By on June 17, 2016

2016 Honda CR-Z, Image: Honda

So, Honda’s two-seater hybrid sports car is officially belly-up in North America. There won’t be a well-attended service or procession, just a solemn trickle of old models off of dealer lots.

After TTAC confirmed that the CR-Z was done in Canada, and after a ‘Final Label’ edition bowed in Japan, word comes that the model has shuffled off into history everywhere else. Honda representatives confirmed to Car and Driver that the automaker has pulled the plug on the CR-Z in North America.

Sales of the CR-Z rivaled continental drift for momentum, so it’s no surprise the company wants to turn its attention to two “volume models,” which is how the Honda reps referred to the 2017 Accord Hybrid and EV/plug-in/fuel cell Clarity lineup.

The CR-Z didn’t excel as a sports car or a hybrid. For far less money, a used Chevrolet Cruze Eco beats it by 4 miles per gallon on the highway, and a sporty Civic can at least carry more than one passenger. The model didn’t just fail to capture its niche — it killed it altogether.

With production discontinued (or slated to end soon — either way, 2016 will be the last year), the flow of new models onto dealer lots will soon end. Forget a funeral, celebrations might spontaneously break out. After the tap turns off, salespeople can start getting rid of the huge backlog of CR-Zs currently clogging inventories. Who knows, they might actually mark them down.

[Image: Honda]

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36 Comments on “The Honda CR-Z is Now Dead Across North America...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    Coulda been something special…

    As an interesting commuter, I’d be tempted. I’ve driven numerous variants (all manual trans) and liked them, but obviously not enough to buy one (and then there is that whole “rescue dog hauling/kid and wife/not enough disposable income for one-trick pony cars” thing). Maybe in 5-8 years a good used one will be had for cheap and enough money will be laying around to dump the hybrid drivetrain and put something more, um, entertaining into it. Nah…

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Maybe we need 6 more stories regarding the death of a model that has basically been dead since 2014.

  • avatar
    Joss

    This starting to read like General Franco is still dead…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Ok serious comment, how many billions have been wasted building electric cars very few people want to buy?

    Oh, the folly of… CARB. Why can’t they be sent a bill?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, it’s like anything else, 28…some sell, others don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Toyota has largely been successful and profitable with its HSD. Every other attempt seems to either be somewhat successful but unprofitable (Tesla, Volt, Leaf) or simply unsuccessful (Honda hybrids, Ford hybrids, Hyundai hybrids, Fiat 500e). When does the industry say, enough?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The Ford hybrids have been successful and profitable. Not at the Toyota level, but they more than justify their existence. The C-Max hasn’t sold well because Ford bungled the whole thing. They made a poor decision when they killed the Escape Hybrid. It sold well and was built a name/brand. They’ll rectify that with the next Escape.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    You know part of the reason it died? It’s technically a two-seater. Which means, insurance-wise, it gets lumped in with things like the BMW Z, the Mazda MX-5, and other such conveyances, all of which are more sporty than the CRZ. Then again, I’ve driven minivans that were more sporty than the CRZ.

  • avatar
    truecarhipsterdouche

    “Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead.”

  • avatar

    No one cared when it was on sale. No one cares now that it is not on sale.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Mexico gets no respect. First the wall, and now TTAC has thrown them off the continent.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I hope the wall is made of radioactive waste. Then at least if you try to climb it, you’ve shown some cojones.

      Seriously though the wall is a stupid idea, cheaper and easier to simply behead every other smuggler caught on the wrong side of the border (drugs too).

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        Heh… and the cojones won’t work anymore after that climb.

        Agree, the wall is a stupid idea, and made stupider when Trump says he will have the Mexicans build it. Virtually every wall has secret tunnels, especially if you let the guys you intend to keep out build it.

        And even dumber, the net outflow of Mexicans leaving the US is up to 140,000 from 2009 to 2014. So why build an unneeded wall that wouldn’t work anyway? It hurt my head to write that last sentence.

        http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/11/19/more-mexicans-leaving-than-coming-to-the-u-s/

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Dead like Dillinger, dead like Jacob Marley, dead like Old GM.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    A rare Honda Miss? Not exactly. Honda has had more miss fires than many larger automakers of late. They need to come off their hi-horse and back to their roots. Accord and Civic alone cannot support the HondaJet program.

