Buyers' Guide: the car of the year
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The New Zealand Car of the Year 2017 awards ceremony will be held in mid-December: the 10 finalists were announced recently.
Any new vehicles that entered the New Zealand market between October 1 2016 and September 30 2017 are eligible for the award.
The voting process involves the NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild and AA Motoring experts.
AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks says the top 10 represent a great cross-section of new cars.
These are the cars in the running, and the reasons they were chosen:
1. BMW 5 Series
“Offers luxury car buyers’ advanced automated drive features, as well as class-leading refinement with a range of powertrains that include high-performance turbocharged petrol engines, a plug-in hybrid petrol-electric motor, and economic turbo diesel engines.”
2. Holden Astra
“The 2016 European Car of the Year brings fresh new design, excellent dynamics and ride quality as well as a competitive price point to the New Zealand new car market, offering a wide range of models including hatch, sedan, and wagon with new generation engines.”
3. Honda Civic hatch
“The spacious new Civic hatch brings a broad range of engines and price points. It has a high-tech chassis, a well put-together interior, and the Type R variant resets the handling standard (and price point) for hot hatches.”
4. Hyundai Ioniq
“Unprecedented range of electrified powertrain choice for Kiwis, thanks to offering three models in one bodystyle: EV, PHEV and hybrid. The Ioniq’s driving range and price point brings an EV into the realm of mass market customers.”
5. Land Rover Discovery
“The distinctions between the Discovery and the Range Rover continue to blur. The new Discovery not only offers outstanding packaging and comfort for seven people, it maintains its off-road capability and performance while bringing levels of Range Rover-like refinement to the market.”
6. Mazda CX-5
“While not a rebirth, the extremely competent CX-5 feels reborn and offers a good range of price points, specifications, as well as petrol and diesel engines in an increasingly competitive market segment.”
7. Skoda Kodiaq
“More refined than many luxury SUVs, with great design ideas, packaging and price points, it makes the brand come of age and reach critical mass, its family-friendly features are simply clever.”
8. Suzuki Ignis
“Offering retro-styling cues in a modern package, the compactly executed Ignis is a well-priced and well-specified vehicle for the first-time buyer, and its brightly coloured interior looks more expensive than it is.”
9. Suzuki Swift
“Bigger, bolder, and better with a range of engines and transmissions, greater levels of specification and more technology than before, including driver assistance systems. The Swift has a wider stance and feels more substantial on the road.”
10. Subaru XV
“A spacious well-appointed vehicle range with Subaru’s Eyesight safety technology standard across all variants, the value for money XV offers new car buyers an engaging drive at affordable price points.”
Voting for the People’s Choice award opens November 1, visit aa.co.nz/COTY