There are 56 car manufacturers to choose from in Australia. This list will give you a general sense of what's on offer and what each car maker does well.
List of manufacturers
This famous Italian tuning house, founded in 1949, is now a fully owned subsidiary of Stellantis. It specialises in tuning and modifying a few models based on the Fiat 500, giving them updated performance, brakes, handling characteristics and styling.
Popular Abarth models include:
- 124 Spider. Sporty convertible that offers an engaging drive.
- 595. Fast and furious turbocharged small car with a host of customisation options.
- 595 Competizione. 132kW of power paired with a five-speed manual guarantees an adrenalin-pumping package.
Founded in Milan in 1910, this legendary Italian racing brand has long been associated with exciting high-performance sports cars. Impressive performance and eye-catching styling are hallmarks of this iconic carmaker, which is now owned by Stellantis. Under the guise of Fiat Chrysler Australia, it imports several models down under.
Popular Alfa Romeo models include:
- Giulia. Stylish sports sedan boasting elegant lines and rear-wheel drive.
- Giulietta. Sleek design, a five-star safety rating and a long list of features are highlights of the Giulietta.
- 4C. Available as a coupe or spider, this gorgeous Alfa Romeo sports car is hand-built at the Maserati factory in Modena.
Alpine is a sub-division of Renault. Currently, the Renault F1 team is branded as the Alpine F1 Team. After decades of inactivity, Renault brought back the Alpine name for a 2017 sports car model, the A110.
Currently, Alpine builds only one model for Australia:
- A110. The A110 is a rear-wheel-drive, rear-mid-engine sports car. It's capable of a 0-100km/h dash of just 4.5 seconds, in Pure and Légende trim A110s. Alpine turns the engine up for the S trim, which shaves 0.1 seconds off the 0-100 and means the car has 215kW and a top speed of 262km/h.
This well-known British sports car and grand tourer manufacturer was founded in London in 1913, but skyrocketed to worldwide fame during the 1960s on the back of the James Bond movie franchise. Exclusive high-performance vehicles continue to be the name of the game for Aston Martin in the modern era, and it produces a glamorous range of coupes, roadsters and sedans.
Popular Aston Martin models include:
- Vanquish. A luxurious super grand tourer designed for long-distance cruising or exciting weekend drives.
- V8 Vantage S. Increased power and sporty performance help the vantage deliver a memorable driving experience.
- DB11. Aston Martin's most powerful and fuel-efficient DB production model ever, the DB11 comes with a V8 or V12 engine.
German carmaker Audi has roots dating back to the early 20th century, but its latest iteration essentially got started in the 1960s. Known for offering an extensive variety of luxury vehicles, Audi has nine production facilities around the world and is part of the Volkswagen Group. Its vehicle range includes sedans, hatches, SUVs, luxury tourers, coupes, convertibles and wagons.
Popular Audi models include:
- A4. Mid-sized luxury car with interior refinement and plenty of performance potential.
- Q3. The compact SUV with sporty styling and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
- Q7. Seven-seat luxury SUV with a 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine, eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive.
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This legendary British carmaker is synonymous with luxury vehicles. Founded in North London in 1919, Bentley rose to fame by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans several times in the next decade. Though it also saw several decades of ownership by Rolls-Royce during the 20th century, Bentley is now part of the Volkswagen Group and continues to produce an exclusive range of luxury cars and SUVs.
Popular Bentley models include:
- Continental GT. A grand tourer with impressive performance and a high standard of fit and finish.
- Bentayga. Old-school luxury meets all the modern creature comforts in this ridiculously quick (but also very expensive) SUV.
- Mulsanne. Ultra-luxurious and ultra-expensive, the Mulsanne can be customised in myriad ways to suit your personal tastes.
BMW, which is more formally known as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (Bavarian Motor Works), was founded in 1916. This legendary German brand is one of the world's best-selling luxury carmakers and has long been a sought-after choice for Australian car buyers. Its comprehensive model range includes hatches, sedans, wagons, SUVs, coupes and convertibles, plus everything from high-performance vehicles to petrol-electric hybrids and electric cars.
Popular BMW models include:
- 3 Series. A high-performance luxury sedan in an extensive range of variants.
- X1. A compact SUV loaded with safety gear and a myriad of other features.
