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In my research of the CR-Z, I've more than a few times read, or heard said in a video review, that the MPG of the CR-Z is "disappointing".

Can someone help me understand how the MPG is disappointing?

According to EPA.gov (Fuel Economy Leaders: 2011 Model Year | Fuel Economy | US EPA) there are only four other cars that get better gas mileage than the CR-Z:

Toyota Prius (hybrid) - 51/48
Ford/Lincoln/Mercury Fusion/MKZ/Milan Hybrids - 41/36
Honda Civic Hybrid - 40/43
Honda Insight (hybrid) - 40/43

Some of the reviewers attempted to qualify their "disappointment" by saying one could get another small car like a new Ford Fiesta or Chevy Cruze for thousands less with nearly the same MPG ratings.

Ummm... I don't see either the Fiesta or Cruze comparing to the CR-Z's MPG, except on the highway rating side. And even there they are 10% short of CR-Z's MPG highway rating. In the city, the CR-Z is 25% better than the Fiesta, and 35% better than the Cruze. Unless one plans on spending 90% of the time on the highway, how can one even claim those cars get "nearly the same MPG ratings" as the CR-Z?

And while the Fiesta and Cruze may be "thousands" less than a CR-Z, unless you get a stripped down, manual transmission version, the price of those cars that supposedly get "nearly the same MPG ratings" (yeah.... right) creap ever so closer to the CR-Z's cost when like for like features of the CR-Z get added to them.

I believe the point of their "disappointment" is to say that the CR-Z falls short of Honda's intent that it be a gas saving hybrid. Uh.... how does a car that only 4 other cars ranked higher fall short? Was it supposed to be a combination of a sports car and a gas saving hybrid AND finish 1st on the EPA.gov's MPG list too?

I understand it's not going to stay that high on the list for much longer, as cars like the new Lexus CT 200h will leap frog it over time. But it will be a while before the CR-Z get's bumped out of the EPA.gov's top 10. While it's in the top 10, the argument that the CR-Z's MPG is a "disappointment" is an incredible reach! It without a doubt achived the gas saving hybrid side it was trying to achieve.

On to the other side of the argument... those who said the MPG was a disappointment usually also said that the CR-Z failed to reach it's other goal... to be a sports car. Okay, maybe there is a good argument for that, and maybe there's not. It really depends on what you consider to be a sports car.

The terms "sport" and "sporty" are thrown about with reckless abandon in the auto industry. Even some of the cheapest, and slowest cars ever produced have gone so far as to put the word "sport" on the decor of the car itself.

If the goal Honda was aiming for was to produce a "performance" car, then yes I would have to agree it falls short of performance, if by performance we are talking what cars like a Ford Mustang or a Chevy Camero can produce from a standstill at a similar price point. It's not likely that drivers of non-modified CR-Z's are going to beat performance cars at performance feats like drag racing.

But if Honda's goal was to make a car that handles like a sports car, is fun to drive like a sports car, and looks like a sports car, then Honda achieved it. I doubt that EPA.gov would ever produce a list of the top "sports" cars, and even if it did that list should be full of cars that cost $50K or more. But if a list was ever created of the top 10 sports cars at the CR-Z's price point, it would be another reach to say that the Honda CR-Z does not belong in that top 10. I'm sure some would leave it out, but most would not. The car just looks too good, handles too well, and is too much fun to drive to leave off that list.

In my opinion, those that have written or spoken that Honda has somehow failed on one or both intents for the CR-Z (sports car & gas saving hybrid) have a bone to pick... for whatever reason.

I'm speculating that the bone is the "disappointment" that Honda didn't transport 2011 drivers back in time to 1985 so they could enjoy driving a Honda CRX again.

Yes... we all know, it's not a CRX... and it never will be... because government regulations will never allow a car to be built like the CRX again. Cars today are far heavier due to increased government safety regulations, making high MPG's tough for any car manufacturer. And even more so, every single car above the CR-Z on the EPA.gov's MPG list has a HUGE weighty battery in it too, making it tough to get on to that list at all, let alone being in the top 5.

