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Honda CR-Z

CR-Z

Honda logo1 Dec 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

ALMOST two years after making its Japanese debut, Honda's hybrid-powered spiritual successor to the fondly-remembered CRX of the 1980s arrived in Australia with a two-variant line-up comprising the entry-level Sport model and top-spec Luxury variant.

Honda claimed a hybrid world first for the Sport variant's six-speed manual transmission but also offered the CR-Z with a CVT automatic with paddle-shifters that provided seven stepped ratios.

Both variants were motivated 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine combined with a 10kW/121Nm electric motor to produce 91kW of power and 174Nm of torque (dropping to 167Nm on CVT models).

Accelerating from 0-100km/h took about 9.7 seconds in the manual or 10.2 seconds with the CVT, while top speed was in the region of 200km/h.

Combined fuel economy on the manual was five litres per 100 kilometres, while the CVT was slightly more frugal at 4.7L/100km.

CO2 emissions were 118 grams per kilometre for the manual CR-Z, with the CVT emitting 111g/km.

All variants came with six airbags, active head restraints, seatbelt reminders, electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, while manuals also got hill-start assist.

The level of standard safety equipment combined with good crash-test performance earned the CR-Z a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, based on Euro NCAP test results.

Cloth-seated CR-Z Sport variants came fitted with climate-control air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control and rear parking sensors with visual notification via a small instrument cluster-mounted multi-function display.

Like the multi-function display, the Sport’s standard six-speaker MP3 and USB-compatible CD sound system and Bluetooth phone connectivity were controlled via the multi-function steering wheel.

In addition to a standard CVT automatic, the Luxury variant added leather upholstery and heating for the front seats, satellite-navigation with SUNA traffic updates, Bluetooth audio streaming, a DVD player, panoramic glass roof and reversing camera.

The tiny, token rear seats folded flat to expand the CR-Z's modest 225-litre boot capacity to a more useful 401 litres, which Honda claimed to be sufficient for two golf bags.

Five exterior colours were available, comprising black, turquoise, red, white and silver.

When it was new

Honda models