If saving money and getting the most value out of your new car is at the top of your priority list, then Wheels Magazine’s Gold Star Car awards are probably already pencilled into your diaries.
Every year our sister publication runs its Gold Star Car awards to discover the best value vehicle on sale in the country.
More than 2500 cars were put through the unwavering eye of our long and intimidating Excel formula, with one car named the winner in each of the 21 key categories on offer – every vehicle type and budget is catered for.
The winner is decided by taking into account various ‘real world’ factors such as fuel economy, insurance, retained value, servicing costs and warranties.
This year, the Kia Picanto was rated the best value car you can buy, scoring higher than any other vehicle on sale.
“If you’re intent on new-car ownership and want to do it at minimum cost, with a degree of driver appeal, then the Picanto is king,” reads the magazine.
“The model is offered in a single ‘S’ spec (for now) and opting for the five-speed manual saves you $1500 up front, and a further $120 each year at the bowser compared with the auto. The cost of depreciation here is about $2500/year, which is as good as it gets for a new car, and the Kia kicks goals with the brand’s generous warranty, a handy 12-month service interval and bargain annual insurance.”
Other significant category winners include the Hyundai i30 Active CRDi DCT in the ‘Small Car over $24,000’ category, and Kia Sportage Si in the ‘Medium SUV under $45,000’ category.
Kia also scored the most category wins of any manufacturer (five), while Mazda came a close second by producing four category winners, and Hyundai rounded out the podium with an impressive three triumphs.
A big reason why the Gold Star Car awards have endured over a decade is that it’s been designed to reveal the hidden costs to owning your vehicle. Its true value is not what it cost you, or even what you can sell it for. Its real value needs to factor in what it costs you to ‘own and operate’.
“When you consider a car is one of the biggest single expenses in your life, and certainly the most complex product you’ll buy, it’s nice to know you’re at the head of the pack … and have made the smartest possible choice,” said Wheels editor, Alex Inwood.
“From small cars through to Utes and luxury sedans, the winners of these categories identify which motorists have achieved the greatest possible return on their investment.”