Wheels car of the year.... what the?
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts cav91's Avatar
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    Default Wheels car of the year.... what the?

    Dad and I have just gone through the list of wheels car of the year winners. My question is what the??

    The gave the car of the year to an old crappy commodore at about the same time as the 504 was released. Did they drive them? The 504 had propper suspension, proper brakes, the commodore was a horse and cart type setup!
    The gave the Mitsibishi (or bits-r-missen) nimbus the the car of the year when the Citroen BX was released?

    Does it take a genious to notice that the most of the cars that won wheels couldn't compete with the rest of the world? Or do they just give it to the cheapest and nastiest car? (Please note there are some exceptions, that were good cars)

    Is there anybody who agrees with me, or disagrees?

    Cheers Chris.

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  2. #2
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    as with most things, it all gets back to the definition of the matter. the concept 'car of the year', has no intrinsic meaning, so trying to review it without an artificial definition yields no meaning either.

    the Wheels Car of The Year no doubt has a list of criteria used to make the pronouncement, and you can bet it includes more than just the on-paper technical sophistication of the mechanics of the car. it might, for instance, include value for money, ruggedness for aussie conditions, internal space, boot space, access to spare parts and dealership networks, improvement since the previous model, appeal to the aussie in the street, passenger carrying capacity, and so on.

    some of those things could tilt in favour of a commodore over a peugeot. this year, you will notice the finalists were all small cars, which are obviously of limited relevance to most aussie families, and of no relevance to buyers of the most popular australia car: the toyota hilux. anyway, i wouldnt give too much thought to it. it is Wheels car of the year. of all the car mags i have read in earlier years, australian ones are somewhere beneath the bottom rung in terms of quality.

  3. #3
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    Wheels was not above commercial pressures. The Peugeot was handled by Renault Australia. Renault had a good relationship with the motoring press and received considerable favourable coverage for both Renault and Peugeot. From a commercial point of view, it was more desirable for Renault models to receive awards rather than Peugeots. But as the editor pointed out, people who owned Commodores bought the magazine. Award a COTY to an unpopular make like Citroen and magazine sales would plunge.

  4. #4
    JBN
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    The magazines that run "car of the year awards" are commercial enterprises. The cars that win reflect the worth of the advertisements of their makers to the magazine. The magazines are also biased in favour of the local product, even if the local product is bad, it may not win, but it will get an honourable mention.

    Don't advertise, don't expect to win.

    John
    PS. Why do you rate a motoring journalist's opinion so highly? If they were any smarter, they would be politicians.

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    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cav91
    The gave the car of the year to an old crappy commodore at about the same time as the 504 was released.
    The 504 was about 10 years old by the time the Commodore was introduced.

    The Nimbus offered far more to the Australian market than the BX did. It was a groundbreaking car at the time. Very practical but with car-like dynamics, and at half the cost of the BX. I really don't think the BX offered anything extraordinary to the Australian market.

    Quote Originally Posted by cav91
    Does it take a genious to notice that the most of the cars that won wheels couldn't compete with the rest of the world? Or do they just give it to the cheapest and nastiest car? (Please note there are some exceptions, that were good cars)
    I don't really find the reasoning that hard to work out. It's pretty clear each year why and how they judge the field. Then again, I actually read the articles.
    Last edited by brenno; 17th February 2011 at 03:08 PM.

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    all fine, but there is no reason to suppose that Wheels has ever fudged the result for commercial reasons. there are plenty of legit reasons why a 504 wasnt australian car of the year in its day.
    Last edited by alexander; 17th February 2011 at 01:35 PM.

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    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    The magazines that run "car of the year awards" are commercial enterprises. The cars that win reflect the worth of the advertisements of their makers to the magazine. The magazines are also biased in favour of the local product, even if the local product is bad, it may not win, but it will get an honourable mention.

    Don't advertise, don't expect to win.

    John
    PS. Why do you rate a motoring journalist's opinion so highly? If they were any smarter, they would be politicians.
    Manufacturers adverts in latest WCOTY issue;

    Holden - No Holdens in COTY
    Audi A1 - Audi A1 finishes poorly in COTY
    FPV - No FPV's in COTY
    Lexus - No Lexii in COTY

    .....and that's it.

