AA Car of the Year Awards


Blog Archives

Best in class 2017 winners

The NZ Car of the Year awards are run by the AA and Motoring Writers’ Guild. They have been created to recognise great cars in the industry and provide Kiwis with expert and independent knowledge when buying a vehicle.

The Car of the Year finalists were chosen by a panel earlier this month. To be eligible, the car must have been released in the New Zealand market between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017.

The night went off to a fantastic start with the best in class micro/light car being taken home by Suzuki Ignis. The award was presented by Andrew McPherson, CEO of Experico and accepted by Fiona Bridgford, Marketing Manager for Suzuki New Zealand.

Fiona Bridgford accepting her award for best micro/light car at tonight’s awards.

The Holden Astra took top prize for the best in class small/compact car.

Grant Maxwell and Marnie Jane Samphier, General Manager of marketing at Holden New Zealand, accepted this year’s award for best in the small/compact class.

The Volkswagen Arteon won the award for best car in the medium/large class. 

The award was presented by Stephen Glading, Protecta Insurance and accepted by Tom Ruddenklau, General Manager at Volkswagen New Zealand.

The BMW 5 Series won best car in the luxury class, the 5 Series was also nominated for the coveted New Zealand Car of the Year.

Craig Polley, ICG and Florian Renndorfer, BMWNZ Managing Director.

Best car in the sports class went to the Mazda MX5, which was accepted by Mazda New Zealand Marketing Services Manager Maria Tsao.

Russell Miller, Castrol and Maria Tsao, Mazda New Zealand.

The Toyota CHR took top prize in the best in class small SUV at this year’s AA Car of the Year awards. The award was presented by Craig Pomare, Chief Executive Officer at the Motor Trade Association, MTA and received by Terry Lydon, Manager Direct Sales of ‎Toyota New Zealand Limited.

Craig Pomare and Terry Lydon

Best in the class medium SUV went to the ŠKODA Kodiaq, which also foreshadowed later events where they claimed top prize, New Zealand Car of the Year. 

Trevor Sefont, Fleetline and Ross Hill, ŠKODA New Zealand

Maria Tsao was up on stage again to accept an award for the Mazda Cx-9 for winning best car in the large SUV class at tonight’s awards. 

Maria Tsao, Mazda New Zealand

Peter Ward from Bluestar presented the luxury SUV award to Ben Montgomery for the highly capable and versatile Land Rover Discovery.

Peter Ward, Bluestar and Ben Montgomery, Operations Manager Jaguar Land Rover NZ

Previous years have seen manufacturers dominate classes for repeat years, and it’s no surprise to see Ford Ranger doing just that again in 2017 and taking home the best in class utility award. The award was accepted by Simon Rutherford, Managing Director of Ford New Zealand.

Craig Burrows, Managing Director of Super City Towing and Simon Rutherford

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.

Reflecting the increased demand and push for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, it was no surprise that EVs had their own category at this year’s awards. The best car in the EV/Plug-In Hybrid class went to Hyundai Ioniq.

Donna Gaskin, ANZ and Chris Blair, Hyundai

Mercedes-Benz also took home the only award of the evening which was not judged but calculated by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) crash test results. The Mercedes C-Class was given the Safest Car award due to scoring the highest ANCAP assessment safety rating during the twelve month eligibility period. 

Jason Robb, Autotrader and Ben Giffin, Executive General Manager Mercedes-Benz New Zealand 

From November 1, the public had the chance to vote for one of the top 10 finalists on the AA’s website and earn a chance to win a island cruise for two. This year the New Zealand Car of the Year People’s Choice award went to Suzuki Swift.

Marketing Manager for Suzuki, Fiona Bridgford gladly accepting the award for Suzuki.

The Best in Class 2017 winners are:

• Micro/light car – Suzuki Swift
• Small/compact car – Holden Astra
• Medium/large car – Volkswagen Arteon
• Luxury car – BMW 5 Series
• Sports car – Mazda MX-5
• Small SUV – Toyota CH-R
• Medium SUV – Skoda Kodiaq
• Large SUV – Mazda CX-9
• Luxury SUV – Land Rover Discovery
• Utility – Ford Ranger
• EV/Plug in hybrid – Hyundai Ioniq
• Safest car – Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
• People’s choice – Suzuki Swift

Tagged with:

ŠKODA Kodiaq takes out top prize

The ŠKODA Kodiaq has come away with New Zealand’s top motoring prize – the New Zealand Car of the Year at last night’s award ceremony. 

