2016 Honda CR-Z
It’s been exactly three years since Honda revised the CR-Z, and the Japanese brand has revealed a new update for its two-door hybrid. The facelift comes only a few months after Honda upgraded the Japan-spec model, and it will hit North American dealerships for the 2016 model year. The update features subtle cosmetic revisions and a new trim level.
Launched in 2010 after Honda had paraded two hot concept cars, the CR-Z was nowhere near the hybrid, hot-hatch that was supposed to pick up where the CR-X of the 1980s left off. Its design was far from impressive, performance was disappointing, while fuel economy wasn’t that great for a hybrid. Despite that, the CR-Z ranked the fourth best-selling hybrid in the U.S. in 2011, outselling the Toyota Prius.
Honda fixed some of the CR-Z shortcomings in late 2012 by giving it a more aggressive stance and a slightly more powerful drivetrain, but the hatch was still in dire need of a makeover. Rumors claim that the next CR-Z could get styling cues based on the Acura NSX and the same engine as the Civic Type R, but until that happens, we’re stuck with the current model for about two more years.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Honda CR-Z.
2016 Honda CR-Z
Horsepower @ RPM:130 @ 6000
Torque @ RPM:140 @ 1000
0-60 time:6.5 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:125 mph (Est.)
Changes are rather mild front and rear, but they do make the CR-Z look a bit more aggressive. The front grille has a more angular design, while the bumper received a blade-like element that extends into the triangular side intakes. The aerodynamic elements underneath the intakes have also been redesigned to resemble the Civic Type R’s. Around back, there is a new license plate recess that mimics the shape of the front grille, a wider bumper, and a sportier, three-piece diffuser. When viewed from the side, the CR-Z has only two new features. The previous, bent side skirts have been replaced by full-length garnishes, while certain trim levels get a set of newly designed five-spoke wheels.
|Track (front/rear)||59.6 / 59.5 Inches|
Inside, upgrades include a brushed metallic finish for the door handles, front paneling, and center console. The latter has been redesigned to include a more comfortable armrest and a deeper storage compartment. There’s also a new standard electric parking brake that eliminates the traditional lever and increases roominess. All models are also equipped with Smart Entry and Push Button Start/Stop.
In the new, range-topping EX-L Navigation trim, the leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated and leather-trimmed seats feature white contrast stitching.
Regardless of the trim level, all customers will get a new, seven-inch, touchscreen Display Audio screen. The display works just like a tablet or smartphone, allowing you to swipe, tap and pinch to control the car’s audio system, display settings and other features. The EX and EX-L Navi trims also get Honda Lane Watch, which displays a wide-angle view of the passenger side roadway on the Display Audio screen. The EX-L model also has the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition and Honda HD Digital Traffic as a standard feature.
|Shoulder Room||53.8 Inches|
|Cargo Volume (behind console)||25.1 cu ft|
|Passenger Volume||49.1 cu ft|
The drivetrain remained unchanged, bringing together the same 1.5-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine, a 15-kW electric motor, and a 144-volt Lithium-Ion battery pack. The engine uses Honda’s Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control tech, while the electric motor also acts as a generator during braking and coasting, capturing energy to recharge the battery pack.
Combined output is 130 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and either 140 pound-feet of torque with the manual transmission or 127 pound-feet with the CVT. These figures are identical to last year’s model. The 2016 CR-Z comes with the same three operating modes — Econ, Normal, and Sport. When the battery is at least 50-percent charged, there is an additional Plus Sport (S+) mode that increases acceleration for up to five seconds via a button placed on the steering wheel.
Though it looks sportier, the 2016 CR-Z isn’t quicker than the model it replaces, needing 8.8 seconds to hit 60 mph with the manual transmission. When equipped with the CVT, the CR-Z’s 0-to-60 sprint increases to 9.2 seconds.
