There was plenty of new-car action in this popular class of the AMI NZ Autocar Car of the Year awards.
Two Hondas figured large: first, launched, and then the the ninth-generation Civic sedan , which uses similar mechanicals but has both a sportier body shape and more up-for-it dynamics. The Civics convince on many fronts. Civic Euro hatch Also in contention is , which majors on improved fuel economy, space and refinement, at the expense of sportiness and character. Subaru's new Impreza Hyundai has been busy, and introducing the Accent to complement the Elantra and i30 . Veloster compact, sporting a quick-shifting six-speed auto. Mazda debuted its SkyActiv-powered 2.0-litre GSE Nissan released another small hatch disguised as a crossover, , while the quirky-cute Juke . Citroen added a stylish and sporty DS4
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Wedge-shaped hatch: New UK-built Civic five-door marks the return to New Zealand of a popular format from the brand.
Interior: Double-level dash works well and quality of materials is good in the new Honda Civic hatch.
Striking profile: New UK-built Honda Civic is a style-changer in this segment.
Split rear screen: Helps with rear visibility which could otherwise be comprmised by the ascending waistline.
Soft wedge: Redesigned hatch has more emphasis on smoothing aerodynamics than the severely lined previous Civic five-door model.
Juke: For some, the jury is still out on the styling.
Rear room: More than you'd expect, though headroom may catch taller occupants.
Splash of colour: Nissan makes sure you stay interested when you get inside the Juke.
Nissan signatures: Look hard and there are hints of Micra and Murano models, but it couldn't be anything but a Juke.
Nissan Juke: London-designed C-segment crossover has a startling look which means you'd always pick it out of a crowd.
Two-door side: Allows the disgorging of children onto the sidewalk, without the driver having to exit the car.
Driver's side: The Hyundai Veloster looks like a regular coupe from this side.
Base model: Even the entry-point Hyundai Veloster is smart and tidy inside, the ough you do lose the panoramic glass roof and shade.
Rear end: Hyundai Veloster hatchback has useful load area.
Wheels, grille and valances: They're the telltale points on the SR over the less powerful normally aspirated model.
Panoramic sunroof: Full-length glass with shade makes for a light and airy cabin atmosphere.
Twin-scroll turbo: New power unit brings the Veloster's output up to 150kW.
Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo: Embodies the performance edge the model deserved all a long.
Pipes and valance: The rear treatment differs from the standard Veloster's too.
COMPACT: The Honda Civic Euro hatch.