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2013 Australia's best cars announced

Darren Moody of RACT with the winning Mazda 6 Touring. Picture: Kim Eiszele Source:Mercury

A member of the 2013 Australia's Best Cars judging panel says motorists are spoilt for choice right now. Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania general manager of roadside and technical Darren Moody -- who sits on the panel with judges from motorist clubs around Australia -- says new car buyers have access to record low interest rates and are still getting great value for money, despite a recent dip in the value of the Australian dollar.

He and the 11 other judges from around the country had been trying to make life even easier for buyers, testing 50 vehicles in 15 categories for the 2013 best car awards.

The awards, run by the Australian Automobile Association, involved all the state auto clubs. In October Mr Moody and the other judges spent six days at the Australian Automobile Research Centre at Anglesea in Victoria testing all the vehicles.

The judges' choice this year was the Mazda6 Touring, winner of the category for best medium car under $50,000. "It brings premium features to the category," Mr Moody said. There was no winner in the people mover category this year. AAA chief executive Andrew McKellar said it was the first time in the 13 years of the program that an award has been withheld.

"It's unfortunate that not one vehicle in that class meets the expectations of an Australia's Best Car," he said.

Australia's Best Cars 2013
Judges' choice: Mazda6 Touring
Best light car: Renault Clio Expression TCe 120
Best small car under $35,000: Hyundai i30 Active
Best small car over $35,000: Audi A3 Sportback TFSI CoD
Best medium car under $50,000: Mazda6 Touring
Best medium car over $50,000: BMW 320i
Best large car under $60,000: Holden Commodore VF SV6
Best large car over $60,000: Lexus GS350 F Sport
Best people mover: Award withheld
Best sports car under $50,000: Volkswagen Golf GTI
Best sports car $50,000-$100,000: BMW M135i
Best SUV under $45,000: Subaru Forester 2.5i
Best SUV $45,000-$65,000: Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander CRDi
Best Luxury SUV over $65,000: Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI
Best all-terrain 4WD under $100,000: Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6
Best 4x4 Dual Cab Ute: Ford Ranger XL

Read full story at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/its-a-dream-market-for-car-buyers-says-the-racts-darren-moody-after-judging-australias-best-cars/story-fnjj6010-1226763358825