- Supermini Award for Jazz (third consecutive year)
- Family Car Award for Accord (second consecutive year)
- Estate award for Accord Tourer (second consecutive year)
- Diesel award for Accord i-CTDi
Honda has confirmed its status as one of Auto Express’ favourite car brands by winning more awards in the publication’s 2004 New Car Honours than any competitor.
Britain’s best selling car weekly title has this year selected the Jazz and Accord as the best Supermini and Family Car choices, with the Accord Tourer winning the Estate Car class. The Accord i-CTDi joins the winners’ circle, taking the magazine’s Diesel award in its debut year.
Commenting on this success, Auto Express’ Editor David Johns said: "Honda’s recent offerings have impressed us. Previously we saw Honda as a maker of worthy but dull cars – cars which were well built, easy to drive and reliable, but models which were simply not that desirable to own. But beginning with the current Civic, their cars have started to show some sparkle, have a bit of an edge and become much more interesting. The Jazz was a real landmark with Honda simply tearing up the small car rule book. And the Accord, while not as radical, now shows real class and is becoming a serious challenger in the premium saloon sector. But while the cars are exciting Auto Express’ test team, they are also proving very popular with their owners: our Driver Power survey earlier this year revealed that Jazz and S2000 owners were amongst the most satisfied of all car customers."
Honda’s success in the Auto Express New car honours reflects a determined strategy by the company to elevate itself above the mainstream. In Britain, Honda wants to compete in the medium to upper echelons of the market presently occupied by the likes of Alfa Romeo, Saab, Volvo and Volkswagen.
Honda’s Head of Marketing Simon Thompson explains: "Through our products and advertising, we are making a concerted effort to distance ourselves from the volume brands and exploit Honda’s ability to do things better than competitors. Among other things, this means shifting the focus away from special editions, cheap consumer offers and gimmicks, to promote the core strengths of our product. And it’s working. Honda is starting to be seen as cool and dynamic – and our products are now not being purchased solely on price, but on other more important attributes."
Each year Auto Express tests more than 350 new cars. Its verdicts are based on thorough objective and subjective assessments by a team of experienced testers. They take into account styling, driving characteristics, safety, quality, equipment and, not least, value for money. The Auto Express New Car honours represent the very finest products tested by the publication each year within a range of categories.