Now in it’s thirteenth year, the prestigious Drive Car of the Year awards are almost on our doorstep.

So, as we anxiously await to see which car will be crowned 2018 Drive Car of the Year, we take a look back to remember the best previous winners and reflect on what gave them the edge to succeed.

2007 - BMW M3

In Drive’s second Car of the Year (DCOTY) awards, it was the performance and luxury of the BMW M3 that took stood out and impress the judges.

“An awesome engine, unbelievable grip, four comfortable seats, an anticipated five-star safety rating, and a price tag some $40,000 cheaper than a comparable Porsche 911” is how the judges described the winning M3.

Out of the Mercedes C200K, Toyota Kluger, VW Eos, Holden SS Ute, Toyota Landcruiser and Nissan X-Trail, BMW’s M3 came out on top as the most impressive package overall.

2010 - VW Polo 77TSI

2010’s Car of the Year was awarded to the most fuel efficient of the bunch, the VW Polo, for not only its frugality, but its fun factor too.

The Polo was the first in its class to have a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission which proved popular thanks to its smoother gear shifts. It was also first in the class to have six airbags and stability control as standard.

But, it was the zippy 1.2-litre turbo four-cylinder and the impressive interior that won over the Drive judges in 2010.

2012 - Toyota 86 GT

A tough challenge between the Camry Hybrid H and Kia Sorento SLi saw the Toyota 86 GT take the title in 2012 - a first for the Japanese car brand.

The 86 was tested on highways, country roads, through suburban streets, school zones and of course - on the track.

The sports car powered by a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four cylinder engine eventually won the judges votes as overall Drive Car of the Year for 2012 thanks to its “combination of value and hedonistic driving enjoyment”.

2013 - Mazda 6

The Japanese mid-sized sedan took out the title of 2013 Drive Car of the Year after the judges praised its “affordability, space and efficiency as well as its generous level of standard equipment and fresh styling” also winning Drive’s Best Family Car class.

The Mazda’s mild hybrid system called the i-eloop also stood out to the judges having a claimed 6.6 litres per 100km fuel use.

2014 - Mercedes-Benz C200

In 2014 came down to two cars - the Tesla Model S P85+ and Mercedes-Benz C200.

And, while it’s hard to imagine it being a problem today, in 2014 the judges were reluctant to choose the Tesla due to questions about recharging infrastructure - something that is no longer an issue for electric vehicles.

The 2014 C200 triumphed thanks to its all-round luxury and value for the money, with the judges saying it represented a significant leap forward for its category.

2015 - Ford Everest

The 2015 DCOTY saw the Aussie-designed, engineered and tested Ford Everest Trend win the big trophy on top after a record 52 cars were tested.

While it was a close pick between four other finalists, the judging panel were impressed with the Everest’s road, track and off-road capabilities agreeing it felt more refined and well-mannered than others in its class.

The mid-range Trend was equipped with standard features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert mitigation, lane keeping assist and lane departure warning.

Ford’s SYNC2 infotainment unit, front and rear parking sensors and reverse camera all come standard.

2016 - Volkswagen Tiguan

Two years ago, as SUVs matched conventional passenger cars in terms of popularity for the first time, the German brand took another DCOTY title with the Tiguan 110TSI Comfortline.

Rivalling the popular Toyota RAV4, the compact Tiguan presented itself with emergency self-braking, lane-keeping assistance and self-parking systems as standard, winning over the judges with its “class-leading safety and technical innovation”.

Last year the Hyundai i30 SR won Drive’s overall Car of the Year.

Which car will take out the title this year?

Click here to see the full list of finalists for the 2018 Drive Car of the Year, presented by BP, and comment below which car you think should win.

Source: Drive

October 28, 2018