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2019 CarsGuide Car of the Year shortlists announced

Australia's best new cars are now one step closer to being announced.

Australia's best new cars are now one step closer to being announced, with judges finalising the Top 10 models for each 2019 CarsGuide Car of the Year award.

The four honours, comprised of the overall CarsGuide award, plus Family, Adventure and Tradie Car of the Year trophies are being refined according to the same consumer-focused criteria as CarsGuide’s published reviews.

These shortlists are the result of an exhaustive evaluation process. The overall winner will be one of more than 100 new or significantly updated cars, SUVs, utes and vans that have arrived in showrooms between September 1, 2018 and September 1, 2019.

Eligibility has been carefully crafted to suit CarsGuide’s mainstream buyer focus, with only ongoing models available for purchase with projected sales volume greater than 1000 units able to make the Top 10 lists. 

Pure electric vehicles and new variants have been granted exemption from this sales volume criteria however, to allow such emerging technology and model range expansions to be judged on merit alone. The shortlisted vehicles must have also been available for testing by CarsGuide judges. 

The Top 10 models in contention for CarsGuide Car of the Year have been determined by a panel comprised of our most senior journalists - Malcolm Flynn, James Cleary, Matt Campbell and Richard Berry - which considered all eligible models launched within the 12 month eligibility period.

CarsGuide Car of the Year shortlist (in alphabetical order)

  • The X7 is a new model for BMW, and much more than just a stretched X5. The X7 is a new model for BMW, and much more than just a stretched X5.
  • The Ford Ranger has been around a while, but constant updates and range refinements help keep it fresh. The Ford Ranger has been around a while, but constant updates and range refinements help keep it fresh.
  • The Hyundai Ioniq is the first model to offer a taste of the future in three distinct flavours. The Hyundai Ioniq is the first model to offer a taste of the future in three distinct flavours.
  • The Hyundai Kona Electric goes a step beyond the Ioniq with petrol-rivalling range. The Hyundai Kona Electric goes a step beyond the Ioniq with petrol-rivalling range.
  • All new for its fourth generation, the Mazda3 continues to redefine what a mainstream small car is. All new for its fourth generation, the Mazda3 continues to redefine what a mainstream small car is.
  • Peugeot’s design and product renaissance continues with the new 508. Peugeot’s design and product renaissance continues with the new 508.
  • Finally in Australia, the Model 3 brings the Tesla experience within reach for many more. Finally in Australia, the Model 3 brings the Tesla experience within reach for many more.
  • Fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 brings more promise and tech than ever to such an important class. Fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 brings more promise and tech than ever to such an important class.
  •  It’s big and only has five seats, but the new Touareg is polished beyond expectation. It’s big and only has five seats, but the new Touareg is polished beyond expectation.
  • All-new sedan and wagon reinforces that magical modern Volvos aren’t all SUVs. All-new sedan and wagon reinforces that magical modern Volvos aren’t all SUVs.
  • All-new sedan and wagon reinforces that magical modern Volvos aren’t all SUVs. All-new sedan and wagon reinforces that magical modern Volvos aren’t all SUVs.

The Top 10 models in contention for Family Car of the Year have been judged by consumer segment expert Nedahl Stelio with a focus on general family suitability. Therefore, eligibility focused on vehicles sized from small hatch upwards, including wagons, SUVs and people movers.

FamilyGuide Family Car of the Year shortlist (in alphabetical order)

  • There’s a lot of smart within the BMW X7’s size. There’s a lot of smart within the BMW X7’s size.
  • The Ford Endura prioritises packaging smarts over number of seats. The Ford Endura prioritises packaging smarts over number of seats.
  • You might think SUV is the only way, but the Kia Cerato hatch disagrees. You might think SUV is the only way, but the Kia Cerato hatch disagrees.
  • Popularity hasn’t stopped the evolution of Mazda’s CX-5. Popularity hasn’t stopped the evolution of Mazda’s CX-5.
  • New Mercedes-Benz A-Class brings big Merc advancement to the entry model. New Mercedes-Benz A-Class brings big Merc advancement to the entry model.
  • A budget EV with a practicality edge, the Nissan Leaf makes more sense than before. A budget EV with a practicality edge, the Nissan Leaf makes more sense than before.
  • Laden with safety and clever practicality across the range, the Subaru Forester lives up to its legend. Laden with safety and clever practicality across the range, the Subaru Forester lives up to its legend.
  • Sized so right for everyday Australians, the new RAV4 brings so much more to be excited about than ever. Sized so right for everyday Australians, the new RAV4 brings so much more to be excited about than ever.
  • If you only need five seats, it’s tough to think of a more accomplished car than the new Touareg. If you only need five seats, it’s tough to think of a more accomplished car than the new Touareg.
  • The new V60 combines the best of the Volvo's wagon tradition with cutting edge style and tech. The new V60 combines the best of the Volvo's wagon tradition with cutting edge style and tech.

