- Out there for £3,500
- 1.5-litre, four-cyl petrol with IMA electrical help, front-wheel drive
- Not the best-handling or the quickest coupe you’ll see…
- … however they’re characterful, dependable, and low cost to run
- 2013-on automobiles stepped as much as lithium-ion batteries…
- … however UK CR-Z gross sales stopped in 2014
What was the world’s first hybrid sports activities coupe? Effectively, in accordance with Honda it was the 2010 CR-Z, however a lot of those that remembered the fizz and sparkle of the gen-two VTEC CR-X reckoned that CR-Y would have been a extra correct identify for the brand new automobile.
Why? As a result of they felt cheated. The core motor of the brand new Z was a single-cam 1.5 four-pot with simply 112hp at 6,100rpm, and 107lb ft of torque at 4,800rpm. Sure, the electrical motor added 14hp and 58lb ft to that, however fans had been nonetheless glumly wanting on the CR-Z’s 124mph prime velocity and a 0-62mph time that solely simply scraped into the nine-second bracket – not the kind of stats they needed to learn.
The electrical motor was described as an assistant to the transversely mounted 1.5-litre petrol engine reasonably than a possible different for it. It was powered by an underfloor battery pack that was charged up by regenerative braking. There was no plug-in facility and the CR-Z couldn’t run on electrical energy alone. The compactness of the drivetrain design allowed Honda to maintain the CR-Z’s weight good and low at below 1,200kg, which some thought was simply as effectively given the quantity of poke on faucet.
The Honda was uncommon for an early hybrid in that it had a handbook gearbox as a substitute of the extra frequent computerized or CVT transmission. A CVT model was accessible within the US from the beginning however by no means (formally) within the UK. 4 trims had been on supply: S, Sport, GT and GT Nav. Backside spec S automobiles had been not often purchased within the UK. Sport was a wiser alternative because it got here with a superb spec – parking sensors, 16in alloy wheels, local weather management, cruise, computerized wipers and a USB socket. The GT’s larger wheels didn’t assist the trip (of which extra later) or the working prices.
Manufacturing of the two-door coupe started in early 2010 and led to 2016, by which level the CR-Z had 130hp, however it was two years too late for the European market which had waved goodbye to it in 2014 because of poor gross sales. The 2013 swap from nickel-metal hydride to lithium-ion batteries allied to enhancements to the electrical motor makes automobiles from this 12 months and 2014 those to search for now – if you will discover one on the proper worth. They’re extra wanted and due to this fact costlier. As a fast test, automobiles with an S+ button on the steering wheel ought to have the L-ion batteries.
You would choose CR-Zs up very cheaply not so way back, however values have been firming up of late as consumers have observed the automobile’s low working prices – 60mpg potential and £20 a 12 months tax. These days you’ll be doing effectively to discover a sub-100k miler for below £4,300. We did spot a calmly broken 74,000-mile automobile up for public sale, with no bids in place on the final day regardless of the beginning worth of £1,700, however the most cost-effective intact ones now begin at £3.5k and for that cash you’ll virtually definitely be taking a look at 150,000-milers. Vehicles with below 40,000 miles are routinely being priced at £7,000 or extra, and actually low milers are being marketed at over £10k. We’ll hyperlink you to a kind of, and some others, on the finish of this text.
SPECIFICATION | HONDA CR-Z (2015-on)
Engine: 1,497cc inline 4, SOHC, 16v plus electrical motor help
Transmission: 6-speed handbook, front-wheel drive
Energy (hp): [email protected],100rpm plus 13hp electrical
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],800rpm plus 58lb ft electrical
0-62mph (secs): 9.9
Prime velocity (mph): 124
Weight (kg): 1,147
MPG (official mixed): 56.5 ?
CO2 (g/km): 117
Wheels (in): 16
On sale: 2010 – 2014
Worth new: from £17,325
Worth now: from £3,500
Be aware for reference: automobile weight and energy knowledge are exhausting to pin down with absolute certainty. For consistency, we use the identical supply for all our guides. We hope the info we use is correct extra usually than it’s incorrect. Our recommendation is to deal with it as relative reasonably than definitive.
ENGINE & GEARBOX
For the poorly knowledgeable or ultra-stingy, ‘hybrid’ can imply the identical as ‘servicing is optionally available’, particularly when there’s a Honda badge someplace on the automobile. It’s a praise to Honda that folks assume they will kind of ignore upkeep on their merchandise, and in equity the CR-Z’s i-VTEC 1.5 four-cylinder does reside as much as this picture. It’s no ball of fireplace however it’s tolerant of inattention. On the very least although it’s best to refresh the oil and filter yearly or each 12,000 miles. A loud tapping noise means the valve clearances want adjusting. There’s no cambelt to alter however it’s best to test if and when the spark plugs have been renewed as attending to them isn’t simple.
