2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid gets low score from Consumer Reports

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 8, 2010

After subjecting the Honda CR-Z to several tests, Consumer Reports concluded that the vehicle is reliable but is not recommended due to its long list of drawbacks. The two-seat CR-Z is derived from the Insight, a five-passenger hybrid hatchback that also scored very low on its tests. Consumer Reports said that the CR-Z has received several improvements.

It observed that the interior isn’t obviously cheap and its handling is far better than the Insight’s. It also noted that the CR-Z's manual transmission is crisp and easy to shift and its fuel economy rating of 35 mpg is satisfactory.

But its shortcomings are far too many and severe to be ignored. For instance, the handling of the CR-Z is short on steering feel, which is also seen on other recent vehicles from Honda.

This small sports coupe offers a stiff ride and it has high noise levels. Also, the stability control intervenes too late when it's required, so the CR-Z's tail can swing out mid-corner. According to one tester, its lousy rear and over-the-shoulder visibility made changing lanes "like Russian Roulette."

Its payload capacity of 400-lb. negates the large cargo hold and is considered to be a serious limitation. When stopping to save fuel, the vehicle shuts off along with the air conditioner.

Its exterior door handles are not very comfortable to grab, and since the CR-Z is low-slung, the passenger or the driver has to lunge in and out of it.

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