The Tribune (NZ) - - MID WEEK MOTORING - com­piled by Richard Mays


This year’s New Zealand Car of the Year award fi­nal­ists are amixed bag cov­er­ing nearly ev­ery cor­ner of the mar­ket.

The top 10 fi­nal­ists are: Audi Q7, BMW i3, Ford Mon­deo, Hyundai Tuc­son, Land Rover Dis­cov­ery Sport, Mazda2, Mazda CX-3, Mazda MX-5, Subaru Legacy/Out­back, Volvo XC90

SUVs still fea­ture strongly with five fi­nal­ists, un­der­scor­ing the strong growth in this mar­ket seg­ment. While not yet main­stream, the BMW i3 elec­tric ve­hi­cle was de­scribed by the top 10 se­lec­tion panel as a real game changer.

Last year’s New Zealand Car of the Year was the Mazda3.

Along­side the main award, mem­bers of the New Zealand Mo­tor­ing Writ­ers’ Guild (NZMWG), will also vote on the best in class in a num­ber of cat­e­gories: Small car, Com­pact car, Medium/large car, Lux­ury car, Small SUC/cross­over, Medium SUV, Large SUV, Lux­ury SUV, Util­ity, Sports and per­for­mance.

The safest car for 2015 will also be an­nounced at Auck­land’s Viaduct Events Cen­tre awards night on De­cem­ber 9, based on Aus­tralasian New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gramme (ANCAP) crash test re­sults.

From Novem­ber 1, the public have a chance to vote for one of the top 10 fi­nal­ists in the New Zealand Car of the Year Peo­ple’s Choice Award avail­able on the AA’s

Face­book page and web­site .


With 744 sales in Septem­ber, the new Ford Ranger has in­creased its po­si­tion as the most pop­u­lar ute as well as the most pop­u­lar over­all new car in the coun­try, con­tin­u­ing its over­all lead in new car sales, ahead of Toy­ota’s Hilux and Corolla.

This is on top of achiev­ing one of the high­est ANCAP safety scores ever for a ute, scor­ing 36.72 points out of a max­i­mum 37 over­all and se­cur­ing the max­i­mum five-star re­sult for all vari­ants – both 2WD and 4WD.

The com­pany claims the sales fig­ures show gen­uine cus­tomer prop­u­lar­ity for its per­for­mance and value and aren’t propped up by sales to rental com­pa­nies.


Septem­ber 2015 has been Mazda New Zealand’s best ever month. With record sales of 981 ve­hi­cles (up 25.4 per cent YOY) Mazda fin­ished a clear fourth in the mar­ket, ex­tend­ing its run of year-on-year growth to 28 con­sec­u­tive months.

The re­sult con­sol­i­dates Mazda’s sec­ond plac­ing in pas­sen­ger sales (ex­clud­ing rental car regis­tra­tions) for the first nine months of 2015.

It has three mod­els un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for the NZ Car of the Year – Mazda2, Mazda CX-3 and Mazda MX-5 - more than any other man­u­fac­turer.


‘Ur­gent sale’ the on-line ad says – and the price is un­be­lie­ve­able. Ev­ery­body loves a bar­gain. You’re in.

Now, some­times peo­ple do le­git­i­mately ad­ver­tise a ve­hi­cle with a low price, of­ten be­cause they need to dis­pose of it quickly.

How­ever, it’s risky buy­ing any ve­hi­cle sight un­seen, even if the deal is valid. Pic­tures don’t show ev­ery­thing and the AA ad­vises cau­tion and due dili­gence be­fore hand­ing over any cash.

To en­sure the deal is real, in­sist on a pre pur­chase ve­hi­cle in­spec­tion. It will prove that the ve­hi­cle is in the hands of the seller and high­light any is­sues that might war­rant a lower price.

If the seller is re­luc­tant to al­low ac­cess to the ve­hi­cle for an in­spec­tion, walk away from the deal.

A Ve­hi­cle History Re­port will also pro­vide in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing cur­rent and pre­vi­ous own­ers, fi­nance ow­ing or po­lice in­ter­est.

If there is any doubt, buy­ers shouldn’t part with any money - un­like those un­wit­ting buy­ers fleeced re­cently of $50,000 in trans­ac­tions in­volv­ing non-ex­is­tant ve­hi­cles.

The Ford Ranger con­solo­dates at the top of car buy­ers pop­u­lar­ity stakes.

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