By on August 27, 2015

2016 Honda CR-Z

Honda unveiled its face-lifted CR-Z in Japan on Thursday, Automotive News is reporting, which means the slow-selling car will have a future in the U.S. and Canada for at least another year.

The updated nose and redesigned rear bumper cover the fact that the car hasn’t mechanically changed from this year. The same 130-horsepower, four-cylinder hybrid will power the car, mated to either a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.

Despite its critical reception as a relatively slow sportscar, engineers increased the size of the CR-Z’s brakes 10 millimeters.

Honda hasn’t officially confirmed that the updated Japanese design would make it to North America (the car is only sold in Japan, Canada and the United States anymore) but said that the 2016 CR-Z would gain “updated exterior and interior styling.”

Automotive News is reporting the updated CR-Z would go on sale in the U.S. in November. Honda hasn’t confirmed that date.

So far this year, Honda has sold 1,562 CR-Z models in the U.S.

(Photos courtesy Honda Motor Co.)

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39 Comments on “Honda CR-Z Gets New Face, Will Live Beyond 2015...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Why?

    This car has no reason to exist in its current form.

    But a VTEC engine in it and give it an Si package and I’d consider buying one. in it’s current form – why?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      It is a hybrid/electric car with a proper tranny. That has to count for something. I remember driving one way back, and it’s not really that bad. If you want a hybrid, it’s the drivers car of the bunch. If you’re agnostic about hybridity, like most who knows how to operate devices as inherently challenging as clutches, I’d have a harder time justifying one.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “It is a hybrid/electric car with a proper tranny. That has to count for something.”

        It’s like a chick with a wiener. Novelty does not necessarily translate to desirability.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          Hate to disagree as this car comes with a proper manual tranny. May not be your cuppa but I gotta like the thought that I have an option here if I were inclined towards an affordable hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      It simply exists for being a chick car.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’m having a really hard time telling what’s new about this thing.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also – the interior is really crap, and already looks outdated. (Though it is an example of climate controls angled at the pre-feminism male driver.)

    It’s also WAY too expensive, and has very low utility with no back seat and not a great cargo area.

    I’m left with a big WTF on this one.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The first and last reason to buy a CR-Z is to get a hybrid with a clutch pedal.

      • 0 avatar
        ant

        I agree.

        But how does that work for regenerating power when you slow down? Do you have to aggressively downshift these things to achieve good mpgs?

        Sounds like a lot of work.

        Also, sounds like mpgs would vary a lot from driver to driver.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    10 mm bigger brakes? Sign me up! The small brakes were keeping me from buying one of these!

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    The only car that looks like it’s sucking as hard as it actually sucks.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      If you say that out loud with a Peter Stormare accent, it’s perfect.

      Even if they ditched the batteries and stuck in a K24Z7, it still looks like an ugly robot chipmunk.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Honda had to have known this car would be a dud in the market. The Fit is objectively better in nearly every way.

    I always thought the true purpose of the CR-Z was something other than simply being a sales success. Something like, “Let’s gauge public acceptance of a sport-hybrid car because we have x sport-hybrid cars in the product pipeline over the next 15-20 years”

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Then all it needs is some sport. One could easily draw exactly the wrong conclusions from this slug.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        The Fit is a completely different strategy for Honda versus the CR-Z and it’s a completely different statement to the one who owns one or the other. I’ve seen more Fits (still waiting for the Honda Spasm) being driven by Grammas for the sheer practicality of the little hauler. The CR-Z is for the single person of a certain age who commutes to work and wants hybrid gas mileage, fun to drive with a manual transmission, the reliable mechanics of a Honda, and most importantly, isn’t a f-ing Prius.

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          The Mazda3 is fun to drive, available with a manual, available with a hatch, gets excellent gas mileage, is reliable, and seats 5. It pretty much makes the CR-Z pointless.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      Only thing I can think of is the DelSol was ending and everyone was looking to add hybrids. A small sport hybrid made sense on paper. Now if they had actually built that, who knows….

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    File this under “cars I thought were discontinued two or three years ago”.

    Good to see Honda keeping the ELR from getting lonely at the bottom of the hybrid sales chart.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I too thought they already canned this mistake. When they fix the interior, focus on the handling and slap a turbo into it then I’ll get interested.

      The current interior is scary bad, there are random buttons all over the place and it appears that a battle between blue and red lights is always going on. It is honestly one of those cars you get inside and immediately feel confused and angry. So far away from the Honda’s I drove back in the late 80s/early 90s that had logical, simple, purposeful interiors that were a joy to interact with, even if they were only available in just black.

