Feature article

Best Honda Cars Available in NZ: Buying Guide

Honda New Zealand has a somewhat small range of vehicles at present, including the Jazz, ZR-V, CR-V and the Civic.

Last updated: 20 May 2024

Honda New Zealand has a somewhat small range of vehicles at present. This includes the Jazz, the ZR-V, the CR-V and a single variant of the Civic, that being the racy Type R. The showroom should look a little healthier later in the year as a new HR-V will be arriving mid 2024, the small-ish SUV packing hybrid tech. And there will also be a revised Civic, also with a petrol electric powertrain.

In New Zealand, Honda operates with the Price Promise. This means the price of a new Honda is the same for everyone, regardless of where you are in New Zealand. Honda says this ‘is a way of maintaining fairness, transparency and value for Kiwis buying new.’ So the price is the price, no haggling involved. 

Honda also has an online store which means you can buy your Honda and arrange finance and insurance all in the one spot. Honda also offers three- and five-year service plans for new vehicles, covering 45,000 - 75,000km. 

Vehicles are covered with a three year warranty with unlimited mileage while Honda New Zealand will add an additional two years to the warranty if the vehicle is properly maintained at a Honda outlet.

CR-V - the best all round Honda

We thought pretty highly of the CR-V, recently naming it the New Zealand Autocar Car of the Year. It's now in its sixth generation and there are three models to choose from. It starts at $53,000 for the all-wheel drive Sport while the Sport 7, with seven seats, is $57,000. Both of these use the 1.5 turbopetrol engine and CVT gearbox to good effect. There's also a new hybrid version called the RS which is $67,000. The hybrid setup delivers an EV-like drive with abundant torque for smooth and easy progress. And it's good on gas, expect it to return around 6.9L/100km.

For a mid-sized SUV, the CR-V provides a decent drive with positive steering characteristics, decent body control along with a reasonable ride quality on New Zealand roads. It has a long list of active safety features which go about their business in a non-intrusive manner. 

From the driver's seat you get great outward vision and there is good adjustment at the wheel and seat. The infotainment system has your connectivity needs sorted, and is straightforward in operation. And there is plenty of space in the back for both passengers and cargo.

The CR-V does everything in an accomplished fashion. While the hybrid is on the expensive side, the entry level Sport is a good place to start. 

Read the CR-V review

View listings on Trade Me Motors: Honda CR-V

Jazz - more than meets the eye

Jazz is Honda’s small car, but it's big on interior space thanks to its funky design features. The range starts with the Crosstar, with SUV-inspired styling which is $30,700. Then you move up to the RS and Luxe models, which feature a hybrid drivetrain, both at $37k. 

The e:HEV powertrain gives the Jazz an EV-like character with good torque for ease of driving. The petrol engine is used primarily as a generator, power coming via the electric motor. As such, figure on fuel use between three and four litres per 100km. The hybrid models are the ones to go for, as they also come with Honda’s Sensing Suite of safety technology. 

Practicality is a Jazz strong point; big doors offer easy entry to the high mounted seats. And there’s class leading head and leg room in the back. Boot space is also impressive amongst the small car brigade, Honda's Magic Seat provides different configurations for whatever passengers or cargo you might have. Folded flat, there's almost 1200 litres of cargo space.

View listings on Trade Me Motors: Honda Jazz

Civic Type R - The Exciting One

While Honda's range is rather practical, the Japanese brand does make one of, if not the best, front-drive hot hatches ever made. The Type R is not cheap at $72,000, but it is a great driver's car. 

It's only available in manual, as it should be, and the 2.0-litre turbo delivers a wealth of grunt with 420Nm of torque. But it also spins quickly, adding character and producing 235kW of power. It's front wheel drive but gains a proper LSD to ground the power. And with suspension fiddling and wide sports rubber, this five door hatch rounds up corners like a sports car. It has great steering, super body control and fantastic brakes. 

With adaptive dampers it can be quite comfortable and refined for your commuting duties. And it's a practical five-door hatch with room for two adults in the rear (there only being a pair of seat belts) and there’s a big boot. Buy one before they turn it into a hybrid.

View listings on Trade Me Motors: Honda Civic Type R


Kyle Cassidy
Kyle Cassidy
Editor NZ Autocar magazine - autocar.co.nz

Kyle has been reviewing cars since starting at NZ Autocar magazine in 2003 and has been editor since 2009. In that time he’s become an expert on what makes for a good vehicle while also gaining insights into the local automotive industry.