Honda CR-Z (2013)
The new Honda CR-Z model released in 2013 comes with additional standard features including rearview camera, Bluetooth phone/radio and a bit more power.
Small sports coupes are originally meant for fun where as the small hybrids are meant for frugality. Honda has attempted to combine those two within the Honda CR-Z, which would be a thrill for those who love driving and doesn’t want to exert all the money for fuel. Sadly though Honda CR-Z is neither great as a sports car or a hybrid.
Even though the CR-Z is pretty fast and nimble it does not provide the extravagant driving characteristics suggested by its looks. The fuel economy ratings of the CR-Z are strong, however they are not much higher than normal coupes which are not hybrid vehicles and which are more practical in the day-to-day use.
Under the hood the CR-Z looks similar to the Insight. The vehicle is powered by a 1.5 liter four cylinder engine paired to an electric motor/battery pack. In the 2013 model increases the horsepower up to 130 and torque up to 140 pound-feet. Even with the power increase the 2013 model has a slight increase in the fuel economy by 1 mpg. Similar to the other hybrid models like Toyota the CR-Z cannot accelerate without using fuel, therefore the fuel economy is not as high as you would expect.
After the overall look, we feel that the buyers can get higher value for their money than the CR-Z. Some suggestions are the 2013 Fiat 500 Abrath, or the 2013 Hyundai Veloster, or the 2013 Mini Cooper. Each of these cars has there pros and cons as well.
Trim Level options
CR-Z has two trim levels, Base and EX.
The Base model houses the entire standard features while the EX model includes extras such as the xenon headlights and an upgraded speaker system.
Power and Performance
This car is a front wheel drive vehicle, powered by a 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor. Equipped with a six-speed gearbox the torque number is at 127 lb-ft with the CVT (continuously variable transmission) which comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
The driver is able to select from three drive modes which are Sport, Normal or Econ. Selecting the modes will change the throttle sensitivity, assistance given to the steering, transmission, electronic motor assist and air-conditioning usage. This year’s model has a boost acceleration option given by the “S+” button which uses 50% of the battery to give a sudden boost to the acceleration.
CR-Z manual equipped version has a 0 to 60 mph time of 8.8 seconds, however with the CVT the time is 9.2 seconds. Fuel economy estimates are 31 mpg in the city and 38 mpg in highway and 34 mpg combined in the 2013 model manual version, with the CVT the values are 36/39/37 mpg.
The CR-Z includes all the standard safety features such as stability and traction control, airbags (front seat side-impact, side curtain) and active head restraints.
CR-Z came from 60 mph to a standstill in 122 feet in the Edmunds brake test. This is a good achievement for a compact car.
Also this car has obtained three stars at the government crash tests which gives the CR-Z a rating of “good” in impact strengths.
The highlighting point of the CR-Z’s interior is the space-age dash design. With the huge digital speedometer accompanied by the analog tachometer this display adds to the interior splendor with its magnificent background lights that change color to indicate driving efficiency.
The CR-Z’s rear cargo divider easily folds down to accommodate parcels, bins. The maximum cargo this car can hold is 25.1 cubic feet, which would roughly be equal to two golf bags.
This being a economy car which is sporty not a luxury coupe the interior is kept simple and plain. Another key point to note is that the car’s rear visibility is less due to the dual panel rear glass and the bodywork.
With high responsive steering and compact design the CR-Z is quite nimble to drive. However when the Honda is pushed over normal bounds it feels less agile and more unstable.
The power and performance of the car would weary immensely depending on the driving mode selected. For most drivers the normal mode will feel at home. Both the six-speed gearbox offering manual transmission and the CVT manage to give a sport feel to the Honda CR-Z.