Ford Ranger wins 2022 AA DRIVEN New Zealand Car of the Year

2 December 2022

Ford Ranger wins 2022 AA DRIVEN New Zealand Car of the Year

Ford Ranger

Completely updated and as fit-for purpose as ever, New Zealand’s most popular and best-selling vehicle, the Ford Ranger, has impressed the AA Motoring and DRIVEN judging panel and claimed the title as 2022 AA DRIVEN New Zealand Car of the Year.

Dean Evans, DRIVEN Editor, says: “The Ford Ranger has established itself as one of the most car-like and user-friendly utes on the market, and this latest round of improvements have made it more multifaceted. While the market has shown a strong interest and increasing uptake in electric vehicles, Kiwis have proven their continuing love and need for utes, especially ones that provide the practicality of smart weekday features with weekend abilities.”

From the 30 judged finalists and 10 class winners, 24 of them offered some form of electrification – reinforcing the rise in demand for greener vehicles.

“With the evolution and rise of ‘clean cars’, there will be a time when electric vehicles will consume the market and awards, but for now, the new Ford Ranger remains a clear winner. While it may appear to buck current green trends, it too offers engines and features that prove it cleaner than ever, with efficient turbocharged petrol and diesel engines that offer a choice for the buyer’s needs and lifestyle. Ranger has always been a great ute, and Ford’s made it even better,” says Evans.

Ford New Zealand Managing Director, Simon Rutherford says: “Overall Car of the Year is fantastic recognition for the Next Gen Ford Ranger, especially with such a diverse field of competitors and finalists. Kiwis are truly spoilt for choice, but the Next Gen Ford Ranger has really hit it out of the park when it comes to next-level refinement, capability and performance.

“We would like to thank all the Ford designers and engineers who have taken an already class-leading vehicle and managed to improve it, not by a few tweaks and adjustments but by leaps and bounds. We are really proud to have the Next Gen Ford Ranger in our stable of vehicles and that it’s become an indispensable part of the New Zealand automobile landscape,” says Rutherford.

AA Motoring Services General Manager, Jonathan Sergel, says this year’s AA DRIVEN NZ Car of the Year winner was an easy and unanimous decision for the judges.

“This decision was absolutely the right one, with the most efficient engine seen in the Ford Ranger to date combined with a crowd-pleasing blend of car safety and ute practicality, there’s a reason why it is such a popular choice,” says Sergel.

The Ford Ranger offers 7.6l/100km, with prices starting at $57,490 for a double-cab XLT model.

NZME’s GM of Lifestyle & DRIVEN, Natasha Callister says: “With the market evolving to electric vehicles, it’s impressive to see that 80 percent of our finalists offer some form of electrification, and a viable choice for consumers considering their next car, be it a hybrid or a plug-in – or simply one that’s more economical. The selection of finalists that the AA and DRIVEN have selected reinforces the diverse and eclectic market that caters for almost any buyer.”

Class Winners

The AA DRIVEN NZ COTY also awarded winners across 10 judged categories, including three Clean Car categories that align with the government’s classifications for Hybrid, PHEV and BEV cars, and also the AA Safest Car award.

“We are delighted to see the cutting-edge design of this year’s winner of the Safest Car Award, the Tesla Model Y,” says AA’s Jonathan Sergel.

“It’s a clear market leader, getting the nod from ANCAP testing, and packed full of technologically advanced safety features designed to keep both the car’s occupants and those outside safe.

“Just as star-studded is a new entrant to the Clean Car categories, BEV winner, the BYD Atto 3, which also had a dream run by making it into the top three finalists overall. It’s great to see more options making their way into the market for Kiwi drivers looking to make the switch to clean car technology,” Jonathan added.

The AA DRIVEN NZ COTY People’s Choice award was taken out by the Toyota RAV4, with more than 50,000 people having their say in the public’s choice. The RAV4 also won the People’s Choice award in 2019, proving its resilient popularity.

Congratulations to all the finalists, class winners and the overall 2022 AA DRIVEN New Zealand Car of the Year, the Ford Ranger.

AA Driven COTY logo


Small SUV: MG ZS 
Medium SUV: Kia Sportage 
Large SUV: Kia Sorento 

Clean Cars:

HEV: Toyota Highlander 
PHEV: Mitsubishi Outlander 
BEV: BYD Atto 3 

Passenger: Honda Jazz 

Sports & Performance: Chevrolet Corvette 

Light Commercial Vehicle: Ford Ranger 

Luxury: BMW iX 

AA Safest: Tesla Model Y 

People’s Choice: Toyota RAV4

Overall COTY Top 3: BYD Atto 3, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Outlander  

Overall COTY winner: Ford Ranger 

For more information:

Alison Oldridge
Senior Communications Advisor - New Zealand Automobile Association
+64 21  847 828 

Kelly Gunn
GM of Communications - NZME
+64 27 213 5625

Dean Evans
Editor - DRIVEN
+64 27 328 3270

New! Our navigation has changed.

Use this button to access the site content.

 |  Learn more