Honda CR-Z Review (2011)
Honda CR-Z Review (2011)

The Honda CR-Z hybrid went on sale in the UK in March 2010.

The CR-Z is a petrol/electric hybrid 2+2 coupe targeted at young and young at heart eco-warriors who want a sporty fun car yet like the idea of reducing their carbon footprint.

Honda have been producing Hybrids for a long time – in fact since 1999 when we first saw the Honda Insight, which now has a cult following. The CR-Z shares the same platform as the latest Insight model.

The CR-Z is the result of Honda’s years of experience in producing hybrids, it also follows the design cues of another cult Honda car the CR-X which was launched way back 1983.

We tested the Honda CR-Z ‘Sport’ with an on the road price when tested of £18,735.

Performance

The Honda CR-Z is available with only one engine, a petrol 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine with Honda’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system. The 114 PS petrol engine is combined with a 14 PS electric motor which boosts the engines torque output. This effectively gives a peak power output of 124 PS and a peak torque figure of 174Nm. Honda quotes a 0-62 mph time of 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph.

There are three driver selectable driving modes:

Norm Mode – is the default mode which offers a blend of performance and economy to suit ‘normal’ driving. The IMA system is totally automatic switching between assistance and regeneration; it is so smooth a transition that you might not even notice.

The Econ Mode – is designed to reduce fuel consumption and your carbon footprint by optimizing the operation of the drive-by-wire throttle, ECU, air conditioning and the hybrid system. The Multi Information Display – indicates how well you are doing by monitoring your throttle inputs & driving style and relaying this information to you graphically.

SPORT Mode - sharpens the throttle response, changes the behaviour of the IMA hybrid system to provide more electric motor assistance and increases the weight of the electric power steering.

The CR-Z rewards your eco-driving by displaying a series of growing plants when you turn off the engine. If your driving has been eco-poor then the plants will wither and when you’re driving is more eco-friendly the plants grow which was amusing.

The difference between the three modes is very noticeable: in Econ Mode you certainly notice the change and for us was only really suited to town use. We tended to leave the car in Sport Mode, which sort of defeats the CR-Z eco-credentials but it was far more fun than the ‘Norm’ Mode.

We found the engine eager to please and the input from the electric motor gave a welcome boost – it just needs to be a little quicker for the more enthusiastic driver.

A 6-speed manual transmission is standard across the range, it needs to be worked to get the most out the car but changes are slick and precise. There are no plans to introduce the CVT transmission to the Honda CR-Z.

The official fuel consumption figures for the CR-Z are 56.5mpg on the combined cycle and the CO2 emissions figure is 117 g/km. We achieved on average 37.7 mpg (quite a bit of Sport Mode driving) but with a light foot we got this up to 51 mpg.


Published : 22/10/11 Author : Melanie Carter

Honda CR-Z News

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