The 2015 Honda CR-Z is a car that promises a lot, but delivers only enough to get by. It’s a small and relatively un-sporty vehicle (despite trying to be sporty), which means that it’s unclear as to who is its intended customer. However, it does succeed when it comes to efficiency and features, since the numbers in both cases are rather solid.
The 2015 Honda CR-Z is most certainly not a car for everyone, which means that it targets a very specific group of car buyers. The problem is that this hatchback has never really found its true customer base. Honda always intended for it to be sporty and fuel-efficient, but that’s not necessarily what the CR-Z delivers because it tries to fit into two completely different categories. Another issue is that it’s also a two-seater that doesn’t provide much space, which is sure to deter plenty of car buyers. It’s as if it wants to appeal to a buyer that simply does not exist.
When it comes to exterior design, the CR-Z takes cues from three different cars: the 1983-1991 CR-X two-seat hatchback, the 1999-2006 Insight two-seat hybrid coupe and the subsequent Insight five-door hatchback. By blending all of these styles into one, the CR-Z manages to be a vehicle that offers minimal aerodynamic drag, while being far more crash-resistant than the CR-X. The CR-Z also has a tall hatchback tail with a vertical glass panel for better rear visibility, which it borrowed from the CR-X and the original Insight. This car is not exactly attractive, but it does have a mildly sporty presence to it. It definitely won’t right at you in the looks department.
On the inside, the 2015 CR-Z is well-made, but it can only fit in two people and a small amount of luggage. As such, it is probably better for two-person commutes, but a longer trip might prove to be a little more taxing. That said, the seats are supportive and well-bolstered, which makes them comfortably even for taller drivers. The seating position is lower than in almost any other vehicle on the road – aside from a supercar. Since there isn’t much adjustability, sitting in these seats can cause backaches. The overall space is crammed too despite that fact that the seats themselves are wide, which means that your knees will continuously interact with other objects in the car, including the person next to you. The cargo area behind those seats for a narrow hatch opening is narrow, while its load floor has a high liftover. The amount of cargo space sits at 25.1 cubic feet, which may sound like a lot, but trust us when we say this – it’s not enough to carry even a mid-size bag.
The features within the cabin are a little more appealing since the EX model comes with a proper navigation system. It has a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, along with voice recognition, Pandora internet radio and an SMS messaging system. This trim also offers a powerful 360-watt stereo system with seven speakers, including a subwoofer.
Under the hood, the CR-Z has a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine and a 15-kilowatt (20-horsepower) electric motor that sits between the engine and transmission. In combination, the two produce 130 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain can be connected to a six-speed manual gearbox increases the CR-Z’s sport capabilities, but at the cost of efficiency – with a combined rating of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres. You can also for a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which comes with paddle shifters for simulated "upshifts" and "downshifts" to get more power out of the engine. The combined fuel economy rating with this transmission is 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres.
As cruel as it may sound, the 2015 Honda CR-Z is the kind of that nobody really wants. It does have its perks, such as decent fuel economy and nice tech features, but there are many detriments that make this vehicle too impractical. However, since it’s not a terrible car overall, we won’t tell you to avoid it altogether. It just might not align with your wants and needs – that’s all.
2015 Honda CR-Z
Reviewed by Unhaggle on .
Rating: 7.2 / 10
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|6MT||$22,890||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|CVT||$24,190||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Premium 6MT||$25,390||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Premium CVT||$26,690||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Number of Doors||3|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
The 2015 Honda CR-Z is a small, tossable two-seat hatchback that's not quite a sports car. It's also not quite an efficiency champ, which is pretty much the summary of its problems: It tries to be two things and succeeds at neither.
The CR-Z's powertrain is similar to that used in the Honda Civic Hybrid: a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a 15-kilowatt (20-horsepower) electric motor sandwiched between engine and transmission. It's rated at 130 horsepower combined, with torque of 140 lb-ft. Its most interesting feature may be the "Plus Sport System," which lets the driver press a "S+" button on the steering wheel to deliver an extra jolt of electric torque for up to 5 seconds (if the lithium-ion battery has sufficient charge).
Read more on The Car Connection.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
The 2015 Honda CR-Z is nice enough inside, with a well-made interior, assuming you don't want to carry more than two people and a limited amount of luggage. It probably works best as a one-person commuter vehicle, as space on a long trip would become a problem.
The seats are supportive and well bolstered, and accommodate even taller drivers. The seating position is low, perhaps lower than almost any other vehicle on the road short of a supercar. But two of our test drivers suffered back-aches within 90 minutes in the seats because of a lack of adjustability. The seats are hemmed in by the rear bulkhead, so they can't be moved in any direction as much as some would like. And although the CR-Z is wide, two tall people may still find their knees touching. The passenger has to keep his left leg clear of the manual transmission shift lever, otherwise the driver ends up whacking it into his knee. Over and over and over.
Read more on The Car Connection.
The 2015 Honda CR-Z is not exceptional as far as safety features go, but it does its job as well as it possibly can. Its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration overall score is at four stars – one start below a perfect score.
The features that can be found in the hybrid hatchback include four-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control, integrated turn signal mirrors, four-wheel ABS, brake assist, daytime running lights, traction control and six airbags.