- X5. Five-door, medium-sized SUV available with five or seven seats, petrol or diesel engines and all- or rear-wheel drive.
Aussie sports car manufacturer Bolwell first started producing vehicles in the period from 1962 to 1979. Though it disappeared from sight for a time, Bolwell returned in the 2000s with the limited production Nagari Mk X.
Popular Bolwell models include:
- Nagari 300. This high-performance mid-engined coupe gets its power from a 3.5-litre Toyota V6.
Founded in Sydney in 1986, Bufori specialises in hand-built luxury and sports cars. Inspired by American coupes in the 1930s, the Khouri brothers aimed to combine this old-world style with modern technology. Now based in Malaysia, Bufori sells its vehicles in several markets around the world.
Popular Bufori models include:
- Geneva. Luxury saloon that combines a 6.4-litre V8 with the latest technology and classic styling.
- La Joya. A uniquely styled and luxurious car with a body made of a carbon fibre and Kevlar composite material.
Founded in 1909, French carmaker Bugatti manufactures some of the most exhilarating high-performance sports cars the world has ever seen. Now owned by Volkswagen, Bugatti's limited-production vehicles are extremely rare and highly sought-after by the rich and famous.
Popular Bugatti models include:
- Veyron. Legendary sports car with more than 1,000HP and a top speed of over 400km/h.
- Chiron. A super sports car that produces an astonishing 1,500HP and, until 2019, held the world record fastest time for the 0-400-0km/h.
British carmaker Caterham specialises in lightweight sports cars known for their impressive handling and performance. Founded in Caterham, Surrey in 1973, the company's Clubman sports car evolved from the original Lotus Seven. Melbourne-based Caterham Cars Australia imports a selection of models for use on the road and the track.
Popular Caterham models include:
- Seven 275. Powered by a 1.6-litre Ford Sigma Ti-VCT, the Seven 275 travels from 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds and has a top speed of 190km/h.
- Seven 355. Fitted with the Caterham-Ford 2.0 litre motor, the Seven 355 travels from 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds and has a top speed of 208km/h.
- Seven 485. The Caterham-Ford 2.0 litre engine powers the Seven 485 from 0-100km/h in just 3.9 seconds and helps it reach a top speed of 240km/h.
Car manufacturer Chery is a state-owned corporation and was founded by the Chinese Government in 1997. It became China's largest exporter of passenger cars in 2003. Chery Motors Australia imported models from 2011-2014.
Some Chery models included:
- J1. A compact hatch designed for budget-conscious Aussie buyers.
- J3. Cheap small hatch with an extensive list of inclusions.
- J11. A 2.0-litre petrol SUV with an entry-level price tag.
There are few American car brands more iconic than Chevrolet. Founded in 1911, this world-renowned General Motors brand is not only popular in the US but also has a global presence.
Chevy is currently imported through HSV, as well as GMSV (General Motors Speciality Vehicles).
Popular Chevrolet models include:
- Silverado. Big and brash pick-up truck with plenty of grunt for towing.
- Camaro. A powerful rival to the Ford Mustang as one of the most iconic muscle cars.
- Corvette C8. The everyday sports car that offers a high level of performance without a big price tag. The C8 marks the first time Chevrolet has used a mid-engine layout on the Corvette.
Though it once boasted production facilities in South Australia, Chrysler's days as a local manufacturer are long gone and it now imports a limited number of models under the Fiat Chrysler Australia name. It also maintains an extensive dealer network around the country.
Popular Chrysler models include:
- 300C Luxury. A luxury, family friendly sedan with an extensive range of standard inclusions.
- 300 SRT. V8-powered sedan with 350kW of power and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
French manufacturer Citroën was founded by French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën in 1919. Known for its innovative and unconventional approach to vehicle design, the marque has been part of the PSA Peugeot Citroen group since the 1970s.
Its range of unique automobiles includes small hatches, medium and large sedans, people movers, SUVs and commercial vehicles.
Popular Citroën models include:
- C3. Leading-edge technology and customisable colour options help this supermini stand out from the crowd.
- C3 Aircross SUV. As with all Citroën cars, the C3 Aircross features a quirky aesthetic that is something different to the Toyota CH-R or Hyundai Tucson.
- C5 Aircross SUV. Another larger, but still offbeat Citroën, which rivals the Mitsubishi ASX and Peugeot 3008.