I will admit it would be cool to see the CR-Z be available with a non-hybrid engine, as it would without a doubt be a lot closer to what the CRX used to be. But if or when that day comes, expect the city MPG rating for that car to fall to the 25-30 range (like the Fiesta and Cruze), which would mean it's no longer the "dual" car Honda intended the CR-Z to be.

It's fine if you wanted the intent of the CR-Z to be something different than Honda did. But to argue that Honda failed to reach both of its intent of the CR-Z is a reach! They pretty much nailed it. It's both a gas saving hybrid, and a sports car. It won't top the list of either, but it belongs on both top lists.

Just my two cents!
 

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I agree with you for sure. In reviews the economy of the CR-Z and it's sportiness as well are rather understated and not reflective of it's true nature. The problem is that reviewers, whether they are of the sports car camp, or the hybrid economy camp, are at extremes of the spectrum. The CR-Z as a sports car of course doesn't compare to other high end sports cars so to them it's not sporty enough. To 99% of people out there it's a lot more fun than most cars they drive. Again it's not the most economical car but it's more economical than what 99% of people are driving. So that's why despite the reviews (from obviously biased reviewers), people are enjoying this new hybrid. Sport hybrid subcompacts are going to be a huge market. Lexus like you said is coming out with a hybrid (CT200h) although it's not a manual and actually not quite as fast as the CR-Z, but there's a market. With fuel prices creeping towards $4.00 a gallon, people still do want something fun to drive but don't want to get raped at the pump.
 

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rhammersmith
Wow thats a long post. I did not read all of it but I have 5k on my CRZ and the car is very under rated. My mileage has been as low as 28 mpg and as high of 44 mpg. The car is great over all. I have had several cars in the past that did get better gas mileage but they did not handle well or look as good as this CRZ. Also its in what are you looking for. All the cars you have listed are boring on looks, handling and performance. You will find that this site is full of people that love this car. Our other car is a 2010 Ford Fusion Sport AWD. Its a great car but only averages 23 mpg. We drove the Fusion hybrid and its handling sucked. I would rather take a hit on mpg and enjoy the driving experience.
 

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Yep, I have been thinking about this constantly also. Face it you cant have a Hybrid sports car with the best of both worlds. It obviously will sit in the middle just like the CR-Z. We get gas mileage we are happy with and it takes corners great, just a bunch of biased reviewers with a closed mind
 

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I was just talking to one of my friends about this.
I mentioned how underated I think the car is but how I am extremely happy with it.

The thing is, there is nothing like the CRZ out there.
It's a car that I can use for the daily commute in ECON mode and save money.
Then, when I feel like some fun driving, I can turn around put it into sport mode and it's like driving a completely different car.
It is like I own two cars.
 

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I think that the "disappointment" for some comes from the fact that in the US, the CRZ is a 2 seater.

As a result of the car having only 2 seats, the economy minded think that this should mean it will get twice the gas mileage of that acheieved from a 5 passenger car. And the sports car minded, think a 2 seater means it should perform like a Porsche, Corvette, Miata or whatever your benchmark for a 2 seat sports car is.

And while it a achieves neither of these ends, those of us who own one know the secret of the car is that it puts a smile on your face whether you are carving a corner or filing it up at the fuel pump.:thumbsup:
 

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i get between 6.6-7.6 L/100km, which is ok i suppose, giving the type of cold weather i have to deal with on a day to day bases. i woulda really liked leather seats, and sunroof. I sure hope they dont come in the 2012 ones or i will be super pissed
 

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IMHO, there are 3 ways of comparing MPG:

1. Published EPA (USDM)
2. Anecdotal ("Hai guyz, I got XX mpg!")
3. Combined tank average (from Fuelly or similar)

And none of them are the same.

1. Published EPA. Most people quote the hwy number when comparing cars, when in fact they should be paying attention to the combined number. However, the combined number is rarely published. The combined number is more biased to the city mpg number, which makes a huge difference when comparing EPA mpg across brands. Also the test method for calculating EPA mpg differs between a normal car and a hybrid, IIRC.

