Great car for commuters
By DougCRZ on Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,600
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Fuel efficient, fun to drive, great stylin"
Cons: "doors swing really wide."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"If you are researching this car like I did, you have probably read many mediocre reviews. But the concept of a "sport hybrid" really got my attention, so I took it for a test drive anyway. And I'm glad I did.
I owned a 2009 VW Passat with a 2.0 turbo, 5 seats and 200 hp. It was a great car but the maintenance got expensive for the German engineering. So I set out to shop for a new vehicle. I was looking for a car that is fun to drive, great on gas mileage, and something more reliable than the Germans. What would fit the bill better than a sport hybrid from Honda?
Most online editor reviews are written by captain obvious. I KNOW it is a 2 seater. I KNOW it's not a sport car. I KNOW it is a small car. And I can care less about the specs. What I really care about is how I feel when I drive it. And that was the reason I bought it.
Let's start with the exterior. It is totally a personal preference. I think the CR-Z looks very sporty and futuristic. LED running light and HID headlights really add to the styling. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, CR-Z really reminds me of the old CR-X that i couldn't afford in high school.
The interior. The gauges looks like something out of a Sci Fi movie. It is very futuristic which match the the theme of the car. Although I found the instrument panel was a little busy at first, I got used to it after a day of driving and found Honda really put in some thought into it. While the design of the car makes you want to drive it like a formula one, the color changing gauge and information display really motivate you to be fuel efficient without being annoying. The layout of the dash, from the AC to the sound system, is very intuitive overall. The passenger compartment is am lot roomier than the exterior may suggest.
For me, I drive by myself 90% of the time, 10% with my girlfriend or a friend, and I don't remember the last time a human being sitting in the backseat of my old car. Cargo room is plenty on the CR-Z. I manage to put a large north face duffle bag, a messenger bag, and some random stuff in the back with room to spare. A week worth of groceries is definitely not an issue. The seat while being bucket style, offer good support and comfort.
Performance. It all depends on your expectations. For me, I was looking for a fun commuter. Coming from a full size turbo charged sedan, the CR-Z does not feel underpowered at all... when you put it in Sport mode. 130 horse power may sound really boring but with the assist of the electric motor, the car feels a lot faster than you may expect. The electric motor almost gives it a turbo like feeling at the traffic light. When you put it in sport mode, it feels like a totally different car. The steering tightens up, the motor revs up a lot quicker, and even the exhaust note got throatier and it doesn't sound out of breath at high RPM. My commute consist of about 10-15 minutes of twisty back road and driving my car in sport mode really make my daily commute a little more fun. Driving in normal mode, the car almost feel like cheap sedan like a Versa, or Yaris. It's very fuel efficient in normal or eco mode, but very boring. I can only recommend using it in heavy traffic or long highway stretch.
The suspension is tight but adequately soaks up potholes. There is very little body roll during cornering, well, at least compare to a sedan.
It's just fun enough for everyday driving.
Fuel efficiency. I have no idea how some reviews reported only 20s in city and 30s on highway. They must beat the heck out of their demos. I like to drive fast and I get consistently 32-34 mpg local and at least 46 on the highway.
All I can say is, you got to know what you want. If you want a 2 seater pure sport car buy a miata. If you want to save the planet by getting 50+ mpg, get a prius. If you are like me, want to save gas while still have fun driving, CR-Z is perfect for you. Speaking of the miata, I think both are quite similar in terms of handling and power. Of course, CR-Z is a lot more practical and fuel efficient."
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