$34,990 – $40,790
Good: Sharp exterior styling; Handling; Manual gearbox; Instant torque.
Not so Good: Interior styling; Price; Rear seat room/access; Rearward visibility.
Design and Engineering
Good : Honda released their second Hybrid vehicle in Australia in November 2011. The sleek and stylish CR-Z evokes memories of the once iconic styling of the 1980’s CR-X.
The new CR-Z hybrid also features a world first in that it offers a 6-speed manual transmission matched to a hybrid drivetrain. Pretty cool huh?
Not so good : We think the exterior of the CR-Z is fantastic. Minor improvements would be a lower ride height and some bigger and more aggressive alloys to fill the wheel arches.
Interior and Styling
Good : The cabin has been designed with a driver focus in mind, there is a cockpit theme that clusters critical controls close to the driver, and the instrument panel has an eye-catching and hi-tech 3D gauge design.
The interior layout has the flexibility to extend usability, with rear seats designed to fold easily and quickly to increase cargo space quite substantially for a sports coupe.
Not so good : The CR-Z’s interior just misses the mark, when you take into consideration the sleek and stylish exterior design.
The interior is dominated by large slabs of black material; there are also shiny silver highlights that just don’t seem to gel with the overall aesthetic of the interior. However, the futuristic instrument cluster does add some redeeming value.
Good : The CR-Z comes with the choice of two grades – Sport and Luxury. The CR-Z Sport pairs a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, for a combined power figure of 91kW with 174Nm when mated to the 6-speed manual. Meanwhile, the CR-Z Luxury pairs a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, for a combined power figure of 91kW and 167Nm when mated to the CVT.
Not so good : The Honda CR-Z isn’t a true hybrid when you take into consideration fuel consumption figures. However, it is one of the most enjoyable hybrids that you will ever drive.
Ride and Handling
Good : Forget everything that you know or think about hybrids, because this one breaks the mould. The Honda CR-Z is definitely set-up on the stiffer side of the suspension scale, but it is comfortable enough to live with on a daily basis. The Honda CR-Z performs well on winding country roads; the steering is solid and direct offering the driver plenty of feedback.
Not so good : Some drivers might not like the stiff suspension setup and would prefer something a little more on the comfortable side. But where would the fun be in that? This thing is built to be driven fast around corners.
Buying and Owning
Good : The Honda CR-Z is for the environmentally conscious driver that wants something fun to drive but doesn’t want to hurt the environment.
Not so good : There are only two models to choose from in the CR-Z range. The Luxury model doesn’t have the option for the smooth and quick shifting manual transmission.