How SUVs have won over the motoring critics to be crowned Car of the Year by two different sets of motoring judges
- SUVs have been awarded prestigious Car of the Year prize by two sets of judges
- Wheels gave prize to Mazda CX-30 – only seventh SUV since first award in 1963
- Carsales awarded its top prize to Kia Sorento, a family-sized all-wheel drive
SUVs have been named crowned Car of the Year by two different sets of motoring experts.
Carsales has awarded its prestigious prize to the Kia Sorento while Wheels has given its annual prize to the Mazda CX-30.
Last year, for the first time ever, the majority of cars sold in Australia were an SUV with higher ground clearance.
The category includes both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants with virtually every major car manufacturer – from the budget to the super luxury – offering an SUV.
SUVs have been named crowned Car of the Year by two different sets of motoring experts. Carsales has awarded its prestigious prize to the Kia Sorento
Wheels magazine has been awarding an annual Car of the Year prize since 1963 but an SUV has only won the accolade seven times.
The Subaru Liberty wagon was the first all-wheel drive winner in 1998.
The Ford Territory in 2004 would be the first and only Australian-made SUV to be awarded Wheels Car of the Year.
An SUV didn’t take the prize again until 2017 when Wheels gave the gong to the Mazda CX-9.
Since then, an SUV has been awarded the Wheels Car of the Year prize, including the Volvo XC60 (2018), Volvo XC40 (2019) and the Mercedes-Benz EQC (2020), which is all-electric.
The recent tradition has continued with the mid-size Mazda CX-30 SUV, priced from $29,990, winning for 2021.
In a rare show of unity, the decision was unanimous.
Wheels editor Dylan Campbell said the hatch-shaped SUV with luxury finishes was a better alternative to the usual, taller four-wheel drives.
Wheels has given its annual prize to the Mazda CX-30 – only the seventh SUV to win its Car of the Year prize since 1963
‘For me, the CX-30 is a car that democratises luxury; it has a level of craftsmanship not evident in rivals,’ he said.
‘You sense the passion and commitment that’s gone into it, making it feel like a treat every time you get in.’
Carsales, which goes by a different calendar year title, gave its 2020 Car of the Year prize to the Kia Sorento, priced from $46,990 on-the-road, recognising it as a safe, family-friendly package.
The popular website’s editor-in-chief Mike Sinclair said the large, Korean sports utility vehicle was still a fun drive.
Carsales gave its 2020 Car of the Year prize to the Kia Sorento, recognosing it as a safe, family-friendly package. The popular website’s editor-in-chief Mike Sinclair said Korean four-wheel drive was still a fun drive
‘This is a stylish and refined SUV with the latest advanced safety and infotainment systems and all the comfort a family needs,’ he said.
The Land Rover Defender, offering the first all-new shape since 1948, was highly commended as was the Porsche Taycan, the German sports car’s first-ever all-electric vehicle.
Carsales previously gave its Car of the Year prize to SUVs including the Volvo XC40 (2018), Land Rover Discovery (2017) and the Mazda CX-9 (2016).
The Volvo XC40 and the Mazda CX-9 were both crowned Car of the Year by Wheels and Carsales at the same time.