Skoda Kodiaq beats top models to NZ Car of the Year title
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The mid-sized 7-seat Skoda Kodiaq SUV was tonight named New Zealand’s 2017 Car of the Year, beating nine other finalists for the trophy.
Mercedes-Benz took the prize for the country’s safest car for the second successive year, with the C-Class cabriolet winning the title. The company won the title last year with its GLC SUV.
The Car of the Year trophy was judged by members of the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild and the AA, and was awarded during a ceremony in Auckland.
The judges said the Kodiaq had been turning heads around the world since its launch.
AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks said because the Kodiaq was forced to line up alongside a collection of worthy and varied contenders this year, the win for Skoda was even sweeter.
“Skoda has presented the world with a great all-round vehicle,” she said.
“While it’s clearly been built with the family in mind, the Kodiaq’s configuration, spaciousness and technology ensures the market has an affordable versatile choice that will endure.”
SUVs remained the most popular segement in the Kiwi motoring market and Skoda’s Kodiaq, which also had a maximum 5-star safety rating from ANCAP, meant this market was well served by the brand.
The Kodiaq has impressed critics with its airy and spacious interior, and its sharp pricing, with the entry-level models cost from $39,990.
The Kodiaq is named after the world’s largest brown bear.
Guild president Robert Barry said the Skoda Kodiaq SUV more than lived up to the brand's tag line of being ‘Simply Clever’.
“The Kodiaq is more refined than many luxury SUVs with great design ideas, excellent packaging and competitive price points,” he said.
“It has made the Skoda brand come of age in New Zealand and reach critical mass.
“It is therefore no surprise it has won the accolade of 2017 New Zealand Car of the Year.”
The New Zealand Car of the Year was selected from a shortlist of new models released to the market between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017.
The finalists were:
BMW 5 series, Holden Astra, Honda Civic hatch, Hyundai Ioniq, Land Rover Discovery, Mazda CX-5, Skoda Kodiaq, Subaru XV, the Suzuki Ignis and the Suzuki Swift.
Alongside the Car of the Year award were 12 best-in-class categories.
In these, the judges could select from any new car available for sale new in New Zealand today, which meant the winner could be an older model vehicle the judges’ felt remained the best, despite the release of newer cars in the category.
A new category for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids was added to best-in-class line up this year reflecting the increased availability and variety of these cars. The Hyundai Ioniq won this section.
The Best in Class 2017 winners are:
Micro/light car — Suzuki Swift - Read our full road test
Small/compact car — Holden Astra - Read our full road test
Medium/large car — Volkswagen Arteon - Read our full road test
Luxury car — BMW 5 Series - Read our full road test
Sports car — Mazda MX-5 - Read our full road test
Small SUV — Toyota CH-R - Read our full road test
Medium SUV — Skoda Kodiaq - Read our full road test
Large SUV — Mazda CX-9 - Read our full road test
Luxury SUV — Land Rover Discovery - Read our full road test
Utility —Ford Ranger - Read our full road test
EV/Plug in hybrid — Hyundai Ioniq - Read our full road test
Safest car — Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet - Read our full road test
People’s choice — Suzuki Swift - Read our full road test