European Honda CR-Z Hybrid Gets Better Gas Mileage, Two Extra Seats


For me, the biggest letdown in recent memory was the Honda CR-Z. Touted as a spiritual successor of the CR-X, the CR-Z managed to get it all wrong. Whereas the original CR-X was lightweight, sporty, and frugal with its fuel, the CRZ is underwhelming at best. The hybrid manages to get just 37 mpg in a two-seater that has a combined horsepower output of just 122 ponies in a 3,000 pound package. Like I said, underwhelming, at least in the Americanized version.

But Europe is also getting the CR-Z. Strangely enough, their version gets two extra (albeit small) seats, converting the CR-Z into a more practical 2+2 for people with small children or petite friends. But what really got me is that the European CRZ gets much better gas mileage… 47 mpg, in fact. How did that happen?

For clarification, that is 47 mpg on the US cycle. In European cycle, the estimate is 56.4 mpg.

I don’t know how this happened. The European CR-Z has the same 122 horsepower, 1.5 liter engine as the American version, plus the added weight from two extra seats. In my mind that means it must come down to weight and safety. In Europe, small cars are the norm, and rarely do they have to go head-to-head with an over-sized SUV. Therefore, maybe (pure speculation on my part here people) the European version of the CR-Z may not have the same safety or rigidity necessary for cars in the US, thus cutting down on weight.

The US and European tests are similar, but not identical, and the vehicles are built to different standards (like Ford cannot import its Ka to the US for being too small). But even so, the CR-Z would have to shed a lot of weight to gain 10 mpg over the US version with 37 mpg on the highway (that that is with the CVT automatic… opt for the manual, and the CRZ gets just 33 mpg on the highway).

The 56.4 MPG rating in Europe translates to 46.9 mpg in the US, which would put it in the top-tier of efficient hybrids on the market. But in Europe, which has access to vehicles which routinely get 60+ mpg on the US cycle, it is merely a middle-ground hybrid coupe. I can’t help but feel shafted… I even seriously considered the CR-Z as a hybrid I could one day live with. Not anymore.

If someone from Honda reads this, please, give me a straight answer. Barring that, maybe someone who makes it to the Geneva Auto Show, where the Euro-CR-Z will be “officially” unveiled, can ask them what gives.

Otherwise I can only conclude that Honda likes Europe better than the US. And that hurts my feelings.

Source: Carscoop | Image: Honda

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.