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Car Magazine's Top 12 Best Buys for 2006

Broadcast dates : 29th January 2006
4th February 2006

The motoring industry boom continues! With so many new models to choose from, picking the right vehicle has become increasingly difficult. With this in mind, Car's highly experienced editorial team chose what they consider to be the Best Buys for 2006.

Nine people comprised the Car Top 12 team, and early on it was decided that the categories would be limited to 12. These were separated using various buying criteria, such as price, practicality, image, performance and so on.

With the team having one thousand, one hundred and sixty vehicles to consider, the selection process was a long and windy road, so to speak. 

The beauty of the top 12 concept is that it compares apples with apples. For instance, in the Best Executive Saloon category the BMW 5-Series had to see off the likes of the Audi A6 and the Mercedes-Benz E Class.

Moving up a notch, Car defined a grand saloon category to cater for the top sedans in the world, with distinct categories for MPVs, SUVs, semi-commercial passenger SUVs and compact SUVs.

In the pick-up category, the choice was limited to double cabs, as this remained a passenger car competition in essence.

Hondaís new FR-V took the best compact MPV class, Car citing innovation as the reason. In fact Honda took the Best Light Car category as well, with the Jazz, a car that performed admirably in the recent JD Power quality survey.

In the all-important Best Budget Car category, Kiaís Picanto took the honours. So with the Kia Rio shaping well in the Car of the Year competition, it was a great week for the Koreans.

GTi fans will be pleased to know that their favourite had a presence in the Top 12. However, the Golf range as a whole was chosen as the best sub-compact car, and not the Gti specifically.

That other performance icon, Subaru, also had a look in, but once again not with the Impreza performance car. The Subaru Forrester claimed the Compact SUV category.

We would go along with Carís choice here. If money is no object, there is simply no more useable supercar than a Porsche 911. Although our resident Ferrari freak may not agree.

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Best Budget Car - Kia Picanto
Best Light Car - Honda Jazz
Best Sub-compact Car - VW Golf
Best Sports/Performance Car - Porsche 911
Best Compact Car - Audi A4
Best Executive Saloon - BMW 5 Series
Best Grand Saloon - Audi A8
Best Compact MPV/SUV - Honda FR-V
Best MPV/SUV - Mercedes-Benz Vito
Best Compact SUV - Subaru Forester
Best SUV - Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Best Double-cab/Pick-up - Toyota Hilux
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