December 8, 2023

Key issues

  • To be had for £3,500
  • 1.5-litre, four-cyl petrol with IMA electrical help, front-wheel power
  • Now not the best-handling or the quickest coupe you’ll see…
  • … however they’re characterful, dependable, and inexpensive to run
  • 2013-on automobiles stepped as much as lithium-ion batteries…
  • … however UK CR-Z gross sales stopped in 2014

What was once the arena’s first hybrid sports activities coupe? Neatly, consistent with Honda it was once the 2010 CR-Z, however lots of those that remembered the fizz and sparkle of the gen-two VTEC CR-X reckoned that CR-Y would were a extra correct title for the brand new vehicle.

Why? As a result of they felt cheated. The core motor of the brand new Z was once a single-cam 1.5 four-pot with simply 112hp at 6,100rpm, and 107lb toes of torque at 4,800rpm. Sure, the electrical motor added 14hp and 58lb toes to that, however lovers had been nonetheless glumly having a look on the CR-Z’s 124mph height velocity and a 0-62mph time that best simply scraped into the nine-second bracket – now not this kind of stats they sought after to learn.

The electrical motor was once described as an assistant to the transversely fixed 1.5-litre petrol engine fairly than a possible choice for it. It was once powered by means of an underfloor battery pack that was once charged up by means of regenerative braking. There was once no plug-in facility and the CR-Z could not run on electrical energy by myself. The compactness of the drivetrain design allowed Honda to stay the CR-Z’s weight great and occasional at below 1,200kg, which some idea was once simply as smartly given the volume of poke on faucet.

The Honda was once peculiar for an early hybrid in that it had a guide gearbox as a substitute of the extra commonplace automated or CVT transmission. A CVT model was once to be had in the USA from the beginning however by no means (formally) in the United Kingdom. 4 trims had been on be offering: S, Recreation, GT and GT Nav. Backside spec S automobiles had been hardly purchased in the United Kingdom. Recreation was once a wiser selection because it got here with a excellent spec – parking sensors, 16in alloy wheels, local weather keep an eye on, cruise, automated wipers and a USB socket. The GT’s larger wheels did not lend a hand the journey (of which extra later) or the operating prices.

Manufacturing of the two-door coupe started in early 2010 and resulted in 2016, during which level the CR-Z had 130hp, however it was once two years too overdue for the Ecu marketplace which had waved good-bye to it in 2014 because of deficient gross sales. The 2013 transfer from nickel-metal hydride to lithium-ion batteries allied to enhancements to the electrical motor makes automobiles from this yr and 2014 those to search for now – if you’ll be able to to find one on the proper value. They’re extra wanted and due to this fact dearer. As a handy guide a rough test, automobiles with an S+ button at the steerage wheel must have the L-ion batteries.

It’s worthwhile to select CR-Zs up very cost effectively now not see you later in the past, however values were toning up of overdue as patrons have spotted the auto’s low operating prices – 60mpg attainable and £20 a yr tax. This present day you can be doing smartly to discover a sub-100k miler for less than £4,300. We did spot a frivolously broken 74,000-mile vehicle up for public sale, without a bids in position at the final day regardless of the beginning value of £1,700, however the most cost-effective intact ones now delivery at £3.5k and for that cash you’ll nearly no doubt be having a look at 150,000-milers. Vehicles with below 40,000 miles are automatically being priced at £7,000 or extra, and in reality low milers are being marketed at over £10k. We will hyperlink you to a kind of, and a couple of 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 guide, front-wheel power
Energy (hp): 112@6,100rpm plus 13hp electrical
Torque (lb toes): 107@4,800rpm plus 58lb toes electrical
0-62mph (secs): 9.9
Best velocity (mph): 124
Weight (kg): 1,147
MPG (legit mixed): 56.5 ?
CO2 (g/km): 117
Wheels (in): 16
Tyres: 195/55
On sale: 2010 – 2014
Value new: from £17,325
Value now: from £3,500

Observe for reference: vehicle weight and tool information are arduous to pin down with absolute walk in the park. For consistency, we use the similar supply for all our guides. We are hoping the information we use is true extra regularly than it’s mistaken. Our recommendation is to regard it as relative fairly than definitive. 

ENGINE & GEARBOX

For the poorly knowledgeable or ultra-stingy, ‘hybrid’ can imply the similar as ‘servicing is non-compulsory’, particularly when there is a Honda badge someplace at the automobile. It is a praise to Honda that individuals suppose they are able to roughly forget about repairs on their merchandise, and in equity the CR-Z’s i-VTEC 1.5 four-cylinder does reside as much as this symbol. It’s no ball of fireplace however it’s tolerant of inattention. On the very least regardless that you must refresh the oil and filter out once a year or each and every 12,000 miles. A noisy tapping noise manner the valve clearances want adjusting. There’s no cambelt to modify however you must test if and when the spark plugs were renewed as attending to them isn’t simple.

