Honda's CR-Z is its new two-seater hybrid that echoes the old CRX look. We took the CR-Z on a drive through Northern California, and can safely call it the most fun drive we've had with any hybrid currently available. But it does have its quirks.
Fans of Honda's old CRX have been anticipating the CR-Z, not so much an update but as a modern interpretation. The CR-Z is a new hybrid sports car from Honda, and as such, has no direct competition.
This front-wheel-drive car uses disc brakes all around, and recovers energy to recharge the battery while slowing. It uses MacPherson struts for its front suspension, while its rear relies on a torsion beam.
The dashboard in this photo is from the top-trim CR-Z, an EX model with navigation. Honda put some nice touches in its interior design, such as semisoft surfaces and tin door handle covers with an interesting finish.
In Normal drive mode, the ambient ring in the tachometer lights up in blue. But when you switch the car to Eco mode, the ring turns green. Honda uses red for Sport mode to signal the aggressive tuning.
The monochrome display in the lower right shows a number of different screens, including power flow. This screen shows three different fuel economy ratings, letting different drivers compete for best mpg.
We were surprised to find a six-speed-manual transmission in the CR-Z, as all other hybrids use some form of automatic transmission. The manual version of the car does not get as good of gas mileage as the CVT version does; however, it is more fun.