Best in Class




Looking for a new car? The winners in the Best in Class categories will provide car buyers with a starting point for vehicle selection within their individual buying category. 

The AA would like to take this opportunity to thank all of this year's New Zealand Car of the Year 2016 sponsors




2016 winner: Holden Spark

Small car - Holden Spark

The panel said: "This all-new hatchback has achieved the goals Holden New Zealand was hoping for when it was launched earlier this year: attracting new buyers to the brand and providing a vehicle that provides features and ride from a more expensive vehicle."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: Honda Civic

Compact car - Honda Civic

The panel said: "Honda’s radical redesign of its iconic Civic has paid off with the success of its all-new hatchback with a variety of models to suit all buyers."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: ŠKODA Superb

Medium/Large car - ŠKODA Superb

The panel said: "It has space, it has high tech features, it has a variety of models and now the Superb has won the hearts of buyers and media alike thanks to its performance and technology at a favourable price."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Luxury car - Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The panel said: "Mercedes-Benz was correct when it announced at the global launch earlier this year that the luxury sedan was a technological advancement of nearly two generations. Its outstanding safety features, styling and stunning new cockpit make it a winner for many buyers and critics alike."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: Mazda CX-3

Small SUV - Mazda CX-3

The panel said: "Yet again Mazda’s CX-3 demonstrates that you can provide it all to your customers thanks to stunning styling, strong design ethos, and above and beyond safety and technology."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: Volkswagen Tiguan

Medium SUV - Volkswagen Tiguan

The panel said: "The masculine redesign has made a major impact to this crossover, with it now dominating the style factor for the brand and leading the way with interior layout and customer-friendly technology."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: Mazda CX-9

Large SUV - Mazda CX-9

The panel said: "Mazda may have recently launched the large crossover here, but since it’s global reveal at the 2015 LA motor show, then it’s international launch earlier this year, the CX-9 has gained interest thanks to the design and SkyActiv engines."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: Volvo XC90

Luxury SUV - Volvo XC90

The panel said: "Volvo made an extremely impressive return to the fold with the launch of the XC90 after 12 years out of the segment, but it continues to lead the way in is class when it comes to design and superb safety features."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: Ford Mustang GT

Sports/Performance car - Ford Mustang GT

The panel said: "Kiwi buyers are queuing to get this iconic sports car that is now available in right-hand-drive, with the V8 coupe getting plenty of admiring looks when its on the road.​"

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: Ford Ranger

Utility - Ford Ranger

The panel said: "Ford has proven again that Kiwis not only want a rugged vehicle that has a dynamic appearance but also the ease of car-like features with the Ranger smashing the ute segment and even new vehicle sales."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


2016 winner: Mercedes-Benz GLC

Safest Car award - Mercedes-Benz GLC

The safety award is based upon Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) crash test results. The panel said: "While the GLC was the clear winner, scoring highly with both occupant safety and pedestrian protection along with an onboard suite of world-leading safety assist and crash protection technologies, the Mazda CX-9 wasn't far behind with both technology and crash test results."

This class is sponsored in 2016 by:


Best in Class represents the judges' views on the very best new cars available for sale in New Zealand today. It's therefore possible that a vehicle that's been on the market for two or three years may triumph in its category over a newer model.

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