under $50,000

Ford Focus ST

Best Sports Car $50,000 - $100,000

BMW 2 M240i

Best Small 2WD SUV under $35,000

Mazda CX-3 Maxx

Best AWD SUV under $50,000

Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium

Best AWD SUV $50,000 - $65,000

Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 150 SE 5 seat

Best AWD SUV $65,000 - $125,000

Mercedes-Benz GLC 250d

Best 4x4 Dual Cab Ute

Ford Ranger XLT 3.2

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