The sunshine and snicky 6-speed guide gearbox is understood for being simply as trouble-free. Clutches will in the end begin to slip however usually this best occurs on very high-mileage automobiles. Even Honda can not make permanent drivetrains. If however one thing is going mistaken with the CR-Z’s IMA battery, that isn’t one thing that each and every native backstreet generalist will be capable of kind out. The principle IMA battery unit was once assured for 5 years or 90,000 miles, so even the most recent CR-Zs are out of guaranty now. At one level Honda sellers had been quoting £1,000 or so plus becoming prices for a brand new IMA battery, however newer indications from the USA are that it can be a minimum of two times that if truth be told. Nonetheless so much inexpensive than changing the cells in a complete EV regardless that.

Actually, not anything a lot does move mistaken with the IMA battery. The cooling fan for it gained’t final for ever however primary IMA battery failure has now not been a selected factor. As of August 2021 (the newest information we’ve) best 3 individuals of the CR-Z homeowners membership had needed to exchange their IMA batteries. Clearly, the frequency of that taking place will building up through the years, however in the actual international it’s the CR-Z’s different smaller battery that you must observe. This one lives below the bonnet and its primary serve as is to start up the beginning process which is performed by means of the IMA battery and the electrical motor, except the IMA batt is totally useless during which case the under-bonnet one will/must step in to save lots of the day.

Slightly a couple of of those smaller batteries have had to get replaced, and extra regularly than homeowners would possibly have anticipated. If a raft of caution lighting unexpectedly comes up, now not only for such things as hill help and traction keep an eye on but additionally for the IMA battery, it’s extremely prone to be the smaller battery this is accountable. Should you’re now not the use of the auto on a daily basis it’s a good suggestion to stay it on a trickle charger. A Honda sticky label below the CR-Z’s bonnet tells you to power your vehicle once or more a month to stay the IMA battery wholesome. The battery caution mild must disappear once the auto begins. If it does not. it is telling you one thing’s mistaken.

You must take any potential acquire on a tight take a look at power to ensure that the battery is being recharged and that the 3 power modes (Recreation, Customary and Econ) are all operating as they are meant to. Should you had been questioning, sure, the CR-Z will run on its IC engine by myself but when the IMA gadget isn’t operating correctly the small under-bonnet battery gained’t obtain a price, so that you’ll finally end up calling for help.

CR-Z servicing prices will likely be just a little upper than the ones for a mainstream vehicle of similar measurement however now not such a lot upper as to be a supply of concern, and anyway you’ll be saving on basic operating prices. Prevent-start techniques weren’t as commonplace in 2010 as they’re now however the CR-Z had one, contributing to the auto’s low CO2 ranking of 117g/km and its legit mixed gas intake determine of 56.5mpg. Driveshafts do fail and aren’t affordable to interchange.

CHASSIS

Some of the obtrusive techniques of protecting weight down in a vehicle is to take away one of the vital stuff that makes it civilised to power, i.e., soundproofing and the like. This way manner there’ll usually be extra noise to place up with. Journey high quality will endure too in case your light-weight automobile isn’t dear sufficient to warrant the inclusion of specialist suspension parts.

Which is a long-winded approach of claiming that the 1,200kg CR-Z will zip alongside a B-road properly sufficient, with excellent really feel from the steerage, however do not be expecting it to be specifically quiet or plush. The journey was once arduous, and the lightness mixed with the un-special suspension and no more than sticky tyres supposed that back-end skip was once your significant other on rainy, bumpy roads. Should you set your riding expectancies at a practical stage, precisely as homeowners of gen-one Insights needed to, the CR-Z’s chassis imperfections may just simply be considered as a part of the auto’s persona.

One noise that wasn’t on new CR-Zs however that would possibly make itself recognized on used ones will likely be a point of knocking from worn suspension trees. Rust is a silent murderer that may be an issue on any Jap vehicle. Uncared-for CR-Zs generally tend to rot from the rear. Ensure that the chassis legs within the engine bay are directly.

Even on same old componentry, the Honda’s brakes do not generally be afflicted by excessive put on charges, every other good thing about low weight. One proprietor reported that there was once nonetheless lifestyles left on his authentic discs or even the pads (!) at 90,000 miles. ABS modules can fail. The CR-Z isn’t regularly noticed on UK monitor days however American homeowners fortunately monitor them, becoming coilovers and upgraded brake pads.

