Mazda has once again won the country’s most prestigious automotive award – the New Zealand Car of the Year for the new Mazda2.
The Mazda2 was judged by the country’s leading motoring writers and broadcasters to be the best new car for 2007.
In awarding the Mazda top honours, members of the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild gave consideration to all aspects of the car. As well as its performance and handling, the facets under consideration included suitability for the task for which it was designed, its value for money, ease of operation, fuel economy, and build quality, along with its level of home comforts, safety accoutrements and visual appeal.
“A major point of difference with this award is that it embodies the opinions of professionals in their field from across the country, each having assessed the car on roads in their own region,” said Guild president Jacqui Madelin.
“The car that comes out winner must therefore, excel from many different perspectives, and in a range of Kiwi-specific conditions.”
“There is more to the Mazda2 than simply being a good all-rounder on New Zealand roads though: it has bucked the established trend towards cars becoming larger and heavier than the models they replace, yet has still managed to score the maximum five-star occupant protection rating in the stringent European NCAP crash test regime.”
“This establishes it as a car that points to a more environmentally sustainable motoring future, when vehicles will need to become lighter to deliver improved fuel efficiency, without compromising safety,” Jacqui said.
The Mazda2, which is sold here in hatchback guise with a 1.5-litre engine, was the smallest finalist for this year’s New Zealand Car of the Year award, open to new models launched in New Zealand during the 12 months prior to November 1, 2007. It is also the first compact car to win the award in recent years. Recent past winners of the title, which is now in its 19th year, have been the Porsche Cayman (2006), Mazda MX-5 (2005) and Honda Accord Euro (2004).
The other finalists for this year’s award were, in alphabetical order, the Audi R8, BMW M3, Fiat Bravo, Ford Mondeo, Honda CR-V, Mercedes C-class, Mitsubishi Lancer, Skoda Roomster, Subaru Impreza and Volvo C30.
This is the fourth time that Mazda has won this coveted award – the first time in 1989 for the original MX-5, the second time in 2003 for the Mazda6 and again in 2006 for the MX-5.
The Mazda2 winning the New Zealand Car of the Year Award follows hot on the heels from taking out the equivalent award in Japan, and runner up in the European COTY.
Mazda New Zealand managing director, Andrew Clearwater says the Mazda team is absolutely delighted with the win. “As the first of our second-generation of Zoom-Zoom product design, we are thrilled that the Mazda2 has being recognised with this prestigious award. Its strong sales performance since launching in October also proves the Mazda2’s outstanding design, engineering and safety has won favour with NZ car buyers”.