By on April 19, 2010

[Courtesy Hooniverse]

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41 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: From X To Z...”

  • avatar

    Nothing…the CR-X was fun but not practical…Honda sells practical and reliable…not necessarily fun…unfortunate as that may be.
    The CR-Z will find a place in many garages just because it is a Honda and a Hybrid. Both still have meaning to many people.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m curious by what definition the CRX was not practical?

      If you are a one or two person household, what is it that one would need something more than the CRX on most days? It’ll carry more than enough booze and groceries for any 20-something party in the hatch.

      It got great mileage, even my brother’s flogged SI turned in high 30’s. The HFs were excellent. It was also fully capable of towing a watercraft, or a couple of crotch rockets. There was room for the dog in the hatch. Anything he needed more room for went on the trailer.

      On the rare days when he needed more, he rented a truck, or borrowed a work van from me.

      Sure, if you’ve got kids, then the CRX isn’t your choice for a first vehicle. I understand. If you haul rock, work on an unpaved construction site, need to bring tools to build a house – a van makes more sense.

      But, from those whom I’ve spoken with, they do most things that most people need on most days.

    • 0 avatar

      I think Insight sales prove this is *not* necessarily the case.

    • 0 avatar


      Fair enough, the Insight didn’t sell. But, I would offer that was more driven by the fact that it was incredibly efficient, when nobody cared. When gas was 4$, the value of a used Insight was a ridiculous percentage of it’s original tag.

      Remember when a 3-pot Metro was bringing $5K?

      Though they lack the towing ability of a CRX, I’d be quite happy to drive an (old) Insight most days.

    • 0 avatar


      My response was aimed at briancataldi’s statement.

      “The CR-Z will find a place in many garages just because it is a Honda and a Hybrid. Both still have meaning to many people.”

      The previous and current iterations of the Insight really prove that statement incorrect.

      I agree with you that the CR-X was actually a practical little car. Something like that would answer most of my driving needs and I’ve already got another vehicle for family hauling.

    • 0 avatar

      Hans Reiser carried the body of his wife in a CRX, so it’s pretty practical. He also claimed on the trial that he was going to sleep in it (which is supposedly why he ripped the seat out, but still).

    • 0 avatar

      The previous and current iterations of the Insight really prove that statement incorrect.

      And the Civic Hybrid. And the Accord Hybrid.

      At some point, Honda (and GM) will swallow it’s collective ego and admit that Toyota has the right idea w/r/t this market.

  • avatar

    1. No Mugen rear spoiler on either car.

    2. No “Vtec DOHC” sticker on either car.

    3. The driver of the CRX should have a little cartoon speech bubble in which he is bragging about his awesome HP/L number.

  • avatar

    Looks normal to me. I had the same sinking feeling one day at work when I parked my 924S next to a co-worker’s Kia Soul. I thought those were supposed to be small cars?

  • avatar

    The passenger of the car in the rear probably has a better chance of surviving a head on or side collision. Just sayin’…

  • avatar

    It’s a little unnerving, yes (like the first BMW 5 Series next to the new one, or the Nissan GT-R next to an NSX) but then again, Steven’s Hammer Time on the CR-Z was awfully convincing!

  • avatar

    Our pursuit of safety comes at the expense of efficiency.

  • avatar

    WWWTP is that the two cars are not to scale.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      1991 CRX: length 148.5″; height 50.1″; wheelbase 90.6″
      2011 CRZ: length 160.6″; height 54.9″; wheelbase 95.8″
      The CRZ looks about 12″ longer and 5″ taller to me.

    • 0 avatar

      I just measured and messed with this image in Photoshop, and can’t upload the photo to TTAC, so I just have my word to go by, so here it is:

      The difference in height from the highest points of each car in the photo is more than 1/2 the difference in length. We know that 5 is less than half of 12. As well the wheels on the CR-Z would have to be absolutely humongous if these two were to scale. In Photoshop, I was able to find the original CR-Z image and sized it to scale with the CR-Z in the back and superimposed it on top of the CR-X, the Z’s rims have about the same diameter as the X’s tires! Do you believe that to be the case? I don’t.
      The horizons and verizons of the two shots are different, that affects the comparison.

