Australia’s biggest car awards, Drive Car of the Year 2021 uncovered. Presently in its fifteenth year, Drive’s Car of the Year award is a logistical exercise more much the same as herding cats (and keeping them cool) than a comfortable drive in the countryside.
Awarded to the family-friendly KIA Sorento – which brought to the table amazing driving dynamics, segment-leading value, and enough features to divert even the most iPad-beholden kids – the 2021 edition proved to be one of the most brutal on the judges.
2020 and 2021 have been troublesome years for the new car market both domestically and abroad. But then, sales in Australia have stayed strong, with purchasers actually hoping to get their next new car and manufacturers have kept their finish of the deal releasing a range of high-quality new models into the Australian market.
The judges had their work removed bringing Drive Car of the Year segment winners down to seven finalists for the overall award. Every segment winner is qualified for the overall award in Drive Car of the Year, and only one out of every odd segment winner is new to the market, with some being a strong repeat winner in a segment that it rules.
The first job for the judges was to trim the field down to a select group of competitors for the overall award, and that group came to be known as the ‘Magnificent Seven’.
‘Magnificent Seven’ Finalists:
- Kia Sorento
- Skoda Kamiq
- Ford Puma
- Land Rover Defender
- Mercedes-AMG A45 AMG
- Audi e-Tron
- Isuzu D-Max
Top seven is differed and wide, covering segments Australians spend time and cash investigating, and in their own particular manner, moves the motoring landscape forward to deliver better alternatives for Australian purchasers. All would be worthy recipients of the 2021 Drive Car of the Year award, however, there must be one winner.
Judging for the overall award is led stealthily with all judges casting their votes separately and no group debate is gone into. The order for Drive Car of the Year overall is to reward the vehicle that pushes the game ahead most altogether for the most Australian new car purchasers.
Also, the Winner is…
The Drive Car of the Year 2021 Winner – Kia Sorento
Regarding a vehicle that meets the central rules of pushing things ahead for Australian new car purchasers, it is nothing unexpected the new Kia Sorento got unanimous first place from the judges in the 2021 Drive Car of the Year awards.
The judges’ choice for the overall winner for Drive Car of the Year for 2021 is the Kia Sorento. Accessible with either 2WD petrol or AWD diesel powertrains, the Kia Sorento contains four model grades across every engine variant and is a skilled all-rounder in the gigantically competitive huge SUV segment.
Sorento is effective in reality with the diesel introducing the better alternative for families who like to travel and cover long distances, while the petrol engine is the pick for more limited trips around town.
While every one of the seven overall finalists delivers a compelling purchasing suggestion in their individual segments, the Kia Sorento is the vehicle that has the greatest effect on Australian family purchasers. The Sorento is an agreeable and viable all-rounder that works as well out in regional areas as it does around town.
Finalist: Skoda Kamiq
The Skoda Kamiq quickly attracted the judges with its Tardis-like cabin space, feeling of protection and refinement, and driving engagement in what is a seriously competitive segment. With a basic model structure and a quality 2WD petrol drivetrain, the Kamiq is the ideal small SUV for city dwellers.
Even with competition as strong as the Mazda CX-30, Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, and Toyota CH-R – also different competitors – the new Skoda Kamiq stands tall as an excellent small SUV.
Finalist: Ford Puma
With its out-of-control styling and new interpretation of a segment that is frequently portrayed as bland, the Ford Puma dazzled the judges from the beginning with its feeling of adventure and design flair. Like any high-quality vehicle, however, the Puma’s appeal runs more than skin deep.
Competition in the Light SUV segment is getting increasingly more furious every year, with most producers using it as their default entry into the brand, moving away from compact hatches and sedans.
While Kia Stonic, Hyundai Venue, Mazda CX-3, and Toyota Yaris Cross all offer compelling other options, the Ford Puma’s mix of style and driveability is a winner for 2021.
Finalist: Land Rover Defender
Hardly any new vehicles have confronted the microscopic attention of the motoring press globally in front of launch as the new Land Rover Defender. A prerequisite that dutifully regards many years of tradition, it additionally expected to move into an off-road future that is far taken out from the nameplate it represents.
Finalist: Mercedes-AMG A45 AMG
On the off chance that a small car has moved out of the hot-hatch sphere and made its own ‘hyper hatch segment, the new A45 AMG is the one. Manic, brutal performance on the track, is coordinated by everyday practicality managed by a valuable small hatch.
Finalist: Audi e-Tron
Audi’s first mass-market electric vehicle is dominatingly two things. Most importantly, it’s a high-quality Audi that simply ends up having an electric drivetrain. Besides, it’s a large SUV body style, which places it squarely in the minds of SUV-hungry Australian purchasers.
Finalist: Isuzu D-Max
The fact the Ford Ranger actually sat atop the dual-cab pile, despite being a decade old was a testament to its intrinsic quality, yet in addition indicative of how much the segment required the new D-Max. With a platform it has likewise given to Mazda, Isuzu has delivered the best all-round dual cab on sale presently.
Considering the way that dual-cabs are fast becoming default family vehicles for such many purchasers – particularly higher up the model range – they need to deliver security, solace, and preferable driving dynamics over they ever have.
The D-Max does the entirety of that and does as such with the sponsorship of Isuzu’s bulletproof engineering and dependability. A worthy winner in a fast-improving segment for 2021.