After starting life in 1900 as a supplier of parts to the carmakers of Detroit, Dodge Brothers Company started manufacturing complete automobiles in 1914. Now a part of Stellantis, its vehicles were sold on Australian shores by Fiat Chrysler Australia. However, it's no longer possible to buy new Dodge vehicles down under.
Popular Dodge models include:
- Journey. Crossover SUV with a range of practical features and an optional third row of seating.
There is no car manufacturer in the world more famous (or glamorous) than Ferrari. The renowned "Prancing Horse" badge can trace its roots back to 1939, when Enzo Ferrari founded the now-legendary carmaker out of Alfa Romeo's race division. As well as a long and proud history in Formula 1 racing, Ferrari has continued to produce iconic high-performance vehicles right up to the present day.
Popular Ferrari models include:
- 812 Superfast. Front-mid-engine V12 flagship that produces 588kW of power and a 0-100km/h time of 2.9 seconds.
- California. Convertible supercar with the good looks and performance you'd expect from a Ferrari.
- 488. Two-door coupe with a V8 engine and the iconic Ferrari styling.
Founded in Turin in 1899, Fiat has been one of Italy's best-selling carmakers for more than a century. Now part of Stellantis (previously Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), Fiat produces small, medium and mid-sized hatches, SUVs and also light commercial vans. It is distributed in Australia by Fiat Chrysler Australia and has developed a loyal local following.
Popular Fiat models include:
- 500. Cute little hatch available in a huge range of colour combinations.
- 500C. Good-looking hatch packed with state-of-the-art features and technology.
- 500X. Five-seat, five-door SUV based on the 500 platform.
Henry Ford and the company he founded in Michigan in 1903 will forever be closely linked to the history of the automobile. Ford also had a long and proud tradition of building cars in Australia, but local production ceased in 2016. Despite this sad end, Ford still offers a large range of hatches, sedans, SUVs and light commercial vehicles to Australian drivers.
Popular Ford models include:
- Mustang. The legendary muscle car now comes with a new edgy exterior and range of engine options, but the same RWD layout.
- Ranger. Tough, uncompromising ute designed for tradies and farmers.
- Focus. Practical small hatch that's one of the most popular cars in the world.
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China's Great Wall Motors was established in 1984, but it only entered the Australian market for the first time in 2009. As China's largest producer of SUVs and pickup trucks, Great Wall's pitch to Australian buyers is based on affordable and durable work utes.
The single Great Wall model for Australia is:
- Steed. Ute designed for tradies and farmers and available as a 4x2 petrol, 4x2 diesel or 4x4 diesel.
Toyota has Lexus, Nissan has Infiniti and Hyundai's luxury division is called Genesis. Since 2015, Genesis has built high-end, exclusive cars for Australia.
Popular Genesis models include:
- G70 four-door sedan. The G70 is a low-volume, refined premium sedan, with an exquisite interior and plenty of power under the bonnet.
- GV80. This big SUV was only recently unveiled. This mid-size SUV is Genesis' first and is gunning for Range Rover and Lexus.
Haval is a specialist SUV manufacturer owned by China's Great Wall Motors. Established in 2013, it's a recent arrival on Australian shores, having been launched here in June 2015. All of its vehicles are backed by a five-year, 100,000km new vehicle warranty and five years of roadside assistance. However, as with any new marque, resale values are an unknown quantity.
Popular Haval models include:
- H2. A small crossover SUV with a pleasing level of fit and finish.
- H6. A sporty, mid-sized SUV with an impressive list of included equipment.
- H8. A large, spacious SUV with plenty of included equipment.
- H9. A large SUV with the tagline "Pay less than you think, get more than you expect".
Is there a better-known name in the Australian car industry than Holden? Originally a saddlery manufacturer founded in 1856, it switched to automotive manufacturing in 1908 and became a General Motors subsidiary in 1931. Holden produced its first Australian car in 1948 and went on to introduce countless models that hold a special place in the hearts of many Aussie drivers.
However, Holden ended domestic vehicle assembly in 2017. After a few years selling re-badged import models, it was announced in February 2020 that Holden would stop trading altogether.
Popular Holden models included:
- Commodore. The iconic Aussie sedan we all know and love (unless you're a Ford fan).
- Colorado. Hardworking ute available with two- or four-wheel drive and a range of body styles.