Greg Leet, ŠKODA NZ General Manager, celebrating the night’s big win.

 ŠKODA’s first ever seven-seat SUV was voted number one of out ten finalists for the coveted Car of the Year trophy earning the support of the panel consisting of New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild and the AA.

“ŠKODA has presented the world with a great all round vehicle. 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,” Ms Stocks says.

“SUVs remain the most popular segment in the Kiwi motoring market and ŠKODA’s entry into the 7-seater space with the Kodiaq, which also has a 5 star safety rating from ANCAP means we’re well served by the brand.”

New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild President Robert Barry says the all-new ŠKODA Kodiaq SUV more than lives 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.

Stella Stocks, AA Motoring Services, Greg Leet, ŠKODA NZ General Manager and Robert Barry, New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild at last night’s awards.

“It has made the ŠKODA 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 all-new Kodiaq SUV has shone a spotlight on ŠKODA in New Zealand unlike ever before. Demand has been phenomenal and sustained. Kiwi families in particular love how the Kodiaq excels in everyday life with its clever combination of quality, efficiency and European design. What’s started with Kodiaq will continue with more fresh SUV’s and electric vehicles coming very soon,” added Greg Leet. 

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
• ŠKODA Kodiaq
• Subaru XV
• Suzuki Ignis
• Suzuki Swift

Apart from the Car of the Year award there are twelve other ‘best in class’ categories. In these, the judges can select from any new car available for sale new in New Zealand today, which means the winner can be an older model vehicle the judges’ feel remains the best, despite the release of newer cars in the category. Click here to find out who won

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. 

Tagged with:

AA Car of the Year Awards

Tomorrow night AA Motoring and the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild will announce the winners of the 2017 New Zealand Car of the Year awards tonight.

Autofile will be reporting live from the event. Keep up to date on all the action as it happens by following us on Facebook and Twitter as the night unfolds.

The annual awards will take place this year at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre, recognising top-performing motors across a range of categories that have excelled in their field.

The New Zealand Car of the Year finalists.

Electric vehicles have their own category for the first time to reflect the increasing numbers available and growing market interest. However, electric vehicles aren’t new to the New Zealand Car of the Year line up, with the BMW i3 taking top honours in 2015.

Robert Barry, New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild President says the inclusion of an EV category is timely.  “It reflects not only the growing market but also that this technology is becoming a more affordable and reliable mobility solution for the New Zealand motorist.”

The New Zealand Car of the Year is in two parts. The Car of the Year award which is selected from a top 10 list of finalists chosen by a panel in October. To be eligible, the car must have been released in the New Zealand market between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017. 

This year’s finalists are:

  • BMW 5 series
  • Holden Astra
  • Honda Civic hatch
  • Hyundai Ioniq
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Skoda Kodiaq
  • Subaru XV
  • Suzuki Ignis
  • Suzuki Swift

“This year the top 10 line up represents a great cross section of new cars available to the market today from lower cost small cars loaded with technology to very practical and more expensive luxury vehicles,” Stocks says.

Its cutting-edge technology and world-class styling helped Mercedes-Benz E Class become the clear winner at last year’s AA Car of the Year awards.

Left to right – Ben Griffin (Mercedes-Benz) David O’Kane (MITO) at last year’s awards.

The Best in Class awards are selected from any new car on sale now in each category. This means a make and model released in previous years could beat out a newer car in its class. For example, the Ford Ranger was selected winner of the Best Utility class for the last five years.

The safest car for 2017 will also be announced at the December 12 event based on Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) crash test results.

The New Zealand Car of the Year People’s Choice award will also be announced on December 12. From November 1, the public will have a chance to vote for one of the top 10 finalists on the AA’s website and earn a chance to win a 9-day Pacific islands cruise for two.

Tagged with: , ,