2011 Honda CR-Z
Here at High Gear Media, we've followed the launch of the 2011 Honda CR-Z two-seat hybrid sports car with great interest.
In name, it's a reincarnation of the much-loved 1984-1992 CRX two-seater. In shape and technology, though, it's as reminiscent of the first-generation 1999-2006 Honda Insight as it is of the CRX.
We just spent a long weekend and 420 miles with the CR-Z, and we liked it.
We enjoyed our drive and the 2011 CR-Z defininitely delivered on its promise of fun yet frugal performance: Our gas mileage averaged 37.7 miles per gallon over the complete test.
That compares to EPA ratings of 31 city, 37 highway with a six-speed manual transmission, or 35/39 with the continuously variable transmission. Those are lower than the 2010 Honda Insight, rated at 40/43 mpg, but the few extra dollars per month in gasoline are more than outweighed by the CR-Z's much higher fun-to-drive quotient.
It's not a true sports car like the 2010 Mazda Miata (or the Chevrolet Corvette, or any $100,000-plus Italian exotic), but then it wasn't necessarily meant to be. And we suspect the tuner industry will quickly offer up a whole raft of performance and handling upgrades to make it much sportier.
The 2011 CR-Z has its quirks--any hybrid does, and the CR-Z adds a few of its own--but the small size, relatively tight handling, and generally cheerful character made it the kind of car people tend to like despite its quirks. It went on sale a week ago today.
More impressive than its size
The 2011 Honda CR-Z turned many more heads than we'd expected, and elicited frequent questions from former CRX owners and other interested parties.
It doesn't look as small as it is, and the truncated, very high tail and roofline combine with the lengthy hood to give it unique and distinctive proportions. Especially from the rear, it's more old Insight than older CR-X, but we think the combination works well.