Drive will unveil the winners of the 2015 Drive Car of the Year awards online at Drive.com.au on Friday, 4 December.
Now in its 10th year, the awards were given a revamp in 2015 with new categories added to better reflect the changing landscape of the automotive industry, including doubling the number of SUV categories from last year.
The esteemed Drive Car of the Year awards provide drive.com.au’s new car audience with a clear definition on the best vehicles in 17 different segments.
The comprehensive testing process assesses each vehicle on safety, economy, value, handling and performance by a team of six expert judges including Drive’s Andrew Maclean, Stephen Ottley, David McCowen and Peter McKay, used-car expert David Morley and Australian Rally Championship driver Molly Taylor.
Drive’s team of testers got behind the wheel and under the bonnet of more than 50 cars, clocking up more than 20,000 kilometres as they put some of Australia’s most popular vehicles through their paces.
The Car of the Year testing and awards create a critical part of Drive‘s annual multi-platform editorial strategy, including print, digital, video and social media, and the awards are referenced in future editorial content.
Drive’s national editor Andrew Maclean said competition across all categories was tougher than ever, particularly in the Best Family Car and Best Ute categories.
“But the closest category of all was the Best Performance Car under $60,000. This was a closely fought battle between the Ford Focus ST and the Holden Commodore SS-V; a classic Ford versus Holden stoush with a small, modern turbo hot hatch against an old school, V8-powered muscle car,” he said.
“This year the Ford won out but we look forward to the next face-off in 2016.”
It was a big year for Ford in 2015 with the manufacturer taking out six of the 17 award categories, as well as the Ford Everest Trend being named 2015 Drive Car of the Year. It’s the first time in the history of the awards that an SUV has won the overall award, further reinforcing the rising popularity of the category.
2015 Drive Car of the Year winners:
Best City Car: Mazda2 Maxx
Best Small Car: Ford Focus Trend
Best Family Car: Ford Mondeo Trend
Best City SUV: Suzuki Vitara RT-S
Best Small SUV: Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Best Family SUV: Kia Sorento SLi
Best Luxury SUV: Audi Q7
Best Luxury Car under $80,000: Mercedes-Benz C200
Best Luxury Car over $80,000: Tesla Model S
Best Performance Car under $60,000: Ford Focus ST
Best Performance Car over $60,000: Porsche Cayman GTS
Best Convertible: Mazda MX-5
Best 4WD: Ford Everest Trend
Best Ute: Ford Ranger XLT
Best People Mover: Kia Carnival
Green Innovation Award: Tesla Supercharger Network
Safety Innovation Award: Ford and the Australian Council of State School Organisations Teen Safe Driving Program
2015 Drive Car of the Year (overall winner): Ford Everest Trend