Kodiaq named as Car of the Year

By Catherine Pattison on Sat, 16 Dec 2017 | Latest News
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Skoda General Manager Greg Leet celebrates the Kodiaq’s 2017 Car of the Year award. PHOTO: SUPPLIED.

A mid-priced seven-seater SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq, has been named New Zealand's 2017 Car of the Year.

It faced down nine other finalists for the coveted trophy, earning the support of the New Zealand Motoring Writers' Guild and the AA after the votes from the 22 judges were counted.

The judges considered styling, performance, handling, economy, comfort, interior design, build quality, finish, practicality, value for money and x-factor when selecting the winner.

Skoda general manager Greg Leet said the award was ‘‘an incredible thing for our brand'', which is manufactured in the Czech Republic.

‘‘We wake up every morning to ensure that Kiwis fall in love with our brand. We are passionate. Our team, we would love to take the credit for putting this car together and building it, but we don't. We are the lucky ones to represent this incredible car and this brand in New Zealand.''

AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks said the high quality of the vehicles that the Kodiaq was up against should make the win even sweeter.

‘‘This is a choice that becomes more difficult every year as manufacturers continuously lift the bar with improved design safety and technology features. All of this means it is more difficult to find fault with cars when we experience them for the first time. Those who drive them typically find far more that they like than those they don't and that includes EVs, too.

‘‘Skoda has presented the world with a great allround vehicle. While it's clearly been built with the family in mind, the Kodiaq's configuration, spaciousness and technology ensures the market has an affordable versatile choice that will endure,'' Ms Stocks said.

‘‘SUVs remain the most popular segment in the Kiwi motoring market and Skoda's entry into the seven-seater space with the Kodiaq, which also has a five-star safety rating from ANCAP means we're well served by the brand.''

New Zealand Motoring Writers' Guild president Robert Barry said the evening was a celebration of another high-growth year for the new-vehicle industry, which has had ‘‘absolutely amazing new registration results this year''.

‘‘There doesn't seem to be a diminishing appetite for new vehicles from the business and the private buyer this year. Business confidence, and indeed confidence, in the economy just seems to grow stronger and stronger with each passing month. This is reflected, I believe, in the number of new vehicle registrations setting record levels again and again and again.''

Barry said the Kodiaq more than lives up to Skoda's tagline of being ‘‘Simply Clever''. ‘‘The Kodiaq is more refined than many luxury SUVs, with great design ideas, excellent packaging and competitive price points. It has made the Skoda brand come of age in New Zealand and reach critical mass. It is, therefore, no surprise it has won the accolade of 2017 New Zealand Car of the Year.''

The New Zealand Car of the Year was selected from a shortlist of new models released to the market between October 1 2016 and September 30 2017.

The finalists were: BMW 5 series, Holden Astra, Honda Civic hatch, Hyundai Ioniq, Land Rover Discovery, Mazda CX-5, Skoda Kodiaq, Subaru XV, Suzuki Ignis and Suzuki Swift. Alongside the Car of the Year award are 12 best in class categories. A new category for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids was added to best-in-class lineup this year reflecting the increased availability and variety of these cars.

Best-in-class winners
Micro/light car:Suzuki Swift
Small/compact car:Holden Astra
Medium/large car:Volkswagen Arteon
Luxury car:BMW 5 Series
Sports car:Mazda MX-5
Small SUV:Toyota CH-R
Medium SUV:Skoda Kodiaq
Large SUV:Mazda CX-9
Luxury SUV:Land Rover Discovery
Utility:Ford Ranger
EV/Plug in hybrid:Hyundai Ioniq
Safest car:Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
People's choice:Suzuki Swift