The all-new Toyota RAV4 has won the 2019 CarsGuide Car of the Year award ahead of a list of finalists that included vehicles from BMW, Volvo, Tesla, Hyundai, Volkswagen and more.
The Toyota RAV4 was also awarded Family Car of the Year in the prestigious awards that evaluated more than 100 new or significantly updated passenger cars, SUVs, utes and vans that arrived in showrooms in the 12 months to 1 September, 2019.
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley said it was an honour to receive CarsGuide's premier annual award and the critical acclaim that the award brings.
"As our first hybrid SUV in Australia, the all-new RAV4 has been a popular choice for customers delivering a renewed sense of style, performance, refinement, advanced safety features and driving dynamics," Mr Hanley said.
"And we are proud that the RAV4 has now also received such critical acclaim from CarsGuide's motoring experts who evaluate hundreds of cars every year," he said.
The judging panel for the Car of the Year comprised CarsGuide's senior motoring journalists led by editor Malcolm Flynn, with consumer expert Nedahl Stelio joining to contribute to the Family Car of the Year evaluation.
Mr Flynn said the new RAV4 offered model diversity with its hybrid technology, in the style of car that mainstream Australians demand right now.
"It's best at the everyday stuff, just right for how we spend most of our time driving," Mr Flynn said.
Ms Stelio added: "It brings leading safety, everyday practicality and comfort, and a variety of models with seamless hybrid integration in either two or all-wheel drive, all for good value that Australian families are looking for.
"The new RAV4 is a big improvement on the last model, but not only that, it feels good to drive, has the all-important boot space that's so vital when you have a family, and is cost efficient," Ms Stelio said.
The all-new Toyota HiAce was also recognised in the annual awards as one of the three finalists in the Tradie Car of the Year.
For this award, Mark Oastler joined the judging panel that stress tested a variety of utes, vans and light trucks to evaluate their workhorse abilities alongside their suitability for day-to-day driving.
In making the judgement, Mr Oastler praised the HiAce as: "An outstanding light commercial vehicle, which during the past year, has raised the bar in safety, comfort, performance, practicality and value."