VW Polo wins Car of the Year title
The Volkswagen Polo has snared the top gong at the annual AMI Insurance NZ Autocar Car of the Year Awards.
It is the third time a small car has won the award in the past four years.
Scoring consistently on all the judging criteria, the smallest Volkswagen available in New Zealand was ranked first overall by three of the six judges, beating the BMW 5 Series to claim the overall Car of the Year award, as well as taking the prize for the best small car.
NZ Autocar editor and chief judge Kyle Cassidy said the Polo scored particularly well for its design, practicality and performance.
‘‘No other small car comes close to offering the mix of refinement, quality and technical nous as this year’s winner,’’ he said.
‘‘The Polo TSI is a highly accomplished package that proves a small car can have a big attitude.’’
Six-time Qantas media award winner Paul Owen and the two-time winner of the Motorsport NZ award for television, Shaun Summerfield, both felt the Polo could possibly be the best small car ever.
Another judge, Damien O’Carroll, summed up this year’s winner as ‘‘ a little car with massive ability’’.
‘‘It’s great looking, with a great driveline,’’ he said.
‘‘The Polo is like that annoy- ing kid at school who could do no wrong.’’
The Volkswagen Polo went against five other vehicles for the overall AMI Insurance NZ Autocar Car of the Year Award.
The award identifies the best new car released in the preceding 12 months.
Six judges took the cars on a rigorous road drive through the middle of the North Island, covering 1000 kilometres in two days.
Each car received a combined score out of 100 and was judged on design, performance, driving dynamics, practicality and value.
The category winners were selected by the judges from new models launched in New Zealand between November 30, 2009 and November 30 this year. The other finalists included: Compact Car – Nissan Qashqai
Medium/Large Car – Skoda Superb Combi
Performance Car – Subaru WRX Luxury Car – BMW 5 Series Crossover/SUV – Mitsubishi ASX
Last year’s winner of the NZ Autocar Car of the Year award was the Ford Fiesta.
The AMI Autocar Bike of the Year was also announced, with the award going to the Ducati MultiStrada 1200S.
According to Mr Cassidy, the MultiStrada 1200, with its four-bikes-in-one concept, represents and delivers new levels of innovation, performance, safety and versatility to the adventure touring and crossover segment as well as the bike industry overall.
Full results from the awards will be published in the January issue of NZ Autocar Magazine, on sale on December 16.
Technical nous: The Volkswagen Polo is NZ Autocar’s Car of the Year, mixing refinement and quality.