Honda CR-Z

The Essentials

  • Price from £18,035
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 56.5mpg
  • What is it? The CR-Z is a futuristic-looking coupe that's good fun to drive. However, don't be fooled by the fact it's a hybrid; several diesel rivals give better fuel economy.

Great

  • It's fun to drive
  • Every model is well equipped
  • he hybrid system works smoothly and keeps running costs low

Gripes

  • There's a lot of road noise at speed, and the ride is firm
  • The rear seats are too cramped
  • Fuel economy isn't as good as some diesel rivals'
  • Drive

    Good fun, but it's not that comfortable and not that refined

  • Inside

    Funky design but dash is confusing and visibility is awful

  • Safety

    Five-star crash test result is reassuring; stability control and active whiplash-minimising headrests are standard

  • Reliability

    Honda has a good track record so we're confident you won't be on first name terms with your local breakdown outfit

  • Space

    Think of it as a two-seater and you won't be disappointed. Don't try putting people in the back, though

  • Standard and extras

    All cars get generous standard equipment; upgrade for alloy pedals, a panoramic glass roof and automatic lights and wipers

  • What's it like to drive?

    The CR-Z's 1.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor may produce just 122bhp but, thanks to the car's light weight, acceleration is pretty good. Well arranged gearing helps you keep things on the boil, too. The hybrid system works smoothly and the gearshift is slick, but the amount of wind and road noise you hear hampers the car's overall refinement. The engine can also get a little raucous when you rev it.
    The CR-Z's minimal body roll and very responsive steering mean it has an agile, darty feel. The flipside, though, is that the steering feels slightly nervous on the motorway and the low-speed ride is very firm.

  • What's it like inside?

    The CR-Z's cabin has futuristic look but it's pretty easy to get to grips with: the backlit dials are easy to read and the simple control pods are within easy reach. Most of the plastics are hard to the touch but they still look smart and appealing.
    There's decent space up front and the driving position is good, However, the seats don't have enough adjustment and the angular tailgate design absolutely obliterates your rear view. Head- and legroom are extremely limited in the back, too, meaning hthe rear seats are best reserved for bags. The boot isn't particularly big, either, but it's a useful shape and the rear seats fold completely flat to increase the load area. There's also plenty of oddment storage in the cabin.
    The entry-level S car includes climate control, heated door mirrors and electric windows, while Sport adds parking sensors, cruise control and a multi-function steering wheel. GT cars also get leather upholstery, heated front seats, a panoramic glass roof, plus automatic xenon lights and wipers.

  • How reliable is it?

    Honda tends to perform strongly in our reliability and customer satisfaction surveys and the CR-Z feels like a thoroughly well engineered car, with a solid interior. Every CR-Z comes with front, side and curtain airbags, as well as active front head restraints and an array of driver aids to lessen the chance of an impact in the first place. It's no surprise, then, that the CR-Z achieved a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. Deadlocks and an alarm help protect against theft.

  • Should I buy one?

    If individual styling, fun driving characteristics and low running costs are more important to you than practicality, the CR-Z is definitely worth considering. It's reasonably priced (which is a good job as dealer discounts are small) and the hybrid powertrain averages a very decent 56.6mpg. CO2 emissions of 117g/km mean tax bills are low, while the CR-Z also holds its value pretty well. However, bear in mind that some diesel rivals enjoy considerably better fuel economy.