    • 0 avatar
      garuda

      Care to quantify?
      The larger manufacturers are toyota, gm, ford, vag, nissan-renault, Hyundai, fca. Gm has a whole misfirng brand (buick except for the chinese market), fca has chrysler shutting down plants, toyota is killing all of its scions (teehee), vag is doing okay until they got caught cheating on all of their diesels, whcih means now the whole brand is suspect and will be an ongoing misfire. On the other hand honda came out with a few models that were always goong to be niche and didnt do well. Crz, crosstour, insight, rlx. Even the ridgeline was selling okay for a long time until people realized it was ugly. The 9th gen civic was a turd but only compared to expectation, and even that sold well enough. The next niche car they are selling is the hrv and the nsx. Both will probably flop but hardly makes a dent in their bottomline. As a matter of fact they did go back to their roots and made a better civic, and stopped screwing around with overtly marketed hybrids.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    R.I.P.

    C.R.Z.

  • avatar
    daver277

    Too big.
    Too heavy.
    Too thirsty.

    It was never going to fill the Insight1’s shoes (tires)

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Or the CRX’s. This thing tried to be both at once and failed miserably on both counts.

      • 0 avatar
        Truckducken

        Yah, the days when Honda could just put a product out there and all the young ladies would pay thousands above sticker to buy it because it’s a Honda are long gone. It would seem with the latest Accord and Civic that Honda is at least starting to get the message.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          I’d get all giggly and line up to pay sticker+ for a new Element with a turbo-4.

          But then I’d see that they squashed the roof, fattened the pillars, sloped the ass and lowered the ground clearance despite adding giant clown wheels….

          So hard to recapture that happy girlhood.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I owned a CR-Z for roughly 6 months.

    It was a decent enough car. Fun to drive in that you had to really drive it, keep the revs up, work the shifter (I had the 6spd not the CVT).

    It was efficient, often returning high 30’s with spirited, mixed driving.

    It handled well, the steering was sharp and the car just flat out felt playful. It wanted to be thrown into turns.

    The cargo bay held a lot. For a married couple and their stuff, this car was just fine. I even threw our small dogs back there with no issue.

    It was a rare sight. Driving around and seeing another CR-Z on the road was an event. It made me want to stop and talk to the other person driving a CR-Z. I see more TT’s when I’m driving my TT than I do CR-Z’s.

    The CR-Z was dead reliable and felt like it would continue to be so for over 100K miles.

    Downside?

    The seats were awful. I worked hard to get somewhat comfortable and then would gradually slide down because they had no support and could not tilt back. I often felt like I was driving a bathtub. Had I noticed this during the test drive, I never would have bought the car. Those seats were terrible.

    It was noisy. I drive a lot of miles, and found the car to be less than great on long highway slogs. The little engine just zings away at over 3000 RPM’s. For an economy minded car, with the torque of an electric motor, I found this to be odd.

    The engine sounded like a kitten growling every time I started it. I never warmed to it.

    No sunroof option: The old CRX-si came with a moonroof, and that’s part of what made it cool. For a guy trying to relive the CRX days, not having the option of a moonroof sucked.

    The base stereo was a joke. A loud cabin combined with a crappy stereo was no fun. I tried to upgrade it, but just got frustrated.

    Honda’s update to the CR-Z and eventual offering of a supercharger (for well over $3000) was a joke and felt like an insult. It was them admitting the car was a mistake as offered. Ok Honda, I’ll gladly pay over $30K to enjoy middling performance and still get beat by most cars on the road in a drag race.

    The CR-Z should have been magical. Honda has the talent to do it. But they chose not to.

    I went into my CR-Z experience like so many other cars I’ve purchased, with the best of intentions, and wanting to keep it forever. The CR-Z wore out its welcome and soon became a nuisance. I turned to my Mercedes more and more because the CR-Z just couldn’t cut it.

    Maybe if I had bought the EX (instead of the base model), and maybe if they would have geared it lower, used the electric motor’s torque to carry the load (or put the Civic si’s engine in it), and gave it a moonroof, I would have liked it more. As it was, it was not a CRX, but just a poorly realized economy car, and it had to go. So it did.

    I actually traded the CR-Z in on a Chrysler T&C minivan, and I haven’t looked back.

  • avatar
    jrasero23

    About time. After Honda announced the turbo charging kit was a dealer option only and announced it was a $5000, this pretty much killed the car knowing they were never refreshing it beyond its sad state. Could have been a really cool car but just another have baked Honda product

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