Wheels Gold Star Value Awards

WHEN you’re in the market for a slick new motor, the process of comparing, tyre-kicking and dreaming is seemingly filled with infinite possibility. But actually laying your cash down at the dealership can snap you from a daydream into a grim reality of lacklustre resale values, wildly expensive insurance premiums, spiralling repayments and untold thirst for premium fuel.

What if someone could expose the hidden costs, crunch the numbers, present the data, and draw conclusions about how to best spend your hard-earned on a brand new car? Enter Wheels’ annual Gold Star Value Awards.

We take the cream of the crop in a number of vehicle classes – just about all of them, in fact – and break each car down into key cost components such as annual fuel cost, insurance premiums and depreciation, then feed the data into a clever set of formulae.

More than 200 cars are tipped into the hopper, but just one winner in each of 21 classes earns the coveted Wheels Gold Star Award for value.

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Convertibles under $60K: Australia's Best Value Cars 2017

Fiat’s $22K 500 Pop Cabrio easily snares the title of best-value convertible, but there are a few other value-rich options for sunseekers

Performance cars $75K-150K: Australia's Best Value Cars

Spoiler alert! Equal parts fast and fancy, these cars blend visceral driving thrills with plenty of luxury.

Performance cars under $75K: Australia's Best Value Cars

Performance cars aren’t often known for being good value for money, but there’s a surprising array of athletic n’ affordable autos on the market.

Dual-cab 4x4 utes: Australia's Best Value Cars 2017

Australia can’t get enough of dual-cab utes right now, and there’s plenty to choose from. Here’s the best of the bunch.

People movers under $60K: Australia's Best Value Cars 2017

Got a crowd to move? People movers may have fallen out of fashion, but this bunch provides excellent value for money.

Large SUV/4WD: Australia's Best Value Cars 2017

Love the great outdoors? These high-riding family wagons will get you far away from the big smoke.

SUV 7-seater under $60K: Australia's Best Value Cars 2017

Whether you’ve got a big brood or just want a couple of “just in case” seats for when the in-laws visit, these three-row SUV options should fit...

Medium SUVs $45 - $60K: Australia’s Best Value Cars 2017

Move over wagons and sedans, medium SUVs are the new family car of choice among Aussie motorists. A budget between $45-60K opens up a vast array...

Medium SUVs under $45K: Australia's Best Value Cars 2017

Sub-$45k medium SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in Australia as far as outright sales are concerned. You're spoiled for choice if you're s...

Small SUV: Australia's best value cars 2017

Two Japanese stalwarts and a surprise European appearance round out the small SUV affordable top three

Premium large: Australia’s Best Value Cars 2017

Germany’s three heaviest hitters go toe-to-toe in this luxury sedan budget battle

Premium medium $45 - $60K: Australia’s Best Value Cars 2017

These are the three most cost-effective mid-size executive cars on sale in Oz

Premium compact under $50K: Australia’s Best Value Cars 2017

Audi, Mini and BMW complete the podium of small, stylish and economical luxury hatches

Large under $65K: Australia’s Best Value Cars 2017

Fancy a little luxe for not a lot of dosh? These big sedans have plenty to give.

Large under $45K: Australia’s Best Value Cars 2017

The segment that provides the most metal for your money is no longer Australia’s favourite, but there are still plenty of compelling cars to tem...