AMI NZ Autocar Car of the Year 2018 class winners

The class winners of 2018

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Monday 4 March 2019
 

Last year at the magazine, we instituted a new rating feature, issuing each vehicle we tested with an overall score out of 100. This vastly simplified selection come time to pick our class winners for the Car of the Year awards. Those six we selected from over 130 vehicles tested we drove last year, and are detailed below. These finalists come together for the big back-to-back drive-off to determine the overall winner


Under $30,000 category winner: Seat Ibiza

What the judges said: “Seat's Ibiza is an overachiever for a small car. It backs up its sporty styling with agile dynamics and a goer of an engine that can be as economical as it can be exciting. It offers good value in standard guise while offering options for those that want to add more to this small car gem.”

$30,000 - $45,000 category winner: Kia Niro HEV

What the judges said: “The Niro is stellar value, and being a hybrid its fuel economy is excellent. We liked its practicalities as well as its levels of refinement and safety. It looks good and drives well too meaning you don't have to compromise on anything to own a highly efficient SUV.”

$45,000 - $60,000 category winner: Subaru Forester Premium

What the judges said: “The Forester is purpose built for New Zealanders who want to get out and see this great country. There's a spacious, feature packed cabin while Subaru's AWD underpinnings give it the ability to go further. Yet it's still right at home in the city where it comforts occupants and keeps them safe with its myriad safety features. And it's got a great price tag too.”

$60,000 - $100,000 category winner: Mazda CX-8 Limited

What the judges said: “The CX-8 impresses with a level of refinement and quality that genuinely stands up to comparison with vehicles from premium makers costing much more. And it offers a raft of features some of those makes would charge more for as options. It has top safety creds as well. It’s a versatile load lugger come school bus, but also drives well with a peachy powertrain.”

Luxury category winner: Porsche Cayenne S

What the judges said: “The Cayenne S is a technological tour de force wrapped in luxury, masquerading as a sportscar. That something so large and luxurious can drive so convincingly is quite an achievement. And that it can pull a 3.5 tonne load off road is something else.”

Performance category winner: Suzuki Swift Sport

What the judges said: “The new affordable performance benchmark, the Swift Sport does so much right. It's a mild mannered commuter in the city, it's turbocharged engine balancing fuel economy with ease of driving, but then it delivers thrilling performance when you want. It's simple thrilling fun to drive. It's styled to impress, as does the level of standard specification and safety gear. That it all costs less than $30,000 and comes with a 5-star ANCAP rating is amazing.”

For the full run down of the AMI NZ Autocar Car of the Year, check out the latest issue of the magazine, which is on sale February 28.

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