Get that band playin'
Best 'Aussie' car announced
By Tim Dornin
November 06, 2002
THE tide may be starting to turn. After dominating sales and awards in recent years, the all conquering Holden Commodore has finally been beaten, with the new Ford Falcon taking out the best family car section of Australia's Best Cars awards.
Presented by Australia's combined motoring clubs, the awards are among Australia's most prestigious.
And the family car category is probably the most important, considered by the clubs to be the make-or-break section of the new car market.
Best cars chief judge Ernest Litera said the new BA Falcon was a great car in a category with very little between the final contenders which included the Commodore and the new Toyota Camry.
"Falcon's win was marked by improvements in a number of areas where Commodore has traditionally been a clear leader," the judges said.
"Inside, Ford has tidied up the car, delivering a functional, smart and comfortable cabin with supportive seats, well positioned controls and good driving position adjustability."
The judges also praised Falcon's new engines, steering and suspension.
But they said the Commodore was not soundly beaten even though it now trailed the Falcon in innovation, ergonomics, performance, smoothness and quietness.
Mr Litera said Falcon's win today would be a major boost to Ford in the local market.
"Ford needed to claw back the ground it has lost against Holden and a win in Australia's Best Cars will give them a major marketing edge," he said.
In other categories the Renault Clio was named the best small car, the Holden Astra and the Mazda6 won in the two sections for mid-sized models, the Toyota Avensis Verso won for best people mover and the Falcon XR6 was named the best sports car under $57,000.
The Mercedes Benz E320 was named the best luxury car where price was not a consideration and the Renault Laguna was considered the best luxury car under $57,000.
The Subaru Forester, BMW X5 and the Toyota Landcruiser turbo diesel won the three categories for four-wheel-drive models.