All photos by Honda
The CR-Z is Honda's two seat hybrid sports car with Motor Assist (IMA) gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain technology and an eye catching design. After a week behind the wheel of the 2011 CR-Z 3DR EX Navi we found a lot to like.
You really have to do a double take when you initially see the 2011 CR-Z 3DR EX Navi. The car looks like the offspring of the Insight and the venerable Honda CRX. Our test model was North Shore Blue sporting 16-inch alloy wheels with P195/55 R16 all-season tires, heated power door mirrors with turn indicators, high intensity discharge headlights, fog lights, LED brake lights and remote entry with security system. The CR-Z EX engaged admirers to ask questions about the car. We heard plenty of descriptions like "cute" and "cool" from a wide ranging demographic. Basically this is a fun car that also gets plenty of attention.
Once you enter the cabin of the 2011 CR-Z 3DR EX Navi the feel is more sports than economy, and we give Honda plenty of credit for that. The interior of our model was loaded with options, including Honda navigation system with voice recognition, 360-watt AM/FM/CD premium audio system with 7 speakers including subwoofer and MP3/WMA playback, leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum shift knob, steering wheel mounted controls, MP3 auxiliary input jack, ISB audio interface, Bluetooth hands free link, automatic climate control with air filtration system, ECO assist indicators, 12 volt power outlet and aluminum pedals. The cockpit has been compared to that of an airplane and even high end sports cars. Basically you have a very modern dashboard and overall cabin in the 2011 CR-Z 3DR EX Navi which received an overall favorable response from our staff. There is plenty of room for the driver and passenger with significant storage behind the seats and in the trunk space.
The CR-Z is powered by a 1.5-liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine with Integrated Motor Assist IMA®. This combination delivers both spirited performance rarely seen in the hybrid world and impressive fuel economy. Our 6-speed manual transmission delivered 32 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on the highway. The battery pack, positioned low in CR-Z's body structure for optimal center of gravity, supplies juice to the Integrated Motor Assist system, giving the CR-Z abundant low-rpm torque for quick off-the-line acceleration. This is an attribute unique to electric motors and something the CR-Z would not benefit from with just the conventional engine. There are also three driving modes to choose from: Normal, Economy and Sport. When choosing the sport mode you are maximizing the performance of what's under the hood so you can image we spent most of our time in the 2011 CR-Z 3DR EX Navi in sport mode. Economy mode maximizes efficiency but does take some power off the table. The electric power assisted rack and pinion steering enables the driver to feel like no turn is out of the question and the VSA - vehicle stability assist worked great in wet road conditions.
The 2011 CR-Z 3DR EX Navi can represent numerous things to different drivers. This car can be an efficient choice for those looking for maximum fuel economy. At a price of about $23,000 the car is affordable yet stylish. This car can also be a two seat sports car and when driving in sport mode with the 6-speed manual transmission the 2011 CR-Z 3DR EX Navi will satisfy many sports car shoppers. For the rest of us, this car is priced reasonably, has great styling, and sips the fuel between the gas and electric options. The target demographic for the all new 2011 CR-Z 3DR EX Navi can expand as more Americans learn about this offering from Honda. We really enjoyed the handling, looks and efficiency that the 2011 CR-Z 3DR EX Navi offered and expect to see this two-seater often.
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