Interior and Exterior Styling
Folks who like to be inconspicuous should definitely not purchase a CR-Z. When I first started driving the CR-Z around the South Bay Area I was honestly surprised at the attention the car generated, from pedestrians who stopped in their tracks to stare, to cars pacing me on the freeway to take a closer look.
Part of this was due to the particularly striking coat of red paint that our test car came dressed in, but the exterior design should certainly take some of the credit. Although definitely rounder and more of a bubble shape than the original CRX, the CR-Z still looks sleek and adds more of a muscular look, especially at the front. Unlike the much-maligned del Sol, which replaced the CRX, the CR-Z uses its curves to look cute but still be assertive, which is probably why I was getting stares from both men and women alike.
The inside of the car is an interesting blend of modern looking shapes and textures. The silver cloth seats are nicely upholstered and reasonably comfortable, and provide a decent amount of side bolstering, which comes in handy when cornering hard. There is plenty of room for both the driver and passenger, and the rear hatch area looks to be about as big as the old CRX, which means useful but still quite small. I managed to fit a mountain bike in the back, but only by taking both wheels off and moving the passenger seat all the way forward.
The ergonomics and electronics could be better, which is something we’ve noticed in some other recent Honda models. The LCD display is positioned too far to the right, making it hard to reach while driving, and the buttons surrounding the display, which mainly control the sound system, are really too small. Honda has been using the same integrated Navigation and sound system for several years now and it is definitely showing its age. I’d recommend skipping this option and buying a much cheaper aftermarket Nav system, should you need one.
For a car that stickers at $23k, the quality of interior materials is also a bit of let down. There are quite a few hard plastic surfaces and the fit and finish is just not as good as much of the competition at this price point. Many compact cars feature impeccable interiors these days and it looks like Honda needs to step up its act or risk falling behind.
My time spent with the CR-Z turned out to be quite enjoyable and I was actually a bit sad to see the little car go. This is by no means a perfect product and some of the flaws are so glaring that I can understand why some have panned the car for embodying the worst aspects of modern automotive technology. But spend some time driving along a windy back road in the CR-Z, flicking through the gears and carving through the turns, and I’d be stunned if you didn’t have a smile on your face.
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