Honda CR-Z Review: 2010 Model | CR-Z | Car Buyers Guide

2010 Honda CR-Z Review

The green motoring revolution is here to stay, and even the most died-in-the-wool petrolheads are going to have to learn to live with it. Thankfully, after years of the worthy but dull Toyota Prius ruling the environmental roost, manufacturers are beginning to wake up to the fact that many people want to reduce their impact on their environment, but still want to enjoy driving their cars. With this in mind, Honda has now become one of the first to bring a fun, green car to market in the shape of its new CR-Z.


The model’s name is a clear reference to the fondly remembered CR-X coupé of the 1980s, which returned stellar fuel economy while still being an absolute hoot to drive. Modern safety requirements mean that making a car as light as the original CR-X is not as straightforward as it once was, so Honda focused on the drivetrain when it came to increasing efficiency. The CR-Z is a parallel hybrid, motivated by a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine working with an electric motor. The latter is primarily used to increase low-down torque and the CR-Z is expected to offer the sort of in-gear flexibility normally associated with turbocharged engines.


On paper, the CR-Z’s performance figures look a little disappointing – it takes nearly 10 seconds to reach 100km/h – but the aformentioned torqueiness should make the harsh revving and constant gearchanges normally required to make progress with a small-capacity petrol engine a thing of the past. And as anyone who has driven a Mazda MX-5, or indeed the original CR-X, knows, you don’t need big power to have fun on a back road, as long as you have a well-sorted chassis underneath you.


In this department, the CR-Z uses the same basic platform of its stablemate the Insight, but with a reduced wheelbase and numerous suspension modifications to improve handling and agility. It’s nice to hear that the engineers put considerable effort into ensuring a pleasing exhaust note for the CR-Z, and the presence of a proper, 6-speed manual gearbox, instead of some finicky semi-auto system, also bodes well for the CR-Z’s status as a driver’s car.


The CR-Z will initially be available in two trim levels in Ireland. The ‘Sport’ specification (€26,630) includes climate control, cruise control, parking sensors, a subwoofer and USB/iPod compatibility as standard, while the higher ‘GT’ spec (€29,400) adds a panarmoic glass roof, heated leather seats and a handsfree kit, among other goodies. Sales of these two models start on January 1, while an entry-level ‘S’ trim will follow in the spring.




Honda CR-Z



1.5-litre, petrol hybrid, 4-cylinder

Output @ rpm

124ps @ 6,100; 174Nm @ 1,000–1,500


6-speed manual, front-wheel drive


0–100km/h in 9.9s

Top speed




CO2 emissions


CO2 tax band

A (€104 p.a.)



Boot capacity






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