The Volkswagen Polo has been named the 2010 Car of the Year at the annual AMI Insurance NZ Autocar Car of the Year Awards. It is the third time a small car has won the award in the last four years.
Scoring consistently on all the judging criteria, the smallest VW available in New Zealand was ranked first overall by three of the six judges, beating the BMW 5 Series to claim the overall Car of the Year award, as well as taking the prize for the best small car.
NZ Autocar editor and chief judge, Kyle Cassidy, said that the Polo scored particularly well for its design, practicality and performance.
“No other small car comes close to offering the mix of refinement, quality and technical nous as this year’s winner,” he commented. “The Polo TSI is a highly accomplished package that proves a small car can have a big attitude.”
Six-time Qantas media award winner, Paul Owen, and two-time winner of the Motorsport NZ award for television, Shaun Summerfield, both felt that the Polo could possibly be the best small car ever.
“Built like a bomb shelter with simple but stylish sheet metal,” said Paul. “This car maybe a bit pricey, but it’s worth every penny.”
Another judge, Damien O’Carroll, summed up this year’s winner as “a little car with massive ability”.
“It’s great looking with a great driveline,” said O’Carroll. “The Polo is like that annoying kid at school who could do no wrong.”
The Volkswagen Polo went against five other vehicles for the overall AMI Insurance NZ Autocar Car of the Year Award. The award identifies the best new car released in the preceding 12 months.
Six judges took the cars on a rigorous road drive through the middle of the North Island, covering 1000kms in two days. Each car received a combined score out of 100 and was judged on design, performance, driving dynamics, practicality and value. The category winners were selected by the judges from new models launched in New Zealand between 30 November 2009 and 30 November 2010.
The other finalists included:
· Compact Car – Nissan Qashqai
· Medium/Large Car – Skoda Superb Combi
· Performance Car – Subaru WRX
· Luxury Car – BMW 5 Series
· Crossover/SUV - Mitsubishi ASX
Last year’s winner of the NZ Autocar Car of the Year award was the Ford Fiesta.
The AMI Autocar Bike of the Year (BOTY) was also announced on the night with the award going to the Ducati MultiStrada 1200S. According to Kyle Cassidy, the Multistrada 1200 with its 4-bikes-in-1 concept represents and delivers new levels of innovation, performance, safety and versatility to the adventure touring and crossover segment as well as the bike industry overall.
CEO of NF Importers, Australasia’s Ducati Distributor, Warren Lee said, “We’re thrilled that the new Multistrada 1200 has been recognised and awarded by NZ Autocar as BOTY.”
Full results and judges’ comments about the overall winner and each of the category winners in the 2010 AMI Insurance NZ Autocar Car of the Year will be published in the January issue of NZ Autocar Magazine, on sale 16 December.