In the fuel economy department, the CR-Z returns up to 36 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway with the CVT, and up to 31 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with the manual gearbox.
|Engine Type||In-Line 4-Cylinder|
|Engine Block/Cylinder Head||Aluminum-Alloy|
|Horsepower (Combined: engine (SAE net) + electric motor)||130 @ 6000 rpm|
|Torque (Combined: engine (SAE net) + electric motor)||140 lb-ft @ 1000-2000 rpm (6MT) |
127 lb-ft @ 1000-3000 rpm (CVT)
|Bore and Stroke||73 mm x 89.4 mm|
|Compression Ratio||10.4 : 1|
|Valve Train||16-Valve SOHC i-VTEC®|
Honda says the CR-Z now benefits from a sportier handling due to a slightly improved chassis that includes a 20-mm front stabilizer bar (up from 19 mm), a rear wheel track that was increased by 10 mm, and larger, 11.1-inch front and rear brake discs (up from 10.3 inch front and 10.2 inch rear). The front MacPherson strut and rear H-shaped torsion beam suspension systems, along with the electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering remained unaltered.
The CR-Z benefits from Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, which helps protect occupants in a frontal collision. Additional safety technologies include dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System, side-curtain airbags, active head restraints; an anti-lock braking system, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The car’s front end was design to mitigate potential injuries to a pedestrian in a collision.
The hatch also comes with a multi-angle rearview camera that’s viewable on the seven-inch display. The camera can show a top view, normal or wide view when the transmission is in reverse and features dynamic guidelines. Other safety features include Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control and Honda Lane Watch. The latter is only available on EX and EX-L trims.
Pricing for the 2016 CR-Z starts from $20,295, which accounts for a $150 premium over the 2015 model. For that amount you get to take home the entry-level model with the six-speed manual transmissions. For the same trim, with a CVT, the sticker is $20,945.
Next in line is the EX trim, which fetches $22,140 with the manual and $22,970 with the CVT. The EX-L with Navi is the most expensive version and costs $24,440 with the manual and $25,090 with the CVT.
|Model||Transmission||MSRP||EPA City/Hwy/Combined MPG|
|CR-Z EX||6-Speed Manual||$22,140||31/38/34|
|CR-Z EX-L w/ Navigation||6-Speed Manual||$24,440||31/38/34|
|CR-Z EX-L w/ Navigation||CVT||$25,090||36/39/37|
Though it doesn’t have a hybrid drivetrain, the Veloster is a hatchback that’s about the same size as the CR-Z. Facelifted for 2016, the Korean hatch uses a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque when mated to the six-speed manual transmission, or 132 horses and 120 pound-feet when equipped with the EcoShift dual-clutch transmission.
The Veloster is a bit quicker than the Honda, needing around eight seconds to hit 60 from a standstill. Because it’s also very light and has a has a drivetrain focused on fuel economy rather than performance, the Veloster is also very efficient, returning 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with the manual gearbox. Pricing starts from $18,000.
Read more about the Hyundai Veloster here.
The Scion TC is another two-door you need to consider if you’re not hooked on getting a hybrid. The coupe is a bit more powerful than the Honda thanks to its 179-horsepower and 172-pound-feet four-banger, which also makes it quicker from 0 to 60 mph. The tC hits the benchmark in 7.3 seconds with the manual and in 7.8 ticks with the automatic. Fuel economy, on the other hand, is less impressive at 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Pricing starts from $20,180, putting it on par with the Honda CR-Z.
Find out more about the Scion tC here.
After five years on the market, the CR-Z is getting a bit long in the tooth, and this mild update is more than welcome. But, despite the more aggressive design and the extra equipment, the CR-Z is far from being the sporty two-door hybrid Honda wants it to be. The CR-Z is a nice car to have if you’re looking for sporty looks, good fuel economy, and precise steering, but it’s not that much better than a Veloster. Likewise, opting for any other hybrid in the same price bracket will get you two extra doors and at least two extra seats. The CR-Z isn’t very practical either, but you can’t argue with its unique looks.