Honda‘s CR-Z sports hybrid has won the distinction of being voted Japan’s Car of the Year. Honda narrowly missed out on last year’s award when their Insight hybrid was beaten out by the mighty Toyota Prius.
Hybrids enjoy a level of popularity in Japan that far exceeds the warm reception that they’ve been given in North America. The CR-Z’s mix of sportiness and fuel efficiency no doubt helped sway jurors, who also nominated the Toyota Marx X, Nissan March, Mazda Premacy, Suzuki Swift, Volkswagen Polo, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-Series, Peugeot RCZ and the Jaguar XJ. The award for Japan’s Import Car of the Year award has yet to be announced.
Honda’s President CEO, Takanobu Ito accepted the award, stating “We are very proud that the CR-Z has been selected from the strong contenders of new models as the Car of the Year Japan 2010-2011. This award shows that the public has accepted Honda’s aspiration to supply exceptional environmental performance in a fun-to-drive hybrid car at an affordable price, as well as Honda’s desire to spread the joy of owning and driving a car. We also believe that this award for the CR-Z reflects the true value of the combined efforts of our business partners and the many others who supported CR-Z development and production. Going forward, Honda intends to bring more joy to an even larger number of customers.”