Ford offers some outstanding vehicles to Australian buyers - notably the Mondeo, Focus and Fiesta. Unfortunately the Falcon has become something of a dinosaur in recent years, and the Territory urgently needs an upgrade for contemporary relevance.
Hyundai has leapt from strength to strength in Australia - and around the world. Its latest vehicles - including the Veloster,i30, i40 and Santa Fe are outstanding. Some of the older designs, like the Accent and i20 are less so. Hyundai also offers a terrific five-year warranty.
Toyota is Australia's number-one car maker. Incredibly, one in every five vehicles sold in Australia is a Toyota. Build quality is exceptionally good, but on pure excitement value, the Toyota fleet leaves a little to be desired - except perhaps for the brilliant Toyota 86 sports car.
Holden struggles with its local manufacturing operation, with the Commodore and Cruze falling increasingly out of favour with Australian buyers. Unfortunately, its imported cars - like the Barina and Captiva - are eclipsed by better offerings from Japan and South Korea as well.
Brilliant innovation, especially in engines, and bringing diesel to the fore at exactly the right time for Australia, saw meteoric growth in Volkswagen sales in recent years. Design - especially of the smaller cars like the Golf and Polo - is also outstanding. Unfortunately, Volkswagen also has a reliability problem with its DSG transmissions and electronic control units, and supply of some replacement parts takes far too long.
Subaru has done really well selling one engineering innovation - symmetrical all-wheel-drive - to Australian buyers. Recent models aren't the most beautiful cars on the road, but the calibre of underlying engineering is first-rate.
Honda was hit hard by the Global Financial Crisis and struggles to compete with the likes of Mazda, Subaru and Toyota. Thankfully, however, the newest releases from Honda show some promise that the company is getting back in the game, albeit slowly.
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