The Jaguar I-PACE has been named the 2019 New Zealand Car of the Year – the first time a vehicle available only as a full battery electric vehicle has won the award.
The BMW i3 was the first plug-in to win the award in 2015, but at the time was offered with a range-extending petrol motor.Members of the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild reviewed and voted for the SUV throughout the year. Guild president Richard Edwards says the I-PACE’s innovative design and feature set led to its selection as this year’s overall winner. “We are delighted to name the Jaguar I-Pace as the 2019 New Zealand Car of the Year. With it already holding the 2019 World Car of the Year title, it is a real endorsement of our independent voting process.”
“The Jaguar I-Pace is an impressive car. Its unique design offers buyers the chance to have both a sports car and SUV at the same time, while also offering the latest in convenience and safety features. The fact that it is all-electric with a very usable range is an absolute bonus. New Zealand is ideally placed with its huge share of renewable energy to make the most of the advancements in electric vehicles the new vehicle industry is providing us,” he says.
Jaguar NZ general manager Steve Kenchington says the award caps off an exceptional launch for the new model which has been a pioneer in the premium EV category. “The I-PACE won an unprecedented three awards at the World Car of the Year as well as more than 70 international awards including Car of the Year awards in more than a dozen countries – from Canada through to Germany since its global launch. The acknowledgement from New Zealand’s Motoring Writing Guild members, a highly experienced group who have reviewed hundreds of vehicles from almost every marque available on the market today, is particularly gratifying for the Jaguar team at a local level. Today’s award is recognition of the hundreds of hours that have been invested by world-class engineers and designers in developing the technology behind the I-PACE,” he says.
The 21 voting members of the Guild evaluated the I-PACE against a range of criteria including how the vehicle performs its intended role; its styling, interior design and accommodation; fit, finish and quality; ride and refinement; performance; road-holding and handling; value for money; active and passive safety and environmental responsibility.
The Jaguar I-PACE beat out nine other finalists in the New Zealand Car of the Year awards, including two other EV’s to take the top honour. This year’s finalists were the Audi e-tron, Ford Focus, Holden Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jaguar I-Pace, Mazda 3, Mercedes GLE, Peugeot 508, Tesla Model 3 and Toyota RAV4.The New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild has named the New Zealand Car of the Year for over three decades, the I-PACE being the 32nd.
The award is open to all cars, SUVs and utes launched over a 12-month period. To be eligible for the award they must be driven by over two-thirds of the 21 voting members of the guild for at least 72 hours. Testing is undertaken in the member’s home environment, not on a track. This allows voting to be based on the same experience an owner would have, using the car in their day-to-day life. The award itself is named the Peter Greenslade Award, after late member Peter Greenslade.