Mercedes-Benz A-Class: AA Best Driven Car 2018

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Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback claims inaugural AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year

Latest News

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback claims inaugural AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year

Following an extensive testing regime by journalists from the New Zealand Herald motoring publication ‘Driven’ and the New Zealand Automobile Association (AA), the all new Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been crowned the AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year for 2018.

Announced at Shed 10 in Auckland’s CBD on Wednesday evening, this is the first time the award has been presented, making the A-Class the inaugural recipient.

Founded in 1903, the AA is one of the most recognised and respected organisations in New Zealand. When combined with one of the country’s top motoring publications, the New Zealand Car of the Year award is one of the highest honours a vehicle can be presented.

In conjunction with the AA, the top ten vehicles were put through an exhaustive test program over two days at Pukekohe Park Raceway. As one of the leading advocates for NZ motorists, testing covered all aspects of vehicle functionality, as well as real world testing of active and passive safety features.

After this comprehensive and independent test regime the Mercedes-Benz A-Class was not only named New Zealand COTY, but was also named Small Car of the Year, winning one of the coveted vehicle categories.

Chief Judge and Driven’s Editor at Large Liz Dobson said the decision to award the Mercedes-Benz A-Class AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year 2018 was an easy task in the end.

“This is the complete package; a great looking hatchback with not only class leading, but class breaking technology plus must-have standard safety features. This hatchback is truly ‘A Class’ ahead of the rest – it has a price tag, sci-fi technology and a fuel-efficient engine that will impress,” Liz said.

For AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks the awards mark the culmination of a lengthy and comprehensive voting process.

“Each of the top 10 finalists vying for Car of the Year was put through its paces in a comprehensive trial both on the road and at the Pukekohe Park Raceway with all judges scoring from the driver’s seat. The results speak for themselves giving buyers the definitive answers they’ve come to expect from the AA,” Stella said.

A 1.3-litre 4-cylinder engine (100 kW, 200Nm) in the incoming A 180 model provides responsiveness combined with outstanding fuel efficiency, while those demanding even more enthusiastic performance can opt for the A 200 or the recently launched A 250 4MATIC.

The A-Class range also pioneers exciting new technologies for Mercedes Benz including MBUX, the user experience system that allows the driver to interact with the car in numerous different ways. These include ‘Hey Mercedes’, a voice command system that can be used for dozens of frequently used functions. The A-Class is also among the world’s first cars to be fitted with artificial intelligence, and is able to ‘learn’ the driver’s habits and prompt them with helpful suggestions.

Mercedes-Benz New Zealand General Manager Ben Giffin said: “We are honoured to be presented with this important and prestigious award. This accolade confirms that the new A-Class is not only the technology leader in its segment, but possibly across the entire automotive market”

“The AA is immensely focused on safety, and the A-Class has clearly shown its true strength in the real world safety tests by achieving the highest ever recorded Vulnerable Road User Protection rating from ANCAP. This vehicle represents the future of our brand, and demonstrates everything learnt in our companies 132 years of innovation”