My first impression of the CR-Z was it was pretty cool looking. So when I went to test drive one recently ( and did buy ), I had high expectations. My only concern was all the reviews which said it had no power,MPG wasn't what was rated,etc. At the dealer, I looked it over front to rear,inside and out. This was my first up close look at a CR-Z. Everything was what I expected; high tech looking,sporty,etc. Now to test drive. I had worked at a Toyota dealer ( 24 years ) have a strong mechanical background, including being trained on the Prius from day one, so I had an idea of what a hybrid may run like. Was I wrong. The Honda system runs on the engine,using the electric motor for assist ( from what I understand ) whereas the Toyota you can drive on electric at lower speeds as long as the battery was charged up enough.
The CR-Z has good power in my opinion. Was I expecting more ? Not really. I was,and still am, pleased with the performance. To me, it has plenty of power for spirited driving, but I don't expect to be spinning the front tires from a stop. As for handling, it is fun to drive. On my way home from picking it up, I drove a winding back road that I used to drive when I worked at the Toyota dealer. Handling was great and loved driving the CR-Z. Steering is quick and it is a blast rounding corners.I had a 91 MR2 Turbo and this reminded me of the time I had it.
The outside styling is sporty, though first impression I really didn't care for the front end look. But I love it all now. Guess it grew on me,lol. The inside is very nicely done and the seat holds you in place nicely. The audio sounds great with the 6 speakers and sub ( Mine has Nav,360 watt system ). All the switches and controls are in easy reach except the audio / Nav. But with the steering wheel controls, that is minor.
Only flaws I have found so far after 3 weeks and a few hundred miles are;
The bar across the rear is right in my line of site when looking out the rear window. I find that if you use all the mirrors and pay attention to where all the traffic is around you, you will be okay. And don't forget about the bad blind spots from the rear quarter window areas. Also I did notice some slight body roll when taking a corner quickly, but I am sure that could be taking care of with lowering and/or better sway bars ( or slowing down, lol ). And lastly, I at first thought maybe the left front tire was making noise as you drove faster when I first bought it. The more I have driven it tho, I believe it is what some reviews mentioned about the CVT being noisy. After a week or so, I have gotten used to it and don't even notice it much anymore.
Overall, I am very pleased with my CR-Z. My drive is mostly highway and have been getting about 42-43 mpg. I love the handling and power when passing. The interior and outer styling are just in line with me, sporty looking. Mine is a CVT,which I decided would suit me fine. I have never driven a MT version and know that if I drove winding roads more often, it would have been a better fit. All in all, I love my CR-Z and if I had to do it all again, I would not change a thing.