The CR-Z is Honda's attempt to channel its legendary CRX, albeit with a contemporary twist on eco-friendliness. Hence, its Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, which pairs a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine to a small electric motor for a total of 122 horsepower.
Engine: 1.5-liter inline-4 and 14-hp electric motor
Transmissions: six-speed manual, continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: CR-Z, CR-Z EX
The CR-Z is an all-new model built upon updated platforms and systems already utilized across Honda's lineup. Built upon the global small car platform that underpins the Fit and Insight, the CR-Z utilizes a modified version of the Fit's CVT and 1.5-liter engine, in conjunction with the sixth-generation version of Honda's IMA electric motor/battery system. The six-speed manual comes from the European-spec Civic.
The rakish slopes and high tail are there for maximum efficiency, but they're also reminiscent of the original CRX, contributing to the CR-Z's eager bulldog stance. It cuts a handsome shape that promises more sportiness than the drivetrain delivers. However, attention seekers can have their dealers install eye-grabbing accessories from famed Honda aftermarket tuner Mugen.
The CR-Z is strictly a two-seater, with a parcel shelf instead of rear seats to alleviate the lack of storage space. The dashboard is pure Honda futurism, copied from the Civic, with an instrument binnacle that puts all important functions up on both sides of the steering wheel. EX models add Bluetooth, leather, and premium audio, though navigation is still an option.
Performance & Handling
With its three-mode drive system, the CR-Z bills itself as the enthusiast's hybrid, but performance doesn't come easy, with a 0-60 time of 9 seconds flat. The CR-Z has 122 horsepower total from a combination of its electric motor and a 1.5-liter four-cylinder lifted from the Fit. With the hybrid system there is more torque at a lower range. The six-speed manual is the desirable transmission, even though the CVT is more fuel efficient.
The CR-Z uses Honda's special ACE structure for a stiffer body and to maximize occupant protection during collisions. Driver and passenger have dual stage, multi threshold front and front side airbags. Side curtain airbags and traction/stability control also come standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
31 mpg city / 38 mpg highway (manual); 36 mpg city / 37 mpg highway (CVT)
- Balance of sporty handling and efficiency
Futuristic styling inside and out
Multiple storage options
You Won't Like
- Limited space/utility
Slow in a straight line
Hybrids can be fun, but don't expect a pocket rocket
If You Like This Vehicle
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