The sunshine and snicky 6-speed handbook gearbox is thought for being simply as trouble-free. Clutches will ultimately begin to slip however usually this solely occurs on very high-mileage automobiles. Even Honda can’t make eternal drivetrains. If however one thing goes incorrect with the CR-Z’s IMA battery, that’s not one thing that each native backstreet generalist will be capable to type out. The principle IMA battery unit was assured for 5 years or 90,000 miles, so even the latest CR-Zs are out of guarantee now. At one level Honda sellers had been quoting £1,000 or so plus becoming prices for a brand new IMA battery, however more moderen indications from the US are that it could be at the least twice that in actuality. Nonetheless lots cheaper than changing the cells in a full EV although.
In truth, nothing a lot does go incorrect with the IMA battery. The cooling fan for it gained’t final for ever however main IMA battery failure has not been a selected problem. As of August 2021 (the latest knowledge now we have) solely three members of the CR-Z house owners membership had needed to substitute their IMA batteries. Clearly, the frequency of that occuring will improve over time, however in the actual world it’s the CR-Z’s different smaller battery that you need to monitor. This one lives below the bonnet and its important perform is to provoke the beginning process which is carried out by the IMA battery and the electrical motor, until the IMA batt is totally lifeless through which case the under-bonnet one will/ought to step in to avoid wasting the day.
Fairly a couple of of those smaller batteries have had to get replaced, and extra usually than house owners may need anticipated. If a raft of warning lights all of a sudden comes up, not only for issues like hill help and traction management but additionally for the IMA battery, it’s extremely prone to be the smaller battery that’s accountable. When you’re not utilizing the automobile on daily basis it’s a good suggestion to maintain it on a trickle charger. A Honda sticker below the CR-Z’s bonnet tells you to drive your automobile at the least as soon as a month to maintain the IMA battery wholesome. The battery warning mild ought to disappear as quickly because the automobile begins. If it doesn’t. it’s telling you one thing’s incorrect.
It is best to take any potential buy on a good take a look at drive to guarantee that the battery is being recharged and that the three drive modes (Sport, Regular and Econ) are all working as they’re imagined to. In case you had been questioning, sure, the CR-Z will run on its IC engine alone but when the IMA system isn’t working correctly the small under-bonnet battery gained’t obtain a cost, so that you’ll find yourself calling for help.
CR-Z servicing prices shall be a bit of larger than these for a mainstream automobile of comparable measurement however not a lot larger as to be a supply of fear, and anyway you’ll be saving on normal working prices. Cease-start methods weren’t as frequent in 2010 as they’re now however the CR-Z had one, contributing to the automobile’s low CO2 score of 117g/km and its official mixed gasoline consumption determine of 56.5mpg. Driveshafts do fail and will not be low cost to switch.
Some of the apparent methods of protecting weight down in a automobile is to take away among the stuff that makes it civilised to drive, i.e., soundproofing and the like. This method means there’ll usually be extra noise to place up with. Experience high quality will endure too in case your light-weight automobile just isn’t costly sufficient to warrant the inclusion of specialist suspension parts.
Which is a long-winded manner of claiming that the 1,200kg CR-Z will zip alongside a B-road properly sufficient, with good really feel from the steering, however don’t count on it to be significantly quiet or plush. The trip was exhausting, and the lightness mixed with the un-special suspension and fewer than sticky tyres meant that back-end skip was your companion on moist, bumpy roads. When you set your driving expectations at a practical stage, precisely as house owners of gen-one Insights needed to, the CR-Z’s chassis imperfections may simply be considered as a part of the automobile’s character.
One noise that wasn’t on new CR-Zs however which may make itself recognized on used ones shall be a level of knocking from worn suspension bushes. Rust is a silent murderer that may be an issue on any Japanese automobile. Uncared-for CR-Zs are inclined to rot from the rear. Ensure that the chassis legs within the engine bay are straight.
Even on commonplace componentry, the Honda’s brakes don’t often endure from excessive put on charges, one other advantage of low weight. One proprietor reported that there was nonetheless life left on his unique discs and even the pads (!) at 90,000 miles. ABS modules can fail. The CR-Z isn’t usually seen on UK monitor days however American house owners fortunately monitor them, becoming coilovers and upgraded brake pads.
