By on June 10, 2016

2016 Honda CR-Z, Image: Honda

Honda’s hybrid sport hatch, the lackluster CR-Z, may have mastered the art of invisibility in the marketplace, but it couldn’t hide from company executives.

The model looks to be on its way out in Japan, according to Carscoops, with Honda now offering a ‘Final Label’ edition of the slow-selling vehicle.

A choice of metallic paints, matte 17-inch wheels and special badging set this CR-Z apart from the others you don’t see, because few people ever consider buying one. Having already disappeared from the European and Australian automotive landscapes, the CR-Z’s looming departure in Japan raises the question of when Honda will pull the plug in the U.S.

As buyers flocked away from the model, Honda saw fit to give the CR-Z a mild styling refresh for the 2016 model year, indicating that it planned to keep the hatch in its inventory for a little while, at least.

Featuring a combined output of 130 horsepower from its electric motor and 1.5-liter four-cylinder, the CR-Z’s available six-speed manual transmission — a hybrid exclusive — was supposed to help fill a gap for people who wanted green driving but also liked having fun. The problem was, only a few people showed up at the party, and they quickly left.

Despite the name and its diminutive size, no one thought it was the spiritual successor to the beloved CRX of yesteryear.

After going on sale in late 2010, U.S. sales of the model peaked in 2011, fell by more than half the next year, then steadily eroded away. Last year saw just over 3,000 CR-Z’s find a home in the U.S., and this year’s sales haven’t yet topped 1,000.

The Grim Reaper’s coming, but he hasn’t set a date.

[Image: Honda]

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17 Comments on “Honda CR-Z Gets ‘Final Label’ in Japan, Death Looks Near in U.S....”


  • avatar
    threeer

    I’ve driven a few CRZs and wouldn’t mind considering one for a daily commuter, but I don’t have vast amounts of disposable income sitting around to use to buy several single-purpose vehicles. With a manual, they are actually a bit of fun to drive, but not enough to be considered a threat to any other small two-seater out there. Not enough sport (and not enough hybrid), the little CRZ was doomed from the start. And those of us that vividly remember the hoot that the CRX was (especially in Si trim) were all the more disappointed that the CRZ didn’t live up to the potential.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    They still make this?

    The styling has always been tragic, a terrible interpretation of a CR-X. Worse still was the choice of a hybrid driveline.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Don’t CR-Y about it, as this car is laaaame. Easily trounced by the regular, non-sport version of the thing on which it’s based.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    These are in the long line of cars I appreciate but won’t buy. I look at the resale and it makes me wonder what kind of dope would pay anywhere sticker for one of these new. I’m assuming there are few and the discounts are eye-watering. A few years ago I was looking at a used one and as I was preparing to leave the sales guy asked me if I’d be interested in looking at a new one – which was 2 model years old at the time. He said they had a “couple.”

    I like the interior layout, if not the materials, the seats are very comfortable, I think it looks all right (especially in the blues they’ve had it in), it’s available in its top trim level as a manual, and you don’t always need a fast car.

    But. For the same money, I’m going to buy an IS300 or Acura TL (the good looking one) with 60k miles on it and not a 30k mile CRZ.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Maybe they can swap out the powertrain, it would make a nice little racer with a Civic Si mill in it.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    At least all of Honda’s epic fails are now history. 2nd-Gen Insight (don’t try to out-Prius the Prius — it’s a fool’s errand), CrossTurd (answer to a question nobody asked, the TSX Wagon was better), the Acura ZDX (ugly CrossTurd cousin), and now this!

    All they REALLY needed to do was ditch the Hybrid bits, and drop a 2.0T (as in CRX Si 2.0) in it!

    (Recall that Honda had a concept off of this thing that either pumped the ICE output substantially, or did what I suggested above, either for NAIAS or SEMA, and it was well-received!)

  • avatar
    brettc

    18 new 2014s, 296 new 2015s and 536 new 2016s on Autotrader. Get ’em while they’re cold!

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    As soon as Honda announced the powertrain, The Internet said this car would fail and fail hard. I clearly remember reading the news and rolling my eyes in a WTF manner.

    The Internet, for once, was right.

    At least a REAL Civic hatch with a desirable engine is finally coming to the US.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      UGGGH I wanted to change my avatar. I get a “file upload error” every time I try to upload a picture. Scroll down the page and I get “update avatar with Gravitar.” W T F is Gravitar? I don’t have an account there, so how dafuq is that tied to my TTAC avatar? There has to be a simpler way…

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I test drove one. It wasn’t particularly fast nor fun. At the same time, fuel economy wasn’t particularly impressive, either (31/34/38).

    Compare to the tons of fun Fiesta ST. They cost about the same, the Fiesta doesn’t get significantly worse MPG, and the Fiesta is an absolute hoot.

    Okay, then what’s the point?

  • avatar
    Noble713

    These things are surprisingly common in Okinawa. It has one of my favorite interiors short of a Lamborghini. I’ve never ridden in one though.

    If you want an urban commuter car that *looks* sporty and aggressive and won’t break the bank via taxes (remember we have displacement-based taxes here)…..I guess it’s not bad.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    We may never see a manual transmission hybrid again.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I’m a former CRX owner. I loved my CRX and I really wanted to like the CR-Z, but it was such a “meh” kind of car. Not bad looking, but heavy and with mediocre handling, mediocre performance and mediocre gas mileage (especially considering its size and that it is a hybrid).

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Jesus, spit out your mouth guard before they take your picture.

  • avatar
    psychoboy

    I work at a Honda dealer and I honestly cannot recall the last time I saw a new one of these things.

    Until I read this headline, I truly thought they had already shitcanned this car in the US.

  • avatar
    John R

    What Honda should have done in the first place – http://lhtperformance.net/documents/kr-z.html

  • avatar
    maserchist

    Last really fun to drive Honda was 45 years ago, peppy, go kart handling, great gas mileage, unbeatable 50 ft traffic light launches, non fireplug resistant AZ600 sport coupe. Don’t knock it if you never drove one. Man up if you did drive it.

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