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Winners of the 2010 AA Motoring Excellence Awards announced

Media Release
Saturday 4 December 2010

Winners of the 2010 AA Motoring Excellence Awards announced

The AA has announced the winners of the 2010 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 New Zealand motorists with an independent assessment to assist with their car purchases.

Each of the 60 vehicles entered in this year's awards was assessed by an expert panel of judges on design, performance, dynamics, practicality, execution, value for money and safety.

The 2010 AA Motoring Excellence Awards Supreme Winner and the winner of the medium size car class is the Suzuki Kizashi 2.4 GLX Sedan Manual.

AA General Manager of Motoring Services, Stella Stocks, says “the $35,990 Supreme Winner is a very good affordable vehicle, suitable for a wide range of people and all their motoring needs. The judges said it has astonishing attention to detail both inside and out; that it is refined, quiet and comfortable; and dynamically it was easily the best in its medium car class."

The other 2010 AA Motoring Excellence Award winners are:

Small Car – VW Polo TSI 77KW

Ms Stocks says "the $31,750 VW Polo TSI 77KW has a surprisingly powerful engine which makes this car punch above its weight. The judges thought the Polo was a class act, roomy with outstanding performance from the 1.2 litre TSI engine, and that it had the best chassis of all the small cars."

Compact Car – VW Golf TSI 77KW

Ms Stocks says "the $38,500 VW Golf TSI 77KW has a nice smooth gearbox coupled with comfy steering which makes it a great all round solution for everyday driving. The judges said it was hard to believe a car this size could have a 1.2 litre engine, and that it was hard to believe how feisty the performance of the Golf really is."

Large Car – Skoda Superb Combi TSI 118

Ms Stocks says "the Skoda Superb Combi TSI 118, valued at $48,500, is outstanding in every respect, spacious, comfortable with a high level of refinement and plenty of get up and go power. The judges thought the interior space was impressive and said it was so much car for so little money."

Luxury/Executive Car – Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI

Ms Stocks says "the Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI, valued at $122,900, has a lovely cabin, is predictable and controllable on road, and has a lot of easy-to-use extras to enhance a daily drive. The judges said it combines the best of traditional Mercedes values with state-of-the-art engine and safety technology."

Small Crossover – Skoda Yeti TDI 4x4 DSG

Ms Stocks says "the judges liked the versatile interior and left field exterior of the Skoda Yeti TDI 4x4 DSG, valued at $48,000. It has a capable chassis keen to tackle both on-road driving and off-road fun."

Large Crossover – VW Touareg V6 TDI

Ms Stocks says "the judges thought the VW Touareg V6 TDI, valued at $106,000, is every bit a car a motorist could ever need. Its 3,500kg towing capacity, plenty of torque, and eight speed automatic transmission ticked all the boxes required of a quality SUV."

Performance Car – VW Scirocco R TSI 195KW

Ms Stocks says "the $69,250 VW Scirocco R TSI 195KW sounded great and had excellent response and handling. The judges loved its beautiful shape, especially the sporty curves, which made it look like a sports car that meant business before the key was even turned."

Customer Satisfaction - Honda

Ms Stocks says "the AA and international customer satisfaction surveyor JD Power surveyed 16,000 AA Members on new car ownership - everything from vehicle quality and reliability, to appeal, service and ownership costs. Honda ranked the highest in the survey, scoring 772 out of 1000."

Safest Car – BMW 5 Series

Ms Stocks says "the safety award went to the car that scored the highest score for occupant safety in the international new car assessment programme this year, and performed exceptionally well in pedestrian safety. To be eligible the car must be available for purchase in New Zealand and every car in the range must have the same safety features as the vehicle tested. The BMW 5 Series, costing from $109,500, scored 36.53 out of 37 points, resulting in a maximum 5-star rating."

Environmental Car – Toyota Prius

Ms Stocks says "the Toyota Prius was chosen from the 49 vehicles that entered the 2010 AA ENERGYWISE Rally. The $49,690 car completed the 1,763km rally with the lowest overall CO2 emissions, emitting only 102.11 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, and it also won the hybrid class."

Motoring Journalist – Kyle Cassidy

Ms Stocks says "a special AA-chaired judging panel considered the work of print, radio, online and television journalists. Kyle Cassidy, editor of New Zealand Autocar, was selected as the winner for his understanding of domestic and international motoring issues; for consistent reporting, while at the same time displaying individual flair and well-researched opinions. Kyle is respected within the motor industry and by the public."

Car of the Decade – Toyota Corolla

Ms Stocks says "the Car of the Decade Award recognises long-standing excellence. To be eligible for this award a vehicle must have been in the market for the past ten years and/or made a significant impact on the New Zealand new car industry within the past decade. All vehicles and technologies available in the market were considered, and the judging criteria were based on sales volume, reliability, and environmental impact.

“The Toyota Corolla has been incredibly popular over the past 10 years. It is a robust workhorse known for its excellent reliability and value for money.”

This year's judges were motoring writers Jacqui Madelin, Brian Cowan, and David Linklater; as well as TV3’s motoring reporter Shaun Summerfield, the AA’s Andrew Bayliss, and New Zealand rally driving champion Emma Gilmour. The judges spent approximately 220 hours, over five days, driving 8,000 kilometres to examine the vehicles on local roads, around the Taupo racetrack and, for some vehicle categories, off road as well.

Toyota, Lexus, Audi, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Skoda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Hyundai, Suzuki, Ford, Kia, Holden, BMW, Mini and Mercedes-Benz all entered vehicles in this year’s awards.

The 2010 AA Motoring Excellence Awards are presented in partnership with MARAC, The New Zealand Herald, Castrol New Zealand, Wag The Dog, EECA, and the NZ Motor Industry Training Organisation (Inc).

For more information on the 2010 AA Motoring Excellence Awards get online at


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