- Acadia. A big seven-seat SUV, which was built in Tennessee, US.
The Honda Motor Company doesn't just manufacture cars; it also builds aircraft, motorcycles, ATVs and even generators. Founded in Japan in 1946, Honda started producing cars in 1963.
Fast-forward more than half a century and the brand has built a reputation for impressive build quality, the latest safety features and overall reliability. Its vehicle range includes small and medium hatches, sedans, SUVs, hybrids and people movers.
Popular Honda models include:
- HR-V. A small SUV with front-wheel drive, a range of trim levels and a four-cylinder petrol engine.
- Civic. The worldwide bestseller boasts eye-catching styling and is available as a sedan or hatch.
- CR-V. The ever-popular SUV known for its interior finish and high level of build quality.
This South Korean automotive giant was founded in 1947 and is now the fourth-largest car manufacturer in the world. Though Hyundai's initial arrival to Australian shores in the 1980s saw it earn a reputation as a cheap and cheerful brand, significant improvements in quality and refinement right across the range have seen it become a favourite among new car buyers.
Its range of vehicles comprises of sporty coupes, hatches, small and medium sedans, SUVs, people movers and even light commercial vehicles.
Popular Hyundai models include:
- Tucson. A practical mid-size SUV that has taken sales charts by storm in recent years.
- i30. This small hatch and wagon boasts attractive styling and a generous list of features, making it one of the top competitors in its class.
- IONIQ. An environmentally friendly car that is sold as a mild hybrid, a plug-in hybrid or a battery-electric vehicle.
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Founded in 1989, Infiniti is Nissan's luxury vehicle division. It offers an extensive range of sedans, coupes, convertibles, SUVs and petrol-electric hybrids to suit the needs of a variety of Aussie drivers. Despite this fact, the Infiniti badge is still a reasonably rare sight on Australian roads.
Popular Infiniti models include:
- Q30. A crossover SUV with distinctive good looks and a high level of refinement.
- QX30. A comfortable and aggressively styled SUV with smooth on-road handling.
- QX70. Powerful SUV packed with features and headlined by impressive aesthetics.
Japanese truck maker and diesel engine manufacturer Isuzu has a history dating back to 1916, when Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Ltd and the Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Co. joined forces to build automobiles. Isuzu's D-Max ute and MU-X SUV are designed in Japan, built in Thailand and imported to Australia by Isuzu Ute Australia.
Popular Isuzu models include:
- D-Max. Rugged and reliable ute available in a wide range of body styles. The latest D-Max is perhaps the class-leading ute, at least in terms of safety equipment.
- MU-X. A seven-seat SUV wagon based on the D-Max platform, offering plenty of grunt and a slew of practical features.
Established as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, Jaguar rose to fame in the 1950s and '60s on the back of iconic Le Mans-winning race cars. It's been through a few ups and downs since those heady days, however, having merged with Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover and now owned by India's Tata Motors.
Popular Jaguar models include:
- XE. A medium sedan boasting classic Jaguar style and excellent handling characteristics.
- XF. This four-door sports sedan offers an impressive engine and gorgeous good looks.
- F-Type. Two-seat, front-engined sports car available with a range of six- and eight-cylinder engines.
First produced in 1941, the Jeep became the light four-wheel-drive of choice for the United States Army and the Allies during World War II. Today, Jeep is owned by Stellantis, and its reputation for rugged off-road ability is still reflected in the range of SUVs and off-road vehicles it imports into Australia.
Popular Jeep models include:
- Cherokee. Mid-size SUV with a distinctive appearance and good interior space and comfort.
- Grand Cherokee. A large SUV with great off-road ability, good on-road handling and comfort.
- Wrangler. Rugged, reliable and right at home off-road, but lacking in creature comforts.
Kia, South Korea's second-largest car manufacturer, is part of the Hyundai Motor Group, the country's largest manufacturer. Founded in 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts, Kia's initial foray into Australia was as a value-for-money offering. However, its offering now includes a full range of vehicles to suit buyers of all budgets and tastes.
Popular Kia models include:
- Cerato. A stylish and versatile vehicle that won the 2016 award for Australia's Best Small Car Under $35,000.
- Sportage. A medium-sized, five-door SUV based on the Hyundai Tucson.
- Carnival. The practical people mover that regularly tops its category.
Italian manufacturer Lamborghini produces some of the most sought-after supercars and sports cars in the world. Founded in 1963, Lamborghini is now owned by the Volkswagen Group and managed by the group's Audi division. Though best known for its sleek and ultra-fast sports cars, Lamborghini is increasing its focus on the SUV sector in an effort to boost sales.
Popular Lamborghini models include:
- Aventador. Stunning power, excellent handling and beautiful styling are the highlights of this two-door sports car.
- Huracan. Stylish and super-quick replacement for the Gallardo, Lamborghini's highest-selling model ever.
- Urus. The Urus is Lamborghini's brilliantly bonkers luxury, high-performance SUV.
Britain's Land Rover brand is a four-wheel-drive specialist that can trace its history back to 1948. These days, Jaguar Land Rover is owned by India's Tata Motors – quite a remarkable turn of events for this British icon – but is still synonymous with go-anywhere off-road capability.
Popular Land Rover models include:
- Discovery. A large SUV that combines off-road capability with on-road comfort and refinement.
- Range Rover. The car that started the luxury 4WD SUV craze still has impressive off-road ability.
- Range Rover Evoque. A compact Range Rover that brings its own unique luxury and style to the premium SUV market.
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LDV, formerly Leyland DAF Vans, started life as part of the Rover group. When LDV went bankrupt during the global recession, the brand passed through several hands, before entering into ownership by China's SAIC Motor. Following the buyout, LDV came out with a whole new range of models, from utes to vans.
Popular LDV models include:
- T60. A budget-friendly ute, which is one of the most affordable on the market.
- Deliver 9. A reasonably priced van sold as either a large van, a minibus or a cab-chassis model.
- G10. LDV's answer to the Kia Carnival or Toyota's Granvia.
Lexus is Toyota's prestige brand and has developed a reputation for producing refined, luxury vehicles. Founded in 1989, Lexus offers a range of sedans, hatches, SUVs, 4WD wagons and sports cars to Australian drivers.
Popular Lexus models include:
- IS. Good looks and unbeatable build quality are hallmarks of this performance sedan.
- RC. Stylish sports coupe designed to get the heart racing.
- RX. A mid-size SUV with impressive handling and a long list of features.
This iconic British sports car manufacturer was established in 1952 and built a reputation for engineering stylish cars known for their lightweight and excellent handling characteristics. Ownership of the classic marque has changed hands several times since the 1980s, with Lotus coming under the control of China's Geely in 2017. Its cars are still designed and produced in England, and are imported down under by Lotus Cars Australia.
Popular Lotus models include:
- Elise. Standout styling and race-bred dynamics make the Elise a legendary British sports car.
- Evora. Fast, comfortable and good-looking sports car.
- Exige. Excellent performance and an enjoyable driving experience make the Exige a popular choice for keen drivers.
This Italian luxury car manufacturer was founded in Bologna in 1914, and has a reputation for combining interior refinement and comfort with a high level of performance. Purchased by Fiat in 1993, it now comes under the ownership umbrella of Stellantis, but still remains known for its range of high-end vehicles.
Popular Maserati models include:
- Ghibli. Powerful and refined mid-size sedan that offers plenty of driving enjoyment.
- Quattroporte. Beautiful inside and out, this ultra-luxury sedan turns heads everywhere it goes.
- MC20. Maserati describes the MC20 as the first of its kind. It labels it a super sports car, with a V6 engine that uses F1 technology.
Founded in 1920 and with a history of manufacturing machine tools and autorickshaws, Mazda even produced weaponry for the Japanese military in World War II. Its first cars rolled off the production line in the 1960s, and today it's known for manufacturing a wide range of high-quality and reasonably priced vehicles. In fact, Mazda was the second-highest-selling vehicle brand across Australia in 2020.
Popular Mazda models include:
- BT-50. Workhorse ute available with two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive and your choice of single- or dual-cab configurations.
- Mazda3. Small-sized sedan and hatch with great handling and a long list of standard features.
- CX-3. Small, stylish SUV available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
McLaren is named after its founder, a New Zealand racing driver and engineer. The McLaren Group was incorporated in 1985, going on to build the revolutionary McLaren F1 road car. The car came decades after the Formula One team, which predates the road car side of McLaren by some 22 years.
