The FG-series Falcon, which was launched in mid-2008, is the first iteration of the long-standing Falcon family to have won New Zealand’s top automotive accolade.
In reaching their decision, members of the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild gave consideration to the wide range of Falcon variants – from the standard saloon models to the high-performance FPV derivatives.
As well as performance and handling, the facets under consideration included suitability for the task for which Falcon was designed, its value for money, ease of operation, economy, along with its level of home comforts, quality of finish, safety accoutrements and visual appeal.
“It is worth noting that the Falcon’s win is quite an achievement when you consider it was designed and built on a much tighter budget than any of the world cars which were also finalists,” said Guild president Jacqui Madelin.
Unlike ‘world’ or European awards, the NZ Car of the Year judges cars across a broad range of local conditions.
“A major point of difference with this award is that it embodies the opinions of professionals in their field from across the country, each of whom has assessed the car on roads in their own region,” Madelin said.
“The car that comes out winner must, therefore, excel from many different perspectives, and in a range of Kiwi-specific conditions.”
“The FG-series Falcon does that, but is also noteworthy in other respects; it is, for example, the first Australian- designed -and -built car to achieve the maximum five star occupant protection rating in ANCAP crash testing.”
The FG-series Falcon was one of nine finalists for this year’s New Zealand Car of the Year award, which is open to new models launched in New Zealand during the 12 months prior to 1 November 2008. The others, in alphabetical order, were the Fiat 500, Honda Accord Euro, Hyundai i30, Jaguar XF, Mazda 6, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Recent past winners of the title, which is now in its 21st year, have been the Mazda 2 (2007), Porsche Cayman (2006), and Mazda MX-5 (2005).
In recognition of the FG Falcon’s title win, Ford New Zealand will be awarded the Peter Greenslade Trophy, named after the now deceased motoring editor of The Press in Christchurch, who was one of the instigators of the Car of the Year award in the late 1980s.
For further information please contact:
Jacqui Madelin, New Zealand Motoring Writers Guild president
Phone: 027 475 1521 / 09 812 8525
John Oxley, New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild vice president
Phone: 021 478 119
Dave Moore, Guild COTY spokesman
Phone: 021 800 031