      Look, I’m sure that the CR-X is noticeably smaller than the CR-Z, just not as small as this P’shop implies.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      akitadog; by holding up an architect’s ruler to the screen, I measure the CRZ  3/16″ taller and 3/8″ longer. Well within the the TTAC levels of tolerance.

  • avatar

    You could make a similar picture for many, many other cars which have bloated over the years – some for the better, some for the worse.

  • avatar

    How about paying attention while driving and not having the accident in the first place? Crash survivability is just about the last thing I look for in a car – a crash with a moped would probably kill me in my ’69 Saab Sonett.

    • 0 avatar

      You have a point, but what about when you get rear-ended as you’re stopped at a light or t-boned by someone who runs a stop sign?

      I like and choose to drive small cars, but when I look around at the bumper height and weight of the SUVs and trucks around me I am pleased that my car was built to crash standards and has airbags (and ABS, so I’m not the guy running into someone else).

  • avatar

    WWWTP? Neither car is sitting in my driveway.

  • avatar

    There should be a “(wh)Y?” between X and Z…

  • avatar

    America is a nation with an aging population, suffering from expanding waist lines, and the maladies that go along with being old/fat. Car makers know that. In a few years, I expect to see Honda and Toyota offer oxygen bottle holders in their cars.

  • avatar

    Better still, that’s the larger second-generation CR-X! Imagine the first gen!

  • avatar

    The difference in the beltline is all thanks to the prominence of trucks and SUVs on modern American roads. Personally, I’ll take the one in front, and if I die then so be it. Despite the danger of driving, most of us managed to survive in earlier decades with barely any safety features to speak of. Not saying that new safety features are bad, just that maybe people are a little too freaked out. Anyway, I doubt we’ll ever see a modern CR-X, as government regulations wouldn’t allow it. You’d think they would give it a pass as a 2-seater.

  • avatar

    Here’s another comparison photo (actual side by side):

    • 0 avatar

      This looks much more reasonable to me. The CRZ is bigger, but it doesn’t look positively massive in comparison to the CRX. I wouldn’t want either car, because nothing worth owning is front wheel drive, but the original pic definitely does not appear to be to the correct scale.

  • avatar

    Oh, boo-hoo, no one makes cars like the old CR-X, Geo Metro and Toyota Tercel anymore! How can that be?! The buying public simply doesn’t appreciate the finer virtues of sitting in a gutless tin can with your ass six inches off the floor.

    I think we need to get over the collective hallucination that’s deceiving us into thinking that cars produced circa 1977-1990 were the rule rather the exception. Anything made before of after that very small window was not very small.

    The reason no one is making cars like this anymore is that people aren’t buying them. It’s the same reason people don’t buy low-roof wagons, diesels (in North America, or in Europe where diesel isn’t tax-favoured), unreliable European cars, and so forth. It isn’t because people have become fat, stupid and morally degenerate, it’s because engineers managed to make comfortable, commercially viable cars that get decent mileage. I’m sure at some point gas will spike again, but the day of the Civic CVCC and it’s spawn is gone unless that spike is to something like twenty bucks a gallon.

    I like small, light cars as much as the next person, but whenever someone actually makes a small, light car, it gets trashed all over the popular press and gets shunned by the market, even among enthusiasts who pine for the exact same car.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t really expect any manufacturers to make mass market cars for the US as small as the old CR-X again. It’s sad but it’s not going to happen. The thing I’m most disappointed with is the direction Honda took with the CR-Z. They’ve hit no winners in the hybrid department so introducing a hybrid that’s also a niche vehicle isn’t really the best strategy especially given how profoundly mediocre the new Insight turned out.

      If they’d come out with a CR-Z with an ICE powertrain they’d probably have done much better. The vehicle could be lighter and they could’ve included other technologies (direct injection, start/stop, etc…) to make the car probably as efficient as the hybrid will be (except in heavy traffic where hybrids really excel).

    • 0 avatar


      I would offer that the death of the 2000-2500# car was due far more to safety regulations than it was to NVH concerns. The cars got bigger due to safety regs, then the rest followed. Save for hybrids and diesels, mileage hasn’t really improved. In fact, a 2010 Civic is no better with gas than an ’83 1500 S.

      Sure they were gutless, but with today’s engines in them, the old cars really haul. And get better mileage than the cars they came out of.