Popular McLaren models include:
- GT. McLaren pitches this model as the Grand Tourer, reimagined. This model first launched in 2019.
- 720S. The 720S is a continuation of McLaren's super series. The car has fancy twin-hinged, dihedral doors and a twin-turbo V8.
- Senna. Taking its name from the legendary McLaren F1 driver, Ayrton Senna, this is the brand's most track-biased model ever imagined. The 1,200kg car has 800kg of downforce!
Former British brand Morris Garages was sold to China's SAIC in 2011. MG offers some of the most affordable cars on the market now. However, the vehicles also have heaps of equipment, exceeding their aggressive price point. Consequently, MG is selling cars in impressive volumes.
Popular MG models include:
- ZS EV. Currently Australia's lowest-priced electric car, the ZS EV packs a heap of safety tech into a minimal asking price.
- MG3. Another MG model that's priced to undercut rivals. The MG3 has an impressive spec, combined with a surprising driveaway price.
The Mercedes-Benz badge has long been associated with the highest levels of automotive engineering and quality. Founded in the 1880s and owned by Germany's Daimler AG, the three-pointed star badge graces a range of prestige luxury sedans, hatches, wagons, coupes, roadsters, sports cars, SUVs and even commercial vehicles.
Popular Mercedes-Benz models include:
- C-Class. Well-equipped and easy on the eye, the C-Class is available as a sedan, estate, coupé or cabriolet.
- CLA-Class. Offered as a coupé or shooting brake, the CLA-Class features advanced safety technology and excellent dynamics.
- GLC. This stylish and efficient vehicle is available as a coupe or an SUV.
Britain's Mini specialises in stylish, zippy small cars, and there are few vehicles more closely associated with the swinging '60s than this illustrious marque. Originally owned by the British Motor Corporation, Mini is now a subsidiary of German manufacturer BMW. Despite the change in ownership, Mini is still famous for its legendary styling and agile-handling vehicles.
Popular Mini models include:
- Cooper. One of the most famous cars in the world updated with all the modern creature comforts.
- Convertible. Cool convertible known for its fun driving characteristics.
- Countryman. A fuel-efficient (a plug-in hybrid is available) Mini designed to carry the whole family in comfort.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation can trace its automotive origins back to 1917 and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd's introduction of the Mitsubishi Model A, the first series-production vehicle to come out of Japan. In modern times, Mitsubishi is now one-third owned by Nissan and produces a complete range of passenger vehicles. From sedans and hatches to SUVs, light commercial vehicles and even hybrid models, there are vehicles in the Mitsubishi range to suit a wide variety of drivers.
Popular Mitsubishi models include:
- Triton. Tough ute ready for action as a tradie's work vehicle or a practical family truck.
- ASX. Small value-for-money SUV designed with city use in mind.
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Morgan is undoubtedly one of the most eccentric brands on this list. The retro-styled cars are built using coach-building techniques. Some of the models still involve the use of wood in their construction. Famous Morgan customers include Top Gear's Richard Hammond and Mr Bean actor, Rowan Atkinson.
Notable Morgan models include:
- 4/4. This model first premiered in 1935/6. The car weighs just 795kg and has a Ford engine and Mazda transmission.
- 3 Wheeler. This unconventional model has an exposed engine at the front, and only one wheel at the rear. It's one of the most unusual new cars on sale today.
Japan's Nissan Motor Company was founded in 1933 and today forms part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. As a result, the French carmaker holds a 43.4% voting stake in Nissan.
Nissan's vehicle range is comprehensive, including small and mid-sized passenger cars, SUVs of all shapes and sizes, high-performance coupés and roadsters, and light commercial vehicles. It even sells the fully electric Leaf hatch, a car designed with the environment in mind.
Popular Nissan models include:
- Navara. Single, dual-cab or king-cab ute available with a choice of engines, transmissions, and two- or four-wheel drive.
- X-Trail. Versatile mid-sized SUV available with five or seven seats.
- Qashqai. A front- or all-wheel-drive SUV with an extensive range of engine, transmission and trim choices.
German brand Opel was first founded as a sewing machine manufacturer in 1862. It started making bicycles in 1886 and had produced its first automobile before the start of the 20th century.
While Opel has now ceased operations in Australia, support and servicing for its range of vehicles is provided by Holden, which has halted trading too. Several of its models were also imported as Holden-badged models and sold around the country by Holden dealers.
