|Mitsubishi Motors' 4WD heritage is paying dividends with four of its models receiving top awards in New Zealand and Australia.
Winner of the Small Lifestyle category in October's AA Energywise Rally, the ASX has again topped the class, this time picking up Autocar Magazine's 2010 Crossover of the Year award. Editor Kyle Cassidy said "There was an abundance of new models in the Crossover/SUV category, many of them luxury offerings - but they are all pricey. The Mitsubishi ASX offers good value. Buyers can choose between two- or all-wheel-drive models, and there's a sporty diesel as well. City-friendly, it's also pretty handy on the open road, yet also practical."
Not to be upstaged, Mitsubishi's Triton GLS and Challenger Exceed took out NZ4WD Magazine's Utility 4WD of the Year and 4WD Wagon of the Year respectively in its highly contested 2010 annual awards.
"Choosing from the three Utility 4WD finalists was always going to be a tough call," said magazine editor John Oxley. "All combine excellent engines and drivetrains with some of the latest electronic traction aids. In the end, it came down to overall ability in off-road conditions, which is where Triton's compact dimensions and better approach and departure angles gave it the edge."
Wagon of the Year requires vehicles to have low ratio gearboxes and an RRP below $95,000. Challenger's high / low ratio transfer case with Super Select 4WD, at just $63,390 for the Exceed, won the judges over
"Challenger's return to the market is good news," said Oxley. "It plugs the gap between the recreational 4WD market and the more expensive luxury 4WDs. Not only is the Challenger tough and very capable off-road but it comes in a size that's user-friendly for those forays to the supermarket and around town."
Across the ditch, Australia's prestigious Wheels Magazine has also awarded 2010 prizes to two Mitsubishis. The acclaimed turbo-diesel 4WD ASX was recognised for its fuel efficiency, five-star safety rating and attractive styling, while Pajero diesel ran rings around competitors on value, efficiency and Mitsubishi's 10/5 warranty to win the 4WD of the Year.
"We've got a great range of product and the best warranty," said Mitsubishi Motors' head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook. "All but two models in our range have an all-wheel-drive option and these awards signify the quality and refinement we offer in that category. There have been many years of design, development and testing in some of the harshest conditions imaginable; these awards are testament to that focus and hard work."