With hundreds of top-selling cars to choose from, it can be hard to sift through all the different options when shopping for a new car.
So to help with the process, we’ve developed a quick and easy guide that can help narrow down the search by selecting some of the highest-rated used and new cars on the market.
Highest Rated, Reliable and Popular
The easiest way to start looking for your next new car is to decide on the type and size of vehicle needed for your lifestyle.
Once you’ve figured this out, you can then choose a make and model that suits your needs and preferably comes with an affordable price tag.
But with so many new cars hitting the market every year and car sales continuing to grow, this is where you need to look at the finer details.
Whether you’re looking for the best affordable sports car or just a generally reliable new car for the whole family, everyone has a different idea of what makes the ‘best’ vehicle.
So we’ve based our choices on Canstar’s latest customer satisfaction data as well as independent reviews from Chasing Cars to find the highest-rated, most reliable and most popular cars for eleven different vehicle categories.
Best Small Cars
While the MG3 is still a relatively new car name in the Australian market, it continues to skyrocket in popularity.
The affordable Chinese car offers up a great-looking vehicle that’s engineered with safety in mind. But the model is reaching the end of its lifecycle and is expected to be discontinued by 2024 with an upgraded replacement on its way.
- 15-inch alloy wheels
- Sleek leather-trimmed steering wheel
- Modern infotainment system
- Set to be discontinued at the start of 2024
- Doesn't include blind spot monitoring
- Not the most fuel-efficient among other small cars
Read the latest MG3 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
The i30 was Australia’s top-selling small car in March 2023, proving that it holds its own against similar-sized vehicles in Australia.
A lot of its appeal comes down to design, comfort, reliability and value for money. It’s a no-fuss, easy-to-drive choice from the Korean brand that has more than enough tech-smart, practical features to keep all its competitors on their toes.
- Proven reliability in Australian driving conditions
- Well-considered interior design and attractive appearance
- User-friendly infotainment system
- Engine is adequate rather than exceptional
- Could improve the digital dash
- Interior fit feels slightly cheap
Read the latest Hyundai i30 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
The much-loved Corolla has been around for a long time, with more than a million of these super-reliable vehicles being sold since it was first released in Australia in the 1960s.
The Corolla has essentially been the template for small cars around the globe for half a century and its wide appeal hasn’t waned.
- Latest models have seven airbags for increased safety
- The world’s most popular car in an improved, stylish package
- Two-litre engine or 1.8L hybrid engine has plenty of grunt
- Smooth handling and comfortable ride
- Respectable level of safety features
- In the hatchback version, space is tight in the rear seats
- Boot is pretty tiny
Read the latest Toyota Corolla reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
See our full list of best small cars in Australia
Best Midsize Sedans
A great driving experience and reliability is what you're likely to find in this midsize sedan. Kia usually boasts five stars across a broad range of categories, including value for money and overall customer satisfaction.
While the Stinger might not be the best sports car on the market, it definitely offers sporty driving dynamics for an affordable retail price.
- State of the art technology
- High calibre of engineering
- Interior finish oozes class
- Quiet, comfortable and reliable
- Compact rear seating
- Infotainment could be better
- The V6 isn't as loud as you might hope
Read the latest Kia Stinger reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
The Mazda lineup has long been popular with Australian car buyers over the years, providing a comforting level of reliability.
Although the Mazda 6 looks similar to the Mazda 3 from the outside, once you get a peek at the interior, the differences are plain to see. The 6 has a much larger boot and more room for the rear passengers.
- Comfortable, attractive cabin
- Excellent value for money
- Excellent fuel economy
- Can be noisy on the road
- Narrow body limits space
Read the latest Mazda 6 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
While the safety features in the Toyota Camry can be exemplary, there’s much more to this vehicle than its five-star ANCAP rating. With the option for hybrid power and enough space for the whole family, the Camry fully earns its place in the best cars list.
- Spacious interior and ample boot space
- Lively, efficient engine
- Proven dependability and high resale value
- One of the safest cars you can buy
- Rather outdated infotainment technology
- Doesn’t offer all-wheel drive
Read the latest Toyota Camry reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
See our full list of the best midsize sedans in Australia
Best Large Cars
BMW 5 Series
Though the BMW 5 Series faces stiff competition from competitors like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, it still provides all the European style and superior engineering you expect from a large luxury sedan.
