New Zealand's Motoring Writers' Guild have named the Volkswagen Golf as their as the New Zealand Car of the Year.
The compact car beat out nine other finalists to take the crown including the Subaru BRZ, the sister car to 2012's Car of the Year, the Toyota 86.
Members of the guild voted on the list of finalists to produce the VW Golf as eventual winner. The judges considered styling, performance, handling, economy, comfort, interior design, build quality and finish, practicality, value for money and the important X-factor.
Guild president David Linklater said the VW Golf offered a premium European driving experience and quality at mainstream prices.
"Volkswagen has been giving the compact car market a bit of a push with the Golf," Mr Linklater says.
"While previous models have been popular, the new Golf is priced to compete with mainstream, non-European brands."
Separate from the selection of the Car of the Year for 2013, the judges voted on nine categories with 10th being the safest car – the award going to the vehicle that received the highest Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) rating for both crash test performance and pedestrian safety.
The Volvo V40 earned the best in class – safety award.
Best in Class results:
Small Car: Ford Fiesta
Medium Car: Mazda6
Large Car: Holden Commodore
Sports/Performance Car: Ford Fiesta ST
Small/Medium SUV: Mazda CX-5
Utility: Ford Ranger
Large SUV: Range Rover
Compact Car: VW Golf
Luxury Car: BMW 5 series
Safest Car: Volvo V40
The 10 finalists for NZ Car of the Year were: Ford Kuga, Holden Volt, Holden Commodore, Hyundai Santa Fe, Lexus IS, Mazda6, Subaru BRZ, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen Golf, Volvo V40.