CAR OF THE YEAR
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 .
RANGER RIDES HIGH
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.
MIGHTY MOVES FOR MAZDA
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.
BARGAIN – BEWARE
‘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.