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Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

Big cars with small appetites.

It’s curious to note the impressive improvements – all of a sudden –- by car manufacturers to ensure that their cars are super-efficient and green.  Now company cars are becoming much more fuel efficient and emission conscious than ever before.  But what’s it like for the potential new car buyer on the lookout for a large family vehicle that can carry the luggage and occupants with space to burn?  Oh…and it might need to, actually, be capable of towing a good sized trailer or caravan now and then.  What new large car are we going to find in early 2011 that is going to fit this job prescription – and is actually going to keep the fuel bill down or improve it? 

With the help of Australia’s Ecocar magazine (, let’s take a look.

The Germans always have a trick up their sleeves.  And in early 2011, we find Audi offering the reasonably roomy A6 with three excellent diesel power plants to power the luxury sedan.  The 2.0 TDI (5.8 litres/100 km), 2.7 TDI (6.4 litres/100 km) and 3.0 TDI (7.1 litres/100 km) engines are effortless, quiet and, most importantly, fuel efficient.  If you don’t mind the 103k price tag for the Audi A6 Allroad (7.1 litres/100 km), then the extra load carrying ability of the crossover stationwagon design has got to be a drawcard. 

 Smooth Audi A6

Bigger and even more luxurious, BMW offer the beautiful 730d.  You are not going to find a sedan much more spacious and comfortable than this one.  And with a 7.2 litres/100 km combined efficiency figure, this has to be one of the most desirable big motorcars that will offer the room with the economy – and the style.  With 540 Nm of torque available from just 1750 rpm, towing the yacht is not going to be much of an ordeal.

 Striking 730d

Citroen has the spacious C5.  Always a comfortable drive, the C5 is also very big on safety and flair.  Attach a 6.8 litres/100 km fuel consumption figure, and the diesel Citroen C5 models look decidedly charming.

 Nice looking C5

Sadly, Ford hasn’t really got an option for space and economy, yet.  The big LPG Falcons put up a reasonable standing.  But do keep your eye out for the four cylinder petrol Falcons, due shortly.  Also the diesel powered Territory models are worth the wait.

The sensible large car icon

Holden has their range of LPG Commodores.  But you might like to consider the Epica CDX and CDXi.  These are roomysedans with diesel engines providing 7.5 litres/100 km.  At just over 40k, they aren’t going to send you broke in a hurry, either.

The Epica: smarter than you think

Have you thought about the Hyundai Grandeur CRDi?  The Grandeur is a classy tourer with room and luxury that foots it with some of the high end vehicles from Europe.  At 7.9 litres/100km, it is still reasonably frugal for such a big sedan.  It’s only 41k, too!  Hyundai’s Santa Fe is a great buy, and the diesel donks are superb motors.  The Santa Fe SLX CRDi boasts a 6.7 litres/100 km fuel economy figure.

 Elegant large Hyundai

Jaguar is next on the list.  And what awesome cars these are.  If money wasn’t a concern, then the Jaguar XF 3.0 D S and the Jaguar XJ 3.0 D models are as good as it gets for a complete combination of grace, pace and economy.

 Quick and graceful

Kia’s Sorento Si is a great possibility.  An under 40k price tag, 6.7 litres/100 km from the diesel donk and reasonable room makes it a very sensible option.  Don’t forget that this SUV comes with a 5 year/ unlimited kilometre warranty.


Hybrid technology is the way ahead for many of the top brands.  Lexus have mastered this technology for some time now, and that is why you best take a look at the RX 450H (6.4 litres/100 km), and the GS 450H (7.9 litres/100 km).  It’s the GS that gives the BMW 730d a real run for its money.


Mazda’s CX7 Diesel Sports is one of the hottest looking SUVs on the market.  Five star ANCAP safety, style and plenty of room marry with a reasonable 7.6 litres/100 km fuel efficiency figure.

It’s great to see a big Mercedes Benz putting its hand up.  The S350 CDI is massive on room, massive on luxury and massive on style.  Impressively, a 7.7 litres/100 km efficiency figure  ain’t too bad for the massive 218k price tag.




The French also offer the Peugeot 407 sedan models that are very roomy and very safe.  You can’t beat the ST 2.0 L Hdi’s 5.7 litres/100 km, either.  If you like the SUV style and safety, then the 4007 is a must for checking out.


The best buy might be reserved for Ssangyong’s Actyon SUV.  Reasonable interior space, solid handling and diesel donks that provide mid-sevens for fuel efficiency make the 26k price tag of the Actyon A200 XDi look like a real steal.


Suzuki’s Grand Vitara can seat seven and offer tenacious off-roading prowess.  Fuel economy is excellent, and the AWD traction is going to be a bonus both on and off the tarmac.  A 7.0 litres/100 km fuel economy figure starts to look really good when you combine the Grand Vitara’s wide variety of useful skills.



Toyota’s Camry hybrid models are relatively roomy, always robust, comfortable and quite safe.  The 6.0 litres/100 km efficiency looks very good, too.


I’ll end with Volvo.  You’ll find the Volvo S80 D5 a satisfying drive, particularly when a 7.4 litres/100 km is a reality for the big and very safe S80 luxury sedan.  The XC60 D5 is roomy, but if you still want more, then the XC70 D5 might be the pick of the Volvos.  A very solid engine provides efficient, smooth performance for both XC variants.  Mid-sevens can be expected for average fuel consumption.


So, there you have it: a summary of the best large family vehicles in Australia that are going to provide you with plenty of room and excellent economy.