The 2015 Honda CR-Z Isn’t The Most Refined Hybrid But It Shows Us The Future

Trying to create a hybrid which will actually be good enough to attract younger buyers, Honda revealed the so called “sport hybrid coupe” dubbed the CR-Z back in 2010. The dawn of small hybrids was just beginning and besides the CR-Z the world received a few other small hybrid hatchbacks, but this one from Honda should have been a car mated with teen emotions and coolness factor of a true sports cars. The CR-Z was supposed to deliver the newest technology to the low end market in a highly appealing and almost sporty three door package. At first, Honda did well. First batch of orders exceeded everyone’s expectations but such demand did not remain as high for too long. Soon, Honda found itself fighting for every buyer and production of the CR-Z almost comes to a halt.

After the markets in the US and in other parts of the world recovered, the CR-Z became a self-sustainable sports hybrid which lived enough to experience the introduction of the 2015 model year. The 2015 Honda CR-Z isn’t any different from before. Basically, everything was simply carried over from the 2013 Honda CR-Z which was actually the only one updated since the introduction in 2010.

2015 Honda CR-Z Gear Knob

Being a sports hybrid, the 2015 Honda CR-Z received the classic hatchback coupe look influenced by similarly styled coupes from other manufacturers. However, the look of the car isn’t the most appealing part. Even though it was designed with younger buyers in mind, the Honda CR-Z was supposed to show the world that the existence of mildly hybridized cheap cars can be achieved. The entry level car in the US thus costs less than 20 grand which is a staggeringly low price for a hybrid. While the CR-Z was praised for its steering input, exceptional fuel economy and elegantly sculpted body, its main drawbacks are the two seat layout (while all of its counterparts have back seats), its close ties with the Honda Insight and poor rear visibility.

Interestingly, the Honda CR-Z wasn’t built from the ground up. The car is heavily based on the other Honda hybrid the Insight which means it received the same power plant as the small family car. The hybrid system is based on the 1.5 liter naturally aspirated engine complemented with a small electric engine delivering 20 HP. The 2013 Honda CR-Z actually received a power hike of 8 HP thus bringing the maximum power of the system to 130 HP. That is not much by any means, but with a manual transmission (yes, this hybrid has a manual tranny) the CR-Z can accelerate to 60 in 8.8 seconds while returning 37 mpg.

Obviously, there are some other similarly sized cars which provide a bit better performance and similar fuel efficiency values, but the fact is that the 2015 Honda CR-Z is something special. It isn’t just like any other car on the road and it finally gives us a glimpse of the easily attainable hybrid future. While it isn’t the most refined car, it definitely is one of the better equipped as it features standard equipment such as keyless entry, hill-start assist, cruise control, climate control, adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth connectivity, six-speaker sound system, multifunction steering-wheel, iPod/USB audio interface and much more.

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