By on September 21, 2012

Just to pre-empt the inevitable; you could go out and buy a 25 year old Honda CRX HF and get superior fuel economy to a CR-Z. You could also wind up having your legs amputated after a fender bender, thanks to the wonderful “light weight” construction of the CRX. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s the new Honda CR-Z. Apparently it makes 20 more horsepower from the electric drivetrain. Then again, it may be a moot point since CR-Z imports have slowed to a trickle, thanks to unfavorable exchange rates.

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16 Comments on “Honda CR-Z Debuts Amid Unprecedented Apathy...”

  • avatar
    Brendan McAleer

    I kind of like the CR-Z. It’s a stupid car, in many ways, and would have been far better as a 1.6T, but it’s not *entirely* charmless.

  • avatar

    If Honda really wanted to prove that their product planners now have the message and they’ll revert to cars that are as exciting as they are efficient and dependable, they should have de-hybridized the CR-Z. Had they simply yanked the battery, the motor, the power management and then replaced it all with the Civic’s 1.8 liter, 140 hp engine, they’d have a sub-2,500 lb fun car that gets great mileage and can be sold profitably for current MSRP. Anyone ever see the K-sight? It combined exotic car performance with Insight-beating fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar

      The US model is sold without rear seats, and until that changes, it’s not going to sell in quantity; doesn’t matter if it has a conventional engine, a hybrid drivetrain, or Mr. Fusion under the hood.

      • 0 avatar

        This. I have three kids. While the family trips are made with the Odyssey, I need to be able to transport the kids in my car when my wife is off with the van or when she’s off with one of them and I have the other two.

        I actually like the CR-Z. One of our local SCCA members has one that he autocrosses and it is decently quick, probably the equal, if not better than my 3 (they are in the same class)

      • 0 avatar

        This. I know that the rear seats aren’t roomy, but it would have been nice to be able to take both of my kids in a pinch.

        Otherwise, I quite like the CR-Z: hybrid, small, sporty, stick-shift, reliable. It hits all my marks.

    • 0 avatar

      I actually drove one a few months back…in black, with the manual transmission (hey, in black it at least looked similar to my sister’s 1989 CRX Si)…I actually rather liked it, though you can’t say it’s particularly “green” or is it quite as sporty as it could have been. And I guess therein lies the CR-Z’s problem. I would have loved to have seen it come out with more sporting ambitions…not huge power, but something more akin to what Honda used to be…lightweight, free-revving and extremely tossable. Yeah…somewhere around 140-150 HP, with a better calibrated suspension…but I don’t see that happening, nor is there a huge market for small two-seat hatches anymore.

    • 0 avatar

      >>they should have de-hybridized the CR-Z

      But then Honda wouldn’t have any practice building the upcoming NSX! :P

      Only half joking here. While the CR-Z isn’t much of a seller, I find it an interesting combination of tech and attractive looks. I have no doubt Honda is learning from this car.

      BTW, someone near my neighborhood drives a black CR-Z dressed up in Mugen parts. It looks really hot.

  • avatar

    Still, 20 more bhp from the electrics is not a bad. If they had started from here and dumped it into something else, like the plain vanilla Civic, it would be a better proposition.

  • avatar

    Still, 20 more bhp from the electrics is not a bad. If they had started from here and dumped it into something else, like the plain vanilla Civic, it would be a better proposition. Something to tide over until the next non-IMA hybrid system comes online.

  • avatar

    So beautiful, so much wasted potential… Forget it, I don’t even feel like bashing this car today. That’s got to be a first.

  • avatar

    I also heard that they are making the rear view standard; this means they have listened to two of the three major complaints with the performance boost. I don’t think they’ll change that third complaint about the second row of seating.

    • 0 avatar

      The thing is, they already sell a two-row version outside of North America.

      Though, to be honest, I’d take a stick-shift and a better suspension in an Insight instead.

      • 0 avatar

        I never understood why they nixed the rear seat for North America. To make room for a larger battery pack, perhaps? If not, a rear seat would have, at the very least, lowered insurance costs and made the CR-Z appeal to a few more people with children.

  • avatar

    Nobody wants a two-seater that isn’t a roadster, Corvette, Cayman, or supercar anymore. Actually, I don’t think anyone ever did.

    “Sport hybrid”? What the heck is a sport hybrid? Neither a good sports car nor a Prius/Volt killer, at least.

  • avatar

    I like the sporty look of the CRZ , but not so much the poor rearward visibility . Frankly I can use some mild hypermiling techniques to get better mpg in my 04 Civic EX 5 speed than the CRZ EPA ratings . But when one is about 6-8 years old and in my price range I would consider one , doubt if they’ll still be making new ones then unless they’re non-hybrid or get even better mpg . The current CRZ should be capable of 50+ mpg using moderate hypermiling methods since hypermiling guru Wayne Gerdes got around that in the Eco mode with 55psi in the tires and the AC off .

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    As a former owner of a 1st gen Prelude and former occasional borrower of a CRX HF I am a fan of these even with the extra bloat compared to the CRX. I see these fairly reasonably priced even heavily marked down. Last year I saw a leftover/demo 2011 w/ a few thousand miles on it at my local Honda dealer for a mere $15k. If you don’t need the rear seat or can order the JDM rear seats they can be a good deal.

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