The Skoda Kodiaq was named New Zealand Car of the Year (NZCOTY) at a special function at Auckland's Viaduct Events Centre.
The Skoda Kodiaq was named New Zealand Car of the Year (NZCOTY) at a special function at Auckland's Viaduct Events Centre last night.
Kodiaq, a seven-seat SUV, got the votes over nine other shortlisted vehicles chosen as the year's best new models.
NZCOTY is awarded by the NZ Motoring Writers Guild in partnership with the NZ Automobile Association. This year it was open to new cars launched between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017. Greg Leet, general manager of Skoda NZ, accepted the NZCOTY trophy from Guild president Robert Barry and Stella Stocks, AA motoring services general manager.
"To say that I came here tonight a little nervous is an understatement," said Leet. "To win this award is an incredible thing for our brand. I'm so chuffed and we'll shout it from the rooftops."
The Guild is now in its seventh year of partnership with the AA for NZCOTY. The shortlist of 10 cars is chosen by a special panel and then goes out to the wider membership, which votes using a ranking method to select the winner.
The other shortlisted vehicles for 2017 were, in alphabetical order: the BMW 5-series, Holden Astra, Honda Civic hatch, Hyundai Ioniq, Land Rover Discovery, Mazda CX-5, Subaru XV, Suzuki Ignis and Suzuki Swift.
In his pre-award speech, Barry reflected on the continuing record sales of the local industry: "We had a general election this year, which is typically a period when things might slow down. But in this general election year, the market didn't even blink."
Stocks emphasised the mainstream nature of the 2017 shortlist, perhaps with an eye on last year's winner, the Mercedes-Benz E-class: "While I don't want to take anything away from the premium brands, the majority of the vehicles in our shortlist are affordable - achievable for many motorists if not today, then in a few years as second-hand.
"This demonstrates to the everyday motorist that excellence isn't reserved for cars with big price points."
The Kodiaq was also named Stuff Motoring's Top Car for 2017 in November.