Car Awards

Modern vehicles offer an unprecedented amount of value for what you pay. Whether you want a small car, a smart car, or a car that will barely fit into your garage; truly, the choices are (nearly) endless.

We’ve compared car brands with our customer satisfaction ratings for our annual Motoring Awards. Hopefully, this will help you pick out the perfect new set of wheels; whether you’re looking for a sedan, four wheel drive / SUV, or hatchback.

We’ve also looked at features such as value for money, after sales service, point of sales service, reliability, performance and overall satisfaction.

Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 7,510 Australian consumers over a number of months to measure their satisfaction across a range of products and services. The outcomes reported are the results from car purchasers within the survey group. To qualify, the customer has to have bought a new car from a dealership in the last three years – in this case, 1,961 people.

See our 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 results.

All you need to know about car types

This type of vehicle comes with 5 seats, 4 of which are passenger seating, and an upward swinging rear door. It’s a perfect fit for urban drivers and single car owners. For instance, with an average of 5 to 8L per 100km, the Ford Mondeo Hatchback is one of the most fuel-efficient among Australians’ top three car types.

Perfect for carting friends, family or shopping, the back seats are spacious and comfy with the added advantage of folding down into a whole new space of cargo storage. Typically priced at around $20-$30k, this type of vehicle is a popular choice among women because of its light body’s mobility and affordable running costs. Here’s a list of pros and cons of the vehicle:


o  Sporty looking

o  Compact stand out in the city

o  Lighter and aerodynamic to drive around

o  Easier to carry through heavy traffic

o  Lots of space for passengers or items

o  Fuel efficient

o  Parks faster


o  Limited leg room for drivers

o  Space challenged despite foldable backseats

o  Not advisable for families on road trips or larger households


The latest winning hatchbacks

Our survey found these seven hatchback brands on top of the Aussies’ investment options:

  1. Ford
  2. Honda
  3. Mazda
  4. Holden
  5. Hyundai
  6. Toyota
  7. Volkswagen

Out of more than 1,000 responses, these specific car models were found to be 2015’s famous hatch choices among consumers:

o  Ford Focus Ambiente

o  Toyota Corolla

o  Hyundai i30

o  Mazda 3

o  Holden Cruz

Other articles and guides:

Queensland Personal Plates: The important info

5 essential extra for your car

Hatchback brand information:








A sedan has four sideway opening doors and a trunk opening at the back. Chairs may be reclined for passengers to relax and may allow folding down for extra storage space. This classic car style has been manufactured into many versions, with hybrid fuel features also available in certain models.

Sedans are perfect for city based families who enjoy weekend getaways, with enough leg room for long trips and sufficient cargo space for luggage and shopping. For those considering a sedan, here their following advantages and disadvantages:


o  Good grip on the road

o  More refined safety features

o  Transmission systems are easier to operate

o  Has a wider variety of manufacturing choices


o  Larger than a hatchback to park and manoeuvre

o  Less ease in handling

o  Will need extra suspension support on rougher roads

o  Less protection from crashes when compared to SUVs


Canstar Blue’s top sedans

These manufacturers that came on top based on our respondents’ experiences:

  1. Mitsubishi Motors
  2. Holden
  3. Honda
  4. Toyota
  5. Ford
  6. Hyundai
  7. Mazda

Mitsubishi made it to the top because of its reliability and sturdiness over the years. It has been found to be the tried and tested manufacturer with the most affordable spare parts.

From dozens of sedan models available, we found the Mirage, Lancer, Lancer Ralliart and Lancer Revolution some of the most popular options due to their great value for money and driving performance. Sedans can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $60,000.

Other articles and guides:

Why do you need car insurance?

Why take out a car loan?

Sedan brand information:









This vehicle is the largest among our three awarding categories. SUVs usually have 4 Wheel Drive capabilities, enabling the driver to take on more challenging and muddier terrain. The SUV is popular among bigger families, outback enthusiasts, rural residents and tradies.


o  Has more towing power

o  Allows for extra cargo and seating capacity

o  May be used both on and off the road

o  Can go through water and mud

o  More room for hobby based accessories (like bike racks and surf rails)


o  Bulkier to drive

o  More difficult to park

o  Maintenance parts are pricier

o  Fuel is more expensive

o  Has a higher risk of roll overs


Australia’s popular SUVs

With Australia’s numerous beaches, surfing points and hinterlands, Canstar Blue’s respondents stated these manufacturers to be the popular choice among SUVs for their outdoor adventures:

  1. Subaru
  2. Holden
  3. Toyota
  4. Hyundai
  5. Mitsubishi
  6. Nissan

This vehicle can be quite expensive. Fortunately, there are price friendly tiers prospective owners may choose from. It’s advisable to take your time and consider your driving needs before scheduling a test drive with these popular models:

o   Subaru Forester

o   Holden Captiva

o   Toyota RAV4

o   Hyundai Santa Fe

o   Mitsubishi ASX

o   Nissan Pathfinder

Thousands of Aussies have decided on these well-known vehicle types and manufacturers. Prospective owners must take note of their pros and cons as before taking on a test drive session with their chosen dealers.

Other articles and guides

Baby on Board: But do you really need an SUV?

Buying a 4WD for dummies

Top 10 tips for buying a second-hand 4WD

Seven of Australia’s best 4WD adventures

Off-road 4WD manners

Some tips for 4WD city-driving etiquitte

Review: Mitsubishi Triton

SUV brand Information:







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