    What a stupid argument

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    Wheels once ran an article exposing the 179M Holden as a dangerous car. About 1964. GMH gave them a lot of grief and they never did it again. All sorts of vehicles with engineering faults and dodgy handling got the appropriate level of praise. Still, French cars got a good press and lots of coverage considering their tiny market penetration. Of course Wheels was influenced by commercial considerations. Used to be owned by KG Murray, don't know who owns it now, never look at it, but the advertising strategy of the corporate group will be an important influence.
    Don't know now about motoring journos now but have you any idea how much pressure journalists who write critical stories can be put under? Down to attempts to have them fired?
    Last edited by Russell Hall; 17th February 2011 at 02:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brenno View Post
    The Nimbus offered far more to the Australian market than the BX did. It was a groundbreaking car at the time. Very practical but with car-like dynamics, and at half the cost of the BX. I really don't think the BX offered anything extraordinary to the Australian market.
    Couldn't have said it better.

    The Nimbus (and even the Nissan Prarie) was a fore runner to the Renault Scenic concept.

    Both were taller monobox designs based on the brands medium sedans (Tredia and Megane)

    Both were designed to provide maximum space efficiency and practicality within a small vehicle footprint.

    The Nimbus even managed to fit an extra row of fold flat seats in the back for a 7 seat capability even though the entire vehicle is probably a little smaller than a Scenic.

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    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by brenno View Post
    Manufacturers adverts in latest WCOTY issue;

    Holden - No Holdens in COTY
    Audi A1 - Audi A1 finishes poorly in COTY
    FPV - No FPV's in COTY
    Lexus - No Lexii in COTY

    .....and that's it.

    What a stupid argument
    I accept what you say. Actually I don't read Wheels or any other magazines on motoring and take even less interest in their recommendations of which is the best car. I like Citroen, because every NRMA patrolman and every mechanic has always said what crap cars they are and what on earth made you buy one. That translates to a cheap car to acquire second hand, which fits my criteria of what is best for me. So, I have no interest in the best car, nor the worst car in their comparisons. I am interested in the "never contested" category.

    Anyhow, back to stupid arguments. Do all of the different car of the year awards from different magazines always come up with the same answer? If they don't, is there an organisation that rates the veracity of the different opinions of those magazines?

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by mistareno View Post
    Couldn't have said it better.

    The Nimbus (and even the Nissan Prarie) was a fore runner to the Renault Scenic concept.
    Yea, right, except the Espace was a forerunner to both those two.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post

    [...]

    Anyhow, back to stupid arguments. Do all of the different car of the year awards from different magazines always come up with the same answer? If they don't, is there an organisation that rates the veracity of the different opinions of those magazines?

    John
    JBN, exceptional idea! WE should do that! I am pretty sure we have members on all continents who could potentially try out the cars at stake and report back. Ha-ha what a serious whack over the kisser it would be for all these magazines, hehehehe!

  12. #12
    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    The Nissan Prairie was first released in 1981, Espace in 1984.

    As for the 504, the eligibility rules for Wheels COTY at the time excluded the 504 because it wasn't built in Australia (at least initially).
    John W

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Dang, you're right.

    Fiat Multipla?

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    The Espace (while a revoulution in it's own right) was a full size seven seat MPV.

    The Scenic (and the Prarie/Nimbus) were both smaller vehicles based on small sedans. I think the Prarie was based on the Sunny patform but it only had 5 seats, later models that weren't sold here were a little longer/larger and more in the nimbus mould (ie 7 seats).

    The Nimbus ended up growing larger and larger with every successive model to the extent that it was almost into tarago territory when sales ceased here a few years back.

    I think the Fiat Multipla was more recent, but then again I think Fiat had a model called the Multipla back in the 60's but that was more a commercial van I think?

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    All Peugeot 504 sedans were built in Australia. Only the assessment models were brought in fully built up. However the initial Australian content for the first year was only about 25% but this was built up to 55%.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistareno View Post
    The Espace (while a revoulution in it's own right) was a full size seven seat MPV.

    The Scenic (and the Prarie/Nimbus) were both smaller vehicles based on small sedans. I think the Prarie was based on the Sunny patform but it only had 5 seats, later models that weren't sold here were a little longer/larger and more in the nimbus mould (ie 7 seats).

