Ranked: The best cars of 2017

The best new arrivals of 2017. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.
The best new arrivals of 2017. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.


CHAMP Kia Picanto

The previous model was the best city car last year and the new one steps it up a notch.


The new Swift brought Suzuki back to its best with two engines, one a punchy 1.0-litre turbo, in a roomy and relaxing little car.

SURPRISE Renault Clio

The French baby always looked good, but 2017 brought sharper pricing from $14,990 and more safety and equipment.

Best city car: Kia’s impressive Picanto. Pic: Supplied.
Best city car: Kia’s impressive Picanto. Pic: Supplied.

WINNER Kia Picanto

Often sold at $13,990 driveaway, the Picanto has only one failing: a four-star safety rating.


CHAMP Subaru Impreza

Subaru spent more than $1 billon to lay the brand's foundations for the next decade and small-hatch buyers banked the benefits. Flawed CVT transmission hurts it.

CHALLENGER Volkswagen Golf 7.5

The benchmark for quality and refinement in recent years. Update was visually similar, but definitely more refined, although there was not enough change from Golf 7.

SURPRISE Hyundai i30

The new look wasn't revolutionary but there were improvements in every area underneath the sheetmetal. Some cheap plastics in the cabin were the only drawback.

Hyundai’s surprising i30. Pic: Mark Bean
Hyundai’s surprising i30. Pic: Mark Bean

WINNER Hyundai i30

The base model missed out on auto emergency braking but the rest of the package was spot on. The more expensive SR, with its turbo engine, dual-clutch auto and independent rear suspension matches the best for driving fun.


CHAMP Mazda CX-3

A long-term favourite with refinement and car-like driving, although a bit cramped and short of boot space as it's based on the baby Mazda2.


The package under the latest Impreza pays off with a car that's roomy, quiet and refined.

SURPRISE Hyundai Kona

The South Korean newbie uses i30 basics for plenty of space and driving enjoyment. The entry level front-driver is not cheap at $24,500 and prices go up to $36,000.

The Subaru XV is the best of the baby SUVs. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.
The Subaru XV is the best of the baby SUVs. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.


Does everything you expect from a Subaru and a car to happily recommend to friends.


CHAMP Volkswagen Tiguan

Brought Golf-style strengths to the class, with a rock-solid feel and performance that won it last year's Car of the Year.


The new model was quieter and more refined, with an excellent standard safety package, but it wasn't the breakthrough expected from an SUV that was the benchmark for several years.

SURPRISE Skoda Kodiaq

Shares underpinnings with the Tiguan but has more space in a five-plus-two cabin that works well for part-time seven-seater use. Little bonuses include umbrellas and picnic blankets.

The Goldilocks of seven-seaters: Skoda’s Kodiaq. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.
The Goldilocks of seven-seaters: Skoda’s Kodiaq. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.

WINNER Skoda Kodiaq

A unanimous winner of our Car of the Year crown with a wide range of strengths in a value package from $42,990.



CHAMP Mercedes-Benz GLC

Refined and well priced from $67,600, it's the baby Benz for former station wagon buyers.


Underwhelming at first, but rock-solid where it counts and a major improvement in 2017.


Another hit from the Swedish brand, with clean, classy cabin and clever design.

Audi’s Q5 led a red-hot field of luxury SUVs. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.
Audi’s Q5 led a red-hot field of luxury SUVs. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.


Everything you expect from an Audi, smooth in every area, with innovative driver assistance features, but options can quickly get costly.



CHAMP Ford Focus RS

A year ago the Focus was ferociously fast - and flawed - but we were prepared to overlook its shortcomings because it was so much fun. Not now.


The brilliantly-named Stinger was always going to be a special car, with many people expecting it to pick up from the Holden Commodore as Australia's driving favourite. It's very good, but something better came along in 2017.

SURPRISE Honda Civic Type R

Wow. The born-again Type R manages to do most things for many people. It's feisty and fast but also refined and practical.

Honda’s Civic Type R was the best of a new breed of sports cars. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.
Honda’s Civic Type R was the best of a new breed of sports cars. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.

WINNER Civic Type R

The love-or-hate styling is the only shortcoming in the Type R package. Order it in black, to minimise the impact of the childish fake aero parts, and it's an unbeatable package to enjoy every time you fire the turbo engine.

Topics:  cars new

WATCH: Car thieves flee high-speed crash

A crash involving a stolen four wheel drive at Brassall on Friday morning.

Police on hunt for driver and passengers who fled crash

'Outrageous drug use' fuelled police biter

New Ipswich District Court Judge: After nine years in the role, Ipswich District Court Judge Greg Koppenol will move to Brisbane Court.He will be replaced by Judge Dennis Lynch QC. In court on Tuesday, Judge Koppenol was recognised for his "brisk and vigorous approach" to the role.

Ipswich mother of eight sentenced to six months for attack

Local Partners

Back to school: My son throws the wildest tantrums

I'm not talking the odd tantrum here and there. I mean he goes off.

This is not good news for surfers

Research shows wave riders are more likely to have E coli in their gut than non-surfers.

Research shows wave riders have a higher rate of E coli in their gut

Cooroy is where the Wild Things roam for body art festival

WILD THINGS: The Australian Body Art festival launched its 2018 theme of Wild Things. Artist Carleen Adorn works on Lisa Bingley.

Wild Things is the theme of the 2018 Australian Body Art Festival

These tricks will save you $10k a year

This wealth management expert has five simple tips that could help you save $10,000 by the end of the year — and they really couldn't be easier.

Five simple tips that will ensure you save $200 every week

I lost 20kg in nine months

Amanda Tiffen lost 20kg in nine months after quitting sugar and has written a best selling book about her experience.

She thought she was eating the right foods, but still gained weight

Snake slithers into woman’s bed

Adele Mallard was terrified when she woke up to find a snake in her bed at her Rangewood home. Picture: Evan Morgan

Slithering snake in bed wakes up Queensland woman

Create a jungle vibe with this striking indoor plant

Monsteras feature striking foliage.

Add a tropical feel to your home with this easy-care plant.