As we enter the business end of 2014, many people might be starting to think about 2015 and perhaps a new car.
For those considering a new car, the recently announced winners of Australia's Best Cars awards might help with the decision.
A total of fifteen category winners were revealed at the Brisbane event, with each grouping highlighting the changing landscape of the Australian automotive industry. 2014 featured the Micro Cars category for the first time while the People Movers, SUV and 4WD categories saw amendments thanks to their growing popularity.
AAA Chief Executive Andrew McKellar explained the winning vehicles are truly top of their class.
"These awards aim to influence the new car market by challenging brands to continually lift their game in terms of safety, performance and affordability standards," he said.
"The list of winners will assist motorists through the often difficult process of filtering through the vast array of choice when they are buying a new car."
Australia's Best Cars were somewhat taken over by the Europeans, as nine European vehicles took out individual individual categories with the overall Judges' Choice also coming from the Northern Hemisphere.
The Mercedes-Benz C200 was the overall winner after also taking out the Best Medium Car over $50,000 category.
"This car performed well in all areas making it a benchmark vehicle which will influence the direction of its competitors," Chief Judge Mark Borlace described.
Other notable winners included:
• Best Micro Car - Mitsubishi Mirage ES
• Best Family Wagon - Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
• Best Large Car under $70,000 - Holden Commodore SV6
• Best Small 2WD SUV under $35,000 - Nissan Qashqai ST
• Best Small Car under $35,000 - Volkswagen Golf 90TSI Comfortline
With the release of these results, the Australian automotive industry is hoping for a boost in sales towards the end of the year. Traditionally, the best time to buy, the car market is struggling against the softening economy.
According to the latest figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive industries (FCAI) there were more than 92,000 new vehicles sold in November - bringing the sales for 2014 over the 1 million mark. Although this is 2.2 per cent down on last year, sales should top the 1.1 million threshold for the third year in a row.
FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber explained "only 679 sales separate the Toyota Corolla and the Mazda3. While the Toyota Corolla is ahead in sales for 2014, the Mazda3 was the top selling vehicle in November (3,499),"
In fact, the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla have been the top selling vehicles for the entire year, consistently in the top three. Additionally, 7.3 per cent more SUVs sold last month compared to November 2013, according to FCAI.
"Small and medium SUVs showed large growth, increasing 17.7 and 19.3 per cent, respectively, on November 2013 sales figures," Mr Weber stated.
However, it is important to note that passenger car sales have fallen 12.2 per cent and light commercial vehicles have fallen 4.9 per cent on 2013 figures.
Hopefully the new generation of vehicles will stimulate more buyers into the new car market.
If you are considering the purchase of a new car, be sure to factor in additional costs such as CTP insurance, registration and comprehensive insurance.