Eligibility is for cars launched on the market from November 1, 2006, to November 1, 2007, regardless of the price.
The contenders must be either new models or be substantial upgrades, including major engineering updates.
A garage of 48 initial nominations was pruned down to 11 after careful consideration by News Limited's national judging panel.
There are no second chances - 11 finalists will come down to one winner, which will be announced on November 23.
How we tested the field
Nine drivers examined 11 cars through exhaustive testing across three days.
Each judge painstakingly pored over every car in relevance to interior functionality, fit and finish, build-quality, space and ergonomics.
The field was driven on a wide mix of environments and road conditions: city, freeway, highway and country towns.
Each car was also let loose on Goulburn's Wakefield Park race circuit.
There were no stop watches, hence no lap times as this was no fast and furious exercise.
The object of the exercise was to see how competent all cars were in critical driving situations - steering, handling, braking, acceleration - within the legal confines and safety of a closed environment.
From the racetrack activity, testers were able to better assess grip thresholds, tyre balance, chassis performance and suspension.
How the winner is determined
From 10 criteria, judges are asked to award marks out of 10 taking into account the relativity of performance between each car.
Judges come up with an aggregate for each car.
They then list their choices from 1-11 (1 being the best).
The winner is determined on a points basis after all judges' scores have been collated.