Car of the Year

Wheels Car of the Year is Australia’s most coveted motoring award. It was inaugurated in 1963. None of the world’s motoring prizes for excellence has had a longer continuous run.

Conceived to encourage Australian makers to build better cars, Car of the Year was expanded in 1976 to include fully imported vehicles.

Notionally, Wheels Car of the Year anoints only one winner. There is no second place, no consolation prize, and no ensemble of category-specific trophies.

However, there have been four years in which joint winners were announced, and three in which the award was withheld - on the grounds that no car deserved it.

Shortlisted cars and the winner are announced each year in January. Cars eligible are new or significantly revised models introduced over the previous year.

Showing 1-15 of 127 results

Honda NSX: 2017 Car of the Year contender

Rising sun’s reborn supercar plots assault with battery, but doesn’t electrify all judges

Honda Civic: 2017 Car of the Year contender

New Honda Civic chapter is no feel-good hit.

Holden Spark: 2017 Car of the Year contender

Plenty of entertainment from the cheap seats, as long as you don’t pay too much.

Ford Mustang: 2017 Car of the Year contender

Cool ride; doesn’t get to saddle up for round two

Citroen C4 Cactus: 2017 Car of the Year contender

Dud diesel and semi-auto combo prickled the judges

BMW M2: 2017 Car of the Year contender

Proof that sometimes less really is more

Audi R8: 2017 Car of the Year contender

Sizzling performance meets fizzling value equation

Abarth 124 Spider: 2017 Car of the Year contender

Not all of the Mazda MX-5’s greatness makes the transfer to the Abarth 124 Spider.

2017 Wheels Car of the Year: Readers’ choice

The votes have been tallied, and this is the car you voted as the Car of the Year

2017 Car of the Year: Australian Motoring Awards Night

Take your seat at the table at the Australian Motoring Awards as Wheels crowns its 2017 Car of the Year.

2017 Car of the Year: Behind the scenes

Ever wondered how Wheels picks one Car of the Year from so many contenders? Join us for the first 72 hours of ruthless testing.

Mazda CX-9 is the 2017 Wheels Car of the Year

Japan, the SUV and Mazda triumph against a stellar COTY 2017 cast.

Subaru Impreza: 2017 Car of the Year Finalist

The new Impreza is a massive leap forward, and a welcome return to form that made its mark on the COTY top six.

Audi A4: 2017 Car of the Year Finalist

It’s clear this A4 generation is the best Audi ever sold in Australia, but can it top the final six?

Mazda CX-9: 2017 Car of the Year Finalist

Mazda’s stylish seven-seater manages to meld together the core COTY disciplines and commands attention in the final six.