The finalists for the 2013 New Zealand Car of the Year are a mixed bag, including three sports utility vehicles, a sports car, a luxury vehicle and, for the first time, an electric offering.
The NZ Automobile Association and NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild will announce the winner in Auckland on December 5.
The top 10 finalists are:
- Ford Kuga
- Holden Volt
- Holden Commodore
- Hyundai Santa Fe
- Lexus IS
- Subaru BRZ
- Subaru Forester
- Volkswagen Golf
- Volvo V40
The three SUVs – Kuga, Santa Fe, Forester – indicate the popularity of such models and their almost 30 per cent share of new vehicle sales.
At the opposite end of the scale is the Holden Volt, the first time an electric vehicle has been considered in New Zealand.
Safety is a feature of the Volvo V40 which is the first new car to have a pedestrian airbag as standard equipment.
Last year’s COTY was the Toyota 86 sports car and this year its sibling, the Subaru BRZ, is in the running.
NZMWG President David Linklater says guild members have a lot to consider. “Each of the finalists is worthy for a raft of reasons and selection of the final winner is likely to come down to some very specific factors,” he said.
Members of the guild will also vote on the best in class in nine categories:
- Small car
- Compact car
- Medium car
- Large car
- Small/medium SUV
- Large SUV
- Sports/Performance car
- Luxury car
The safest car for 2013 will also be announced, based on Australasian New Car Assessment Programme crash test analysis.