An Affordable Sporty Hybrid

24 years ago, as Toyota launched the clever but conventional looking Prius, Honda launched the amazing first generation Insight. The Insight was the most fuel-efficient mass-produced car in the world and also looked like the future. We said COOL! But actually really wanted conventional so the Prius became the success and Honda returned to the drawing board. But Honda couldn’t let go of the dream of a sleek and sporty hybrid and gave us the CR-Z and we went WOW! and bought another Prius. But Honda’s misstep is still a cool looking thing today, like this Mugen kitted one. Read on... 

Now, as sports cars go the CR-Z isn’t going to win much in a game of top trumps. In sports mode it squeaks out just over 120hp with a 0-100 time of just under 10 seconds. It’s neither fast nor slow and the same can be said of its fuel economy which is hardly class leading for a hybrid but better than a conventionally powered small sports hatch. Essentially the CR-Z has a foot in both camps and as such never really found a market back when it was released in the early hybrid days. 

Today the CR-Z might make more sense for those of us that want a fun, quick car that doesn’t cost a fortune to buy but saves money at the pump. And because it was less than successful a decade ago it’s fairly rare to see on our roads today. This is good as the CR-Z still looks fresh, still turns heads and it carries an air of sporting exclusivity.  You can even get them with a 6 speed manual transmission. 

In a sea of featureless commuter cars that get lost in supermarket car-parks the CR-Z stands out. It’s neither the sportiest nor the most fuel-efficient car but it does well enough at both to almost be the best of both worlds. More details on this car here.

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