Cars were broken down into 10 categories.
- Light cars
- Small cars
- Medium cars
- Large cars
- People movers
- Diesel & hybrid cars
- Compact SUV
- Medium SUV
- Large SUV
Click on each category to see the winners and losers.
RACV tested the Holden Barina, Hyundai Getz, Kia Rio, Suzuki Swift and the Toyota Yaris. Forgetting the two-star Barina and Rio for a second, the remaining three are all strong contestants for best light car of the year, but just which one is cheaper to run? The Hyundai Getz.
The baby Hyundai will cost you (average) $116.54 a week to maintain, the Barina came in second with $120.85, the Yaris was third ($125.88), the Rio was fourth ($128.07) and our favourite of the lot, the Suzuki swift came in fifth at $130.
RACV tested the Ford Focus, Holden Astra, Mazda 3 and the Toyota Corolla. Although the results are not for the new corolla, the winner of this category was - not surprisingly - the Toyota Corolla.
It is hard to speculate whether or not the new Corolla will have the same success, but given the price has stayed relatively the same between the two generations, while fuel economy has improved, it would seem probable.
The Corolla will cost you $154.49 a week (average) to maintain, the Ford Focus came in second at a reasonable $156.49, third place went to the Astra ($158.12) and the surprise result? The Mazda 3 was the most expensive small car to maintain costing $164.08 a week on average. Nearly $10 more per week than the Corolla.
Of course the Corolla is a 1.8-litre and the rest are a 2.0-litre, and obviously while the Corolla is a great A->B car, the Focus and the Mazda3 have some driving spirit behind them. We would happily pay the extra $500 a year to be in the 3!
RACV tested the Honda Accord Euro, Mazda 6 and the Toyota Camry. Despite being the most interesting (and good looking) car in the lot, the Accord Euro costs $5,000 more than the other two and suffers as a result.
The Toyota Camry wins this category ($193.05) to make it 2 for Toyota. The Mazda 6 comes in second at $197.85, while those opting for the handsome Honda Accord Euro will be paying $218.07 a week.
Here is the surprise! Holden's billion dollar baby, the VE Commodore is the most expensive large car to own! The RACV tested the Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore, Mitsubishi 380 and the recently arrived Toyota Aurion.
Australia's two favourite cars (Falcon/Commodore) came out last, while Mitsubishi's struggling 380 again shined as the cheapest large car to own. Results are as follows:
- Mitsubishi 380 - $200.44
- Toyota Aurion - $217.60
- Ford Falcon - $229.13
- Holden Commodore - $233.40
But its not exactly fare to compare the 380 to the other 3 as the Mitsu costs nearly $5,000 less, however the Toyota Aurion is only $500-1,000 cheaper than the Commodore & Falcon respectively. Either way, another victory for the struggling Adelaide manufacturer.
The three contenders in this category were the Honda Odyssey, Kia Carnival and the Toyota Tarago. The Kia is the cheapest to buy at $34,990, the Honda costs $39,290 while the Tarago comes in at just below 50 ($49,490).
And the results follow a similar pattern with the Carnival coming in first with an average weekly ownership cost of $216.68, the Odyssey comes in second at $228.00 while the expensive Tarago costs $267.61 a week.
It seems a little unfair to compare Diesel cars to Hybrid cars. Although the aim is similar (to reduce fuel costs and cut down on emissions), the technology behind the two categories is completely different.
The RACV tested the Honda Civic, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen Golf Diesel and a standard Volkswagen Golf. The winner? You would probably expect one of the Hybrids to have the lowest running cost, but the standard model Civic is actually cheaper to own at $154.06 (fuel costs and all) than its Hybrid brother ($175.29)!
The Volkswagen Golf Diesel came in third at $187.93, the standard golf was $190.88 and the car which has recieved the most attention for saving our planet, the Toyota Prius, was the most expensive car to own and maintain in this category, costing $200.63 a week, more than the Mitsubishi 380!
Only two cars entered this category, the Ford Falcon and the Holden Commodore. Much like the Large Car category, the Falcon came on top at $211.43 compared to the Commodores $225.10. The Falcon retails for $37,390 while the LPG Commodore starts from $40,390.
The RACV tested the Honda CRV, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4. All four cars cost the same at $33,990, making the cost of ownership a fairer contest. The Subaru is the safest (5 star ANCAP safety rating) in this class, the Rav 4 and the CRV both have a 4 star safety rating while no results for the X-trail are yet available.
The Honda CRV came out on top costing owners only $203.86 a week to run, the X-trail was second at $207.36, the Forester came in third ($208.52) and the Toyota was surprisingly the most expensive at $212.69.
Medium SUVs included the Ford Territory, Holden Captiva and the Toyota Landcruiser Prado. The Prado ($49,290) retails for $15,000 more than the Captiva and $10,000 more than the Territory.
A victory for Holden in this category with the Korean sourced Captiva coming in first at $225.16 - while its Australian made nemesis, the Ford Territory costs $234.47 a week to maintain. The Prado (unsurprisingly) came in last at $286.16
This is the category for the soccer mums who dream off road adventures as they block traffic to pick up their only child. The large SUVs included - the Nissan Patrol Diesel, Nissan Patrol, Toyota Landcruiser Diesel and the standard Toyota Landcruiser.
The Nissan Patrol Diesel wins this category with an average weekly cost of $269.53, its brother, the petrol powered Patrol comes in second at $332.94. Toyota did not fare so well, with the diesel variant of the Prado costing owners more (357.51) than the standard petrol variant ($335.90)!