2011 Honda CR-Z Review

Honda's latest hybrid, the 2011 CR-Z, attempts to be both sporty and a hybrid, and it has middling success at each.

When it goes on sale Aug. 24, the CR-Z will be the first hybrid in six model years to offer a manual transmission; it will also be available with a continuously variable automatic transmission. As the spiritual successor to the wedge-shaped CRX, produced from 1984 to '91, the two-door, two-seat CR-Z joins the five-seat Insight and Civic hybrids in Honda's semi-electric lineup. Final pricing hasn't been released, but Honda says the base CR-Z will cost less than $20,000 including the destination charge. The 2010 Insight is $20,550 with destination, and the Civic Hybrid starts at $24,550.

The CR-Z's higher trim level, the EX, adds features like Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum shift knob (manual), aluminum pedals, additional interior accents and a more powerful stereo with a subwoofer. The all-important analog and USB MP3-player inputs are standard in all trim levels.

A navigation system effectively creates another trim level, called EX Navi, which will top out at less than $24,000 including the optional CVT but with no further options. Options will include mostly exterior and interior cosmetic "accessories," but you can also get 17-inch summer tires in place of the standard 16-inch all-seasons.

I drove EX Navi versions, both manual and automatic.

See also:

Additional Information on Recommended Discs
The disc player/changer has a sophisticated and delicate mechanism. If you insert a damaged disc as indicated in this section, it may become stuck inside and damage the audio unit. Examples ...

Maintain a Proper Sitting Position
After all occupants have adjusted their seats and head restraints, and put on their seat belts, it is very important that they continue to sit upright, well back in their seats, with their fee ...

Checking Seat Belt Fit
When a child is too big for a child seat, secure the child in a rear seat using the lap/ shoulder seat belt. Have the child sit upright and all the way back, then answer the following question ...