Honda CR-Z: Spotted

Older readers might remember how in the 1980s we lusted after a new breed of smaller, more affordable, performance cars. Pocket-rockets like the VW Golf GTI and the Peugeot 205 GTi, with some more left-field thinkers directing their attentions towards the likes of the Renault 5 GT Turbo, the Vauxhall Astra GTE and the Fiat Strada Abarth - or even the Uno Turbo.

Then quietly, almost discreetly, Honda entered the fray. Not with a hot hatchback but with a two-plus-two coupe of pleasing looks and even more pleasing dimensions. Called the CR-X, this low-slung wedge was a tiny jewel of a thing, a nimble machine with a typically lively Honda engine up front and some intelligent engineering underneath. Performance was pretty decent, but even more impressive was how it responded to the throttle - it went like the clappers. In time it was replaced by a Mk2 version that was even nicer to drive and just as responsive. Then, alas, after a brief and rather unsuccessful fling as a targa in its Mk3 variant, it eventually passed away.

Its legacy lives on, however, in the CR-Z, a curious petrol-electric hybrid confection that Honda launched in 2010. This combined a 1.5-litre four-pot with an electric motor, which then drove the front wheels through a six-speed transmission. The silhouette may be bloated (which car's isn't these days?) but the influence of the first two CR-Xs is clear and, despite its eco-respectability, at least a little of the old spark remains.

Indeed, its performance might not set you on fire - 0 to 60mph in 9.9 secs and a top speed of 124mph - but the chassis was well balanced and it felt light on its toes through the bends, if ultimately a little understeery. In theory it was good for a claimed average fuel consumption of 56.5mpg, too.

In its day, 2010 to 2015, it was also a bit pricey, which may have been the final nail in the coffin for those who weren't quite sure what to make of it. Now, though, it begins to look like a bit of a bargain.

Consider for example this one we found in the PH classifieds. Admittedly, it's done 61,000 miles, but what the heck, it's a Honda, so it'll probably last many times that amount. It's also only £5,295, which for this semi-spicy, quasi-ecomentalist, Honda seems rather good - just don't tell any keen drivers it shared a platform with the Insight and the Jazz hybrid!

: 1,497cc, four-cylinder and electric motor
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 122@6,100rpm
Torque (lb ft): 128@1,000-1,500rpm
MPG: 56.5
CO2: 116g/km
First registered: 2011
Recorded mileage: 61,000miles
Yours for: £5,295

See the original advert here

Mark Pearson


P.H. O'meter

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Comments (74) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Mannginger 19 Oct 2017

    Cheaper than 3/4 CR-Xs in the classifieds nuts

  • hondansx 19 Oct 2017

    I see one everyday in white and think it looks pretty cool. Is clearly a bit of a hypermiler as is always on the inside lane doing no more than 60mph. Am i wrong for expecting the fuel consumption to be better than that?

  • CedricN 19 Oct 2017

    My colleague has one, actually a really fun car to throw around the bends. The torque fill makes it nippy even though it has a small engine, real world mileage seems to very impressive aswell, and its a sweet shifting manual hybrid!

    Downsides is of course practicality, and road noise aswell, at least on our Swedish roads. Residuals for the first owner must have been tough smile

  • Wuzzle 19 Oct 2017

    Looked fast, wasn't fast. Not sure why anyone would buy a 2 seater with such lame performance.

  • Dave Hedgehog 19 Oct 2017

    amazing, somebody actually bought one !

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