Move over wagons and sedans, medium SUVs are the new family car of choice among Aussie motorists. A budget between $45-60K opens up a vast array of options - some of them bordering on premium - but here's the cream of the crop.
We can see the benefit of spending up on a highly equipped medium SUV. The typical owner spends plenty of time ferrying the kids in wagons of this breed, so they might as well enjoy it, and in kitted-out form these mid-size, high-rise wagons are a nice place to be.
More importantly, the upper versions get all the safety fruit, such as autonomous emergency braking. The Kia’s $45,990 sticker is typical and its 53 percent three-year resale about average. The standout performances, meanwhile, include the brand’s generous warranty, the pleasingly low insurance premium, and the 12-month service interval. The oiler isn’t the most economical, but 6.8L/100km is decent and 400Nm breeds effortlessness.
The top Tucson has something its rivals don’t – an efficient, small turbo-petrol engine tied to a dual-clutch ’box. The result is punchy performance and 7.7L/100km economy to take on diesels at the bowser and the traffic lights.
3rd: Mazda CX-5 GT
The well-equipped, diesel-drinking Mazda CX-5 GT AWD lets you enjoy turbo-diesel torque (420Nm) and thrift (6.0L/100km) at virtually the same price as the petrol top-spec Akera version, which doesn’t have quite so much of either.