The Honda CR-Z is, to me at least, a bit of a confusing car. Honda absolutely nailed the sporty hatchback look, and this car can certainly pass for a contemporary cousin of the now-classic CRX. But while it looks sporty, and it even has a six-speed transmission, the engine output is, well… about the same as a 20 year old CRX. So they went and made it a hybrid. But for a hybrid, it gets sub-par gas mileage. So it kinda fails, for me at least, on both fronts, and I feel like I’m not alone on this.
Apparently though, across the Atlantic, British car reviewers are raving about the CR-Z. Did I miss something?
Hybrid Cars snooped through some British reviews of the CR-Z, which goes on sale in England around the same time as it does in the U.S. Reporters like Andrew English of The Telegraph called the CR-Z a “likable little car,” though he wasn’t a fan of the limited luggage room or visibility. Other reviewers were more positive, including Top Gear’s Jason Barlow (who writes for Top Gear magazine). Barlow said “Honda might finally have made eco motoring sexy.” Like other outlets, he was a fan of the handling, though knocked its limited power output. “It’s proper fun to drive,” he said.
A few American publications, like Motor Trend, have test drove the car as well. They found the engine had sufficient low-end grunt for a hot hatch, but taking 10 seconds to reach 60 mph kills any aspirations. They were also disappointed with the expected gas mileage figures for America, getting 37 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.
Still, I’m not all that giddy about the CR-Z… maybe because I haven’t driven it. I enjoy tossing a car around corners, which is apparently where the CR-Z excels. And while the power output is appalling for a “hot hatch,” Honda has in fact repeatedly said this is not a CRX successor. It is a sporty hybrid that happens to be a hatchback. Of course, if they didn’t want people drawing that distinction, why not name the car something other than CR-Z? There are already rumors about a 200 horsepower version of the CR-Z though, which should placate some of those clamoring for more power. Honda also has over 10,000 pre-orders for the CR-Z… so I guess people are really hot for this hatchback.
Are you looking forward to the CR-Z? Or could you care less?
Source: Hybrid Cars | Image: Honda