      • 0 avatar
        Funky

        I think Honda dealers can upgrade (dealer installed and covered by Honda warranty) the handling as well as add a turbo to this vehicle. I’m not sure what can be done about the interior, but maybe the new interior will be improved over prior model years. With the dealer added turbo and other performance items, this might possibly be a fun car to drive.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    As a huge fan of 80s to early 2000s Hondas, when I saw the CR-Z concept I was ecstatic. As more and more details were revealed about what would be the actual production version, that faded into disappointment, and eventually, a feeling of betrayal.

  • avatar

    The CR-Z always looked cool. The problem with this car wasn’t its appearance; it was the wimpy hybrid system…and the inclusion of a manual transmission did nothing to endear it in anyone’s heart. Now, if Honda created more of a sport-hybrid or used the electric motor for performance, it would have been a lot more desirable.

    Oh, but they increased the brake discs by 10mm.

    Thanks, Honda. People around the world will express their thanks by continuing to not buy it.

    • 0 avatar
      qfrog

      I doubt it is due to performance, more like economy of scale. My guess is that they changed the Civic or some other model to a 10mm larger brake package and this car is just using whatever the other volume model uses to keep the breadth of parts at the assembly facility as narrow as possible.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      “The problem with this car wasn’t its appearance; it was the wimpy hybrid system…and the inclusion of a manual transmission did nothing to endear it in anyone’s heart.”

      0-60 in 7.6 secs isn’t exactly burning up the road but it’s not slow either. Can’t be too hard to modify the system to bump for more speed. I dig that you can get a proper Honda 6 spd manual in one of these and the suspension is supposed to be rather good.

      The problem I’ve always had and will continue to have is the CR-Z is a two seater which, in itself wouldn’t be so bad except Honda left the backseat there. Granted it’s done up like a police cruiser back seat with hard, easy to clean plastic but it’s a two-box seat design whose existance seems to be to remind me that I didn’t buy a practical car. It looks like the engineers thought about a 2+2 but never got around to designing it past the mold and didn’t design a cover for the spaces that one could lock up valuables or just the detritus from Tim Hortons.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      I like the looks of the CR-Z too. I have a way out theory why Honda would keep it alive. Once the NSX launches, some of its tech can trickle down to the CR-Z. As Kyree points out, a turbo hybrid with electric motors would certainly boost HP, torque , and sales.

      But they can’t do this before the new NSX is introduced. This is reminiscent of the first gen integra launching without v-tec. Honda wanted v-tec to appear in the NSX first.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Aren’t bigger brakes a “mechanical change”?

  • avatar
    Charliej

    These are still being sold in Mexico. I see them occasionally, in Guadalajara. Not too many of them at the lakeside. The Honda CRX was a wonderful small car. Many loved them. I had one and loved it. No CRX ever had as much power as the CRZ does. MY CRX had around eighty horsepower and was very much fun to drive. The more power guys have cars that they can never hold full throttle for more than a few seconds. That is fun sometimes, butI prefer a car that can be driven hard all of the time. If I wanted speed, I got on my 1994 Honda VFR750F. Faster than any car on acceleration, and a 140 mph top speed. Young people ned to learn that sheer speed is not all the fun in the world. Good handling and good brakes count too.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      “No CRX ever had as much power as the CRZ does.”

      In markets outside North America you could get the CR-X with a B16A VTEC engine making 150-160hp; significantly more than the CR-Z and weighed a lot less too. If you consider the Del Sol to be part of the CR-X line (it was called CR-X Del Sol in many markets), it came with the same engine, even in North America.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I’m also guessing your CRX had less weight. When the CRX sold, 80-100 hp was pretty decent for a fun car. Now it is utterly underwhelming.

      Agree there’s far more than speed, but why would I ever consider this ackward, ugly mess of a car when there is a list of better options.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Well, stuff like this is the reason there are no Hondas in my immediate future…

    Other than that fact that a 10mm increase in rotor size is a useful change in just about every Honda (20mm would be even better, along with better rotor material), they completely missed the point.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Wait!

    Honda went from CR-X to CR-Z.

    Why did they skip CR-Y?

  • avatar
    Turbo Is Black Magic

    If they ditched the hybrid crap and dropped in a K24 I would still buy one tomorrow, along with at least three people I know… that’s a solid 400% monthly sales increase right there Honda! Do it already!

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