2011 Honda CR-Z: 2-Seat Gasoline Electric Hybrid Sport Coupe
Early in 2011, my husband and I purchased a Honda CR-Z. If you haven’t heard of them, it’s because there aren’t many on the road. The salesman told us… I know, he is a salesman; he is supposed to make it sound good... Anyway, he told us that there was to be a very limited production number of this model of car. That is supposed to make it more valuable… more special. But it’s a special car to me without all that sales talk.
You see, it’s a fun little car to drive. It replaced my car, but my husband and I both call “dibs” on driving it for the day. Ultimately, whoever has to drive further is the lucky one to get this sporty little car. Hmmmm… You know … It’s amazing how I suddenly have to make these long trips across town, across the state …
What makes this car so special? To begin with, it’s a gasoline-electric hybrid. But don’t let that fool you. It provides a super sporty performance despite its hybrid technology. It's equipped with a 3-mode driving system:
3-Mode Drive System
It’s this 3-mode drive system that allows me to create my own unique driving experience – based on road conditions, or just plain personal preference. The 3-mode drive system makes the CR-Z a very versatile and fun little car to drive, and gives the driver full control over their driving experience. It’ll make you feel young again!
In sport mode, you really feel one with the vehicle. It allows you to enjoy the performance of the car to the fullest extent possible. The steering feels more responsive –firmer and more direct. During sport mode, the electric motor is used more aggressively to provide quicker acceleration and throttle response. And, the tachometer lights up red to give you that feeling of power! It really hugs the road and is especially fun on a curvy stretch of road.
In normal mode, the steering is what you would expect. It has a nice acceleration feel that’s between sport and economy. And the tachometer lighting transitions from blue to green as driving efficiency increases. Normal mode is the default mode that the car starts up in.
Economy mode is where you want to be if you want to drive efficiently and maximize your mpg. It has smooth acceleration (but not sluggish) with a very low engine rpm. This car even optimizes your air conditioner for higher fuel efficiency. The tachometer lighting transitions from blue to green as driving efficiency increases in this driving mode also.
Racing Inspired Paddle Shifters
The CR-Z is a 2-seat sport coupe. I’m told it’s even more fun to drive with the 6-speed manual transmission. It’s pretty darn fun without it! It is the only hybrid available with a stick shift.
It has racing inspired paddle shifters right on the steering column. Using these paddles, you are able to shift through seven simulated gear ratios at will, another way of providing the ultimate customizable driving experience.
My husband and I have a hard time finding a car that we both like to drive – since there is over a foot difference in our height. But the CR-Z works very well for us because it has an adjustable tilt, a telescopic steering column, along with an inflatable seat height adjustment. We are both able to find the perfect driving position that fits us just right.
It has an expandable 25.1 cubic ft. cargo area with a cover to hide the contents from prying eyes.
A Really Smart Car!
The dashboard displays provide the driver with real-time feedback. One of the displays, the Eco-assist™, teaches you how the car likes to be driven. It does this by providing information about how you are driving and how that driving is affecting the mpg, so that adjustments can be made.
The dashboard also has an information display that can be toggled through on the steering wheel or on the instrument panel. This display shows:
- IMA system power flow indicator
- Eco-Guide and Eco-Scoring
- Digital fuel-mileage indicator
- Average fuel economy indicator
- Average speed and elapsed time indicators
- Miles to empty indicator
- Exterior temperature indicator
- Oil life indicator
- Customizable settings
What are the drawbacks?
Let’s look at the drawbacks. Some people may consider the fact that it’s a 2-seater to be a drawback, but if you only need room for one or two, it’s not a drawback at all.
The mileage may not be as good as you would expect from a hybrid: 35 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. However, we are seeing slightly better than that.
Side visibility was a major problem, but we were able to solve that by purchasing small mirrors that we mounted on the side mirrors. (see picture) These mirrors were in the Wal-Mart auto section and were less than $3, and they work really well!
Check It Out for Yourself!
To explore the CR-Z in-depth, click here, and then in the center of your screen, under CR-Z digital brochure, click on the link to check it out on your computer. As you move through the digital brochure by clicking on the right and left arrows, be sure to click on the pulsing circles to get more details about the car. The sound effects that go with the digital brochure are pretty awesome also.
"...a blast to drive..."
Having said all that, let’s look at what some of the experts are saying about the CR-Z. “ …a blast to drive when the road throws twists and turns your way.” “Many drivers will experience better that the EPA’s estimated mpg while driving in economy and normal modes.” And, “The CR-Z brings the idea of the iconic CR-X of the ‘80’s into the current era … the CR-Z is more refined and powerful, with one of the best mpg numbers available today."
Me? I say, “It’s a great little car! All this with a starting MSRP less than $20K. I wanna drive!”
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2011 Cindy Murdoch
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