Best-Value SUV award: Best of the Best 2020
FORD ESCAPE AMBIENTE FWD
SUVs have established a firm foothold on the market, outselling passenger cars by almost 50% so far in 2019.
While most SUVs cost more than comparable cars, there are some good bargains, particularly in the family-friendly medium SUV class, which accounts for most sales.
The Ford Escape Ambiente FWD (pictured) is one of the older models on the market but still impresses with its ride and handling.
The entry-level Escape provides SUV convenience with hatchback comparable running costs, including excellent 6.3L/100km fuel economy, $673 annual insurance bill and decent 54% resale value.
Not far behind is the Honda CR-V Vi FWD, which is $700 cheaper than the Escape but will cost a little more to run over three years, due to its 7.6L/100km economy and higher $803 insurance premium.
On paper the manual Holden Equinox LS FWD represents more value than the CR-V.
However, the Honda comes standard with an automatic transmission, which makes for a pleasant drive. All three vehicles come with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.