      As someone who rolled an 82 Civic Wagon twice at 50 MPH and walked away unscathed, I have no more fear in one of those “tin cans” than I do in the average new car today.

      Another time, I T-boned a Metro with an x1/9 at about 35MPH. Not a scratch on me, and the Metro was able to drive (with 2 foot less interior width) away before the cops showed up. Safety, schmafety. Wear your belt and you’ll likely survive anything you might survive.

      If you’re gonna die, you’re gonna die.

      If the Geo Metro were legally salable today, I wager they’d sell. If the gen I CRX was a new car, they’d sell. Just like compact trucks, and lots of other things not available due to the safety regs.

      Just can’t sell them with the current safety regs.

    • 0 avatar

      Wear your belt and you’ll likely survive anything you might survive.

      If you’re gonna die, you’re gonna die.

      So, you’re saying that a modern car with incredible structural rigidity, airbags, and extremely effective crumple zones can never save your life in an accident which would kill you in a 1991 Geo Metro?


      Enjoy your delusions. The fact that you survived a single accident has no bearing on the overall safety of classes of vehicles – people have survived four story falls onto cement, too; that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother with a safety harness.

      I’m consistently shocked that TTAC’s generally intelligent and well-spoken readers seem to shut their brains off completely when it comes to safety; “Don’t get into an accident, and anyway, no modern car will save you from a rampaging SUV if a 2100lb ’80s econobox wouldn’t”. All right, guys, I get it – you’re very, very manly. You can stop doing that legs-apart, devil-may-care cowboy saunter now.

      Whether or not you want to take the risk is your choice, but don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re not vastly, vastly more likely to suffer serious injury in an old, light car with crap structural engineering and few safety features.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve survived over a dozen accidents – a few of which were avoidable. Most of which involved me being hit. Several while stationary. Some were the youthful indiscretions of 11/10ths driving on country roads, late at night. (Those were most of the ‘avoidable’ category.)

      Never a scratch. Yes, I’ve been fortunate. But mainly, I wear my safety belt.

      Between looking at cars at salvage auctions, and sometimes hanging out with cops and EMTs, I have heard plenty of stories. All the safety gear in the world isn’t going to save you in a 60 MPH head-on. Conversely, the airbags are not doing you any good without a safety belt. However, they just may kill you.

      Sure, on paper, 12 airbags, a multi-layer crumple zone, and lots of things may give the extra edge that will allow you to survive that 1 in 10,000 shot on the ragged edge. I doubt I’m winning the lottery, and I doubt I’ll have one of those rare accidents either. Yes, there is a calculated risk.

      This isn’t a cowboy/macho thing. I don’t drive without a belt, or ride without a helmet. But accidents are like lots of things in life – the ones you are gonna walk away from, you would have walked away on ’78 safety regs. The law of diminishing returns applies to everything. Safety’s low-hanging fruit was picked long ago.

      If one were to analyze the indirect costs the extra weight, engineering time and money, and oil use that are a direct result of safety regs post-early 80’s, you might find the fatality balance to be rather neutral overall.

      Yes, you’re correct I’m safer in a 2010 Civic than in a TR3. But when we’re talking about 80s v. 2010s, it’s not a quantum leap.

  • avatar

    I hate automotive bloating. I’d love to have a 2500lb car with back seats and 200-250hp! And 40mpg would be icing on the cake. I know the safety factor will be thrown back at me but I don’t buy cars to wreck them nor do I worry about it. Uncle Sam or big brother whichever you prefer to call them forces these things on me because I’m too stupid to care about it myself. ;-p

  • avatar

    I gotta be honest, the CR-Z has grown on me. I would consider it as a new car next year. BUT! This car somehow weighs MORE than my 2002 Civic EX Coupe. And it has a power to weight disadvantage. To be honest with you, I’m looking for something a little more than a peppy commuter. I want something substantial with some oomph for carrying cargo or passenger(s) without feeling like I’m dragging an anchor behind me. The quirky shape and the trick dashboard aren’t enough to justify the high cost, mediocre fuel economy and low output from the engine.

    No sale.

  • avatar

    As the owner of #20 CRX – Yes, the CRX is smaller than the CR-Z. BUT, mine is lowered probably 3 inches and it has 13×8 wheels instead of the larger 14″ wheels. So the comparison is a little exaggerated.

    Carry on.

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