Now in its 25th year, the AMI NZ Autocar Car of the Year awards are back with the winners revealed February 25.
Throughout the year, a range of vehicles are tested and given an overall score out of 100. The same rating system is used on the final judging day, which took place on February 12 at the Clevedon Hotel, south of Auckland. Those vehicles with the highest scores at the end of the year are awarded class wins. NZ Autocar editor and head judge, Kyle Cassidy, explains “the six category winners are chosen from more than 130 vehicles tested and come together for the final back-to-back drive-off around rural Clevedon in south Auckland, to determine the overall winner.”
Electric Vehicle of the Year: Volkswagen e-Golf
What the judges said: “The e-Golf impressed us as a discreet EV package, looking like any other Golf as opposed to a visual oddity. It is one of the least expensive new EVs and comes comprehensively specified. Its range is sufficient and drives much like a regular Golf, but with more oomph around town, and it’s so quiet and refined.”
Standard spec includes active cruise, AEB, blind spot monitoring, fatigue detection and the like, plus three drive modes. Its 38.5kWh battery offers around 220km. Drive it at urban speeds and you should get 250km. The battery takes 10.5 hours to recharge using the supplied 3.6kW charger. A 30-min fast charge replenishes the battery from 50 per cent to full.
Performance you’d describe as similar to that of a regular Golf, though the electric version is quicker off the mark with 290Nm available from zero revs. It’s also a regular drive, differing little from that of a conventional Golf for ride and handling. The main point of difference is that its whisper quiet in operation.