It’s safe to say that there’s no way to have the best of both worlds: if you’re going for an economical hybrid, you can’t really expect to get off-the-charts acceleration and top speed along with it. Top-class fuel-efficiency just doesn’t go hand to hand with strong performance (well, unless you’re going for the latest Tesla or Porsche models). However, If you want to give a shout out to Honda for trying to do that on a low budget with the latest Honda CR-Z 2016, you’re more than welcome. It’s a small, lightweight, sneaky and nimble hybrid with a sporty attitude that’s super-quick in those turns and corners; and you won’t have a problem parking it in those cramped parking lots. The attractive exterior design, along with the up-to-date and cool dashboard make the brand-new CR-Z one of the most beautiful and affordable sporty cars on the market. With a starting price-tag of 20.2K MSRP, you’ve got yourself a pretty sweat deal. The higher trims are quite low-budget as well: the second level, EX, is worth 22.1K, while the ultimate trim, EX-L Navi, can be yours for just 24.4K.
Fuel-Efficiency – Decent For A Compact, Low For A Hybrid
Still, there are a couple of downsides to it, mainly the not-that-impressive mileage. Despite the fact that it’s a compact hybrid, the Honda CR-Z 2016 returns only 38 miles per gallon on the highway and 31MPG in the city (34MPG combined). That’s pretty good for a traditional gas-powered car (and for the competing sport-compact cars), but not for a hybrid – the competition can easily achieve 40MPG combined and higher. Speaking of the powertrain, let’s take a look at the engine. So, under that sleek hood we’ve got a gas-electric hybrid tech that mates a 1.5-lit 4-cyl engine with an electric motor, and together they pump out 130 Horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. As for the transmission, you’ve got a choice between a 6-speed manual and a continuously variable one (CVT). Keep in mind that the torque will drop to 127 with the CVT. By the way, you’ve got a 3-mode selector that allows you to pick between, well, three driving modes – Normal, Econ and Sport.
Honda CR-Z 2016 – Class-Leading Acceleration And Tech-Savvy
On the race-track the brand-new Honda CR-Z 2016 with the manual transmission goes from zero to 60 miles per gallon in 8.8 seconds, while the model with the CVT does the same in 9.2 seconds. That’s more than impressive in the segment of hybrids, but not even close to the real sport compact cars. So, as mentioned before, you’ve got a choice between 3 trim levels – LX, EX and EX-Navi. The entry-level LX comes pretty well-packed and offers 16-inch (alloy) wheels, cruise control, (automatic) climate control, keyless ignition/entry, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touch screen display, Bluetooth/USB connections, a 6-speaker sound-system, and more. The next trim up the ladder – EX – comes with LED daytime running lights/fog lights, a 7-speaker sound-system and blind-spot monitoring, to name a few. The highest level – EX-Navi – offers all of the features listed above plus heated front seats, leather upholstery, navigation (satellite-linked) and High-Def. radio.
Quite a pack, if you ask me; again, for a price-tag of just under 25K you’ll get yourself a stylish, fuel-efficient and tech-packed hybrid compact car. On the road the Honda CR-Z 2016 feels awesome, thanks to small dimensions and quick, responsive steering. However, don’t push it too hard in those tight spots, ’cause you can lose control of the car. Furthermore, the engine is a bit too noisy to my liking. Still, that doesn’t make this upscale baby any less attractive.
Check this video review and test-drive of Honda CR-Z 2016: