PUBLIC GETS CHANCE TO PICK THEIR FAVOURITE VEHICLE WITH NEW PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
A couple of luxury SUVs, a fabled convertible and a European electric car are among the finalists for this year’s New Zealand Car of the Year award.
The New Zealand Automobile Association and New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild will announce the Car of the Year at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland on December 9.
Previous winners include the Mazda3 (2014) and the Volkswagen Golf (2013).
Members of the guild and AA judges who have driven the top 10 cars will independently rank each of them on a number of elements including value, design and quality.
The best will become the 2015 New Zealand Car of the Year.
For the first time the public will also have a say with the New Zealand Car of the Year People’s Choice award.
AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks says the top 10 lineup this year is broad.
“Last year’s top 10 was dominated by SUVs, but over the last 12 months a much wider range of vehicles has been launched. This means that while the SUV segment continues to grow strongly, it’s getting a real run for its money in the accolade stakes,” she says.
Among the finalists are the five SUVs, covering luxury European brands Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery Sport, plus the recently launched Hyundai Tucson and Mazda’s compact CX-3.
Mazda has three vehicles in the final alongside the CX-3 with the fabled MX-5 convertible and the Mazda2 hatchback.
The BMW i3 is also in the final, showing an increase in electric vehicles to the New Zealand market in the past 12 months.
The Ford Mondeo medium sedan and Subaru’s Legacy/Outback round off the list.
The guild’s president, Driven editor Liz Dobson, says when it comes time to pick the top vehicle, the guild members will have a tough job.
“From the start of qualification period the quality of the products launched have been impressive, and up until a few weeks before the close-off date, there were some strong performers going on the market,” she says.
“The finalists make up a diverse lineup, and each vehicle has to be judged on its own merits, so the motoring writers in the guild have some serious aspects to be considered.”