Australia’s Best Medium Car in 2016

Moving Well | RACV | Posted on 21 February 2017

Australia’s best cars 2016: Best Medium Car under $50,000

Winner: Mazda6 Touring 

There is something special about Mazda6, which gives you the right sort of connected feeling with the car and the road. When you combine Mazda’s build quality, reliability and drivability, you start to get the makings of a true winner.

It now has features normally reserved for premium makes or higher levels of specification. The Touring model has Mazda’s autonomous braking system, called Smart City Brake Support, which can activate up to 80km/h (previously 30km/h). It also has blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and front parking sensors.

As far as convenience and comfort features, the list goes on. Valued items such as satellite navigation, digital radio operated from within Mazda’s MZD Connect system, auto-dimming internal rear-view mirror, dual-zone climate control with rear vents and electric handbrake are standard across the range.

But it’s on the road that Mazda6 shines. Mazda has upped the handling ante with its G-Vectoring Control system (GVC), which improves tyre grip and performance.
The cabin is well thought out, with a high level of build and finish, plus great attention to detail and function.

Best Medium Car Under $50,000

Best Medium Car Under $50,000

WEIGHTING

Mazda6 Touring

Mazda6 Touring

The Mazda6’s build quality, reliability and drivability combine to form the makings of a true winner.
Subaru Liberty 25i Premium

Subaru Liberty 2.5i Premium

A great safety set-up and advanced transmission make Liberty a worthy runner-up.
Kia Optima GT

Kia Optima GT

Optima’s impressive standard equipment backs up an excellent drive experience.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Pricing

High

6

6

4

Cost of depreciation ($)

Medium

7

7

3

Running and repair costs

Medium

6

4

5

Fuel consumption

High

7

6

3

Warranty and dealer access

Medium

3

3

9

Insurance

Low

6

7

4

Standard features

High

5

6

7

DESIGN AND FUNCTION
Safety

Critical

9

9

9

Environment

Critical

7

6

6

Seating comfort

Medium

7

6

8

Space

Medium

7

8

7

Practicality

Medium

5

7

7

Ergonomics

High

8

7

7

Build and finish quality

High

8

7

7

ON THE ROAD
Performance

Medium

7

6

9

Ride

Medium

7

8

7

Handling

High

9

7

8

Braking

Medium

7

6

7

Smoothness and quietness

Medium

8

7

7

OVERALL AVERAGE

772

724

722

Australia’s best cars 2016: Best Medium Car over $50,000

Winner: BMW 330i

Mercedes-Benz C 200 was up for a third win in a row but it’s starting to show its age against the BMW 330i and the new Jaguar XE, with the BMW getting its nose in front.

BMWs are famous for their dynamics so it’s not surprising that the 330i topped the class for performance and handling. The 185kW/350Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder petrol engine is fantastic and works seamlessly with the intuitive eight-speed auto. Yet it’s an extremely frugal powerplant, using just 5.8L/100km.

The judges were particularly impressed with how BMW had created a good balance between ride and handling. While not as ‘comfortable’ as the comfort-focused XE and C 200, the BMW was better damped so the car settled more quickly than the other two after hitting larger irregularities.

The 330i outshone its rivals in design and function – with class-leading space, practicality and ergonomics. The iDrive system is easy, logical and intuitive, with useful functions such as a head-up display and surround-view cameras. Its driving assistance features include lane departure warning, lane change alert, a pedestrian warning system and an autonomous emergency braking function.

Best Medium Car Over $50,000

Best Medium Car Over $50,000

WEIGHTING

BMW 330i

BMW 330i

BMW 330i backs up dynamic performance with a package that’s clever, high-quality and safe.
Mercedes Benz C200

Mercedes Benz C200

Less edgy but well equipped, Mercedes C 200 is still worthy of its great market success.
Jaguar XE 20t Prestige

Jaguar XE 20t Prestige

Jaguar’s smallest model is edging its way up the quality chart, but its size counts against it.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Pricing

High

3

6

6

Cost of depreciation ($)

Medium

6

7

7

Running and repair costs

Low

5

4

5

Fuel consumption

High

7

7

4

Warranty and dealer access

Medium

2

2

2

Insurance

Low

4

7

3

Standard features

High

4

5

6

DESIGN AND FUNCTION
Safety

Critical

10

10

9

Environment

Critical

7

7

6

Seating comfort

High

7

7

7

Space

Medium

7

6

5

Practicality

Medium

8

7

5

Ergonomics

High

8

7

7

Build and finish quality

Critical

8

8

8

ON THE ROAD
Performance

High

9

7

7

Ride

High

7

7

7

Handling

High

8

7

7

Braking

Medium

7

7

9

Smoothness and quietness

High

8

7

7

OVERALL AVERAGE

876

868

822