Monday, March 1st, 2021 - ARE Media - Motoring

Melbourne, Monday 1 March, 2021 – Continuing an esteemed tradition for over 54 years, Wheels Car of the Year is Australia’s most coveted motoring award and the world's longest continuously running motoring accolade for automotive excellence.

Wheels Car of the Year finalists Audi e-tron, BMW 4 Series, Ford Escape, Ford Puma, Mazda CX-30, Genesis GV80...Bestowed on the best newly released vehicle each year, Wheels Car of the Year is the Australian automotive industry’s most sought-after prize and sets a benchmark for manufacturers in their future model planning.

With COVID-19 sadly wreaking havoc on events and lives worldwide, the 2021 Wheels Car of the Year event was alas caught up in the global uncertainty – with the accolade almost not awarded for only the fourth time in its illustrious history (1972, 1979 and 1986 when no newly released car was considered worthy of the award).

But under new ownership and guidance by auto publishing stalwart and Are Media Motoring CEO Andrew Beecher, the show pushed on and today we proudly announce the 2021 winner of Wheels Car of the Year.

“There is little doubt that the weight of over 50 years of Australian automotive history does much to define Wheels Car of the Year,” Beecher said.

“While to some the idea may sound quaint, the fact is Australian car enthusiasts demand agenda setting content that they can trust. We hold that trust dear and exist solely to deliver stories that inspire, reviews that inform and content that engages the current and future generations of Australian motorists.

“And of course, that trust makes Wheels Car of the Year unique – it is an award for our readers and the industry grounded in genuine trust,”

To be eligible, a car must have gone on sale in the 12 months since the last Car of the Year event, and as such 52 models were shortlisted for technical eligibility to Car of the Year 2021. This year, though – given the COVID-19 induced time constraints placed the event – our expert team of judges made some very hard decisions and refined the field to just 10 new models.

Making the final cut were the Audi e-tron, BMW 4 Series, Ford Escape, Ford Puma, Mazda CX-30, Genesis GV80, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Defender, Mercedes-Benz GLB and Toyota Yaris.

Editor of Wheels Magazine, Dylan Campbell said; “Wheels Car of the Year is the hardest motoring award in the world to win.

“To be our Car of the Year, the winner must nail five award criterion. Function – how well does the car fulfil its intended purpose? Technology – does the car push the boundaries? Efficiency – if it’s an EV, how good is its range for the size of its battery? Or if it is petrol-powered, how much fuel does it use? Then there’s Value, which is huge. And finally, Safety, another area in which we are looking for advancement.

“Our judges spend a week with our shortlisted cars, evaluating them against these criteria, before we pick a winner. And even though it was a unanimous decision, this year was one of the hardest years on record on pick our number one.”


So it is with our greatest pleasure to announce that the winner, of the 2021 Wheels Car of the Year is the Mazda CX-30.

“The CX-30 is just such a delightful car and performed strongly against all our criteria,” Campbell said.

“It’s well-engineered, thoughtfully designed and with a luxuriously appointed interior for the price.

“It goes to show if you need a family car, you don’t need to buy a four-wheeled refrigerator. The CX-30 is a car you would always look forward to driving.

“This is Mazda’s ninth Car of the Year win, making it the second most successful manufacturer at our award behind only Holden.”

- ENDS –

Please find a link to images, video and audio files relating to this media release for download here:

Images: 2021 Wheels Car of the Year Winner images

Video: 2021 Wheels Car of the Year Contenders video

Audio: Grab for radio from Wheels Magazine Editor Dylan Campbell

Winner’s announcement video: Wheels Magazine YouTube

For further information, or interview requests, please contact:

Dave Harding

M: 0407 391 515

E: [email protected]


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