Jaguar I-Pace claims New Zealand Car of the Year 2019

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The Jaguar I-PACE has been named the 2019 New Zealand Car of the Year – the first time a vehicle available only as a full battery electric vehicle has won the award.

The BMW i3 was the first plug-in to win the award in 2015, but at the time was offered with a range-extending petrol motor.Members of the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild reviewed and voted for the SUV throughout the year. Guild president Richard Edwards says the I-PACE’s innovative design and feature set led to its selection as this year’s overall winner. “We are delighted to name the Jaguar I-Pace as the 2019 New Zealand Car of the Year. With it already holding the 2019 World Car of the Year title, it is a real endorsement of our independent voting process.”

“The Jaguar I-Pace is an impressive car. Its unique design offers buyers the chance to have both a sports car and SUV at the same time, while also offering the latest in convenience and safety features. The fact that it is all-electric with a very usable range is an absolute bonus. New Zealand is ideally placed with its huge share of renewable energy to make the most of the advancements in electric vehicles the new vehicle industry is providing us,” he says.

Jaguar NZ general manager Steve Kenchington says the award caps off an exceptional launch for the new model which has been a pioneer in the premium EV category. “The I-PACE won an unprecedented three awards at the World Car of the Year as well as more than 70 international awards including Car of the Year awards in more than a dozen countries – from Canada through to Germany since its global launch. The acknowledgement from New Zealand’s Motoring Writing Guild members, a highly experienced group who have reviewed hundreds of vehicles from almost every marque available on the market today, is particularly gratifying for the Jaguar team at a local level. Today’s award is recognition of the hundreds of hours that have been invested by world-class engineers and designers in developing the technology behind the I-PACE,” he says.

The team from Seven Sharp, along with GM of Jaguar New Zealand, Steve Kenchington, and New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild President, Richard Edwards

The 21 voting members of the Guild evaluated the I-PACE against a range of criteria including how the vehicle performs its intended role; its styling, interior design and accommodation; fit, finish and quality; ride and refinement; performance; road-holding and handling; value for money; active and passive safety and environmental responsibility.

The Jaguar I-PACE beat out nine other finalists in the New Zealand Car of the Year awards, including two other EV’s to take the top honour. This year’s finalists were the Audi e-tron, Ford Focus, Holden Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jaguar I-Pace, Mazda 3, Mercedes GLE, Peugeot 508, Tesla Model 3 and Toyota RAV4.The New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild has named the New Zealand Car of the Year for over three decades, the I-PACE being the 32nd.

The award is open to all cars, SUVs and utes launched over a 12-month period. To be eligible for the award they must be driven by over two-thirds of the 21 voting members of the guild for at least 72 hours. Testing is undertaken in the member’s home environment, not on a track. This allows voting to be based on the same experience an owner would have, using the car in their day-to-day life. The award itself is named the Peter Greenslade Award, after late member Peter Greenslade.

Family favourite takes New Zealand Car of the Year

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A family-friendly SUV has beaten tough competitors to win the 2018 New Zealand Car of the Year.
The Forester is the first Subaru to take the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild’s accolade and also only the second sports utility to take the prize, the first being the 2017 holder, Skoda’s Kodiaq.
Ten finalists competed for the Peter Greenslade Trophy, which is in its 31st year and stands as the country’s only independent motoring award, with guild president Richard Edwards noting that voting was very close.
The Guild represents professional motoring commentators from as far north as Kerikeri and as far south as Dunedin.

Edwards, of Auckland, says Forester is the kind of vehicle Kiwi buyers now want. “It offers the durability and functionality Kiwi families desire, also now implementing next generation safety technology. And in starting at $39,990 it is truly affordable for new car buyers.”
New Zealand Car of the Year convener David Thomson, Dunedin, noted Subaru has kept the Forester true to its go-anywhere roots. “On gravel or even unpaved roads, the new Forester is – by lifestyle SUV standards – exceptionally accomplished and surefooted.”
Guild vice president Richard Bosselman, Palmerston North, said the latest model’s cutting-edge safety technology deserves attention. “Traditional toughness and real-deal ability keeps Forester sweet with loyalists, genuine cutting-edge safety and assists deserve attention from a whole new audience.”
Subaru of New Zealand managing director Wallis Dumper commented that if New Zealand motoring journalists considered the car the best then “who are we to argue?”
“We … knew when the fifth-generation Subaru Forester arrived that we had a pretty special vehicle on our hands.”
The model is Subaru’s strongest seller globally and he envisaged this prestigious award would further elevate its status
“Thank you to the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild for taking the time to evaluate the Subaru Forester and recognise how incredible it is.”
Other finalists this year were the BMW X3, Holden Commodore, Hyundai Kona, Kia Stinger, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Skoda Karoq, Toyota Camry and a pair of Volvos, the XC40 and XC60.
The award was presented on TVNZ’s Seven Sharp current affairs programme tonight.