BODYWORK

Maximum CR-Zs got here in impartial colors like black, white or silver, however you’ll come around the unusual blue or CR-X-aping pink instance. Some of the unique sides of the CR-Z was once its double-glassed again finish, an homage to the unique CR-X, however the fee you paid for that was once rather stunning back-end visibility within the rainy when the upright phase of glass under the spoiler clagged up without a manner of clearing it rather then by means of wiping it with a material. That wasn’t a lot of an possibility at the M1. Rear parking sensors had been same old at the mid-spec Recreation and top-spec GT automobiles that make up nearly all of the automobiles you’ll to find in the United Kingdom, however as on many different automobiles those would in the end surrender the ghost, particularly if the again finish of the auto had had a biff.

The tailgate lock has just a little of a name for failing and the door actuators are widely known for giving up. Should you reside in a hotter local weather, opening the doorways from the out of doors may just grow to be a bum-squeaking workout because the thermoplastic door handles may just get regularly tougher to open prior to in the end refusing altogether and/or snapping off to your hand. In equity this downside was once a lot much less commonplace on later automobiles.

Tyre force tracking sensors conk out however that may be taken as a basic observation of motoring truth fairly than a particular CR-Z accusation.

INTERIOR

There was once a concept-car really feel to the CR-Z’s cabin and specifically to its hand-stretch keep an eye on assemblies that was once pleasantly paying homage to the primary Perception for many who remembered or had revel in of that. Now not everyone appreciated the sprint structure, however the instrumentation gave you helpful information, a lot of which was once geared toward serving to you maximise your economic system. A peculiar factor for a sportingly susceptible vehicle to be suggesting again within the day however perhaps now not so dumb now in our energy-strapped economic system.

Technically the CR-Z has 4 seats however realistically the again ones can be extra correctly labeled as padded parcel cabinets. Even supposing boot house is best 225 litres with the again seats up, that will increase to a wonderfully useable 401 litres when they are folded down, which they may as smartly be at all times. Mild-coloured seat materials had been supposed to give a boost to the CR-Z’s spacey really feel however take a look at telling that to a child with a chocolate ice cream or a mate with a leaky Costa cup.

There was once a large (i.e., world, now not simply Honda) steerage wheel airbag recall which affected CR-Z homeowners, a few of whom had been made to attend months for a solution.

Boot load covers disappear for some reason why, in all probability as a result of used ones opt for smartly over £100 a pop. One of the vital sprint buttons fade through the years. Substitute panels are to be had however will also be hellishly dear. The glove field would possibly refuse to open. If that occurs, there may be a very easy resolution: forestall dressed in gloves.

PH VERDICT

It sort of feels lovely transparent that the CR-Z was once forward of its time. When it got here out in 2010 no one in reality sought after 60mpg in a sporty vehicle. If a vehicle seemed sporty it had to again that up with sporty stats. Taking just about ten seconds to hit 60mph from leisure was once now not a sporty stat. 

Lately, in 2022, we’re in an calories pickle and unexpectedly 60mpg feels like an even business for acceleration occasions that few will likely be to ensure. But even so, the CR-Z might not be speedy, however neither is it gradual. The advantage of this vehicle is that you’ll be able to personal and run it like several Honda, i.e., with rarely a care on the planet (some CR-Zs are fortunately crusing at the side of over 300,000 miles on them), however on the similar time it’s sufficiently other to arouse pastime now not simply a few of the basic populace but additionally to your personal thoughts each and every time you get in it. Simply nail a ‘Energy Is not The whole thing’ motto onto the interior of your entrance door prior to you step out to power your CR-Z and you can have the correct mindset to revel in this area of interest revel in.

In case you are desirous of conventionally excessive efficiency you’ll be able to make it occur in a CR-Z, however given the low place to begin it’s now not a case of bunging it in for a remap and hoping for the finest. Changing all of the energy unit with Honda’s 2.0 litre K20A motor, the corporate’s first twin-cam i-VTEC engine, would possibly appear just a little excessive however that is broadly rated locally as a a laugh conversion and a correct tribute to the unique CR-X. Should you don’t need to move slightly that a ways there are a couple of HKS supercharged imports round which will likely be creating about 200hp. You’ll’t lend a hand considering that if the CR-Z have been hanging this kind of energy out as same old slightly a couple of extra would were bought. There once more, if that they had they’d most certainly be going for no less than £10k now, CTR taste, as a substitute of below £4k, or £4,295 in terms of this lately serviced 107,000-mile instance from 2010.

On the height finish of the size, the most costly CR-Z in the United Kingdom on the time of writing (Dec ’22) was once this 11,000-mile vehicle from 2013. It is the subsequent ultimate factor to a brand new one and that’s the reason why it is on for £11,329. The one different CR-Z on PH Classifieds that are supposed to have the fascinating lithium battery pack was once this last-year (for the United Kingdom) Recreation type with 57,000 miles, yours for £9,650.