AdventureGuide Editor Marcus Craft is responsible for the Adventure Car of the Year shortlist, with any SUV, van, ute or camper giving access to the great outdoors in the running. 

AdventureGuide Adventure Car of the Year shortlist (in alphabetical order)

  • Constant refinements make the Ford Ranger better and better. Constant refinements make the Ford Ranger better and better.
  • The Jeep Wrangler icon has been reborn with a modern edge that doesn’t compromise its fundamentals. The Jeep Wrangler icon has been reborn with a modern edge that doesn’t compromise its fundamentals.
  • The Mitsubishi Triton is another bastion of constant improvement. The Mitsubishi Triton is another bastion of constant improvement.
  • Now a style icon, but the Range Rover Evoque stays true to its brand heritage. Now a style icon, but the Range Rover Evoque stays true to its brand heritage.
  • Fresh thinking from SsangYong makes the Musso stand out among utes. Fresh thinking from SsangYong makes the Musso stand out among utes.
  • If you’re wanting your off-road SUV on the more refined side of rugged, the SsangYong Rexton has the answer. If you’re wanting your off-road SUV on the more refined side of rugged, the SsangYong Rexton has the answer.
  • New Suzuki Jimny reminds us of the joy of a car with personality. New Suzuki Jimny reminds us of the joy of a car with personality.
  • Despite a narrower focus than before, Forester stays true to the capability of its past. Despite a narrower focus than before, Forester stays true to the capability of its past.
  • If you’re seeking adventure in a RAV4, Toyota has one to suit. If you’re seeking adventure in a RAV4, Toyota has one to suit.
  • Factory-fresh compact camper for the price of a regular SUV, the VW Caddy Beach has no peers. Factory-fresh compact camper for the price of a regular SUV, the VW Caddy Beach has no peers.

Tradie Car of the Year is the most focused of the four awards, with consumer segment expert Mark Oastler stress testing any ute, van or light truck’s workhorse abilities alongside suitability for day-to-day driving. 

TradieGuide Tradie Car of the Year shortlist (in alphabetical order)

  • The competition's tougher, but the Ford Ranger still earns its spot on this list. The competition's tougher, but the Ford Ranger still earns its spot on this list.
  • Constant improvement for the Ford Transit Custom keeps pushing the van envelope. Constant improvement for the Ford Transit Custom keeps pushing the van envelope.
  • The Isuzu D-Max reminds us that capability isn’t just a numbers game. The Isuzu D-Max reminds us that capability isn’t just a numbers game.
  • New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter pushes the big van class forward. New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter pushes the big van class forward.
  • Constant improvement keeps the Mitsubishi Triton at the pointy end of the ute class. Constant improvement keeps the Mitsubishi Triton at the pointy end of the ute class.
  • New Peugeot Expert makes choosing a new work van that much harder. New Peugeot Expert makes choosing a new work van that much harder.
  • New SsangYong Musso brings alternative thinking applied better than ever. New SsangYong Musso brings alternative thinking applied better than ever.
  • The Toyota HiAce legend has finally been renewed and has clearly been watching its competition. The Toyota HiAce legend has finally been renewed and has clearly been watching its competition.
  • Big V6 Amarok grunt is now available in the base Core. Big V6 Amarok grunt is now available in the base Core.
  • VW’s big Crafter van now packs all-wheel traction. VW’s big Crafter van now packs all-wheel traction.

These shortlists will be further refined into award winners and finalists to be announced on Monday, September 23.

CarsGuide reaches more Australians than any other editorial automotive site, according to Nielsen* digital content ratings (monthly), with more than 1.3 million unique users per month.

*Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (Monthly) Tagged, July 2019, text, P18+, PC, Smartphones & Tablets