AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2023 finalists: the Safest vehicles of the year

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It’s AA DRIVEN Car Guide New Zealand Car of the Year time again! We’ll be awarding wins in 11 different categories, acknowledging the overwhelming preference for all things SUV but also with a focus on eco-cars and technology.

There are Small SUV, Medium SUV, Large SUV, Passenger, LCV, Clean Car HEV/PHEV/BEV, Sports and Performance, Luxury and Safety categories, not to mention the outright AA DRIVEN Car Guide NZ COTY – which will of course be one of the top three cars chosen from those categories.

We continue the programme this week by announcing the finalists in the Safest Car category.

Top three Safest Cars of 2023

The Safety award stands apart from the rest in the AA DRIVEN NZ COTY programme. While the other vehicle categories are judged by our panel, the Safest Car award comes from Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) data.

Not that we ignore metrics when it comes to the other categories of course, but when it comes to Safety it’s pure numbers: the vehicle that performs best against ANCAP barriers and safety metrics, accumulating the the most points, is the winner. The results are collated by the expert team at the AA.

Lexus NX is a finalist in the 2023 AA Driven NZ COTY.
NX was the first of a new generation of Lexus SUVs.

So which new models are in the frame?

One Japanese brand has done exceptionally well, appearing not just in the Luxury category but also dominating the Safest finalists: the Lexus NX (launched last year) and Lexus RX (a new arrival for 2023 and sister model to the RZ) are both part of our top three.

Lexus NX is a finalist in the 2023 AA Driven NZ COTY.
Lexus RX brings new tech and safety credentials to a familiar model name.

The other is a familiar face: the Tesla Model Y, which was also the winner of the 2022 Safest Car award. Can the Y do it again against stiff competition from the Lexus duo?

Tesla Model Y is a finalist in the 2023 AA Driven NZ COTY.
Model Y continues a strong safety story for Tesla.

After you have shared your opinion on the safest vehicles, why not vote in our AA DRIVEN Car Guide NZ Car of the Year Peoples Choice award, to go into the draw to win $5000 of fuel/charge credit, below. 

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