    The Nimbus ended up growing larger and larger with every successive model to the extent that it was almost into tarago territory when sales ceased here a few years back.

    I think the Fiat Multipla was more recent, but then again I think Fiat had a model called the Multipla back in the 60's but that was more a commercial van I think?

    No, it was a bubble car based on the fiat 500, MPV a la Italy, in the sixties so there you go, the concept is older. Didn't have seven seats (I think) but that was irrelevant for the italians. Vespas didn't have seven seats either.

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    I feel this towards the WCOTY etc :

    No, they don't usually pick anything interesting.
    But then again, NO, it isn't relavent to their criteria.

    So no, I don't give two squirts of interest towards it.

    So I don't read it and complain that my fave sports car etc didn't win.
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    The VW Polo is surely a worthy winner..... from the base petrol 1.4 to the GTI and not to mention the turbo 1.2 petrol and 1.6 diesel.. yes some of the versions are better than others, the diesel is easy to stall at low speeds they said due to lack of initial tourque off idle, the GTI has no manual option for Oz... but overall the levels of refinement and safety across the range... read the Wheels article and other publications.... Its a good thing

    Remember the likes of Toyata still give you an optional 4 speed auto in this class... not a 7 speed DSG and Toyota charges extra for basic safety gear that the Germans and French give standard

    I have already seen several new Polo's on Wollongong roads including a striking yellow one

  20. #20
    RJB
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    Wheels magazine is not perfect and was probably better in the 70's and 80's (despite all the black & white pages then) but is still probably the best car mag produced here... now that Modern Motor has changed and Car Australia is gone....

    If anything Wheels are probably more critical than overseas publications.. no brand is exempt from complaint including the likes of recent BMW's, Mazda's with major tyre noise on Aussie roads ect.

    And they are not always anti French... COTY 1970 was the R12 and they once said a Citroen GS Wagon was a better family car for Aussies than a Kingswood Wagon... thats a bit statement in the 1970's... and look at the praise of the sporty current Renault Clio and Megane versions... Megane won a 10 car mega test in latest issue

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    DS
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    I thought the Polo was a great choice. I think it shows we are beginning to accept the big car no longer rules!

    I do find it funny that a Nissan Micra was in there. I've travelled in one and it was truly hideous. I thought they were only just a 3 star rated car? Maybe they have been "improved".

    I gave up buying car magazine years ago. The Classic Car publications were simply rehashing what I already knew (like really, a Citroen DS had turning headlamps?) and the new car ones all too often seemed to report the good points but NEVER report the bad.

    I also don't think our motoring journalists are that great. I heard one talking on the radio recently and he was reffering to the "boxSter" engines in Subarus! And yes he said it several times.

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    RJB
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    Ja, cant see how the Nissan Micra was even in the running, even allowing for the fact that it is sold at a cheaper price point than the Polo.. sure the Micra is better than the Daewoo Barina and other entry level Korean, Malaysian and Chinese cars but I cant see how it is an advancement in design... The early 1990's Pulsar was a better thing and it won COTY from memory

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    There's a brand new Micra out. Maybe you were in the old one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    No, it was a bubble car based on the fiat 500, MPV a la Italy, in the sixties so there you go, the concept is older. Didn't have seven seats (I think) but that was irrelevant for the italians. Vespas didn't have seven seats either.
    Fiat 600 based, released in 1958...precursor to the MPV, along with the BMW (Isetta) 600.

    I think the concept perfected by the Nissan Prairie and Mitsubishi Nimbus began with the Renault's Prairie back in the 1950's...it was nowhere near as sophisticated as the two former cars in the sceme of things and really hit the mark in the 1980's. Worthy COTY winner at the time, as were cars like the Morris 1100 and VW Golf, even though not new concepts.

    In regard to the OP...'genius' is the word.

    Never paid any attention to COTY on the whole, not relevant to anyone really.

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJB View Post
    Wheels magazine is not perfect and was probably better in the 70's and 80's (despite all the black & white pages then) but is still probably the best car mag produced here... now that Modern Motor has changed and Car Australia is gone....

    :
    What about dear old "Motor Manual?
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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