MPs in the driving seat

Last updated 05:00 23/02/2014

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Our top MPs spend a lot of time working in their Crown BMWs being chauffer-driven from venue to venue.

But on private business many prefer to take the self-drive car they get to choose as one of the perks of ministerial office.

After refusing on security grounds to release the information in recent years, Internal Affairs has relented and provided a list of which cars grace MPs' garages.

The department won't say which minister drives which car, also for security reasons, but based on the maxim that you are what you drive we've decided to match them up ourselves. Here is our list after consulting car websites such Top Gear and motoring.com.au.

VW Golf GTi: "Astonishing traction in even the tightest corners". Has to be Prime Minister John Key.

Mini Cooper: Provides all the power you'd ever need in a "compact, lithesome and utterly addictive package." Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

Honda Accord Euro: "A highly accomplished saloon and estate, blessed with Honda's usual bombproof build quality and a little bit more flair than previous models." Justice Minister Judith "Crusher" Collins.

Holden Commodore: The key words are engaging, comfortable and practical. Police Minister Anne Tolley. Audi A3 (two ministers plumped for this car): "Whether you love the stoic Germanic styling of these cars or not, you can be in no doubt you're buying a level of solidity that even the Japanese can't beat. But they're pricey and not dynamically flawless." Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and minister of everything Steven Joyce.

Ford Mondeo: "A good car that is starting to show its age compared to rivals." Housing Minister Nick Smith?

Mitsubishi Outlander: "If you don't get excited by driving, [it's] perfectly acceptable. But there should be something more to it than that, no?" Attorney General Christopher Finlayson.

VW Passat (car of choice for two ministers): "Dull but worthy, the Passat doesn't excite in any way, but it does exactly what it promises." Bill English and Tony Ryall.

Ford Territory: Suave, capable and can be a bit of a bad boy at times. Energy Minister Simon Bridges and Trade Minister Tim Groser.

Hyundai Santa Fe: By far the most popular choice among our ministers with a number opting for its sleek styling. Upmarket and aspirational go for this car. Amy Adams, Nathan Guy, Nikki Kaye, Craig Foss, Michael Woodhouse and Jonathan Coleman perhaps?

We note, however, that one review also had this to say about the Sante Fe. "It's pricey compared with some rivals, plus the manual gearbox is notchy and headroom is tight in the optional third row." Education Minister Hekia Parata?

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