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Best in class 2017 winners

Posted on 12 December, 2017

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. The Holden Astra took top prize for the best in class small/compact car. The Volkswagen Arteon won the award for best car in the medium/large class.  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. Best car in the sports class went to the Mazda MX5, which was accepted by Mazda New Zealand Marketing Services Manager Maria Tsao. 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. 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.  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.  Peter Ward from Bluestar presented the luxury SUV award to Ben Montgomery for the highly capable and versatile Land Rover Discovery. 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. 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. [caption id="attachment_34683" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Donna Gaskin, ANZ and Chris Blair, Hyundai[/caption] 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.  [caption id="attachment_34697" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Jason Robb, Autotrader and Ben Giffin, Executive General Manager Mercedes-Benz New Zealand [/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_34700" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Marketing Manager for Suzuki, Fiona Bridgford gladly accepting the award for Suzuki.[/caption] 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