A ride in a 5 Series is an exercise in luxury, comfort and efficiency, with a hefty swag of technology at your fingertips and all the safety gear you could ask for.
- Superb interior presentation
- Smooth, comfortable ride with plenty of room
- Four-cylinder engine supplies solid performance
- High safety rating and user-friendly technology
- Value for money, hard to quantify compared to BMW’s SUV range
- Showing signs of age compared to the 3 Series
Read the latest BMW 5 Series reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
It's common to see the Impreza zipping around Australian streets in either its sedan or hatchback versions. With all-wheel drive, it can tackle both bitumen and back roads with ease and offers an affordable starting price and five stars for reliability.
- Four-cylinder engine with the convenience of AWD
- Fifth-generation testing and reliability
- Highly intuitive digital infotainment system
- Limited boot space
- Interior lacks luxury and comfort
Read the latest Subaru Impreza reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Best Hybrid Cars
You're spoilt for choice when it comes to the RAV4 range, with 2WD or AWD options with an electric AWD option. Its fantastic features make it an award-winning vehicle with outstanding hybrid technology.
- Tilt and slide moonroof to satisfy your desire for adventure
- Class-leading safety and technology
- Affordable sports car style
- One of the top-selling cars in Australia
- Slightly louder engine
- Long waiting list due to popularity
Read the latest Toyota RAV4 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Not only is the Forester available with a 110kW hybrid engine, but it also comes with plenty of space and reliability. There's a reason Subaru has been around for generations.
- Dusk-sensing headlights and daytime running lights
- Number of model varieties
- Ease with connectivity
- Practical and eye-catching interior
- Average performance
- The hybrid model doesn't match others on efficiency
Read the latest Subaru Forester reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
This plug-in hybrid model offers up an efficient car with a comfortable and practical interior.
While the PHEV option costs a bit more than its petrol or diesel counterpart, there can be ongoing cost benefits that come with making the switch to hybrid.
- Seamless drivetrain
- Effective electric range
- Decent urban ride with comfortable seating
- Styling lacks sophistication and can be fussy
- Rear seat cushion can be too flat
- Lazy body control when pushed
Read the latest Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
See our full list of the most fuel-efficient cars in Australia
Best Electric Cars
Tesla Model 3
It’s hard to go past Tesla when deciding on a fully electric vehicle. With an impressive driving range and top-end infotainment features including a panoramic glass roof, the Model 3 has long been the most popular electric vehicle in the country.
- Impressive, plush interior
- Good range and acceleration
- Dedicated Tesla chargers offer more options for recharging
- Pricier option
- Can feel the weight of the car in the corners
Read the latest Tesla Model 3 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
BYD Atto 3
This newer model on the Australian market has quickly become a fan favourite as an affordable electric vehicle option that still packs some punch.
With a starting price under $50,000 and an impressive on-road performance, there's lots to love about this electric car.
- Five-star ANCAP rating
- Affordable electric car option
- Zippy performance
- Unique interior that might not suit all tastes
- Tyre grip needs work
Read the latest BYD Atto 3 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Hyundai was the first brand to take hold of the Australian electric vehicle market after Tesla arrived.
The Kona is a fantastic family option offering up a practical and reliable option for everyday Australians who don’t mind missing out on all the bells and whistles of a Tesla.
- Decent electric range
- Good accelerative powertrain
- Comfy and practical interior
- Slightly less affordable than other electric options
- Some harsh cabin materials
Read the latest Hyundai Kona reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Best Small SUVs
Though it’s technically an SUV, the CX-3 feels more like an urban hatchback, which perhaps explains its appeal to such a diverse range of Australian car buyers.
- Outstanding interior build quality
- Eye-level infotainment system is user-friendly but not distracting
- Excellent value for money
- Impressive range of standard safety features
- Less cargo than some other sedans
- Engineered more for street use than off-road adventures
Read the latest Mazda CX-3 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Stylish with great fuel-efficiency and easy on the eyes, the C-HR doesn’t pull any punches in the small SUV category. It’s highly rated for comfort, safety and ease of maintenance and boasts the kind of sporty handling and driver visibility that makes driving fun.
