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2016 CR-Z may be Honda’s most under appreciated driving machine

Sitting on display at Honda’s corner of the world’s largest aftermarket show was perhaps the most under appreciated car in Honda’s North American lineup.


For me, CR-Z Hybrid is Honda’s most underrated and arguably misunderstood car for several reasons. Despite the visual appeal of CR-Z's unique hatchback styling, the two place misses the mark in Honda-broad-market appeal.

Here’s the problem: looking to CR-Z specifications, the style implied message of 2-seat roadster fun is lost in the stated horsepower and torque rating. Driving CR-Z is a different matter, but few dealers stock the car and fewer consumers test drive one. We did, and here’s what I like about CR-Z, For me, the perfect motorcycle replacement.

A bolder look, yet same performance rating

for 2016 We find a mid cycle refresh of what we believe to be a driving bargain. CR-Z is fun to drive, skateboard easy to maneuver in traffic, effortless to park, and comes with Hybrid technology It also consistently achieves 35 plus MPG on surface streets. For buyers not requiring a rear seat, CR-Z is a viable sports-like driving experience.

New for 2016 is an aggressive nose forward Darth Vader kind of look, updated wheel styling, modified driving environment, hatch and rear glass upgrade and new color pallet. What hasn’t changed is the hybrid propulsion, drive train configuration, or gross horsepower and torque numbers.

When folks shopping for a car read 130 horsepower, they don’t get it. You may find those specifications here.

What’s Honda up to here...

We’re not sure what Honda’s logic is here. 2016 Honda CR-Z is manufactured in Japan as is the near future Civic Hybrid. 2015 finds CR-Z dead last in units sold, something that isn’t going to change with the new model year.

Rumor has it, as shared with us by this guy, next generation CR-Z may be Honda’s next high-performance plug in EV, featuring multiple electric motors, extended range battery module and Tesla-like speed, that would be cool.

In the meantime, we find CR-Z to be a fun to drive, comfortable and affordable 2-seater. While not the cheapest car in Honda’s stable, 2016 CR-Z will come to the game with superior standard features, decent fuel economy and that quirky little fun-feeling that comes for short spurts of EV-only driving.

2016 CR-Z comes to market as the only hybrid available in North America with a 6 speed close ratio manual transmission. Also new for 2016 is an EX-L with Navigation option, standard multiple angle backup camera, right-lane watch, touch screen center stack monitor, personal electronics connectability, 16 inch alloy wheels and more.

Available with manual or CVT transmission options though all trim variants, 2016 CR-Z carries an MSRP of $20,295 to $25,090 * CR-Z EX-L CVT with Navigation package plus all applicable dealership fees, licence and applicable sales tax. Check it out.