SO, YOU’VE assessed the five People’s Choice groups for Car of the Year and chosen the best from each. Now it’s time to vote in the poll below for the overall winner.
Some of the group contests were close; in others a clear favourite emerged.
The Ford Everest won Group 1, with just 32 percent of the vote.
The Everest had help from the breadth of support for its rivals: their finishing order was Volvo XC90, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Audi Q7 and Hyundai Tucson, and each attracted support of 10 percent or more.
The Honda HR-V led at the line in Group 2 with 43 per cent – edging out the Mazda CX-3 on 37 percent.
No other small SUV in this group – BMW X1, Suzuki Vitara and Jeep Renegade – impressed more than 12 per cent of you.
It was the Mazda MX-5 and then lots of daylight in Group 3.
The Mazda roadster attracted 54 percent of votes. Behind it the electric BMW i8 and powerhouse Mercedes-AMG GT S were neck and neck with 18 percent each, while the Audi TT and Lexus RC trailed.
The Ford Mondeo became the second Ford in the final with a narrow victory in Group 4, defeating the Kia Optima 43 percent to 39.
That didn’t leave much love for the Skoda Fabia or Suzuki Celerio.
And the Jaguar XE won Group 5 comfortably with 50 percent, more than doubling the support for its nearest rival, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.
The Volkswagen Passat finished third in this group, from the BMW 7 Series and 2 Series.
That’s the line-up, then, for the final poll. Cast your vote for the overall winner!
Remember, this is not a beauty contest. Wheels judges the contestants under five strict criteria, refined over half a century:
Function – how well a car does what it is intended to do.
Efficiency – in all aspects. Use of resources in producing the car and in running it.
Value – both against its rivals and against the wider new car market.
Technology – does it offer a tangible advantage over its rivals?
Safety – We’re talking passive and active.
If you need more help, scroll below the poll and you will find the full citation on each group winner from our introduction to the 25 contenders.
Thank you for voting, the poll has now closed. Stay tuned as we announce the winner.
NO AUSTRALIAN-MADE vehicle will greet the judges at COTY. The Australian-developed, Thailand-built Ford Everest is the closest this year’s field comes, and gives us a good insight to Australia's future as a local engineering and design hub. Separate chassis vehicles seldom do well at COTY, partly because their immense off-road skills come at a cost to on-road competence and dynamics – two attributes Wheels prizes highly. But the Everest's unquestionable competence as a rugged seven-seat people-mover adds a very COTY-friendly string to its big bow.
HONDA has a hit on its hands with the HR-V. The pretty, compact SUV combines astounding rear-seat versatility with the Civic’s punchy atmo 1.8, at a price that makes many rivals seem greedy. Can this likeable city-slicking front-drive crossover make it seven wins for the re-energised Japanese brand?
ALREADY a two-time COTY winner – 1989’s original NA and 2005’s NC – the MX-5 is a chance to make it an award treble. Simply put, it is the answer to all our wishes and desires, and then some. Not only is the entry price now almost $15K cheaper, the front-engine, rear-drive, two-seat roadster is lighter, sharper, roomier and even more fun to drive than ever.
THE EVEREST isn’t Ford’s only play for COTY glory this year. The Mondeo mid-sizer will soon step into the legendary Falcon’s shoes, facing a daunting challenge in winning over Ford diehards, but even a brief stint behind the wheel should convince most that the European-developed Mondeo is a worthy replacement.
AFTER THE largely forgotten X-Type of 15 years ago, Jaguar’s return to C-Class territory could have been another embarrassment. But the hunky XE grows real claws at last, smashing preconceptions about the British brand more effectively than any model since the 1968 XJ, and redefining luxury compact sports-sedan parameters with breathtaking confidence. If you love driving, this Leaping Cat will not only make you take the long way home, it will become your home.