- Exceptional range of safety technology
- Good fuel economy for an SUV
- Great-looking exterior with plenty of bright colours to choose from
- Handles typical Australian driving conditions well
- Lacklustre acceleration
- No all-wheel drive option
- Cabin wind noise is noticeable
Read the latest Toyota C-HR reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
The ASX is a firm favourite with young families and car rental companies, offering smooth-as-silk handling and a bit more internal space than other SUVs in its class.
- Exterior design improved for a sharper look
- Low price point and easy to look after
- Improved performance with the 2.4-litre engine
- Easy-to-use multimedia and digital connectivity
- Fuel economy is okay but not amazing
- Interior styling isn’t as contemporary as some competitors
- Cabin is a bit noisy
Read the latest Mitsubishi ASX reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
See our full list of best small SUVs in Australia
Best Medium SUVs
The CX-5’s versatility ranks it amongst the best SUVs in Australia. It manages to look like a normal car but still has enough all-wheel-drive grip and road clearance to handle bumps, gravel roads and bush adventures.
- Turbo-charged engine and transmission can be powerful and responsive
- Nice range of standard equipment
- Silky-smooth handling — fantastic steering and stability
- Attractive inside and out
- Easy on fuel
- Rear seats could use more headroom and legroom
- No manual transmission option
Read the latest Mazda CX-5 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
One of Australia's top-selling medium SUVs, the ZS offers a nice combination of affordability, safety and advanced technology.
- 6 Speaker audio system
- Spacious cabin and boot
- Stylishly designed
- Four-star ANCAP rating
- Base model isn't powerful on all terrain
Read the latest MG ZS reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
The sturdy Outlander is one of the few midsize SUVs to offer three rows of seats and a choice between all-wheel or front-wheel drive and diesel, hybrid or petrol.
- One of the most reliable, affordable SUVs around
- Competitive fuel economy
- Bountiful safety features
- Third-row seat option
- High-tech infotainment system
- Engine can be noisy when accelerating quickly
- The third row of seats is cramped and best suited for children
Read the latest Mitsubishi Outlander reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
See our full list of the best medium SUVs in Australia
Best Large SUVs
Not many large SUVs feel as sporty or comfortable to drive as the CX-9, with its powerful fuel-efficient engine and practical styling. This seven-seater is spacious, tech-smart, crammed with driver-assist safety features and offers the option of all-wheel drive.
- Petrol engine performance is well above average
- Brilliant standard of safety and driver-assist technology
- Superb handling, it drives more like a sporty sedan than an SUV
- Responsive precision steering
- Third-row seats can be only comfortable for children
- Rear-view camera image isn’t as sharp as it could be
Read the latest Mazda CX-9 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
The Kluger is a serious SUV that more and more Aussie families are finding just right for their needs.
Toyota has improved the 3.5-litre V6 engine’s fuel efficiency and offers plenty of high-tech wizardry and solid safety gear to go with the Kluger’s spacious interior and impressive towing ability.
- Flexible, roomy, powerful and great for growing families
- Superb handling for a large vehicle
- Solid, well-built chassis and impressive range of standard safety features
- Offers a smooth ride with both all-wheel and front-wheel drive
- Interior doesn’t feel contemporary
- Infotainment unit is pretty average
Read the latest Toyota Kluger reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
There’s a lot to like about the Sorento including a seven-year warranty, a beautiful interior finish, auto braking and the comfort and versatility of an extremely well-built seven-seater SUV. You can use it as an all-wheel drive or a front-wheel drive, and a powerful diesel version is also available.
- Potentially life-saving smart braking options
- One of the best warranties in the industry
- Good value for money for an SUV this size
- Quiet cabin, comfortable seats and smooth ride
- The petrol V6 engine is on the thirsty side
- Less cargo space than some other vehicles in this class
Read the latest Kia Sorento reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
See our full list of best large SUVs in Australia
Jockeying for position with the Toyota Hilux as Australia’s top-selling ute, the Ford Ranger is a perfect option for families wanting space and cabin comfort or anyone requiring a tough, practical ute that can tote (or tow) a hefty load.
