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Family-friendly Honda wins top NZ Car of the Year award – New Zealand Autocar

The Honda CR-V has won the overall 2023 NZ Autocar Car of the Year award. The new CR-V was judged to be the Family Car of the Year, while also winning the overall Car of the Year award, edging out the other class finalists (listed below). NZ Autocar Editor, Kyle Cassidy said; “The CR-V is a highly competent vehicle, doing most things in an accomplished fashion while managing to have few annoying traits.

“This SUV will suit a NZ family’s needs, and there’s something for everyone here, at a reasonably affordable price. It’s good value, a decent drive and it’ll be dependable.

“The CR-V is the complete package. With three well considered variants in the range, including a seven-seater option, there is something for every Kiwi family here. It’s a vehicle that works for all New Zealanders, whether they live in the city or rurally.”

Other worthy points that saw the CR-V rise to the top include the choice of an efficient conventional ICE powertrain and a hybrid for those emissions-conscious buyers. This SUV offers good interior space for the active family, and plenty of driver assistance features to keep them all safe. There’s a good technology outfit, offering the conveniences needed for modem life, connectivity is sorted and it’s all straightforward to operate.

There’s also Honda’s price promise (everyone pays the same), enhancing residuals, and it’s backed by a big warranty.

NZ Autocar Car of the Year Class winners

Luxury – Lexus RX The RX is the best all-round Lexus. The all-hybrid line-up blends power and efficiency for refined, easy progress. It’s impressively styled while the cabin has lashings of quality. It’s practical, highly specified, and the big Lexus after sales care package gives peace of mind.

Most Electrifying – BYD Seal

The Seal is a polished package; comfortable, quick and well specified. The styling is slick, and the cabin is one of quality. To drive, the Seal is refined, a model of smoothness, which adds to the quality feel of the car. The Performance version is rapid too, impressing with its effortless progress.

Ute – Volkswagen Amarok The new Amarok is a capable work truck, yet it’s as refined as an SUV to drive. The engines are well mannered and always deliver more than enough torque for the job. It does fine work both on- and off-road, and is more versatile than ever. Inside, it’s rather flash for a ute and there’s a heap of safety gear onboard.

Eco Car of the Year – Hyundai Kona Hybrid

The hybrid is the pick of the new Hyundai Kona range. This hybrid works just as well out of town as it does in the city, helping lower your emissions profile. Kona has a quiet, refined ride and there are plenty of safety items included. The new, bigger model is now more practical too.

Best value – MG4 The MG4 has become one of New Zealand’s best selling electric cars thanks to its value proposition. It drives well, is well specified, has a five-

star crash rating and there’s a generous seven-year warranty.

Bang for Buck – MG4 Xpower

This AWD electric car offers supercar-baiting performance for a fraction of the cost. This has a grin-inducing amount of thrust, yet it’s quite refined considering the performance and price. It’s stupid quick and it’s good value, especially when it comes to running costs.

Most Dynamic – Cupra Born This is an electric car that delights on the handling front. Its abilities will put a smile on your dial. The set-up conspires to an enthralling drive; it almost comes across as mid-engined in its balance. It’s also a handy compact offering that’s great for the city.

Urban COTY – BYD Dolphin Dolphin impresses with its thoroughly decent quality, a high-level fit out and a comfortable character. It’s practical too. There’s BYD’s Blade battery tech, road noise is minimal, the motor muted. Plenty of safety items on offer too.

Most desirable – Audi Q4 e-tron

Most will like the look of this new Audi, and it’s a spacious, easy-to-drive electric vehicle, with all the conveniences and enough luxury to justify the price. Those looking for a premium EV should not overlook the Audi Q4 e-tron.

Performance – Porsche 911 GT3 RS

The 911 GT3 RS is the epitome of performance, everything about it honed to achieve the absolute maximum from the package. This is a hardcore machine but is also a dream drive. It’s expensive but RS models tend to hold their value well.

BoTY – Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650

This retro-original cruiser looks a peach, is keenly priced and is learner-legal. The engine delivers decent low rev action, the vibes are well controlled and the bike’s easy on gas. Handling is confidence inspiring, and the Super Meteor 650 covers all the bases well.

A note about the NZ Autocar COTY awards. Cars eligible are those new models introduced in the past 12 months and which NZ Autocar has reviewed in full. Points for consideration include a vehicle’s overall value, specification and level of after sales service. Dynamics are important, as is performance but this must be balanced with the impact on local air quality. Safety is vital, as is practicality – it has to be user friendly.


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