Our cars: Honda CR-Z - February 2012

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Renault Twizy
Renault Twizy
Honda CR-Z 1.5 i-VTEC Sport

Week ending February 24
Current mileage 9994
Driven this week 214


Honda CR-Z review

The more I drive the CR-Z, the more I like it. It was good fun for darting around town at the weekend: the quick steering, snappy gearshift, decent low-speed performance and compact dimensions made it great for nipping in and out of traffic, and into small parking spaces. The beep of the reversing sensors needs to be louder, though.

It doesn’t look particularly big, but the boot was large enough for my needs. It took a wicker bin, a lampshade and some clothes to a charity shop; the weekly groceries fitted in a treat; and it wasn’t fazed by two trips to the shopping centre.

There are a few things I’d like to change, though. You can put up with a firm ride in a sporty coupe, but over-the-shoulder vision is awful; it makes changing lanes on the motorway particularly taxing. Add excessive road noise that taxes your eardrums and this is not a good long-distance car.

The amount of grime that gets kicked up onto the rear bumper is more of an annoyance than a serious issue, but it quickly covers the release for the tailgate, so you end up with mucky hands if you’re using the boot a lot, as I was.

Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com


Week ending February 17
Current mileage 9780
Driven this week 386 miles


The CR-Z has an Econ button, which alters the air-conditioning, engine stop-start and throttle response settings to minimise fuel consumption. However, unless I'm crawling in nose-to-tail city traffic, I find I actually get better economy when I leave the car in 'normal' mode.

The trouble is, Econ makes the car so unresponsive that you end up having to press harder on the accelerator pedal to maintain a respectable pace.

Steven.Huntingford@whatcar.com


Week ending February 10
Mileage 9394
Driven this week 101 miles


Like many manufacturers, Honda now offers winter tyres through its dealers. However, I decided not to fit them to the CR-Z after my local dealer told me that they only had Nangkangs in stock – in our last winter tyre test, these were the worst-performing brand – and that a set would cost me £492.

Given the mild December and January we’ve just had, I haven’t regretted that decision. In fact, my colleagues who did opt for winter tyres have been complaining about how much worse their cars grip and stop now, whereas I’ve continued to enjoy the CR-Z’s agile handling.

I just hope the weekend’s snow doesn’t return, or my colleagues may yet have the last laugh.

Steven.Huntingford@whatcar.com

Our cars: Honda CR-Z - January 2012

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