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Honda CR-Z

Honda CR-Z

Model/Engine size: GT 1.5-litre
Fuel: Petrol Electric Hybrid
Fuel economy combined: 56.5 mpg

The Honda CR-Z is the only hybrid on sale in the UK with a manual gearbox

The Honda CR-Z is the first sporty hybrid, offering fun along with 56.5 mpg and 117 g/km CO2.

The CR-Z has been eagerly awaited since the concept was first previewed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2007. Overall, the final production version looks similar, although it’s not quite as bold. It still retains its sporty, modern, wedge-shaped styling, influenced by the late-80s Honda CR-X, which gives it a unique personality.

The key thing about the CR-Z is that it’s a hybrid sports car, with a manual gearbox. It’s currently the only hybrid on sale in the UK with a manual ‘box, and Honda is able to mate this transmission with its IMA hybrid system more easily than Toyota can do with its system.

However, the CR-Z is not an ‘eco’-car, and it’s not a sports car; instead, Honda is aiming to strike a balance between these two things. On the official combined cycle, the CR-Z manages 56.5 mpg, with emissions of 117 g/km CO2. These are good figures for any car, but they are excellent for a ‘sporty’ model. The result is low road tax and company car tax, and low running costs. The CR-Z also produces 124 bhp, it has a top speed of 124 mph, and its 0-62 mph time is 9.9 seconds. Now it seems that the balance is skewed towards efficiency, as these figures are perhaps not what you’d expect from a sports car.

The CR-Z is a great concept; it’s fun to drive and it’s efficient . However because you think you’re in a sports car, you sometimes expect there to be just a bit more performance. So ultimately this car is a balancing act – or a compromise. You’re left wondering what would have happened if Honda had weighted the scales more towards the performance end, maybe added a turbo, and what will the car be like if/when higher performance versions appear.

In the meantime, we’re delighted that people who want a car that is fun, cool, compact, efficient and cheap to run have a new option to consider. Not only that, but the CR-Z really is a unique choice at the moment, and Honda should be applauded for that.

Fuel economy extra urban: 64.2 mpg
Fuel economy urban: 46.3 mpg
CO2 emissions: 117 g/km
Green rating: VED band C – £20
Weight: 1198 Kg
Company car tax liability (2010/11): 10%
Price: £19,999 (From £16,999 – £19,999)
Insurance group: 17
Power: 124 bhp
Max speed: 124 mph
0-62 mph: 9.9 seconds