So, you think you are in the market for a sport coupe hybrid; what are your choices?
Well, there really is only one on the market, and that is the Honda CR-Z. The 2012 model was sporty enough, and definitely a hybrid, but it was lacking in handling, and really, the EPA ratings were not that great compared to non-hybrids. The 2013, however, increased its EPA rating by a full one mph, and it revised its interior trim to give it a more luxurious look.
Chief competition comes from the Mini Cooper, which has better handling, and the Hyundai Veloster, which has better versatility. There is also the Chevy Sonic and the Ford Fiesta, both of which have strong points worth considering. In this crowded field, the Honda CR-Z just falls short of what it is aiming to be, so check out the competition before committing.
The CR-Z comes with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a total horsepower of 122. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and it is front-wheel drive. It can go from 0-60 in 8.8 seconds, faster than most in this class, and with the CVT transmission it adds time to 9.2 seconds. EPA estimates are 31/37, which is actually poorer than some non-hybrids in this field. All in all these are not impressive figures.
Standard equipment includes 16-inch wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, cloth upholstery, and a six-speaker audio system. You can upgrade and add xenon headlights, foglights, metallic interior trim, and Bluetooth if you should choose.
Probably the biggest negative about the CR-Z is the fact that the suspension is built for comfort, so that handling on corners gives a bit of a roller-coaster feel to it. In other words, it is quick and agile, but you might get motion-sickness while driving it. Add to that the fact that a hybrid should get better fuel economy; what’s the point in being a hybrid if non-hybrids get better fuel efficiency?
Having said all that, this is a Honda, and it is built to last, so you have superior craftsmanship going for you with a CR-Z, and replacement parts, although not cheap, are built to last as well. Because the CR-Z has been around a few years, you can find them at local salvage yards if you keep your eyes peeled for new arrivals. Considering the care taken in the production of each and every Honda part, this might be the best way to go when you need a replacement part.