Our cars: Honda CR-Z - January 2012
Week ending January 27
Driven this week 192 miles
Honda CR-Z review
The CR-Z was forced to take on people carrying duties the other week when three colleagues and I needed to get to What Car?’s annual Car of the Year awards in central London.
Unsurprisingly, it was far from ideal for the job, because rear head- and kneeroom are extremely limited. In fact, the people in the back were so uncomfortable that my front passenger and I agreed to swap with them halfway, before their legs went completely numb.
Still, the trip did show how useful it is to have rear seats in a coupe, even if they’re only for short journeys. If I had a Mini Coupe, like my colleague Ivan Aistrop, the third and fourth person would have been consigned to the bus.
Week ending January 20
Driven this week 151 miles
Without doubt, the CR-Z is at its best around town. With useful low-rev torque from its electric motor, it's nippy away from the lights and when pulling out of junctions. The steering responds quickly, too, and the gearshift is pleasantly snappy. In all, it feels lively and perfectly at home in the urban environment.
On the motorway, the CR-Z is far less appealing. There's lots of noise in the cabin and you need to work the petrol engine very hard to achieve decent pace. It doesn't feel terribly composed, either.
Faced with a choice of two routes to visit a friend, I had the option of a 90% motorway trip or one that stuck to urban roads. Both would take roughly the same amount of time, so it was a no-brainer; I took the urban option and enjoyed the drive.
Week ending January 13
Driven this week 212 miles
A weekend with the CR-Z left me feeling like I had a devil sitting on one shoulder and an angel on the other.
On one hand, the car’s sharp steering, tight body control and low-slung driving position made me want to drive it hard.
Yet at the same time, I could feel the various displays that show how economically the CR-Z is being driven reining me in.
The digital fuel gauge could do with being a little more progressive, though – it drops very slowly to start with, but plummets once you’re down to the quarter of a tank mark.
Week ending January 6
Driven this week 210 miles
It's amazing how quickly you learn to drive around a car's faults. When my CR-Z was new, its habit of cutting out if you ride the clutch at low speed drove me nuts.
However, I'd almost forgotten about the problem when colleague Will Nightingale mentioned it after borrowing the car the other week (see December 23 report). In effect, the way the system works has forced me to get out of a bad habit.