Most CR-Zs got here in impartial colors like black, white or silver, however you’ll come throughout the odd blue or CR-X-aping purple instance. Some of the distinctive features of the CR-Z was its double-glassed again finish, an homage to the unique CR-X, however the worth you paid for that was pretty surprising back-end visibility within the moist when the upright part of glass beneath the spoiler clagged up with no technique of clearing it aside from by wiping it with a material. That wasn’t a lot of an possibility on the M1. Rear parking sensors had been commonplace on the mid-spec Sport and top-spec GT automobiles that make up the overwhelming majority of the automobiles you’ll discover within the UK, however as on many different automobiles these would ultimately hand over the ghost, particularly if the again finish of the automobile had had a biff.
The tailgate lock has a little bit of a status for failing and the door actuators are well-known for giving up. When you reside in a hotter local weather, opening the doorways from the skin may grow to be a bum-squeaking train because the thermoplastic door handles may get progressively tougher to open earlier than ultimately refusing altogether and/or snapping off in your hand. In equity this downside was a lot much less frequent on later automobiles.
Tyre stress monitoring sensors conk out however that may be taken as a normal assertion of motoring reality reasonably than a selected CR-Z accusation.
There was a concept-car really feel to the CR-Z’s cabin and particularly to its hand-stretch management assemblies that was pleasantly harking back to the primary Perception for individuals who remembered or had expertise of that. Not everyone appreciated the sprint format, however the instrumentation gave you helpful data, a lot of which was aimed toward serving to you maximise your financial system. A bizarre factor for a sportingly inclined automobile to be suggesting again within the day however perhaps not so dumb now in our energy-strapped financial system.
Technically the CR-Z has 4 seats however realistically the again ones can be extra precisely categorized as padded parcel cabinets. Though boot house is barely 225 litres with the again seats up, that will increase to a wonderfully useable 401 litres after they’re folded down, which they could as effectively be on a regular basis. Mild-coloured seat materials had been meant to boost the CR-Z’s spacey really feel however strive telling that to a child with a chocolate ice cream or a mate with a leaky Costa cup.
There was an enormous (i.e., world, not simply Honda) steering wheel airbag recall which affected CR-Z house owners, a few of whom had been made to attend months for a decision.
Boot load covers disappear for some motive, presumably as a result of used ones go for effectively over £100 a pop. A number of the sprint buttons fade over time. Alternative panels can be found however might be hellishly costly. The glove field may refuse to open. If that occurs, there’s a straightforward reply: cease carrying gloves.
It appears fairly clear that the CR-Z was forward of its time. When it got here out in 2010 no one actually needed 60mpg in a sporty automobile. If a automobile regarded sporty it wanted to again that up with sporty stats. Taking almost ten seconds to hit 60mph from relaxation was not a sporty stat.
Right this moment, in 2022, we’re in an power pickle and all of a sudden 60mpg feels like a good commerce for acceleration instances that few shall be bothered to confirm. Apart from, the CR-Z might not be quick, however neither is it sluggish. The benefit of this automobile is you could personal and run it like several Honda, i.e., with hardly a care on the planet (some CR-Zs are fortunately crusing together with over 300,000 miles on them), however on the similar time it’s sufficiently totally different to arouse curiosity not simply among the many normal populace but additionally in your individual thoughts each time you get in it. Simply nail a ‘Energy Isn’t All the pieces’ motto onto the within of your entrance door earlier than you step out to drive your CR-Z and also you’ll have the proper mindset to take pleasure in this area of interest expertise.
In case you are desirous of conventionally excessive efficiency you can also make it occur in a CR-Z, however given the low start line it’s not a case of bunging it in for a remap and hoping for one of the best. Changing the whole energy unit with Honda’s 2.0 litre K20A motor, the corporate’s first twin-cam i-VTEC engine, may appear a bit excessive however that is extensively rated in the neighborhood as a enjoyable conversion and an correct tribute to the unique CR-X. When you don’t need to go fairly that far there are a couple of HKS supercharged imports round which shall be creating about 200hp. You possibly can’t assist considering that if the CR-Z had been placing this kind of energy out as commonplace fairly a couple of extra would have been offered. There once more, if they’d they’d most likely be going for at the least £10k now, CTR fashion, as a substitute of below £4k, or £4,295 within the case of this lately serviced 107,000-mile instance from 2010.
On the prime finish of the dimensions, the most costly CR-Z within the UK on the time of writing (Dec ’22) was this 11,000-mile automobile from 2013. It’s the subsequent smartest thing to a brand new one and that’s why it’s on for £11,329. The one different CR-Z on PH Classifieds that ought to have the fascinating lithium battery pack was this last-year (for the UK) Sport mannequin with 57,000 miles, yours for £9,650.