The previous revision of the CR-Z model was delivered by Honda in 2013, so the automaker thought it was time for the next one. This time, the fans will get the chance to purchase the upgraded version of the two-door hybrid model in both Asian and North American markets. It is certainly good to see this one getting renewed because we loved the CR-X models of the 1980s that were the predecessors of CR-Z and early CR-Z models of 2010.
The only thing that disappointed us six years ago was the fuel economy, which was inappropriate for a hybrid model and was clearly overwhelmed by other green cars.
The model was saved by the fact that hybrid market was not as competitive as it is today, so it came as the fourth best-selling hybrid in the United States. Believe it or not, Prius was left behind.
In the new version, however, the automaker has eliminated some disadvantages of the earlier models, such as poor fuel economy, and gave the vehicle a new styling, efficient engine, premium features, and many other changes. If you are a fan of remarkable two-door hatches, read below to find out more.
The body of the new 2016 Honda CR-Z has been provided with a number of elements that make it more aggressive and modern.
For example, the front grille has received more angular shape and the bumper has been added with a blade-like component, which extends into the side intakes, made in the triangular shape.
The designers have completely remade underneath the air intakes areas to make the vehicle look more like Honda Civic Type R model.
At the rear end, the license plate recess was also changed to resemble the form of the front grille. Among other significant changes in the exterior is sporty diffuser that has three pieces and a bumper with enhanced width.
Overall, the exterior of the new CR-Z looks aggressive and sportier than any predecessor’s.
There are a number of noticeable changes found in the cabin of the vehicle, including front paneling, new materials for door handles, and center console.
The latter element has been especially highlighted by the automaker because it provided more space for storage in the compartment and more comfortable armrest solution.
This clearly says that Honda tries to enhance the comfort characteristics of the CR-Z, which is good because the cabin of the predecessor contained many elements that limited space, such as traditional level of the parking brake.
It was removed to be replaced with the new electric brake that certainly cleared more space and allowed increase the cargo volume and passenger volume to 25.1 cu ft and 49.1 cu ft respectively. Also, the steering wheel is now wrapped with leather and heated, which could also be said about the seats.
The automaker has taken care of high-tech needs of the customers as well. All CR-Z line-up will have a number of advanced features, such as Smart Entry, Start-Stop button, 7-inch touch screen display, voice recognition, Navigation system and many more others.
The infotainment screen functions like a tablet and has very crisp and vivid graphics to show numerous data for the driver and passenger. For music needs, the cabin occupants can use the premium sound system that has been installed on many current Honda models.
According to the manufacturer, the model will also get Honda Lane Watch system that allows viewing a wide-angle image of the passenger side roadway.
However, only premium trims will get this feature as standard, such as EX and EX-L. The latter version will also be equipped with the latest satellite navigation and digital traffic system.
To our surprise, the manufacturer has decided to go with the previous generation powertrain that includes the combination of the 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas unit and 15-kW electric. The latter is powered by the same 144-volt Lithium-ion battery pack.
There are, however, some new innovations provided. For example, the electric unit is able to act as a generator during braking and coasting, thus capturing energy to feed the battery through a new system.
Despite this addition, the performance figures of CR-Z remain unchanged.
Specifically, the two engines generate the same 130 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. This translates into the top speed of 125 miles per hour and ability to reach 60 miles per hour in 9.2 seconds with automatic transmission and 8.8 seconds with a manual. The drivers of CR-Z will get a chance to choose among the three primary drive modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport.
In terms of fuel economy, the vehicle needs 36 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway with the automatic transmission while the manual unit decreases these indicators to 31 and 38 respectively.
Sadly, this generation of CR-Z will not be quicker than the previous ones even with the sportiest look ever. Perhaps, Honda intends to gain the competitive advantage by providing a hybrid powertrain and unique looks.
According to the manufacturer, the model was built on the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure that is effective in protecting passenger and driver in the event of a frontal collision. Moreover, it has been designed to mitigate potential injuries to pedestrians.
The list of other safety features includes numerous airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, multi-angle rearview camera, Traction control system, Vehicle Stability Assist, anti-lock braking system, and occupant position detection unit. The premium trim levels, such as EX and EX-L, will have some advanced features, such as Honda Lane Watch system.
2016 Honda CR-Z Prices
Compared with the previous year’s model, the basic trim of the latest CR-Z with a manual gearbox increases the price to reach $29,290. The version with the automatic transmission will cost around $20,940.
A more advanced EX trim will also be provided with automatic and manual transmissions, the prices for which will start at $22,140 and $22,790 respectively.
The most expensive version of CR-Z, the EX-L Navi trim, will start from $24,440 with manual and $25,050 with automatic transmission.