The AA has announced the winners of the 2009 AA Motoring Excellence Awards
The annual awards aim to identify and reward excellence amongst new vehicles and in areas of concern to motorists. They also provide New Zealand motorists with an independent assessment to assist with their car purchases.
Each of the 52 vehicles entered in this year's awards was assessed by an expert panel of judges on design, performance, dynamics, practicality, execution, value for money and safety.
The 2009 AA Motoring Excellence Awards Supreme Winner and winner of the compact car class is the Hyundai i30 Diesel Elite.
AA General Manager of Technical Services, Stella Stocks, says the Hyundai i30 Diesel Elite, valued at $36,990, “is an excellent and affordable car that performs well in all the areas we assess, particularly road safety.”
“The Hyundai i30 Diesel Elite closes the gap with Europe’s best. It goes the extra mile to deliver more than expected in every area, providing all the right answers to buyers demanding honesty and frugality in a compact car purchase. It has a torquey diesel engine and offers the automatic most Kiwis demand, alongside the manual transmission we evaluated."
The other 2009 AA Motoring Excellence Award winners are:
Small Car – Fiat 500 1.4 Sport
Ms Stocks says "the $32,990 Fiat 500 1.4 Sport shows the way for small cars. It is fun, chic, includes all the safety features modern drivers expect, has a fine design that makes the most of a very small package, and imparts a distinctly up-market feel. It’s exactly what people are looking for when they want to compromise the size of their vehicle, but not the joy of driving."
Medium Car – Ford Mondeo Zetec Diesel
Ms Stocks says "the judges described the $45,290 Ford Mondeo Zetec Diesel as being the benchmark for handling, poise and balance. It provides the kind of drivetrain and chassis that should be used as a yardstick for other car makers. Alongside a strong safety hand, it delivers a spacious interior, roomy boot and decent tow rating – a large car feel in a medium-sized body."
Large Car – Holden Sportwagon SV6
Ms Stocks says "the Holden Sportwagon SV6, valued at $52,390, has handsome looks and sporting dynamics without compromising everyday comfort or charging a premium for its skills. Its innovative design reinvents the wagon format and the judges liked the blend of performance and practicality, not just in terms of what it carries, but also how well it handles."
Executive Car – Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 125
Ms Stocks says "the Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 125, valued at $59,990, is the thinking person’s executive car. Its delivers a full spec list and has a capacious cabin, smooth engine and rock-solid design. Once unloved, Skoda is now much desired, refined, roomy, with enough charm and surprise to beat the well-rounded competition."
Premium Car – Audi A6 3.0 TFSI
Ms Stocks says "the $128,500 Audi A6 3.0 TFSI is German engineering at its best. Its supercharged technology gives the car a literally huge boost and impresses with its stress-less performance and responsive handling. The design, inside and out, boasts the classic restraint of a good suit, the embellishments of fine jewellery, and the extensive features list expected from a premium car."
Small Crossover – Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI
Ms Stocks says "the judges liked the well balanced lines, handsome understated cabin, smooth power delivery and tidy road manners of the Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI, valued at $54,490. This family wagon will take you further off-road than most buyers will ever need to go."
Large Crossover – Volvo XC60 DS
Ms Stocks says "the Volvo XC60 DS, valued at $76,990, opens a window to the future with its astonishing safety package. It also looks great, has a grunty engine, excellent on-road manners, smart design and detailing which makes it the ultimate go-anywhere family wagon."
Performance Car – Ford Focus XR5 Turbo
Ms Stocks says "the judges said the $45,990 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo was the most affordable car in its class and delivered performance in a practical package. Though not the quickest car evaluated, the five-cylinder engine results in a hugely entertaining drive. One judge said it had the best front-drive chassis in the awards."
Customer Satisfaction – Honda
Ms Stocks says "the AA and international customer satisfaction surveyor JD Power surveyed over 4,000 AA Members on new car ownership – everything from vehicle quality and reliability, to appeal, service and ownership costs. Honda ranked the highest in the survey, scoring 799 points out of 1000."
Safest Car – Peugeot 308 XSP
Ms Stocks says "the safety award went to the car that scored the highest score in ANCAP or EuroNCAP crash testing in 2008 for occupant and pedestrian safety, providing the car is available for purchase in New Zealand and every car in the range has the same safety aids as the vehicle tested. The Peugeot 308 XSP, valued at $41,990, scored 51.3 out of 73 points, resulting in a maximum 5 star rating - and it scored the maximum points possible for the side impact crash."
Environmental Car – Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion Diesel
Ms Stocks says "this year’s award was chosen from those vehicles entered in the 2008 AA ENERGYWISE Rally. The $31,990 Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion Diesel used the least fuel, completing the 1641km rally using only 59.85 litres of fuel. That was a remarkable 3.651 litres per 100 kilometres The Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion Diesel also emitted 95.68 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, the least amount per passenger seat of all the Rally cars. Volkswagen’s BlueMotion range of vehicles have a standard engine, but altered gearing, tyres and aerodynamic aids to cut fuel consumption.”
The awards were announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on Friday night.