2011 Honda CR-Z

There are plenty of hybrids on the road today, and there are plenty of sports coupes.  But not one has attempted to blend these two seemingly opposite types of vehicles.  Until now, that is.  The 2011 Honda CR-Z attempts to bring these two worlds together.  Honda calls the CR-Z a “sport hybrid coupe”: The intention is clear.  The question, of course, will they be successful?  Let’s take a look at the hardware.

2011 Honda CR-Z Specs

  • 122 HP 1.5 liter SOHC 4 Cylinder engine ( Combined horsepower rating )
  • Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) Hybrid system
  • Six speed manual transmission
  • Available Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
  • 16″ Alloy wheels
  • Curb weight: 2725 lbs (CVT)
  • EPA Estimated ratings: 36 mpg city / 38 mpg highway / 37 MPG combined (CVT)

As for looks, well, I’m not sure Honda hit the mark this time.  The front end is very sharp – with an S2000 influence.  The rear end has some awkward angles to be sure, and looks *extremely* like the Insight on which it is based.  In fact, when you look at the CR-Z as a whole, it has an extreme family resemblance.  Maybe you like it, maybe you don’t. I’m not terribly impressed.

Moving to the interior, which Honda uses knocks out of the park, I’m almost at a loss for words.  It looks like a tacky button monster threw up on the dash.  There are far too many buttons to the left of the steering wheel, and they’re oddly laid out.  The HVAC controls are simply bizarre.  Even the navigation unit is all wrong – it’s far off center, on the passenger’s side of the dash.  The steering wheel is crowded with buttons, and the gauges have far too much going on.  Even if I loved the interior, and how the CR-Z drove, I’m pretty sure this interior would keep me away.

Honda, I think you forgot something?

Enough about the dash and gauges, how about the seats?  Oh boy.  See, there is room inside the CR-Z for a 2+2 layout.  That is, 2 regular size humans, and 2 very tiny humans could fit inside.  Well, they could, if Honda had seen fit to include the rear seats.  Instead of the rear seats, Honda put things that are the same size as seats, and almost look like seats, but aren’t quite seats.  If you’re shaking your head and wondering what they were thinking, don’t feel bad – I am too.

Now I’m not suggesting that I would *want* to sit in the back seatlet of a CR-Z – of course I wouldn’t.  No one would.  But making pseudo-seats?  Just give me two daggone little seats Honda; let me choose if I want to subject someone to the torture.  Instead, the CR-Z is a pure two-seater, which gives insurance companies another reason to raise rates.  Only “sports cars” have two seats, don’t ya know.

Efficiency and performance

An expected EPA rating of 37 combined MPG is nothing to sneeze at – but it’s also not really all that special.  Don’t forget, the CR-Z is a hybrid.  And it has a small 1.5 liter engine, which is already extremely efficient.  And there’s also the very light ~2700 lb curb weigh to consider.  I’m not sure why the CR-Z can’t make over 40 MPG?

Missing the mark

I don’t think the CR-Z is going to be a hit.  With just 122 HP on tap, performance won’t be blistering.  At 37 MPG for a subcompact, you’re not going to set any efficiency records.  So I get a slow sports car combined with a non-efficient hybrid, presumably at a premium price.  I ask just one question – why in the world wouldn’t you just buy a Honda Fit?

2011 Honda CR-Z Gallery

Published on January 15, 2010 in Honda

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