Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good Honda released their second Hybrid vehicle in Australia in November 2011. The sleek and stylish CR-Z evokes memories of the once iconic styling of the 1980’s CR-X.

The new CR-Z hybrid also features a world first in that it offers a 6-speed manual transmission matched to a hybrid drivetrain. Pretty cool huh?
Not so good We think the exterior of the CR-Z is fantastic. Minor improvements would be a lower ride height and some bigger and more aggressive alloys to fill the wheel arches.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The cabin has been designed with a driver focus in mind, there is a cockpit theme that clusters critical controls close to the driver, and the instrument panel has an eye-catching and hi-tech 3D gauge design.

The interior layout has the flexibility to extend usability, with rear seats designed to fold easily and quickly to increase cargo space quite substantially for a sports coupe.
Not so good The CR-Z's interior just misses the mark, when you take into consideration the sleek and stylish exterior design.

The interior is dominated by large slabs of black material; there are also shiny silver highlights that just don’t seem to gel with the overall aesthetic of the interior. However, the futuristic instrument cluster does add some redeeming value.
Performance

Performance

Good The CR-Z comes with the choice of two grades - Sport and Luxury. The CR-Z Sport pairs a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, for a combined power figure of 91kW with 174Nm when mated to the 6-speed manual. Meanwhile, the CR-Z Luxury pairs a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, for a combined power figure of 91kW and 167Nm when mated to the CVT.
Not so good The Honda CR-Z isn’t a true hybrid when you take into consideration fuel consumption figures. However, it is one of the most enjoyable hybrids that you will ever drive.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good Forget everything that you know or think about hybrids, because this one breaks the mould. The Honda CR-Z is definitely set-up on the stiffer side of the suspension scale, but it is comfortable enough to live with on a daily basis. The Honda CR-Z performs well on winding country roads; the steering is solid and direct offering the driver plenty of feedback.
Not so good Some drivers might not like the stiff suspension setup and would prefer something a little more on the comfortable side. But where would the fun be in that? This thing is built to be driven fast around corners.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good The Honda CR-Z is for the environmentally conscious driver that wants something fun to drive but doesn’t want to hurt the environment.
Not so good There are only two models to choose from in the CR-Z range. The Luxury model doesn't have the option for the smooth and quick shifting manual transmission.