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Best big Aussie car

All three locals are close in most ways and Australians are massively spoiled for choice.

Rating the big three Aussies comes down so much to personal preferences. And those preferences could be based on anything from the shape of the driver's seat to the boot size or the fuel economy. And there is always the rivalry in the 'rust belt' - as Toyota calls it - between old-time favourites from Ford and Holden.

All three locals are close in most ways and Australians are massively spoiled for choice, as well as value, in cars which are so big they are heading inevitably towards extinction. Then again, American cops are only just learning to love the Commodore-based Caprice ...

FORD FALCON XR6

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There is nothing as homegrown as the punch from the Falcon's big six away from the lights, and that same engine-room strength makes the XR6 a fun car on a twisty road. You can cruise it or push it without every worrying. You also feel the same deep-down muscularity of the Falcon package every time you drive, although - for me - the car is a bit more boofy than the Holden. And, on the negatives, I've never felt as comfortable in the Ford because of its higher-set driver's seat. Ford has an update coming and I've yet to drive the new LPi car, but for me it's a close second.

HOLDEN COMMODORE SV6

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The Holden is a sharper package than the Ford, a little sweeter in most areas from the steering feel to the operation of the transmission. It turns a little nicer and is a tad more enjoyable on a long freeway run. Commodore buyers also get the advantage of the latest cabin update and a very impressive infotainment system, after dramas with the previous package, and the showroom impact from the driver's seat is probably winning sales. It doesn't feel as strong in a straight line, and it doesn't have Ford's latest capped-price servicing deal, but it's my personal choice.

TOYOTA AURION

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This car is efficient and effective, but it's the transport choice and not for people who enjoy driving. I also wonder how the Aurion V6 can be classified as a large car when the Camry, which is identical apart from a four-cylinder engine, manages to run as the best selling medium-class car ... The Aurion has a giant boot, impressive quality, good fuel economy and is quiet on a trip, but it's bland and that is bad when the other locals have so much personality and punch.