Australia's Best Cars finalists announced

The Australian Automobile Association has announced the finalists for Australia's Best Cars awards.
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Every year a collaboration of motoring clubs known as the Australian Automobile Association tests a diverse pool of vehicles to rank the best cars on the market. The test takes into account price, depreciation, fuel efficiency, running and repair costs, warranty, insurance, and standard features, as well as other elements such as design and function, and safety and build quality.

The results for the 2011 Australia's Best Cars are set to be released on November 30, however, the finalists have already been narrowed down. For Australia's Best Large Car under $60,000, finalists were cut down to the new Peugeot 508 Allure, the Skoda Superb TSI 118, and the new Ford Falcon EcoLPi LPG.

Another interesting category was the Best Light Car over $20,000. Both the Audi A1 TSFI and the Volkswagen Polo 66 TDI are among the finalists along with the Ford Fiesta Zetec.

Best Small Car under $35,000 finalists reflected some obvious choices; the Volkswagen Golf 90 TSI (a model that has worked its way into the top three in regards to official VFACTS sales figures for October), the Ford Focus Sport and the Hyundai i30 SX.

Take a look below for the full finalist list for each category. Do any of the finalists surprise you?

Best Light Car under $20,000
Hyundai Accent Active
Kia Rio Si
Suzuki Swift GL

Best Light Car over $20,000
Audi A1 TFSI Ambition
Ford Fiesta Zetec
Volkswagen Polo 66 TDI Comfortline

Best Small Car under $35,000
Ford Focus Sport
Hyundai i30 SX
Volkswagen Golf 90 TSI Trendline

Best Small Car over $35,000
Audi A3 Sportsback TDI
Lexus CT200h Prestige
Volvo C30 DRIVe

Best Medium Car under $50,000
Hyundai i40 Tourer Active
Kia Optima Platinum
Volkswagen Jetta 118 TSI Comfortline

Best Medium Car over $50,000
BMW 320d Lifestyle
Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI Avantgarde
Volkswagen Passat CC 125 TDI

Best Large Car under $60,000
Ford FG Falcon EcoLPi XT
Peugeot 508 Allure
Škoda Superb 118 TSI Ambition

Best Large Car over $60,000
Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro
BMW 520d
Jaguar XF S Luxury

Best People Mover
Honda Odyssey Luxury
Hyundai iMax
Kia Grand Carnival Si

Best Sports Car under $80,000
BMW 135i Coupe
Volkswagen Polo GTI
Volkswagen Golf R

Best Sports Car over $80,000
BMW 1 Series M Coupe
BMW M3 Coupe
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe

Best SUV under $40,000
Kia Sportage AWD SLi
Mitsubishi ASX 4WD
Volkswagen Tiguan 103 TDI

Best SUV over $40,000
Hyundai Santa Fe R series Elite
Kia Sorento SLi
Subaru Outback 2.5i wagon

Best Luxury SUV over $60,000
BMW X5 xDrive 30d
Range Rover Sport TDV6
Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI

Best All Terrain 4WD
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo CRD
Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE
Toyota Prado GXL