AA DRIVEN NZ CAR OF THE YEAR: Best Passenger car
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The Passenger category is deliberately diverse, encompassing hatchbacks, sedans and station wagons – anything that’s not been subsumed into the world of SUVs, basically.
But still, our choice of a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) as the winner might raise a few eyebrows. After all, don’t we have plenty of places to award electrified vehicles separately?
We do, but the Tesla Model 3 consistently puts its hand up as a great all-round passenger car that’s doing great work in enticing mainstream buyers into the world of EVs.
Two price drops this year have helped cement the Model 3’s place in the NZ market of course, with the Government’s Clean Car Discount for BEVs bringing the “real world” sticker down to just $58,275 for the entry level RWD version.
And you’re not exactly settling for a stripped-out sedan: the cheapest Model 3 looks and feels every bit as futuristic as the rest of the lineup, offers great range of 491km and is still very quick for a sub-$60k family sedan: 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds.
High-performance options are still available, with the Performance model offering 0-100km/h in a super-car-rivaling 3.3 seconds and Track Mode for less than $100k.
Given the Model 3 offers range similar to a petrol-powered car, it’s hard to argue any similar-size sedan offers greater all-round ability or value for money.
Honda Jazz, Toyota Yaris
TESLA MODEL 3
ENGINE: Lithium-ion battery with single or dual electric motors
POWER: 190kW/450Nm to 340kW/640Nm
GEARBOX: Single-speed automatic, RWD or AWD
PRICE RANGE: $66,900-$95,900