Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Electric vehicles charge into contention for Car Of The Year

AA and NZME’s Driven have today revealed that for the first time in the awards’ history, nearly a third of the top 10 contenders in the running for the country’s most prestigious motoring award are electric or hybrid models.

This year’s AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year Awards will pinpoint the New Zealand Car of the Year plus Best in Class, alongside the popular publically voted People’s Choice Award powered by Driven, with winners announced at a cocktail event on 10 December.

A panel of judges drawn from the country’s finest motoring journalists and the AA has selected the top 10 vehicles, which this year features vehicles in a range of classes and prices including two electric vehicles (the Jaguar i-Pace and Tesla Model 3) and one vehicle which is available as a petrol/electric hybrid (the Toyota RAV4).

In alphabetical order, the top 10 finalists for the 2019 AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year are:

BMW 3 Series
Ford Focus
Holden Acadia
Jaguar i-Pace
Peugeot 508
Renault Megane RS
Tesla Model 3
Toyota RAV4
Toyota Supra

Chief Judge and Driven’s Editor at Large Liz Dobson said the judging panel was impressed with the variety of vehicles which stood out this year.

“From everyday use family vehicles to luxury, sports performance and hot hatches, and prices from $31,990 (for the Ford Focus) to $144,900 (for the base model Jaguar i-Pace), there’s a great mix of vehicles in this year’s top 10,” Liz said.

“The BMW 3 Series delivers a sporty yet comfortable drive with enjoyably low seating and firm and assured handling, while the Ford Focus is fun to drive but also has the practicality of a well-designed hatch and a very capable adaptive cruise control system.

“The Holden Acadia is a big, bold, brash and unashamedly American seven-seater with a better-than-expected performance and plenty of tech; the Jaguar i-Pace has power and torque up to V8 supercar standard but is also great for everyday driving, while the Mazda3 is a significant step up from previous generations with modern safety equipment and confident driving dynamics even on challenging roads.

“The Peugeot 508 has the potential to overcome any residual prejudice against French cars with its strong design, frisky-yet-frugal powertrain and premium level fit and finish, while the Renault Megane RS is a hot hatch which sounds fantastic in sport settings but could also double as an everyday runabout.

“The latest electric vehicle to hit our roads, the Tesla Model 3, is an everyday car that packs a punch with an easy-to-use single screen to operate many functions; the Toyota RAV4 has good safety technology, outstanding fuel economy and a striking new look which reflects a keen off-road rugged nature, and lastly the Toyota Supra has convincingly athletic road-holding abilities and a reasonably strong 250kW/500Nm inline six capable of yanking it off the line to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds.”

AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks said the top 10 vehicles have been put through their paces in a rigorous trial both on the road and at the Pukekohe Park Raceway.

“Each of the top 10 finalists have been put through a set of exercises that saw all judges scoring from the driver’s seat. To top it off, Kiwis can see what went on in the testing process with video content from the trials that includes commentary from the judges,” Stella said.

“We are confident that the AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year Awards are the country’s most comprehensive motoring awards, and that motorists will be provided definitive answers on the top vehicles in the market today.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>


Bankers Association: Banking Becomes First Living Wage Accredited Industry

Banking has become New Zealand’s first fully living wage accredited industry, leading to nearly 1800 employees and contractors moving onto the living wage and gaining greater economic independence for them and their families. As of today, all ... More>>


Economy: Funding For 85% Of NZ Not-For-Profit Entities Impacted By COVID-19

Results of a recent Institute of Directors poll show that 85% of board members on not-for-profit organisations say COVID-19 has moderately or significantly affected their funding. The ‘pulse check’ conducted in the first two weeks of July looked ... More>>

Volcano Detection: Eruption Alert System Would Have Given 16 Hours’ Warning At Whakaari

An alert system that could have given 16 hours’ warning of last year’s eruption at Whakaari/White Island is ready for deployment, University of Auckland scientists say, with warning systems for Ruapehu and Tongariro the next priority. ... More>>

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>


FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>


Stats NZ: Mixed Performance By Regions Leaves National Emissions Picture Unchanged

Approximately two-thirds of New Zealand’s regions recorded decreases in their total greenhouse gas emissions, while one-third of regions saw increases between 2007 and 2018, Stats NZ said today. “While some regions reduced their emissions, ... More>>

RNZ: Economic Activity And Business Confidence Bouncing Back

Two surveys from ANZ show business confidence and economic activity have rebounded, but uncertainty about the future remains extreme. More>>