2. This is the least accurate method, because it's typically one or two trips taken under best case situations. And if figured by the gas pump over a short distance, the error can be quite huge. This error can be reduced by using a cumulative tank average. Also the test conditions can play a huge role here: an example would be any car magazine published mpg numbers determined during their road/track testing. Basically it fails by being statistically inaccurate.

3. A real world per tank average is a more accurate method. You can get these combined averages from Fuelly.com or the equivalent website. Unfortunately, depending on the website, it may be difficult to get comparisons when a model of a car has various engine types.

So some examples:

1. EPA: Hey, the Ford V6 Mustang gets 31 mpg! (However the combined EPA number is 23mpg, due to it getting 19 mpg city... this is the EPA number no one sees or remembers)

2. Anecdotal: Ford got 48.5 mpg from a V6 Mustang! (but the test conditions were driving on an oval track 1457 laps at an average speed of 44 mph)

3. Combined tank average: The tank average mpg reported by Ford Mustang V6 owners is about 25 mpg (and this is statistically questionable as there are only 5 entries for the 2009-present V6 on the Fuelly.com website.)
 

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Just got my latest Consumer Reports 2011 car issue. I have not finished it yet but there is so far three distinct area's in the magazine where they bash the CR-Z.....

They even gave it the "slowest" award for sporty hatch back category along with the Mitsubishi (4 CYL) Eclipse.
 

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I bought this for my 50 mile each way drive to the airport for my pilot job. I took it in for the first time today, with a total of 200 miles on the odometer. Driving 65-70 on the half way I took interstate, and 45-60 on the back roads, I got 40.4 mpg. A hell of a lot better than the 16 I was getting in the Expedition!
 

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I read one review a while ago that described the CR-Z as "the kind of oddball car Japan throws up every decade or so, that shouldn't work on paper but somehow does" and I think that's a fair description.

Looking at the numbers for acceleration and lateral G, you would expect the CR-Z to be slow and not terribly agile. That doesn't translate into the driving experience though, where the car does feel lively and nimble. I wouldn't describe the car as fast, but when my friends ask me about performance I'll reply that it's fast enough, because while it may not be fast in the grand scheme of things, it's fast enough to drive comfortably on the motorway, fast enough to overtake and fast enough to put a smile on your face. You have to ask yourself, what's the point in being much faster than that?

As for fuel economy, I'm very happy with what my car returns. I get around 38mpg urban and 50mpg extra-urban (Imperial gallons) and, this is the key part, that's without even trying. If I wanted to drive everywhere like my grandmother just to save fuel, I'd have bought an Insight, because I'd happily trade the turgid acceleration and lifeless handling for better mileage, a cheaper purchase price and greater practicality. The CR-Z enables me to get really quite good fuel economy with only a minimal impact on my driving style and experience and in these days of soaring motoring costs, I think that's worth quite a bit.

The other thing that almost no reviewers have picked up on, I suspect because of the way they test cars, is the CR-Z's party piece - namely that because the IMA system regenerates under braking and aids acceleration, it's at its most active during hard driving. In practice I find that no matter how hard I push the CR-Z, and I can push it pretty damn hard, the mileage never drops lower than 35mpg. That means when confronted with a nice, clear, twisty open road I can open her up and have some fun without having to worry about what it's costing me. Most reviewers compare the CR-Z against diesel cars and although they will often beat its fuel consumption at motorway speeds, if you really thrash them their fuel economy will quickly nosedive into the low 20s.

To put it briefly: The CR-Z is a licence to keep the fun in driving in an era when it's being priced and legislated out of existence.
 

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I read one review a while ago that described the CR-Z as "the kind of oddball car Japan throws up every decade or so, that shouldn't work on paper but somehow does" and I think that's a fair description.

Looking at the numbers for acceleration and lateral G, you would expect the CR-Z to be slow and not terribly agile. That doesn't translate into the driving experience though, where the car does feel lively and nimble. I wouldn't describe the car as fast, but when my friends ask me about performance I'll reply that it's fast enough, because while it may not be fast in the grand scheme of things, it's fast enough to drive comfortably on the motorway, fast enough to overtake and fast enough to put a smile on your face. You have to ask yourself, what's the point in being much faster than that?

