Catch­ing up with the Ko­diaq — win­ner of 2017 Car of the Year

Hamilton News - - DRIVEN.CO.NZ -

It’s Car of the Year sea­son again, when New Zealand’s mo­tor­ing ex­perts unite to de­cide which ve­hi­cles are top in their class and ul­ti­mately de­cide the win­ner of the 2018 AA Driven New Zealand Car of The Year Award. We thought we’d re­flect on why the Skoda Ko­diaq was the 2017 win­ner, and catch up with them to see what im­pact win­ning the top prize has had.

What’s so special about the Ko­diaq?

But what ac­tu­ally makes a ve­hi­cle award ma­te­rial?

Let’s first look at how this Euro­pean ve­hi­cle is placed in the mar­ket. The SUV class the Ko­diaq be­longs to is a pop­u­lar cat­e­gory with many op­tions — which makes win­ning that much sweeter. The Ko­diaq is a gen­er­ous-sized 7-seater, has a large boot ca­pac­ity, 9 airbags, clever tech like Smartlink+ phone con­nec­tiv­ity, and stan­dard fea­tures like park­ing sensors, Emer­gency Brak­ing Sys­tem, and Rest As­sis­tant. What wraps this ve­hi­cle in a great pack­age is the value-for-money start­ing price of $42,990.

Last year the com­mon thread for the win­ner was fam­ily-friendly, 5-star safety, seg­ment pop­u­lar­ity, tech­nol­ogy ad­vance­ment at an af­ford­able price point.

The 2017 award judges said the Ko­diaq was “more re­fined than many lux­ury SUVS, with great de­sign ideas, pack­ag­ing and price points”.

AA Mo­tor­ing Ser­vices GM Stella Stocks said: “Skoda has pre­sented the world with a great all-round ve­hi­cle.

“While it’s clearly been built with the fam­ily in mind, the Ko­diaq’s con­fig­u­ra­tion, spa­cious­ness and tech­nol­ogy en­sures the mar­ket has an af­ford­able ver­sa­tile choice that will en­dure.

“SUVS re­main the most pop­u­lar seg­ment in the Kiwi mo­tor­ing mar­ket and Skoda’s en­try into the 7-seater space with the Ko­diaq, which also has a 5-star safety rat­ing from An­cap, means we’re well served by the brand.”

A Skoda rep­re­sen­ta­tive said win­ning the Car of the Year ti­tle for Ko­diaq en­abled them to re­ally land Skoda’s first SUV and use it as a launch­ing pad for the rest of the Skoda SUV fam­ily, in­clud­ing the Ko­diaq Sport­line and the new mid-sized Karoq SUV.

They saw a spike in Ko­diaq sales in Jan­uary, and they at­tribute a num­ber of these to win­ning New Zealand Car of the Year in De­cem­ber. The Ko­diaq made up 50 per cent of sales in Jan­uary; the high­est-peak­ing month for Ko­diaq sales. For 2018 the Ko­diaq is their top-sell­ing model and makes up 35 per cent of all Skoda sales.

This year, the AA and Driven have joined forces to drive for­ward the premier AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year, which will pin­point the coun­try’s Car of the Year and Best in Class, with win­ners an­nounced at a cock­tail event in De­cem­ber.

There’ll be a com­pre­hen­sive trial for each car of the year fi­nal­ist both on-road and at Pukekohe Park Race­way.

Keep an eye on

What dif­fer­ence win­ning made for Skoda

or and for an­nounce­ments of the fi­nal­ists, in­for­ma­tion about the Peo­ple’s Choice Award pow­ered by Driven.

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