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Honda CR-Z 2014 Review

There’s something very likeable about the CR-Z that’s hard to quantify.
EXPERT RATING
7
Despite looking very much a modern day CR-X, the Honda CR-Z swaps its late-80s forebear's high-rev performance for the green cred of a hybrid drivetrain.

Despite looking very much a modern day CR-X, the Honda CR-Z swaps its late-80s forebear's high-rev performance for the green cred of a hybrid drivetrain.

However unlike any other hybrid to date, the CR-Z is available with a manual transmission – guaranteeing at least a degree of driver engagement over the regular hybrid humdrum.

With relatively modest outputs though, is the CR-Z a sports car or is it an efficiency-hero hybrid?

DESIGN

Like all good sports cars, the CR-Z’s driving position is excellent. Its nicely bolstered seats can be set quite low with a great leather steering wheel and the six speed manual has a great throw, and is located right where you want it.

It may not look like it but there’s a pair of seats in the back. These are really only suitable for small children though, and only when they’re sitting behind small adults.

VALUE

Thankfully for the CR-Z’s $38,490 outlay, it comes fully stocked with features. Highlights include leather trim, seat heaters, a fixed glass roof, climate control, satnav and reversing camera, DVD and Bluetooth, and 17-inch alloys.

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

The hybrid drivetrain is made up of a 1.5-litre petrol engine tied directly to a small electric motor, which results in a good but not great combined figure of 5.3L/100km for the six-speed manual.

Total outputs are just 100kW and 190Nm, which limit 0-100km/h acceleration for the 1176kg CR-Z to about 9.0seconds – or about 2 seconds slower than a much cheaper Hyundai Veloster Turbo.

A more efficient CVT auto version is also available, but it loses 1kW and 18 Nm and is slower again, but uses 0.3L/100km less fuel.

SAFETY

The CR-Z carries a maximum five star ANCAP safety rating, with dual front, side and curtain airbags, ABS, EBD, stability control and front seatbelt pretentioners.

DRIVING

What the CR-Z lacks in outright grunt, it makes up for in around town fun.

The hybrid setup means it produces all of its torque straight off idle, so it feels a lot stronger than you’d think off the line or darting for a gap in traffic.

As a result, the CR-Z consistently shows its strengths in day-to-day urban or city environments.

To get the absolute best out of the CR-Z, you can pop it into sport mode, which sharpens the throttle response, stiffens the steering, and gives you more of the electric motor.

As far as manuals go, this one’s very easy to use, and the engine’s torque makes it that much harder to pick the wrong gear.

It’s a ripper little handler, with sweet steering and a chassis that could handle a lot more power.

Pricing guides

$14,565
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$11,200
Highest Price
$17,930

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Hybrid 1.5L, Hyb/ULP, CVT AUTO $12,400 – 17,930 2014 Honda CR-Z 2014 Hybrid Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Malcolm Flynn
CarsGuide Editor

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Pricing Guide

$11,200

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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