Top 10 Contenders for New Zealand Car of the Year 2016

A panel of passionate experts and enthusiasts from AA Motoring and the New Zealand Motoring Writers' Guild narrowed down the list of this year's new-vehicle releases to just 10 cars, which are now eligible for the coveted New Zealand Car of the Year 2016 award. 

Kiwis will also have the chance to choose their favourite from the shortlist when voting for this year's Car of the Year - People's Choice award opens on 1 November, with all the winners being announced on 7 December at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland. 

Holden Spark

The panel says: 

"The Spark brings a new level of standard equipment and technology to the city car segment, being the first in the segment to come with phone mirroring technology as standard. With a wide range of personalisation options, a strong, economical engine and a fantastic chassis underneath it, the Spark packs a lot into a small price tag"

Honda Civic

The panel says: 

"The restyled Honda Civic sedan range debuts new technologies, a new responsive petrol turbo engine and a dramatic exterior make-over. Now boasting an Accord-sized footprint, the new Civic also features a refined, premium-feel cabin that boasts plenty of space. The manufacturer sought out a ‘dynamic rejuvenation’ and appears to have achieved it."

Kia Sportage

The panel says:

"The Kia Sportage is dressed as a well-priced, sophisticated, tech savvy and comfortable SUV. Sporting a stylish new look, larger body design, 3 engine choices, and the all-important 5 star ANCAP safety, its base spec technology and features rival some manufacturers' top spec offerings."

Mazda CX-9

The panel says: 

"The Mazda CX-9 seven-seater has moved far away from its first generation title of a people-mover to a superior large SUV. It now has a new powertrain technology and upgraded safety features as well as significantly boosted luxury content plus finish quality."

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The panel says:

"One of the most high-tech cars on sale today, the E Class packs some amazing technology as standard across the range in New Zealand. As well as being able to literally drive itself, the E Class also triumphs by being an engaging and rewarding car to drive on a winding road. Without the amazing technology, the E Class would be an outstanding car. With it, it is incredible."

Mercedes-Benz GLC

The panel says:

"Mercedes-Benz is on a roll, with a seemingly endless line of next-generation models that effortlessly encompass tech-rich luxury motoring. With the GLC crossover range, the German carmaker adds premium practicality to its CV, offering an all-new compact SUV-style model line; a typically confident Mercedes-Benz entry into a segment that was once niche, now mainstream."

Skoda Superb

The panel says:

"Some of the best technology the Volkswagen Group has to offer, wrapped up in a spacious yet classy package – with a value price. Little in the market offers as much bang for your buck as the Skoda Superb, with a huge list of intelligent safety features included as well."

Subaru Levorg

The panel says:

"This all-new vehicle replaces the beloved Legacy GT station wagon in New Zealand and has not only found favour with Guild members but the Kiwi public, with the Levorg exceeding sale expectations."

Suzuki Vitara

The panel says:

"The Vitara has downsized to take on some stiff competition in the small SUV sector, and come out the better for it. Spacious for its small footprint, the Vitara offers great value and round-town zippiness, particularly with the new optional turbocharged engine."

Volkswagen Tiguan

The panel says:

"The Volkswagen Tiguan offers more interior space, greater boot capacity, more intelligent technology and a range of petrol and diesel engines, as well as the option of all-wheel-drive to meet the growing market demand for small SUVs."

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