2015 CR-Z: Honda's forgotten hybrid performance coupe [Video]
As with many car models heading to the halls of Honda history, 2015 CR-Z is arguably the best performing rendition of the critically panned Japanese build gasoline/electric hybrid sports-coupe built to date.
While not offering a full compliment of active safety features; as experienced behind the wheel of this car, 2015 CR-Z presents a drive and ride experience like no other car offered in North America today.
looking to CR-Z specifications, what one reads on paper doesn't translate into the actual experience one encounters behind the wheel of Honda’s only pocket-roadster - like offering. As found in the 2015 Honda Accord hybrid, CR-Z is a blast to drive!
Note: After driving CR-Z on several occasions, carefully weighing the attributes of this well built mini-coupe against the competition, and Honda’s current lineup, I’ve opted to generously sprinkle the word “Sport” throughout my verbal and written description of what is unfortunately the last *iteration, (this word bugs me) of this exceptionally well engineered Japanese 2 seat hybrid roadster.
No, you won’t find 200+ horsepower under the hood of 2015 CR-Z. However, the CR-Z EX with Navigation,(6 speed manual transmission) as viewed in the attached video, does produce 140 + lb-ft torque from 1,000 to 2,000 rpm.(low to mid-range) And with 50% or more battery module charge remaining, a Sport + button produces a turbo-like launch; for those drivers wishing to stomp on it a bit!
To put the CR-Z hybrid torque band into perspective, a comparably equipped, non-hybrid Honda Civic (1.8 Liter i-VTEC 4 cylinder gasoline) CVT or manual transmission, produces 129 lb-ft torque at 4300 rpm. The CR-Z difference, for the sport-driver, is experienced in the off the light launch, short wheel base,(-10 shorter than Civic ) shorter body length,(17 inches shorter than Civic coupe) and lighter GVW.( - 147lb)
So in short, 2015 CR-Z presents a Japanese-built, electric assist gasoline hybrid, with mini-coupe-like handling, larger car drive and ride characteristics, and a stand-out body design unique unto itself. So, what killed CR-Z sales in North America?
Price, availability, and a missing rear seat
2015 Honda CR-Z is a 2+2 configuration in all markets sans North America. In the U.S. it’s a dedicated 2 place, with ample rear deck storage, a great stash tray, quality interior fit, finish and a combined driving MPG of 37. The driving environment of CR-Z is comfortable and spacious, the ride, firm but not jarring; presenting ride stability and handling on par with many sports-cars on the market today.
Unfortunately, CR-Z has received a bum rap from the automotive press, sports an MSRP approaching that of Civic Si, and as stated earlier, seats two people. CR-Z is a niche vehicle. We drove it, we like it.
Watch Parks McCants drive 2015 CR-Z EX with navigation, and then follow up with the 2014 Honda Performance Development (HPD) 200 horsepower supercharged CR-Z.