What is it? The CR-Z is a sporty two-seat hybrid that Honda has billed as a cross between the first Insight hyper-miler and the lightweight CRX that enthusiasts still miss from the 1980s. It uses a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine producing 122-hp and 128-ft-lbs of torque mated to a 13-hp electric motor. The CR-Z will be available with a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable unit. A partition folds down from the rear hatchback to form a flat cargo floor. With it up, there are two storage bins behind the front seats.
What is new or notable? Honda claims that the CR-Z will be EPA rated at 37 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway. While that's an impressive city number, we got 43 on the highway out of a Civic, which is a much larger and more comfortable car.
CR's take: The long-anticipated CR-Z is based on the new Insight, which scored poorly in our testing, primarily due to tight access, scant space in the rear seat, and poor emergency handling without ESC. Honda has made no mention of standard stability control for the CR-Z.
When will it be available? Summer 2010