For the past 31 years, Japan has selected a Car of the Year award recipient. Over 60 jurors, composed mainly of Japanese journalists, vote on a vehicle worthy of the Car of the Year title, and the auto that receives the most nods drives away with the crown. Last year, that honor went to the redesigned Toyota Prius hybrid, which narrowly edged out the Honda Insight. This year, however, Honda took top honors with its all-new 2011 CR-Z.
Car of the Year jurors praised the CR-Z because of its ability to balance driving pleasure and fuel economy. Jurors also noted that Honda managed to wrap all that high-tech gadgetry inside a unique body design. Upon receiving the award, Honda's president and CEO, Takanobu Ito, stated:
Here in North America, the Honda CR-Z didn't make the cut for the NACTOY short list, but we commend the automaker on its ability to make a huge splash in its home market.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.