Honda Australia Director and General Manager Sales and Marketing, Mr. Stephen Collins, is thrilled with the award, further re-enforcing a turning point for Honda.
“The CR-Z is a truly amazing car in a class of its own. We are extremely proud of this award, which joins other accolades for the CR-Z including Japan’s Car of the Year and Top Gear UK Magazine’s Green Car of the Year,” Mr. Collins said.
The world’s first hybrid with a six speed manual transmission, the CR-Z took top honours from a field of 28 models and 64 variants. Wheels judges put the CR-Z through its paces over a week of intensive testing.
Wheels Magazine’s award is the world’s longest continuously running Car of the Year Award. Editor Bill Thomas said; “The CR-Z takes the idea of the car in a direction we think it should go. It’s innovative, trendsetting, efficient and fun to drive.
“We think the spirit of Honda shines through. Cars don’t have to be ‘supercars’ to be fun. It’s the CR-Z’s balance of abilities – the combination of price, performance and fun,” Mr. Thomas said.
Wheels judge, John Carey said of the CR-Z; “Expertly engineered, impressively efficient and with strong safety credentials, the Honda CR-Z is also a genuine joy to drive… Endowed with the kind of handling and steering that invites involvement, the Honda puts a smile on the face of any driver who accepts the invitation.”
The 2011 Wheels Car of the Year Award is the sixth won by Honda. The first was the original Honda Accord in 1977 and the first Japanese car to win the coveted award. Other Honda models to win include the Prelude in 1987, NSX in 1991 (joint with Nissan Pulsar), Odyssey in 1995 and Accord Euro in 2008.
Honda was the first to introduce hybrid motoring in Australia with the launch of the first-generation Insight in 2001. The CR-Z joins the Insight and the Civic Hybrid as part of Honda’s current hybrid offering.
Honda has taken a leadership role in the Australian market by introducing hybrid vehicles that are innovative and fun to drive. While the hybrid category is still in its infancy in Australia, Honda has identified a strong opportunity for growth with more than 750,000 Honda hybrids sold worldwide.
Honda is the world’s biggest engine manufacturer, a leader in automotive research and development and consistently rated a top performer in customer satisfaction. There are more than 400,000 Hondas on the road in Australia and millions of happy customers worldwide.