Popular Opel models include:
- Astra. Hot hatch available with a selection of different petrol- and diesel-powered variants.
- Cascada. Comfortable soft-top convertible with a solid list of features.
- Insignia. All-wheel-drive sedan with a high level of finish and quality safety equipment.
This famous French marque can trace its history back to 1810, when the preceding family business was established to manufacture coffee mills and later, bicycles. Peugeot produced its first car in the 1880s, and the brand has been involved in motorsport for more than a century.
Now part of Groupe PSA (which in 2021 was merged to form Stellantis), Peugeot builds a range of small hatches, mid- and large-sized passenger cars, SUVs and sports coupés.
Popular Peugeot models include:
- 308. A multi-award-winning five-door hatch known for its sporty styling and unique driving experience.
- 3008. Robust and elegant SUV that was named 2017 European Car of the Year.
- 508. Available as a sedan or touring wagon, the 508 combines modern safety technology with a long list of standard inclusions.
German marque Porsche has long been synonymous with high-performance sports cars, but in recent years has also developed a strong following for its luxury SUVs. Founded in Stuttgart in 1931, Porsche is now owned by the Volkswagen Group. If you're looking for a high-end, high-performance coupé, convertible, sedan or SUV, one of Porsche's models should be near the top of your shopping list.
Popular Porsche models include:
- 911. A legendary sports car famous for its nimble handling and memorable driving experience.
- Macan. Luxury all-wheel-drive SUV with plenty of engine options (and plenty of power).
- Cayenne. A large five-seat SUV that saved Porsche from oblivion when it was introduced in the 1990s.
- Taycan. An absolute powerhouse of an electric sports car.
Malaysian carmaker Proton was established in 1983 and originally sold re-badged Mitsubishi Motors products. However, for a time, Proton created a range of budget-conscious cars that were designed in-house, importing three models to sell on the Australian market.
Popular Proton models include:
- Suprima S. Feature-packed five-door hatch with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
- Preve. Safe and practical sedan designed to suit the whole family.
- Exora. A practical and fuel-efficient people mover with seating for seven.
Engineer Louis Renault built his first cars in the 1890s and founded the Renault Corporation with his brothers Marcel and Fernand in 1899. Headquartered near Paris, the Renault Group has a 43.4% controlling stake in Nissan.
Its Australian range includes everything from hot hatches to sedans, wagons and vans.
Popular Renault models include:
- Megane. Stylish and feature-laden vehicle available as a hatch, sedan or wagon.
- Captur. Sleek crossover SUV with unique styling and plenty of interior space.
- Koleos. Elegant, mid-sized SUV that's also competitively priced.
Czech automobile manufacturer Skoda started life in 1895 as Laurin & Klement, a bicycle manufacturer, but began building cars by 1905. Since becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group in 2000, Skoda has gradually shifted from an entry-level manufacturer to become a more upmarket brand. It produces a range of hatches, sedans, wagons and SUVs based on VW "sister" vehicles.
Popular Skoda models include:
- Octavia. Mid-size family sedan boasting a range of practical configurations and a full list of features.
- Superb. Large, family friendly car with an impressive engine and presenting good value for money.
SsangYong Motor Company is South Korea's fourth-largest car manufacturer. Founded in 1954, the carmaker became a subsidiary of India's Mahindra & Mahindra Limited multinational car manufacturing corporation in 2011.
SsangYong arrived on Australian shores in 2006 and offers a small range of SUVs, utes and people movers.
Popular SsangYong models include:
- Korando. Small SUV with a price tag that won't break the bank.
- Rexton. Seven-seater SUV with the capability to go off the beaten track.
- Musso. A budget double-cab ute with a sophisticated exterior design and long warranty.
Founded in Japan in 1953, Subaru is named after the Pleiades star cluster as seen in its logo. Innovation and technology are hallmarks of the Subaru range, with the carmaker famous for its use of boxer engines and all-wheel drive. Though its sporty and super-fast WRX has turned a few heads in its time, Subaru's range of sedans and wagons have also proved to be big hits with Aussie buyers.
Popular Subaru models include:
- Outback. A practical off-road wagon packed with creature comforts.
- XV. A compact SUV available as a hybrid. Subaru says the XV has class-leading safety tech.
