Honda CR-Z Gets 'Final Label' in Japan, Death Looks Near in U.S.

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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4 of 17 comments
  • Old Man Pants Old Man Pants on Jun 11, 2016

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

  • Psychoboy Psychoboy on Jun 11, 2016

    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.

  • John R John R on Jun 13, 2016

    What Honda should have done in the first place -

  • Maserchist Maserchist on Jun 14, 2016

    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.