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2008 AA Motoring Excellence Awards Announced


Media Release: 7 March 2008

Embargoed until 10.30pm


Winners of 2008 AA Motoring Excellence Awards Announced

The AA has tonight announced the 13 winners of the 2008 AA Motoring Excellence Awards, the Oscars of the New Zealand motoring industry.

The annual awards aim to identify and reward excellence amongst new vehicles and in areas of concern to motorists. They also provide the New Zealand public with an independent assessment to assist with car purchases.


A record 89 vehicles were judged for this year’s awards. The AA undertook the first round of judging using technical information to assess fuel consumption, safety, carbon emissions and other features. A second round of judging by a panel of expert judges took place last month, with vehicles being tested both on and off-road and using the Taupo Motorsport Park racetrack.

The 2008 AA Motoring Excellence Awards Supreme Winner is the Subaru Impreza STI spec.R.

AA General Manager of Technical Services, Stella Stocks, says the Subaru Impreza STI spec.R, valued at $64,990, well and truly deserves its Supreme Winner award.

“It is a great car; an outstanding, practical performance package. Most importantly it is very accessible, with the model-range starting from as little as $27,000 there is a Subaru Impreza for every budget.”

The other 2008 AA Motoring Excellence Award winners are:


Small Car - Mazda2 Sport

Ms Stocks says “the judges described the Mazda2 Sport, valued at $23,100, as confident yet comfortable on the road; eye-catching style, packed with features and has a more-spacious-than-expected cabin. It offers easy city driving appeal without compromising too much of the fun of driving.”


Compact Car – Skoda Roomster 1.9 TDI

Ms Stocks says “the judges described the Skoda Roomster 1.9 TDI, valued at $35,990, as a distinctive vehicle with a huge amount going for it. The chassis is truly impressive and a surprise bonus for keen drivers. Well built, the car is surprisingly competent on the racetrack, and one of the best all rounders on the market.”


Medium Car – Mercedez-Benz C 220 CDI Classic

Ms Stocks says “the judges described the Mercedez-Benz C 220 CDI Classic, valued at $72,900, as a pleasure to ride in, with outstanding handling and diesel performance. It is near perfect for the modern age – stylish, balanced, economical and beautifully built.”


Large Car – Holden VE Commodore SV6

Ms Stocks says “the judges noted the more you drive the Holden VE Commodore SV6, valued at $48,990, the more you understand its depth of engineering. One of the best value six cylinders on the market with great balance and good looks. It is spacious and fun to drive, without compromising everyday comfort.”


Executive Car – Mercedez-Benz C 280 Avantgarde

Ms Stocks says “the judges said the Mercedez-Benz C 280 Avantgarde, valued at $93,900, delivers total quality and a total driving experience. It has all the executive trimmings in an unpretentious package. The three litre V6 engine and seven-speed transmission are a perfect accompaniment to the brilliant chassis and suspension.”


Luxury Car – Holden SV Grange

Ms Stocks says “the judges described the Holden SV Grange, valued at $97,990, as spacious, smart, well-appointed and the V8 engine delivers incredible power. It was also the best value for money in the Luxury Car class.”


Small Crossover Car – Skoda Octavia Scout

Ms Stocks says “the judges noted the quality interior and thrilling diesel torque of the Skoda Octavia Scout, valued at $48,990, make it one of the great surprises in this year’s AA Motoring Excellence Awards. It is nimble, well-made, a joy in the dirt and great value for money.”


Large Crossover Car – Volvo XC70 D5

Ms Stocks says “the judges described the Volvo XC70 D5, valued at $82,990, as a big yet elegant station wagon with great off-road handling. It has a thrifty diesel engine and the all-wheel-drive completes a stunningly practical, value for money family-oriented package.”


Performance Car - Subaru Impreza STI spec.R

Ms Stocks says “the judges said the Subaru Impreza STI spec.R’s handling and driving are an absolute delight. A wild looking Japanese supercar, it delivers an amazing driving experience – either on the racetrack, in the gravel, or on the way to the local shops.”


Safety - Subaru Impreza 2.0R

Ms Stocks says “the safety award went to the car available to the New Zealand public in 2007 that scored the highest score in ANCAP or EuroNCAP crash testing for occupant and pedestrian safety – with the proviso that every car in the range has the same safety aids as the car tested. The Subaru Impreza 2.0R, valued at $26,990, scored a maximum 5 stars for occupant safety and is the first vehicle to achieve a maximum four stars for pedestrian protection.”


Environmental – VW BlueMotion

Ms Stocks says “this year the AA considered a global approach to environmentally-friendly motoring. VW has a history of investigating fuel-frugal driving options and designing factories to reduce their global footprint. VW also sells its least thirsty vehicles in New Zealand. Each of VW’s BlueMotion cars is the most economical of its model range, not just in terms of fuel economy, but considering the whole process from design to scrap.”


Motoring Journalist – Mike Stock

Ms Stocks says “the judging panel considered a whole body of work from journalists which came to their attention, including blogs, books, magazines, articles and the broadcast media. Winner Mike Stock is the Editor of Auto Trader and impressed with his ability to cover almost every facet of New Zealand motoring within a condensed format.”


The 2008 AA Motoring Excellence Awards are presented in partnership with Vodafone, GE Money, Vero, Fairfax Media, The National Bank, Castrol and the NZ Motor Industry Training Organisation (Inc).


For more information on the 2008 AA Motoring Excellence Awards get online at









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