Australia’s Best Sports And 4×4 Winners?

Our last in a series of articles about the “Australia’s Best Car 2016” awards.  This week we look at the award-winning  4×4 vehicle in its class.

Best Sports Car in Australia under $50K
The line-up of vehicles consisted of affordable hatches, coupe, and sedans and the overall winner in the best car in Australia for under $50,000 price bracket was the Ford Focus ST.

The competition in this field was quite fierce and the Ford Focus grabbed third place in the ABC awards in 2013. A hatch with power plant muscle at 184kW & 360Nm put through its front-wheel-drive axle.

Ford has stepped up the vehicle, improving the front suspension, driver input signals, and steering. Furthermore, the interior improvements are more insightful and user-friendly with the touchscreen satellite navigation while the active xenon front headlights compliment the exterior of this car.

Features of the Ford Focus model we reviewed include:
• The SYNC 2 system – See video here of the Sync 3 system.
• The MyKey system offers restrictions you can programme, ideal when sharing your vehicle with younger drivers,
• The ST is designed with fuel consumption in mind as it has a low weight ratio.
• As you slide into this sporty car, it has sporty first-class seats for comfort and support.

The vehicle has a very sporty interior and exterior as well as six speed manual transmission and 2.0L engine.

The five-door manual Ford Focus ST has priced at $43,037 Driveaway and competing vehicles in this class include the Renault Megane RS265 3 door manual model priced at $48,000 and Ford Fiesta ST 3 door, manual at $29,463 (driveaway).

Best Sports Car in Australia from $50K – $100K

The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is the overall winner in this class for all the right reasons – it has impressive performance statistics with sporty features. The Mercedes A45 AMG has a 2.0-litre engine producing a maximum 280kW of power with a little extra 25Nm of torque bringing it up to 475Nm.

The vehicle’s powerful engine is claimed to do 0–100km/h time of just 4.2 seconds and stands out when matched with its larger cousins

. What is the secret – the secret is in how the powers transferred to the pavement with the 7-speed dual clutch transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive. It has a kerb weight of 1480kg and the best in its class.

With a touch of a button, you control the transmission, suspension, engine, air-conditioning and steering. There is sport or individual modes gears. The cars designed with wheel-mounted paddle shifters for rapid-fire gear changes keeping the torque.

Take the Mercedes out on the open road and once returning to the city use the comfort setting for a softer mode of driving. It has a sporty interior treated with carbon-fibre finishes for the right ambience.

Notable vehicle features include:
• The large colour display screen,
• Roof-mounted rear spoiler with larger front splitter,
• It has a powerful 12-speaker sound system,
• Electric front seats with memory,
• Sunroof,
• A full LED lighting with HDD navigation

Mercedes-Benz-A45-AMG-Aero-driving 2015 2016

Image source –

The Mercedes is priced at $84,841 driveway at the time of writing.  Similar style vehicles worth comparing to the merc include – BMW M235i, which is a two door automatic priced at $85,187 and Holden Insignia VXR being a four door automatic priced at $56, 634 – prices listed at driveaway.

Best 4 x 4 Dual CAB Utes in Australia for under $100K

A bit of an oddball category to be including in this article after talking about sports vehicles is the 4 x 4 in the sports range.   The vehicle we want to mention is the Toyota Hilux SR5, which won the Australia’s Best Car’s award for “Best 4×4 Dual Cab Ute” category.

Toyota’s Hilux has been around for more than a decade and has improved significantly with the current model having  2.8L 4cyl turbo diesel engine and much-improved performance and fuel consumption.

Toyota Hilux SR5

Photo of a Toyota Hilux SR5. Image source – Toyota Australia.

The vehicle delivers 450Nm of torque and has an upgraded 6spd unit with a fuel consumption to 8.5L/100km.  The Hilux drives smooth and quiet when seated in the cabin. The interior is modern and finished with quality material. Dominating the centre console is a touchscreen multimedia system with sat-nav, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Toyota Hilux SR5 includes climate control and smart key with a tilt-and-reach-adjustable steering allowing you to drive comfortably. The suspensions beefed-up offering you the best off-road driving; it has more wheel articulation, larger disc brakes, bigger dampers, and excellent body protection.

The only lack is a strong pull when compared to the Ranger/BT-50 but offers you a five-star ANCAP safety rating with electronic stability control, seven airbags, and a driver knee airbag.  The driveaway price of the vehicle at the time of writing was $60,641.  Other 4×4’s worth comparing to the Hilux is the Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 which is a four door automatic at $61, 515 and the Mazda BT-50 XTR, which is also a four door automatic priced at $56,321 – both at driveaway prices.

writer david baker
Article By Guest Author - David Baker.

This article has been submitted by guest post writer - David Baker.  Originally from New Zealand, a passionate traveller, I have been spending a mix of time in Australia and South East Asia for the last fifteen years.  A freelance writer, and photographer I contribute media and investigative articles for a number of media outlets and specialist blogs.  My area of interest is motor vehicle auctions, new car sales and used car, online sales.  Other areas include airline and hotel writeups and product reviews.

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