The all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC has won New Zealand’s most prestigious automotive accolade, the NZ Motoring Writers Guild Car of the Year for 2020.
The game-changing family-size SUV arrived in New Zealand early in 2020 and has shone in a year notable for difficult conditions experienced across the automotive industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The victory caps a remarkable debut for the EQC, which was also awarded Car of the Year in January by Australia’s most respected automotive publication, Wheels.
The NZ Motoring Writers Guild comprises more than 20 top motoring journalists, with the New Zealand Car of the Year award considered a truly independent assessment of a new vehicle’s qualities and attributes across a broad range of criteria.
Now in its 33rd year, the award was presented to Mercedes-Benz New Zealand General Manager, Lance Bennett, live on Seven Sharp by presenters Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells. The 2020 award marks the third time Mercedes-Benz has taken the top spot, following victories for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in 2000 and E-Class in 2016.
The EQC is the first fully electric passenger vehicle by Mercedes-Benz in its commitment to offer an electric variant in every model range within the next few years, and work towards a zero-carbon future.
Guild President Richard Edwards says the win for the Mercedes-Benz EQC sends a strong signal that New Zealand’s motoring future will include electrification.
“The Mercedes-Benz EQC is a brilliant vehicle; offering ‘electric’ performance, handling, technology, comfort and safety – without having to ever visit a fuel pump,” Edwards says. “And with a range in excess of 400km, range anxiety is a thing of the past.”
Two Mercedes-Benz vehicles were in the running for the NZ Car of the Year award this year with another SUV, the compact seven-seater Mercedes-Benz GLB, named in the top 10 contenders.
The EQC signals an important step into the future for Mercedes-Benz, says Lance Bennett.
“New Zealanders love their SUVs and exploring the outdoors, and we believe the EQC offers everything our customers expect from a Mercedes-Benz SUV including refinement, style and practicality, with the added benefit of near-silent power.
“The EQC also provides a powerful first step towards a sustainable carbon-neutral future, so expect to see a lot more from Mercedes-Benz in this area very soon.”
The award caps a successful awards season for Mercedes-Benz in New Zealand, with more than 10 new or revised models launched during the 2020 year, and both the EQC and the GLS, a seven-seat luxury SUV, singled out as recipients of multiple prestigious awards.
NZ Motoring Writers Guild, Car of the Year
Stuff Top Cars, Top Medium SUV
NZ Company Vehicle, Car of the Year
NZ Company Vehicle, Top Luxury Vehicle
Stuff Top Cars, Top Luxury SUV