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.