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COTY 2007 week three

BMW's X5 3.0-litre diesel, the all new Mercedes-Benz C280 and Holden's latest rendition of the tradie's sportscar, the VE Ute SV6, today join the previously announced contenders in the run to the winner's circle.

Each in its own way, including the already nominated finalists - Mazda2 Maxx, BMW 335i Sedan, Golf GT TSi, Mitsubishi Lancer VR, Subaru Impreza RS, Volvo C30 T5, Hyundai i30 CRDi and Ford Mondeo Zetec - is already a worthy winner.

However, the ultimate prize will be announced next Friday when all the finalists will be ranked in their voting order.

That final finishing position will be decided by the votes of the nine judges drawn from Australia's only nation-wide pool of motoring writers.

The finalists were driven over three days on city, highway and country roads as well as being pushed to their limits in the controlled environs of Wakefield Park raceway to test ride quality, chassis control, comfort, steering and that certain something.

Each judge painstakingly pored over every car, assessing interior functionality, fit and finish, build-quality, space, ergonomics and safety.

They then independently ranked the 11 finalists from top to bottom. Those rankings are being collated with the result to be announced next Friday.