First class 5-series car of 2010
The New Zealand Car of the Year is BMW’s impressive new 5-series, writes Dave Moore
AFTER rating the dozens of new cars to reach the market in New Zealand during 2010, the 32-strong membership of the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild has chosen the BMW 5-series as its Car of the Year.
The latest iteration of BMW’s 5-series saloon has followed in the footsteps of two of its predecessors in being judged New Zealand’s Car of the Year by the country’s leading motoring writers and commentators.
‘‘Coming after an immediate predecessor that attracted controversy on several fronts, notably for its bold styling and complex drive interface, the new F10 variant represents a welcome return to 5-series form by BMW,’’ said guild president John Oxley.
‘‘It is this ability to combine passenger and driver appeal in a single vehicle that has always marked the 5-series out as a special car. Back in 1988, this was what led the third-generation of the 5-series to become the inaugural winner of New Zealand’s Car of the Year crown.
‘‘Eight years later, its suc- cessor followed suit and now, after a further 14 years, the 5-series has become the first car to win the title for a third time.’’
Running the German luxury sports sedan close were two slightly more affordable cars, in the form of Skoda’s Yeti SUV and the Suzuki Kizashi Sports sedan. It was expected that the big German would gain votes well, what with its array of safety gear, chassis electronics and other luxury refinements.
However, its six-figure pricing factor was always likely to temper its scoring performance considerably, and that the 5-series still came through on top is an endorsement of its value both to drive and acquire.
I was personally impressed with its handling dynamics, gentler styling than before and the way it turned every drive from a chore into an occasion to savour.
I said in my road test ‘‘every time you climb into the new 5-series it’s like being given a complimentary upgrade to first class’’.
The Skoda Yeti, which has already won awards in New Zealand and overseas, is one of those cars that’s better than the sum-total of its parts, offering hatchback-like handling and ride, combined with carry-all practicality and sufficient gusto to show-up most other SUVs off-road.
Suzuki’s Kizashi also came to the top level in the Car of the Year voting with a brilliant chassis, high quality build and finish and a terrific 2.4-litre drivetrain, all costing from around what many would pay for a Japanese 1.8-litre hatchback.
In recognition of the BMW’s title win, BMW 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 original New Zealand Car of the Year award.
WINNER: The BMW5-series is the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild Car of the Year.
RUNNER UP: The Suzuki Kizashi was among the finalists for New Zealand Car of the Year.
ALMOST: The Skoda Yeti was in the top three for Car of the Year.