Finalists announced for Australia's Best Car 2014

Efficient fleet services can be divided into three essential components: organisation, driver competency and the quality of its vehicles.

While a fleet manager can always improve their organisation with reporting software and fleet management programs, and drivers can be trained to become better at their jobs, vehicles are about as good on day one as they'll ever be.

Other than upgrading the fleet - which is very unlikely - if a company wants to ensure their vehicles run at a high level of performance, choosing the right one at purchase level is essential.

To help fleet managers make the correct decision, the National Road Motorists' Association (NRMA) has announced the finalists for its Australia's Best Car 2014 awards.

Australian Automobile Association Chief Executive Andrew McKellar explained the importance of vehicle procurement and how the awards help consumers make the best decisions.

"The program is Australia's most independent evaluation of value for money, design and function and on road performance of new vehicles," he said. "Purchasing a new car is a major decision and we hope our assessment will make it a little easier for the consumer."

And the finalists are...

The industry body assessed 200 cars in 14 categories and found the three best performers across different groups. Of the groups likely to appeal to fleet managers, the finalists are:

  • Small car - Hyundaii 30; Active Mazda; Mazda 3 Maxx.
  • Medium car - Mazda6 Touring; Skoda Octavia AmbitionPlus 103TSI; Toyota Camry H.
  • Large car - BMW 320i; Lexus IS300h; Mercedes Benz C200.
  • Small 2WD SUV - Ford Ecosport Trend; Nissan Juke ST; Nissan Qashqai ST.
  • AWD SUV (less than $45,000) - Kia Sportage Platinum; Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport; Subaru Forester 2.5i.
  • AWD SUV ($45,000 - $65,000) - Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander; Kia Sorento Platinum; VolkswagenPassat Alltrack.
  • 4x4 Dual Cab Ute - Ford Ranger XLT; Mazda BT-50 XTR; Volkswagen Amarok Highline TDI420.

The winners will be announced at an industry event in Brisbane on November 25.

Improving fleet services

The NRMA reviewed the vehicles over the course of a year and used "back-to-back testing" to assign its finalists. Fleets may require a little more extensive knowledge to make sure new vehicle purchases remain reliable and efficient long after the first year of use.

What's more, fleet managers may also have specific requirements of their fleet vehicles, such as transit space, maintenance costs, car fuel consumption and safety ratings.

If you are looking at new vehicles for your fleet, choosing the right one is a great start. From then on, a fleet management program can ensure vehicles run at maximum efficiency in the areas that are important to you.

To find out how Smartfleet assists in both vehicle procurement and fleet management services, contact us online or call 1300 218 841.