Drive Car of the Year

Drive Car of the Year is Australia’s most trusted and comprehensive new car award program that is designed to help you shop smarter and save more.

The 2023 awards have arrived!

We tested more than 60 cars over 19 categories to find out which are the best on the Australian market.

Category winners announced every day from February 27 to March 10

Drive Car of the Year shines the spotlight on the best new cars, SUVs and utes to suit your budget, your needs and your desires.

There’s something for everyone!

Small cars, large SUVs, sports cars, prestige sedans, utes and even people movers…

Drive Car of the Year divides cars into 19 categories customised to help every Australian consumer find the best car in every category.

What makes a winning car?

Drive Car of the Year is the toughest award to win in Australia.

Our experts spent two weeks driving the finalists extensively on real-world roads, testing facilities, and rutted off-road tracks.

Our rigorous and exacting testing procedure dives deep into every car’s capabilities, from emergency braking to boot space and baby seat fitment to ensure the winners we recommend are truly the best in their class.

How are the vehicles judged?

Australians expect a lot from their new car: Style, safety, affordability, space, versatility, economy, performance, servicing costs, resale values…

Drive Car of the Year is founded on our road testing calendar which evaluates hundreds of vehicles every year. From that extensive catalogue of reviews we select three or four finalists for judges to evaluate further during DCOTY’s three judging weeks.

Every car is measured against our trusted testing criteria, including:

  • Safety
  • Performance
  • Powertrain
  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Value for Money
  • Technology
  • Handling & Ride Quality
  • Interior Comfort & Design

Meet our Judges

Drive Car of the Year’s panel of experts includes former auto industry executives and engineers, offroading experts and race drivers, and even safety conscious parents. With a combined 200 years of automotive experience, these men and women know exactly what Australians demand in their next new car

Drive Car of the Year Support Crew


The sharpest lensmen in the business are charged with capturing all the action on film so you can ride shotgun with our judges as they search for Australia’s best cars.


These guys shoot more than a million frames of the hundreds of cars that pass through Drive’s garage every year, and yet their enthusiasm for the subject remains as perfectly focused as their brilliant photography.


Drive’s secret weapon and the glue that holds it all together, Drive Car of the Year would not happen without our crack organising team.


Testing cars and writing about them would come to nothing without the support of the 40+ people it takes to keep the automotive publishing empire one of Australia’s most popular and most trusted online destinations.

Hall of Fame

Drive has been reporting without fear or favour since 1996 and recognising Australia’s best cars in Drive Car of the Year since 2006. Come on a journey through time as we look back on the winners from previous years.

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