The 2011 Honda CR-Z officially Ã‚Â goes on sale at the end of August this summer, with a starting price of $19,200USD. Anticipation for this car is huge, as the small, two seater hatchback instantly fires up memories of the well-loved Honda CRX. With the CR-Z, Honda promises a “driver-focused vehicle with an emphasis on efficient performance.” Roughly translated, Honda is telling you this is not the second coming of the autocross killer CRX Si. Think regular CRX or CRX HF. Motivation for the CR-Z comes from a 1.5L i-VTEC four. A six-speed manual (a first in a hybrid) or a CVT are your tranny choices.The car will offer a three mode drive system-Sport, Normal, or Econ.
With the CR-Z, Honda is taking a bit of a gamble. Honda has struggled with hybrid cars in comparison to Toyota, who more or less owns the hybrid market. The Garage sampled a Honda Insight EX last year, and while we found the car competent, it lacked the sporty handling we’ve come to expect from Honda. A fun to drive hybrid has yet to hit the streets, so it should be interesting to see if Honda can pull it off. My fear is that anyone old enough to remember the go kart like responses of the old CRX will walk away disappointed.
The Honda CR-Z will come in two models, base and EX. Mechanically, the two cars are identical, and both offer the six-speed manual or CVT. All prices are in US dollars.
CR-Z Base: $19,200 includes an AM/FM/CD/USB stereo with six speakers, auto climate control, power windows and locks, cruise control, remote entry and cruise control.
CR-Z EX: $20,760 adds a premium 360 watt stereo and a subwoofer, Bluetooth, and a leather wrapped steering wheel.
The CVT is a $650 option. Navigation with voice recognition is available on the EX only, and will set you back an extra $1,800.