Pros A two seater (I like this), large cargo area, very good mileage for a "sporty" car - better than most small cars (without the tin-can factor), corners great - it gently suggest that "you could take corner a little faster...," A JOY TO DRIVE!
Cons Limited rear visibility (you'll get used to it - get those little mirrors on both standard side mirrors and no more blind spot changing lanes), a little extra road noise ( Zeabart sound treatment fixed that for me).
Summary I have the 6 seed Manual and have over 4,000 miles on it now. My overall average - city and highway - is 43mpg. I have gotten as good as 47mpg on a tank and as bad as 39 on a tank.
NO, it is not a Proche 911, nor is it a Prius. It is peppy, it corners like it is on rails, it is solid and fun and sexy. When I want some power, it is there, when I want to save on my commute, I can.
If you drive like an auto reviewer or speed enthusiast you"ll get mpg in the low 30's and be disappointed with the amount of power. If you aren't looking for a street racer and you aren't a professional auto magazine reviewer, go drive one - you'll love it.
Pros Dramatic Styling, easy to do better than EPA estimates, great combination of features for price
Cons Car is sportier looking than it's performance potential, twist beam rear axle
Summary Well, a quick look at EPA.gov and their list of fuel economy leaders for the 2011 model year, there are only four other cars that get better gas mileage than the Honda CR-Z (with auto). These include the Toyota Prius (a hybrid) at 51/48, the Ford Fusion Hybrid at 41/36, the Honda Civic Hybrid at 40/43, and the Honda Insight (another hybrid) at 40/43. I don't see how any rational person can say that the fifth most fuel efficient vehicle in the country is not " fuel efficient enough".
The flip side to the "not fuel efficient enough" argument is the "it's not sporty enough" argument. Honda introduced the CR-Z as a "sporty hybrid" and I think this is the source of most of the discontent. Many of the car reviews complain about the CR-Zs somewhat lackluster ~9 second 0 to 60 times. I've owned S2000s and 2 MR-2s (turbo and SC) so I think it's safe to say that we know what a (relatively) fast car is. However, there was a lot fun to be had in the S2000 at speeds well below its capabilities. When you ask yourself "why is that" I think you find that a "fun to drive" car does not have to be a fast car (although fast cars are typically fun to drive). I don't believe that Honda is deluding themselves and suggesting that the CR-Z is a fast car, however, I do think that it lives up to its billing as a "fun car". The low seating position, quick steering (12.8:1 ratio) , slick shifting manual transmission all combine with that hard to define, "Hondaness" to make it rewarding for a driver.
So while I'll be the first to admit that no car is ever perfect, the CR-Z manages to combine above average fuel economy with an ever so difficult to describe, "fun factor". And, it does it at a reasonable price. Our manual transmission EX has a list price of $21,655 and we paid a little less than that. Features such as xenon high intensity discharge headlights, the six speed manual, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod connectivity, fog lights, automatic climate control, and active head restraints with six air bags are all standard features. Combine that with (expected) Honda quality and I think we have a great little package.
Pros Great styling, dashboard is clean, easy to use and everything is right where it needs to be.
Cons Very bad blind spots. Could use a slightly sportier suspension.
Summary While this is not the best fuel economic hybrid out there... it is by far the best looking and to my most fun to drive. I owned a mini cooper s before this with its query dashboard layout which was great but after a while gets old. The CR-Z's dash had everything right there, easy to use nothing complicated at all. The drive is smooth but I wish it had a sportier suspension to power through the corners a little closer to what I could in the mini. As far as the power train I love it... for being as low horsepower as the car is I dont find myself aching for more. It feels just right especially for every day driving that I want to be saving on fuel. If I want to tool around the car definitely has the ability to do so. Bottom-line is I think its a fabulous looking car and a great attempt at a hybrid sports car that most everyone could easily afford. I applaud Honda for this car and expect to get alot of enjoyment out of it for years to come.
Pros Great style, fun to drive, very good gas mileage without the turbo or need for premium fuel. If you're trying to save money on gas, a Cooper S requires premium and doesn't match the Z's mpg. And not expensive for all this. Plenty of interior space.
Cons Engine "rubberbands" at times, especially starting from dead stop. Poor side & read visibility. This car really needs a full-time rear and side display.
Summary This is a fun car to drive. It's not a race car, it's a sporty hybrid. Honda has made a car that caters to the cool style crowd but don't care about driving a autocross racer on the street. It's a generally fun commuter car with some nods to those that would like to take it on short excursions with out too much baggage. Max load is 400 lbs, which leaves about 40 lbs. of luggage with my wife and I along for the ride.
Road noise is somewhat high and the engine noise is definitely with you - except when the auto-off feature kicks in. But this car brings me back to the days of my 1970 Opel Kadette Rallye with its 10 gal. tank and and easy 30 mpg on the highway. But the tech advancements of this modern car are well worth (relative) the small price of it. The Opel was only $2,000!
Bottom line is I'm looking forward to driving this every day. All though I've had it only a week and a half the readout shows I'm averaging 35.4 mpg in mixed Eco and Normal mode (with one surge to Sport to pass a couple of cars on a two lane road.) I love this car.
Pros Stylish and eco-friendly
Cons The sport option dramatically reduces MPG..
Summary Great overall eco-sports car.
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