New Hybrid Honda CR-Z Equals Cobalt's EPA Mileage; Set To Stumble Like The Insight?

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
new hybrid honda cr z equals cobalt s epa mileage set to stumble like the insight

One might quite reasonably have expected a smaller, lighter two-passenger variant of the Insight to achieve higher EPA numbers than its bigger brother. Say, like it did in 1989, when the CRX HF pulled a 41/50, compared to the ’89 Civic sedan’s 27/33. But reasonable expectations have been dashed by Honda more often than not lately, as in the Insight’s various shortcomings. But a 31/37/33 mpg combined rating for the new 2011 CRX manual, when the Insight is rated at a 41 combined? Does Honda have a death wish? That highway mileage is the same as the Chevy Cobalt XF, which doesn’t need any stinking battery and seats four. And even the combined mileage is only three mpg better. What gives?

Beats me. The CR-Z uses a slightly larger 1.5 version of the Insight’s 1.3 four, churning out 122 hp. But a slightly larger engine doesn’t necessarily equate to worse mileage; on the contrary, the new Prius’ larger 1.8 gets better mileage than the older 1.5. The CR-Z uses the same 10 KW/13 hp electric motor and battery from the Insight. And given the opportunity to reduce frontal area and fine-tune the coefficient of drag, these numbers are simply hard to digest. One small consolation: the CTV version gets somewhat better numbers: 36/38/37; but still well below the Insight.

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  • Power6 Power6 on Jan 11, 2010

    This is not a very good job with this story, seems to me just an excuse to blast this vehicle. Also we all know the XFE can't come close to the rated economy, it is an EPA test special. Honda are calling this the Sport Hybrid in the model name but there is no mention of that here. There appears to be some tilt toward performance here. I read that 1st-5th in the 6 speed box are optimized for performance not economy, but you would never know that here I had to read Edmunds to find those things out. Nice objective analysis there.

    • Ragnar danneskjold Ragnar danneskjold on Jan 12, 2010

      +1 Power6 I was wondering when someone would point out this wasn't meant to be a traditional hybrid. Perhaps we should wait until there is an actual production model to compare to a similar vehicle. As for what to compare it to, well, I would definitely not be any other hybrid out there right now. It isn't a standard sedan (prius) or meant to be strictly economical (volt).

  • Cory02 Cory02 on Jan 11, 2010

    Wow. This is failure on a GM/Chrysler scale. I had entertained thoughts of getting CR-Z as a semi-fun to drive commuter car but now all I want is answers: how does the CR-Z get worse mileage than the Insight and why does Honda actually plan on selling it when its such a failure.

  • Shaker Shaker on Jan 12, 2010

    Maybe this vehicle (especially the CVT) will help offset the Crosstour's lousy mileage, but it's a lot of effort to level the CAFE numbers.

  • Wentzr Wentzr on Apr 06, 2010

    For those wondering how the mileage of the cr-z could be rated so low---consider the fact that the ratings released thus far are in sport mode, not econ mode. Honda has kept the numbers the car is CAPABLE of getting under the radar after learning from the past. It's a no-brainer.. remember how dissapointed all the asshats who bought a prius felt when they realized that although the car was CAPABLE of 60mpg it didn't GET 60mpg like all of Toyota's ad campaigns in 2004 claimed?? I mean for a car that has three economy modes shouldn't all you smarter-than-thou kids who hate everything manufactured be scratching your gear-heads wondering why the thus far released efficiency numbers have such a short range?!?! It aint rocket science! My last car which was a first gen honda insight got 36 mpg... when i drove it with the pedal to the metal in sport mode (yes the FIRST gen insight also has multiple driving modes) but it was also capable of getting 60-110 mpg depending on road conditions and driving methods while in normal "D" mode... And seriously... get real. The CRX got great gas mileage but it in no way "GOT 50 mpg".. it was capable of reaching 50mpg but you're not thinking straight if you doubt the CR-Z will also be capable of achieve 50mpg when driven the same way under the same road conditions in econ mode. anyway... just thought i should point this out since the car is already making massive waves in Japan as this realization about the actual achievable fuel efficiency of the car is sinking in.. . just wanted to save a few of you from putting a foot in your mouth after this car is released in the states this fall.. for LESS than $20,000.