Honda CR-Z 6MT

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Perpetuus
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Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Perpetuus » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:36 am

The Honda CR-Z is one of those niche cars that many people have an interest in, but not many people buy. There are good reasons for this, and I completely understand them. I have spent about two weeks with the CR-Z so far, and my impression of it has changed since then (some good, some bad). The three main factors that people look at for this car are its styling, practicality, and fuel economy. For some people, these three elements appear to be in conflict with each other in the overall execution of this car (sporty styling, and low practicality, but is not peppy enough for them). In some markets, the CR-Z has two small seats in the rear, and the option to have a gasoline only drivetrain, but not so in North America. Here, most people's perceptions are that the CR-Z looks like an absolute rocketship, but does not drive like one at all.

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Well, before driving the car, I really expected it to have more power due to the hybrid electric drivetrain helping out with torque. This is not the case, because the engine is a small displacement 1.5 litre that pumps out just 112hp, with an electric motor that adds only 14hp more. To be fair though, the electric motor itself is capable of 58 lb-ft of torque on its own. However, because of the added weight of the hybrid electric setup, the little gasoline engine and electric motor is pushing roughly 3000 pounds of mass, compared to approximate 2800 pounds in a Civic Si, which has almost twice the horsepower of the CR-Z!

I haven't kept track of how many standard shift hybrid cars we have in the marketplace today, but the CR-Z is definitely quite unique to be one of very few hybrids that have this option. The gearbox itself is a 6 speed manual, or an option CVT. When driving the car, you will notice that it is very torquey at low RPMs, making it an easy drive with the 6MT gearbox. An interesting feature of the CR-Z are its three buttons on the left hand side of the dash. These three buttons allow you to select the drive mode: ECON, NORMAL, or SPORT. For each mode, the ratio of gas pedal travel vs. engine power output is changed. I do not know the full logic of the system. However, to illustrate the functionality- just imagine that in ECON mode, 50% travel on the gas pedal will give you 30% of engine power, whereas 50% travel on the gas pedal will give you exactly 50% engine power. In SPORT mode, in addition to delivering more engine power, the electric motor gives significantly more boost to the car, foregoing all fuel economy considerations. A driver can switch between any of the three modes on the fly.

So, what's it like to drive the CR-Z? The handling is quite good. If you can carry enough speed into a corner, the CR-Z will usually allow you to maintain that speed throughout the turn and provides excellent grip. The chassis does not feel as nimble as say, a Civic Si (because the CR-Z is heavier). But, you will also notice that the CR-Z has less body roll because of its different suspension setup. For me, I prefer the handling characteristics of the CR-Z a little better than the Civic Si. In terms of acceleration, I must say that the car felt rather slow in the first week of driving it. But, as you begin to familiarize yourself with the car's handling and acceleration characteristics, you will learn to make use of that 6MT gearbox to give you as much acceleration as you need. The 6MT gearbox is good, except that it lacks feel compared to other cars I have driven. In all honesty, the CR-Z is one of those cars that not only needs a 6MT gearbox, but also drives much better because of it. As an added bonus, for those times when you are lazy to downshift for more acceleration (or when you just need even more power after downshifting), switching from NORMAL drive mode to SPORT drive mode will give you that extra thrust that you need. I have practiced using this technique in conjunction with downshifting for greater acceleration, and it does work rather well. However, the drive mode buttons are not mounted on the steering wheel. It's a slight complaint, but had these buttons been placed in a more accessible location, then people will definitely be able to more conveniently extract more performance out of the car. Electric turbocharging, anyone?

I must say that at the end of my two weeks with the car, I did like it more. This is especially true when you come back from the gas pumps. The CR-Z averaged 36 MPG (US), or 43 MPG (Imperial)!

The CR-Z is one of those cars that does many things right, but also falls short in other areas for some people. It's a car that gets you to re-evaluate your driving habits and forces you to make the best use of its small engine by using that 6MT gearbox appropriately. For people who enjoy a standard gearbox and great handling, but can give up a little on power and practicality, the CR-Z is not a bad choice.

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CR-Z 6MT

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Last edited by Perpetuus on Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:29 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby noob5,000,000 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:28 am

Interesting. I really know nothing about these, I look forward to m0ar.
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby potownrob » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:26 am

i really dislike cliffhangers
BUT DEM FAHGLEITZ!! :shock:

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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Squint » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:00 pm

potownrob wrote:i really dislike cliffhangers

OP will deliver...
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby AHTOXA » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:10 pm

OP, are you the brown santa? In that you will deliver.


Although being involved in transportation industry, I know that your organization will loose about a million packages this year.
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Shadow » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:53 am

AHTOXA wrote:OP, are you the brown santa?


Image
Image

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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Squint » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:16 pm

Shadow wrote:
AHTOXA wrote:OP, are you the brown santa?


Image

That's not Santa! He doesn't even have a beard! And where are his reindeer?!?
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Shadow » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:08 pm

Squint wrote:
Shadow wrote:
AHTOXA wrote:OP, are you the brown santa?


Image

That's not Santa! He doesn't even have a beard! And where are his reindeer?!?


The brown Santa doesn't have a beard or reindeer. Just a red and white suit with black belt & boots. :wink:
Image

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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Perpetuus » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:32 am

Review updated, just in time for 2013!

I did deliver, right? :D
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Shadow » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:01 am

Perpetuus wrote:Review updated, just in time for 2013!

I did deliver, right? :D


Yeah, but a smaller picture would be helpful. Huge pictures make reading the text difficult because the screen has to be scrolled left & right.
Image

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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Perpetuus » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:29 am

Shadow wrote:
Perpetuus wrote:Review updated, just in time for 2013!

I did deliver, right? :D


Yeah, but a smaller picture would be helpful. Huge pictures make reading the text difficult because the screen has to be scrolled left & right.


Fixed!
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Shadow » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:53 am

Thanks....much better.

BTW, I'm 99.9% sure that this is the only hybrid car with a manual transmission available, at least in the North American market.
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby theholycow » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:55 am

Shadow wrote:Yeah, but a smaller picture would be helpful. Huge pictures make reading the text difficult because the screen has to be scrolled left & right.

I have this problem often on other forums. I started using my browser's Fit To Width option and it helped but messed up other pages. Then I added a button for Fit To Width, now I just click it when I need it. It eliminates horizontal scrolling without making the text tiny.
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby bk7794 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:44 pm

Shadow wrote:Thanks....much better.

BTW, I'm 99.9% sure that this is the only hybrid car with a manual transmission available, at least in the North American market.

The insight was also. Must be a cool car to drive
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Re: Honda CR-Z 6MT

Postby Squint » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:13 pm

bk7794 wrote:
Shadow wrote:Thanks....much better.

BTW, I'm 99.9% sure that this is the only hybrid car with a manual transmission available, at least in the North American market.

The insight was also. Must be a cool car to drive

The Insights might be the only cars more rare to see than the CRZ :wink: :lol: I see a couple around town here, but there aren't that many of them.

I wish they put a standard shifter in the Prius. Would make a world of difference in a fairly boring car to drive.
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