- WRX. Turbocharged rally-inspired rocket that offers a whole lot more performance than its price tag would suggest.
Georgie could help you save money on a new Subaru.
Japan's Suzuki Motor Corporation can trace its roots back to 1909, when the Suzuki Loom Works was founded to build weaving looms for Japan's booming silk industry. The company made the switch to motorcycle manufacturing after World War II and produced its first commercial vehicle in 1955.
Today, Suzuki has a reputation for producing small, innovative and reliable vehicles to suit a wide range of drivers.
Popular Suzuki models include:
- Swift. Sporty hatchback known for fun handling, impressive features and good value for money.
- Ignis. A small car and SUV combo that displays a unique design and a fuel-efficient engine.
- Jimny. An affordable, small 4x4 with a funky exterior and a hard-earned reputation for off-roading, often outperforming much heavier rivals.
Tata Motors is India's largest car manufacturer, but it started life in 1945 as a manufacturer of locomotives. Its first commercial vehicle came off the production line in 1954, and for a period offered one model to Australian drivers. Melbourne-based Fusion Automotive imported Tata's Xenon ute, which was targeted at farmers and tradies and available with 2- or 4-wheel drive.
Tata's sole model was:
- Xenon. Rugged ute available as a cab-chassis or utility configuration, with single- and dual-cab body styles on sale.
Tesla is the brainchild of two engineers, who were largely funded by Elon Musk. Tesla builds only electric cars and is one of the youngest car companies, a mere 17 years old. In those 17 years, they've tried to bring electric power to the mass market, first with converted Lotus Elise models, before building their own vehicle – the Model S.
Notable Tesla models include:
- Model S. The first Tesla ground-up model. The Model is a luxury four-door sedan with an impressive range and has the potential to self-drive, once road laws allow.
- Model 3. The Model 3 is Tesla's more affordable electric car, which still boasts a hefty range and a rapid 0-100km/h time of only 3.3 seconds.
- Model X. Tesla's seven seater SUV, perhaps most notable for its ridiculous power output and the "Back to the Future" inspired falcon wing doors.
Founded in Japan in 1937, Toyota has a truly global footprint and is the world's second-largest car manufacturer. It's also the number one choice for Australian car buyers, with 1 in every 5 vehicles sold Australia-wide wearing a Toyota badge. Famous for build quality and reliability, Toyota's model range includes everything from hatchbacks and sedans to SUVs, utes and even hybrid electric vehicles.
Popular Toyota models include:
- Camry. Ever-popular family sedan known for its safety and impressive build quality. A hybrid option is now on offer too.
- Corolla. A safe and reliable small car that regularly features on Australia's top 10 sales charts. As with many Toyota models, there's a hybrid engine option.
- HiLux. Tough, rugged pick-up and the first ever ute to be crowned Australia's most popular vehicle overall.
This famous German marque started life in 1937 as the maker of "The People's Car", and today has grown to become the world's largest car manufacturer. Known for its innovative and exciting engines combined with ground-breaking designs.
Popular Volkswagen models include:
- Golf. The sporty, enjoyable and feature-packed small car that's won a host of awards.
- Polo. A fuel-efficient small car loaded with features.
- Amarok. Tough 4WD ute ready to tackle the roughest terrain.
Historically, the Swedish carmaker hasn't had a reputation for being cool, but what it lacks in pizzazz it makes up for with impressive build quality, enviable durability and innovative safety features. Newer models display a mature and sophisticated exterior aesthetic. Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Gothenburg, Volvo was sold to Ford in 1999 and was then bought by China's Geely Holding Group in 2010. The luxury carmaker is also on the rise, claiming the crown as Australia's best-performing luxury car make in 2019. Volvo has pledged to build only electric vehicles from 2030.
Popular Volvo models include:
- XC90. This luxury seven-seater SUV stands as Volvo's flagship model.
- XC60. A mid-sized family SUV designed to take you and the kids just about anywhere.
- V60 Cross Country. Distinctive design and an impressive list of features make this luxury adventure wagon a popular choice.
Want to read more about some of the brands or vehicles above? Check out our car reviews section, where we have sifted through expert car reviews and can give you a comprehensive overview of a vehicle. While you're here, it is also worth looking over the best car loan and best car insurance options to see how much you could save.
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