New Zealand Car of the Year time

DAVE MOORE
Last updated 07:10 11/12/2012
Who will win the coveted AMI Insurance NZ Autocar Car of the Year title?
CAR OF THE YEAR: Who will win the coveted AMI Insurance NZ Autocar Car of the Year title?

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Autocar Car Of The Year

VW Golf completes NZ awards double Countdown to our car of the year Mazda CX-5 wins top NZ car award New Zealand Car of the Year time Plenty of compact car class action Spoilt for choice in crossover/SUV/utes Luxury segment lookers More action in medium/large car range Performance car performers Small car hopefuls

It's Car of the Year time again, and already several panels around the world have come up with their best cars of the year.

Our sister group in Australia, Drive.com.au, has just made Toyota's worthy GT86 coupe its Drive Car of the Year. The voting covered 17 categories, so there were all sorts of people-movers and other categories won by cars with no competition in the segments, but Toyota's win was mainly because of the "fun factor", says Drive, which to us is reason enough. By the way, we've just heard that the cheapest GT86 in Britain costs about $10,000 more than ours. We love it when that happens!

Meanwhile, the annual Car of the Year Japan award, also known as Japan Car of the Year, which is given to newly released or redesigned vehicles released on the Japanese car buying market from November 1 of the previous year to October 31 of the current one, has been presented for 2012-2013, to the Mazda CX-5.

Just to confuse the issue, Japan's other car award given by the Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference of Japan, has gone to Nissan's new Note hatch. The RJC 2013 Car of the Year winner beat competition from the CX-5 and the new Wagon- R.

In Dubai, the McLaren 12C has received two awards, including overall Supercar of the Year and Car of the Year, at the 2012 Middle East Motor Awards. The 12C was rated ahead of almost 50 car models, including some of the world's top supercar models, by a jury panel comprising the region's top automotive experts across 17 categories.

At the Los Angeles Motor Show, which closes this weekend, Ford's Fusion plug-in hybrid was named Green Car of the Year on the basis of the fuel efficiency of its long list of powertrain options, including a hybrid and plug-in hybrid electrified models. "Sales popularity also was one of the factors that pushed it to the win," says Ron Cogan, publisher of the Green Car Journal which created the annual award.

The overall Car of the Year for North America is awarded at the Detroit Car Show in January.

Staying in the US, two high circulation car magazines have agreed on their Car of the Year gong this month, with both Motor Trend and Automobile handing their trophies to the Tesla model S sedan.

Motor Trend incidentally was the first publication or organisation to have a Car of the Year award which debuted in 1949, Cadillac taking that first title.

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New Zealand's most prestigious Car of the Year awards will be decided tonight, with our own Fairfax AMI Insurance NZ Autocar overall Car of the Year award winner and six class winners to be announced, while the AA-Motoring Writers' Guild titles are being decided tomorrow.

Click below to check out finalists for the NZ Autocar Car of the Year:

Compact cars

Crossover/SUV/utes

Luxury vehicles

Medium/large cars

Performance cars

Compact cars

Small cars

Already chosen is the New Zealand Ultimate Shine Winner for 2012, an annual Meguiar's product award which went to Rachelle and Brendon Armstrong's 1946 Ford Coupe. Can't help thinking that the Ford is more desirable than many of the new car award contenders.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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