Passenger is a COTY category that’s very much a sign of the times. Basically, it’s anything that’s not an SUV or ute – the two segments that absolutely dominate the New Zealand new-vehicle market.
Sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons, people movers… vehicle types that were once traditional but are now considered a bit niche.
But there is still brilliance to be found in passenger cars and still demand among the buying public for the right product – if the massive success of the new Honda Jazz is anything to go by.
The latest model takes the styling and packaging virtues we’ve known from generations of Jazz and brings them right up to date, including a high-tech hybrid powertrain (e:HEV) and yes, even a model that tips its hat to the world of the SUV with some cute styling addenda (Crosstar, pictured above).
Jazz is great to drive in any guise and a do-it-all car despite its diminutive dimensions, thanks in part to the brilliant (and still unique to Honda) Magic Seat system of interior packaging, which offers a variety of interior “modes” for people and cargo carrying.
Watch the whole COTY show on Zooming with DRIVEN
Runners up: Kia EV6, Volkswagen Multivan T7.
HONDA JAZZENGINE: 1.5-litre petrol four, standard ICE or e:HEV hybridPOWER: 89kW/145Nm or 72kW/131Nm (engine) and 80kW/253Nm (motor) for e:HEVGEARBOX: Continuously variable transmission, FWDCONSUMPTION: 6.4-3.8l/100km (WLTP)
Keyword: AA DRIVEN COTY 2022: Honda Jazz is the best Passenger vehicle of the year