Honda Civic Type R - The Car of the Year

Autocar New ZealandAutocar Type R
Friday 24 November 2017
 
The AMI Insurance NZ Autocar magazine 2017 Car of the Year has been announced and it’s the Honda Civic Type R. Honda’s ultimate hot hatch was also our pick in the Performance car class and then emerged as the overall winner after a day of final testing.

Each year, NZ Autocar magazine names six class winners (listed in article, link below) in its Car of the Year awards, and then pits them against each other in one final test to determine the overall champion. The cars are driven by a panel of six judges over the same drive loop, and each is scored out of 100 points covering criteria such as safety, design, driving dynamics, practicality and value. Helping even the playing field between the vastly different vehicles, each of the criteria is weighted towards the particular strengths of the individual categories.

It has taken Honda seemingly forever to relent and finally offer a Civic Type R here in New Zealand officially and it arrived to quite some fanfare, having wrested back the record for fastest front driver at the Nürburgring it achieved in 2014. And yet it’s also a practical five-door hatch with a Comfort mode drive setting for powertrain and adaptive suspension. It also features active cruise control allied to a six-speed manual, the only one we’re aware of.

On the score sheets, it proved the top car for three of the six judges, and second for two others. The Type R’s overall score of 493.5 points made it a clear winner on the day, edging the second-placed XC60 by almost 10 points. The worst aspect most mentioned, aside from the expected tyre roar? Exhaust noise needs to be louder!

Judges praised the Honda’s handling and ultimate grip levels, and that its performance was easy to extract. It’s various drive modes allowed each judge to find a setting that suited them, while the fact it is a five-door hatch with room for the family wasn’t overlooked. Nor was its high level of active safety technology

Click here for the Full Autocar article