The Honda CR-Z was recently added to the Honda line-up in 2010. This sport hybrid coupe has a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain and is yet another model introduced by Honda with fuel efficiency in mind. In fact, the new CR-Z has won many green awards already as well as the Japan Car of the Year in 2010-2011, the 2010 Good Design Award from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization. If you’re looking for a sporty car with good acceleration combined with low emissions and less trips to the gas station, the Honda CR-Z may be a great option.
Honda CR-Z Origins
Honda, along with many other auto manufacturers, is jumping on the hybrid craze introducing new hybrids that not only boast impressive fuel economy, but also look appealing to the average driver. Over the years the design of hybrids has improved and the Honda CR-X is leading the pack. The Honda CR-Z is the third hybrid in the Honda line-up. This three-door hatchback is the successor to the Honda CR-X.
About the Honda CR-Z
While the Honda CR-Z is a hybrid and enjoys the low emissions and reduced fuel cost of its hybrid cousins, the CR-Z is certainly not a standard hybrid. With sleek likes and fun-to-drive handling, it provides much more than just efficiency under the hood. This two-seater may not be practical for everyone, but for those with their eye on sporty smaller cars like the Mini Cooper or the Hyundai Veloster, the CR-Z is another viable option.
Honda CR-Z Features
The Honda CR-Z body was inspired by Honda’s CR-X models sold in the 1990s. It has a wedged front end giving an aerodynamic impression and split lift gate window, which is similar to the styling found on other vehicles like the Prius and the Insight. This feature has conflicting reviews. Unfortunately the style of windows limits visibility, but also gives the vehicle a sportier look. It is one of the smaller vehicles on the market at only 160 inches long; it is just a little larger than the MX-5 Miata. Some other features include standard 16-inch alloy wheels with available 17-inch alloy wheels, standard LED taillights, a standard rear window wiper, optional high-intensity discharge headlamps, available fog lights, and optional heated side mirrors to ensure better rear visibility in increment weather. The interior is a little crowded with limited space for an array of controls. The driver sits in a cockpit-type setting, with all of the controls within easy reach. The CR-Z does not have a conventional center console, and if drivers opt for the optional navigation system it is slightly on the passenger side, though still within easy reach for most. It has power windows, locks, and mirrors, the bucket seats are manually adjustable, it has a tilt or telescoping steering wheel, it has a CD stereo with and MP3 jack and a USB port, there is an optional premium stereo and subwoofer, Bluetooth connectivity is optional, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel is optional.
The Honda CR-Z has an electric engine in tandem with a gas engine for a combination of efficiency and power. It is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 122 horsepower. It can be set in Sport, Normal, or Econ mode depending on driving conditions and your preference. In Sport mode the acceleration is more responsive and the power-steering assist is decreased. The six-speed manual transmission is manual with an optional variable automatic transmission.
In terms of safety, the CR-Z comes with side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags, four-wheel-disc Anti-lock Brake Systems, active head restraints to reduce the risk of whiplash, and an electronic stability system with traction control. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the CR-Z its highest rating of “Good” in its frontal-offset, side-impact, and roof strength tests.
Honda CR-Z Evolution
The hybrid Honda CR-Z was introduced in the United States in 2010. Throughout the first generation of this vehicle, little has changed. The only notable change from 2011 to 2012 was an additional optional exterior paint job and interior furnishing.