Honda’s CR-Z is the 2010-2011 Japan Car of the Year! The hybrid coupe was announced the best of the year by the 60 strong Executive Committee comprising Japanese motoring journalists at the Waseda University Memorial Hall. It looks as if to get near the prize, the car has to be a hybrid – the Toyota Prius edged out Honda’s Insight in last year’s contest.

The jury appreciated the CR-Z’s hybrid tech and its fun to drive character. The Import Car of the Year award goes to the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI, which the judges described as having a “high quality interior and exterior” plus “good fuel economy and powertrain” (translation by Google). The supermini was also praised for having “no compromise on safety equipment”. This win completes a hat-trick for the Mk V Polo, which has already scooped up European and World COTY awards this year.

A special award goes out to the Peugeot RCZ, which is the “future balance of innovative design and driving pleasure” according to the jury.

“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,” said Honda’s President and CEO, Takanobu Ito.

We’re looking forward to welcome the Honda CR-Z with Malaysian Hospitality, especially with the current favourable tax exemption for hybrids!