Women of the world name their top drives
With the judging for the Women's World Car of the Year completed and collated, the overall or supreme winner is the Ford Fiesta 1.0l EcoBoost.
The Fiesta won the economy car category in the final voting round and, in the second voting round consisting of finalists only, edged out the Mazda CX5 and the Range Rover.
This year judges were asked to vote for SUVs in a separate category. Fairfax's Car of the Year, the Mazda CX5, was the narrow winner over the Hyundai Sante Fe. And in a purely fun category judges were asked to nominate their Dream Car. This was won by the Aston Martin Vanquish, just nudging out the Jaguar F-type.
Commenting on the win, Craig Von Essen, product and communications manager for Ford, Asia-Pacific and Africa, said the company was thrilled to receive not only the economy car category award but the overall supreme award.
"Women pack powerful purchasing power, representing a huge market opportunity.
"The fact that a respected panel of published and specialist women motoring writers selected the Ford Fiesta 1.0l EcoBoost is a significant accolade as we work to design, develop and market our vehicles, technologies and services in a way that captures the attention of this very influential buying group."
The 1-litre EcoBoost is not yet available in New Zealand, but is expected to arrive later this year.
The judging categories were changed for 2013 with a three-tier voting system making it hard for any car to be selected as a category finalist, let alone as a winner. Judges supply their own shortlist from 2013 model year cars they've tested. From there a shortlist is formed to determine the finalists and from the finalist list judges choose their supreme winner and the podium finishers.
The Women's World Car of the Year awards are designed primarily to reflect the preferences of women buyers through a ballot box of women motoring writers from around the world and points out that while some of the judging criteria remain consistent throughout, there are variables.
The Family Car category, for instance, includes child-friendliness, storage space and value-for-money and individually these aren't always appropriate on which to judge a sports car, for example.
It's what makes these awards unique, quite apart from the fact there is no other international motoring award in the world which is voted for by women and with women in mind."
Commenting on some of the reasons for their selection British judge Victoria MacMillan Bell says Ford's styling gets better and better.
"The Fiesta has such a high-end look and feel to it. Pair this with the multi award-winning 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine achieving range figures and performance never before seen and this very stylish pocket rocket wins in every category, with bells on."
Charlene Clarke from South Africa notes that her country is a price-sensitive market both in terms of purchase price and running costs.
"But South Africans adore brands they know and trust. As such the Ford Fiesta, specifically with its EcoBoost engine, is already finding massive favour with motorists in this market.
"Now, of course, it comes with Ford's sensational styling and SYNC technology. The surprisingly good performance of the EcoBoost engine and superb economy means this is an unbeatable combination."
The presentation of the trophies and certificates will this year take place in London in October.
WOMEN'S WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR
Family Car: Audi Allroad 1, Volkswagen Golf 2, BMW 3 Series 3.
Luxury Car: Range Rover 1, Mercedes Benz SL550 2, BMW 6 Series 3.
Sports Car: Porsche Boxster S 1, Audi RS5 2, Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ 3.
SUV: Mazda CX5 1, Hyundai Sante Fe 2, Nissan Pathfinder 3.
Economy Car: Ford Fiesta 1.0l EcoBoost 1, Kia Forte 2, Toyota Prius 3.