Steane Klose | Dec 31, 2008

THE MOTOR REPORT is proud to launch its first ever ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Car Awards.

This will be an annual Award, conferred each New Year’s Eve and granted to the car that, in the view of our road testers and writers, wins on a ‘best drive, best value’ comparison.

This year, the inaugural year of the TMR Awards, there are two categories:

• Best Drive Best Value Light / Small Car

• Best Drive Best Value Medium / Large Car

In each category, both a winner and runner-up will be announced. Click through for the criteria a car must meet to achieve this award, and for TMR's Best Drive Best Value Awards for 2008.

To be in contention for The Motor Report ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Award, a car must:

  • Be enjoyable at the wheel
  • Have ample power and sharp driving dynamics
  • Be well-finished inside and out
  • Be comfortable and capable in the driving environment for which it was designed
  • Offer sharp value for money
  • Be a ‘best buy’ in its category for the totality of the package
  • Have been released in the preceding calendar year

So readers, if a car is not good value, if it does not make you feel good when you slide behind the wheel, if it does not bring a smile to your face when driving, then it will not get a look-in to this Award.

What is the ‘Best Value, Best Drive’ light / small car and medium / large car of 2008?

 

The inaugural winners and runners-up are:

Winner: ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Light / Small Car

2008 Mazda2 3-door

Winner: ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Medium / Large Car

2008 Falcon XR6 Turbo

Runner-up: ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Light / Small Car

2008 Hyundai i30 diesel (auto)

Runner-up: ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Medium / Large Car

2008 Honda Accord Euro 2.4-litre


Mazda2 3-door: Best Drive, Best Value 2008 – Light / Small Car

mazda2-red

Our comments:

The Mazda2 3-door is a standout winner as the ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Light / Small Car. Starting at $15,750 for the Neo three door, it is simply terrific buying.

The Mazda2, in three door (or five door) is huge fun at the wheel with a zesty free-spinning and economical 1.5 litre engine. It also offers sharp driving dynamics and is comfortable and capable whether punting around town or on the occasional longer country drive.

It is appealingly styled inside and out, and offers surprising interior space. You simply cannot drive it without a smile on your face. As such it is a worthy inaugural winner of The Motor Report’s ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Small Car Award for 2008.

Click: Read our review of the Mazda 2 3-door

It edges out the excellent Hyundai i30 diesel automatic in this category, which also offers fun and efficient driving in an excellent value, stylish package.

Click: Read our review of the Hyundai i30 Diesel Auto


Falcon XR6 Turbo: Best Drive / Best Value 2008 – Medium / Large Car

front-3

Our comments:

In the ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Medium / Large Car category, the Falcon XR6 Turbo is also a standout winner. That Ford Australia has been able to provide such a superbly engineered performance car, one that can also carry the family in safety and comfort, is a remarkable achievement.

At $45,490 for the manual, the power of the turbo, the robust balanced handling, and the sheer quality of the drive puts it at the head of the pack, and a clear winner for both dynamics and buying value.

The XR6 Turbo is, quite simply, a ‘tour de force’. It too is a worthy inaugural winner of The Motor Report’s ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Medium / Large Car Award for 2008.

Click: Read our review of the Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo

Also an excellent car, offering surprising levels of refinement, is the runner-up in the Medium / Large car category, the Honda Accord Euro 2.4 litre.

Click: Read our review of the Honda Accord Euro 2.4 litre


 

Cars you can enjoy

This time of year is traditionally a quiet period for automotive news, but a busy time for car buyers making use of the ‘end-of-calendar-year’ car sales.

It is our hope that The Motor Report ‘Best Drive, Best Value’ Awards, to be announced every New Year’s Eve, will provide some useful information to those looking for a car they will enjoy living with. It is an Award that recognises the heart and soul of the car, and simple value for money.

We hope you agree with our intent, even if you disagree on the winners we have chosen and runners-up. Feel free to add your thoughts.

Follow Steane Klose on Google+