- Super-versatile handling everything from mud to everyday roads
- Brilliant for towing and hauling
- Advanced safety tech
- Good value for money
- Simple-to-use interior controls
- Long wheelbase and large turning circle makes tight car parks a challenge
- Manual transmission not available
- No rear seat ventilation
Read the latest Ford Ranger reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
The Toyota Hilux is one of the best-selling and most reliable utes in Australia and for a good reason. With fantastic handling and power, this workhorse has long been a prime choice for solo adventurers as well as for taking the whole family on a road trip.
- Superb workhorse off-road
- Comfortable and robust interior
- Ample power and torque
- Stingy spec for the money
- Safety kit trails some ute rivals
- Not cheap to service every six months
- Harsh interior materials
Read the latest Toyota Hilux reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly ute that’s affordable across the range and takes its off-roading credentials seriously, this is the kind of tough, well-engineered, multi-purpose vehicle you can consider looking at.
With features like hill descent control, traction control and brake assist, there's plenty to help promote its off-road prowess.
- Competitive drive-away pricing
- Massively strong and well-engineered
- On-road comfort and space can be great for families
- Robust, enthusiastic drivetrain
- Steering wheel isn’t adjustable for reach
- Drab-coloured dash
Read the latest Mazda BT-50 reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Best Family Cars
Hyundai Santa Fe
This super spacious family car is the best for families who might be working within a budget but don’t want to skimp on safety. With reliability on the road and a smooth drive thanks to features such as adaptive cruise control, the Santa Fe should long be a winner in the family car section.
- Plenty of room in all three rows
- Affordable, coming in at starting price just under $50,000 before on-road costs
- Safety tech is up to standard
- Smooth drive thanks to excellent insulation in the tyres
- Lacks luxury feel with cloth seats and smaller tyres
- Missing body airbags in back row
- No factory navigation which can be annoying when out of service
- Infotainment system is not as advanced as other models
Read the latest Hyundai Santa Fe reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
The Skoda Kodiaq is a great option for the whole family with a smooth ride and plenty of storage. It also comes with a great safety kit that offers rear parking sensors and a 360-degree camera for an affordable price.
- Strong engine and absorbent ride
- Plenty of storage solutions including 765 L boot capacity behind second-row seats
- Decent safety features with nine airbags
- Second-row seats lack comfort
- Occasional suspension crash through
- Could be more powerful
Read the latest Skoda Kodiaq reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars
For bigger families, this people mover is perfect to fit up to eight passengers with plenty of cabin capacity with or without the back seats down. But with such a big car, be prepared for some difficulties parking and less shock absorption.
- Eight seats with an incredibly spacious cabin perfect for big families
- Great on family road trips with 627 L of boot space with eight seats up
- Helpful parking technologies and fairly manoeuvrable
- Acceptable absorbency but a long way from being plush on the road
- Average fuel consumption at 9.6 L per 100 km
- Not the easiest car to drive around or park at 5.15 m long and almost two metres wide
Read the latest Kia Carnival reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
See our full list of the best family cars in Australia
Best First Cars
Known for its toughness and reliability, the Swift is a fantastic first car to zip around town in. While it’s compact in the cabin, there’s more than enough room inside for the youngsters and their friends.
- Manoeuvrable and easy to park
- Excellent fuel economy
- Easy to get spare parts
- Proven reliability.
- Interior is a tad basic
- Could use more storage areas.
Read the latest Suzuki Swift reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
The Kia Rio delivers a highly spacious interior including a large boot, a comfortable drive, and, most importantly good handling coupled with a solid, dependable engine.
This all adds up to an enjoyable, efficient, and extremely practical car, which will get you from point A to point B and back again without any fuss.
- Fun to drive and light on its feet
- Affordable entry price
- Economical engine
- Engine could do with a bit more grunt
- No alloy wheels
- Seats need a bit more bolstering
- Expensive servicing
Read the latest Kia Rio reviews and news from our friends at Chasing Cars.
See our full list of the best first cars in Australia
No matter whether you're choosing a four-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, every aspect of the car needs to be considered depending on your lifestyle and environment.
With family cars, safety and storage can be important factors to consider, while utes might be more focussed on power and off-road performance.
Meanwhile, reliability is generally a big concern when looking for first cars for teens, while electric range can become one of the top priorities for hybrid vehicles.
Regardless of the type of vehicle you need, it’s important to check all aspects including price, safety features, power, road performance, storage and fuel consumption or electric range to ensure you’re choosing the right option.