Three electrics plug into New Zealand Car of the Year

THREE electric vehicles are among the 10 finalists for New Zealand’s most prestigious automotive award.
Candidates to secure this year’s New Zealand Car of the Year are, in alphabetical order: 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 e-tron, I-Pace and Model 3 all run purely on battery. The New Zealand Car of the Year is voted on by the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild – professional automotive journalists who test the vehicles in their home environments around the country.

The expert commentators have previously acknowledged the growing importance on electric vehicles in New Zealand, having given the honour to the BMW i3 in 2015.

“Simply having three electric vehicles in the top 10 shows how far this technology has come, and how much New Zealand has embraced it,” New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild president Richard Edwards says.

“Even so, with seven other incredible vehicles in the top 10 they have a challenge ahead.”

The award’s winner will be decided by 21 voting members and announced live on TVNZ One’s Seven Sharp programme in December.

Now in its 31st year,  New Zealand Car of the Year is the country’s most prestigious motoring award, being a truly national prize without commercial ties. The present titleholder is the Subaru Forester.

Criteria span 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.