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Honda CR-Z On Sale In Australia Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Nov, 25 2011 | 3 Comments

Honda's hybrid-powered CR-Z sports hatch is on sale in Australia at last, nearly two years on from its global debut at last year's Detroit Auto Show.

Entering as the world's first production car to combine a hybrid drivetrain with a six-speed manual transmission, the CR-Z combines green technology with the iconic styling and sporty drive of the popular CR-X sports hatch of the 80s.

Three variants of the CR-Z are offered, including two trim grades and, depending on the trim, two transmission options.

The range starts at $34,990 for the manual Sport model, followed by the CVT-equipped $37,290 Sport.

At the top end, and putting the car over the $40k mark, is the CR-Z Luxury model. The top-spec is offered with the CVT transmission only, and is priced at $40,790.

 

Mechanical Package

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As a hybrid, the CR-Z combines a 1.5 litre four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine developing 84kW at 6000rpm, paired with an electric motor producing 10kW.

In all, the CR-Z delivers 91kW (at 6000rpm) and 174Nm of torque (at 1500rpm) in manual form, and 167Nm when paired with the CVT automatic transmission. CVT models also benefit from paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

Fuel consumption is listed at 5.0 l/100km in manual form and 4.7 l/100km with the CVT, and Honda claims a 0-100km/h time of 9.7 seconds with both transmissions.

Those aren't the greenest figures in the hybrid segment (the CVT-equipped CT 200h has it beat by almost a full litre), and for a sports car, it's far from quick. So what's the appeal?

Honda Australia says the target customer for the CR-Z is the one that would normally be shopping for the Audi A1 or the MINI Cooper, both cars that, depending on the variant, offer a combination of green motoring and fun-to-drive characteristics.

Suspension is McPherson struts at the front end, including aluminium lower arms. At the rear is a torsion-beam arrangement, chosen because its design allows the electric motor's battery pack to be mounted lower, achieving the best possible centre of gravity.

To test Honda's claim that the CR-Z's goal is to be "intrinsically fun to drive," we'll have a full review of the CR-Z this week.

 

Features

In Sport trim, the CR-Z gets cruise control, rear parking sensors, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, cloth seats and a six-speaker audio system with MP3 and USB, along with Bluetooth phone connectivity.

The Luxury model adds leather seats (heated up front), a panoramic glass roof, reversing camera, SUNA-equipped satellite navigation and a DVD player, and Bluetooth audio streaming.

Driving aids include three selectable driving modes, including Eco, Normal and Sport, the instrument cluster illuminated in a different colour depending on the mode.

In Sport mode, throttle response is sharpened, with changes to electric motor's control paramaters providing more assistance and solid steering.

Econ mode prioritises fuel economy in the operation of the drive-by-wire throttle, ECU, air conditioning and the hybrid system. The Eco Assist function, in conjunction with Econ or Normal mode, enables the driver to monitor their fuel efficiency on each journey.

Safety features across the range include six airbags, active head restraints, seatbelt reminders, electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.

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The manual model comes with hillstart-assist as standard, holding the brakes for one second on an incline after the pedal is released.

The CR-Z carries a 5-Star ANCAP crash safety rating.

In the Australian market, the CRZ is offered in a 2+2 seating configuration only, as opposed to the US market, which gets a 2-seater option.

Rear storage is listed at a very sports-car 225 litres with the rear seats up, expanding to 401 litres with the rear seats laid flat.

 

Pricing

  • Honda CR-Z Sport - Six-speed Manual - $34,990
  • Honda CR-Z Sport - CVT with paddle shifters - $37,290
  • Honda CR-Z Luxury - CVT with paddle shifters - $40,790

 
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