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Mitsubishi 380 is 2005’s Best Car

Smooth operator: Best Cars judges say 380 is the quietest Aussie-built car.

State motoring clubs name Mitsubishi’s new 380 sedan as Australia’s best large car

Mitsubishi logo22 Nov 2005

MITSUBISHI’S new 380 sedan has today picked up the most coveted gong within the state motoring clubs’ 2005 Australia’s Best Cars awards.

Awarded collectively by the NRMA, RACV, RACT, RACQ, RAASA, RACWA and AANT – which together represent more than 6.3 million members – this year’s Best Cars awards named Mitsubishi’s Magna replacement as Australia’s best large car.

The 380 was one of nine new winners across the 12 Best Cars categories, highlighting the number of quality new models available to Australian new-car buyers.

"This is good news for a local manufacturer with a lot at stake, having spent over $600 million on the development of a family sedan," said Best Cars chief judge Ernest Litera.

"It is great to see the level of commitment into Australian-built cars, as it ultimately flows on to the consumer." Hyundai’s recently facelifted Getz hatch was named best small car, with Ford’s better handling but noisy Fiesta claiming second and Volkswagen’s quality Polo third.

The Blue Oval picked up the mid-size car (under $28,000) award with Focus winning from Mazda3 Maxx Sport and Holden’s Astra.

Last year’s $750 price drop helped Honda’s Accord Euro to win the medium over $28,000 award from Volkswagen’s Golf, with Subaru’s reigning Liberty third.

The same brand’s new Odyssey also picked up the people-mover award for the second year running, ahead of Toyota’s Avensis and Mitsubishi’s Grandis.

Volkswagen’s Golf GTI became the first front-drive winner of the Best Sports Car Under $57,000 award, besting the facelifted version of Subaru’s thrice-winning Impreza WRX and Mitsubishi’s pricier Lancer Evo.

An engine upgrade lifted the Mercedes-Benz CLK350 coupe from being a three-time bridesmaid to Best Sports Car Over $57,000 award winner. Porsche’s Boxster and BMW’s M3 filled out the top three thanks to shorter warranties and higher depreciation.

This year’s diesel craze was best exemplified by Audi’s A6 3.0 TDI quattro sedan, which won Best Luxury Car Over $57,000 from Mercedes’ more expensive E350 and BMW’s under-performing 530i sedan.

Subaru’s Liberty 3.0R sedan won the sub-$57,000 luxury award from the sportier but pricier Mazda6 MPS and Honda’s comfy but slower Accord V6 sedan.

Best Cars judges named Mitsubishi’s 380 as the smoothest, quietest Australian-built car, with unconvincing interior finish and ergonomics failing to stop it winning the large car award from Hyundai’s new Sonata and Ford’s BAII Falcon.

Finally, Land Rover won the Best All-Terrain 4WD for the first time with its fast but frugal Discovery TDV6 SE (which won from Toyota’s Prado GXL and Mitsubishi’s Pajero Di-D), while the Best Recreational 4WD went to Ford’s SX Territory Ghia (ahead of Subaru’s Forester and Outback) and the Lexus RX330 Sport posted another narrow win from BMW’s X5 in the Best Luxury 4WD class.

2005 Australia’s Best Cars winners:

Best Small Car – Hyundai Getz 3-dr man ($14,490)
Best Mid-Sized Car Under $28,000 – Ford Focus CL 4/5-dr man ($20,990)
Best Mid-Sized Car Over $28,000 - Honda Accord Euro sedan ($35,500)
Best People-Mover - Honda Odyssey Luxury ($45,290)
Best Sports Car Under $57,000 - Volkswagen Golf GTI man ($39,990)
Best Sports Car Over $57,000 - Mercedes-Benz CLK350 Coupe ($118,600)
Best Luxury Car Under $57,000 - Subaru Liberty 3.0R sedan ($50,990)
Best Luxury Car Over $57,000 - Audi A6 3.0 TDI quattro sedan ($97,900)
Best Large Car - Mitsubishi 380 sedan auto ($35,990)
Best All Terrain 4WD - Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6 SE ($73,650)
Best Luxury 4WD - Lexus RX330 Sports ($73,200)
Best Recreational 4WD - Ford SX Territory Ghia AWD ($53,950)

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