The Honda CR-Z is Now Dead Across North America
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.
Too big. Too heavy. Too thirsty. It was never going to fill the Insight1's shoes (tires)
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.
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