As for fuel economy, I'm very happy with what my car returns. I get around 38mpg urban and 50mpg extra-urban (Imperial gallons) and, this is the key part, that's without even trying. If I wanted to drive everywhere like my grandmother just to save fuel, I'd have bought an Insight, because I'd happily trade the turgid acceleration and lifeless handling for better mileage, a cheaper purchase price and greater practicality. The CR-Z enables me to get really quite good fuel economy with only a minimal impact on my driving style and experience and in these days of soaring motoring costs, I think that's worth quite a bit.

The other thing that almost no reviewers have picked up on, I suspect because of the way they test cars, is the CR-Z's party piece - namely that because the IMA system regenerates under braking and aids acceleration, it's at its most active during hard driving. In practice I find that no matter how hard I push the CR-Z, and I can push it pretty damn hard, the mileage never drops lower than 35mpg. That means when confronted with a nice, clear, twisty open road I can open her up and have some fun without having to worry about what it's costing me. Most reviewers compare the CR-Z against diesel cars and although they will often beat its fuel consumption at motorway speeds, if you really thrash them their fuel economy will quickly nosedive into the low 20s.

To put it briefly: The CR-Z is a licence to keep the fun in driving in an era when it's being priced and legislated out of existence.
One of the best reviews/ arguments for, I have ever read! Good job!:thumbsup::hi5:
 

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Why thank you! I've also found a bit of a gem that I'm not sure has been posted on here before, but it's hypermiling guru Wayne Gerdes' hands-on with the CR-Z: Honda Is Entrusting CleanMPG With the 6-speed CR-Z For A Week :D - Page 5 - CleanMPG Forums

He's very positive about the car's potential as a high fuel economy vehicle and although it's clear that it's not quite up there with the Insight and Civic hybrids, he feels that's more than made up for by it being a fun and appealing car. He's also very critical of the journalists that have written most of the reviews.

Some of Wayne's driving techniques scare the wits out of me but you can be sure that if this car was merely masquerading as fuel efficient, he'd waste no time labelling it as such.
 

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I read one review a while ago that described the CR-Z as "the kind of oddball car Japan throws up every decade or so, that shouldn't work on paper but somehow does" and I think that's a fair description.

Looking at the numbers for acceleration and lateral G, you would expect the CR-Z to be slow and not terribly agile. That doesn't translate into the driving experience though, where the car does feel lively and nimble. I wouldn't describe the car as fast, but when my friends ask me about performance I'll reply that it's fast enough, because while it may not be fast in the grand scheme of things, it's fast enough to drive comfortably on the motorway, fast enough to overtake and fast enough to put a smile on your face. You have to ask yourself, what's the point in being much faster than that?

As for fuel economy, I'm very happy with what my car returns. I get around 38mpg urban and 50mpg extra-urban (Imperial gallons) and, this is the key part, that's without even trying. If I wanted to drive everywhere like my grandmother just to save fuel, I'd have bought an Insight, because I'd happily trade the turgid acceleration and lifeless handling for better mileage, a cheaper purchase price and greater practicality. The CR-Z enables me to get really quite good fuel economy with only a minimal impact on my driving style and experience and in these days of soaring motoring costs, I think that's worth quite a bit.

The other thing that almost no reviewers have picked up on, I suspect because of the way they test cars, is the CR-Z's party piece - namely that because the IMA system regenerates under braking and aids acceleration, it's at its most active during hard driving. In practice I find that no matter how hard I push the CR-Z, and I can push it pretty damn hard, the mileage never drops lower than 35mpg. That means when confronted with a nice, clear, twisty open road I can open her up and have some fun without having to worry about what it's costing me. Most reviewers compare the CR-Z against diesel cars and although they will often beat its fuel consumption at motorway speeds, if you really thrash them their fuel economy will quickly nosedive into the low 20s.

To put it briefly: The CR-Z is a licence to keep the fun in driving in an era when it's being priced and legislated out of existence.
:thumbsup::thumbsup: Excellent review. Funnest car I've ever owned. After almost 5000 mi now I've found that the optimal experience with this car (6mt) is keeping it in sport mode almost exclusively and still managing 38-40 mpg without really trying.
 
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