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Making the jump 5 years from 2011 to the 2016, the presumed last model year of our beloved car, I thought I would point out some undocumented/hidden new or improved features I think are pretty interesting.

Smart(er) auto headlights (EX and above)
My 2011 was relatively dumb when it came to turning on the headlights automatically. It had a sensitivity setting, but it turned on the headlights and dimmed the interior in one fell swoop. It behaved the same in the ON setting as well. There are times when you should have your headlights on during the day but don't want the interior dimmed - inclement weather and varying state laws are two possible reasons.

The 2016 handles this much better. If you turn your headlights ON in daylight, it keeps the Auto functionality (to whatever your sensitivity you've set) for dimming the interior lights. So you don't have to adjust your brightness setting every time night hits and you had your lights on earlier in the day.

The hatch has a lock button, too (EX and above)
Let's say you park your car and you have to grab something out of the hatch. The keyfob is in your pocket and you're going to carry the groceries inside but you don't want to pull the fob out to lock the car. You're in luck! The hatch has a lock button, just right of the release button. One touch and the whole car is locked.

It still has a CD player (All models)
Yes, we live in an age of fully digital music libraries and streaming Spotify playlists, but sometimes it's nice to buy a CD at the store, unwrap it in the car, and just push play. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I don't think I am. Physical media isn't dead (yet), as much as the 2016 Civic would make you think. The CR-Z spec sheet online makes no mention of it, either. The eject button slides the screen away from the front, revealing the slot, just like previous Nav models did. The disc slot still supports media files, if that's your cup of tea, as well. 3.5mm AUX jack has been removed, but you get an extra USB slot as a trade.

It doesn't have CarPlay/Android Auto, but Bluetooth is so much better (All models)
Bluetooth in my 2011 was so spotty and sounded so terrible, I would constantly have to shout at people, or pull calls off of HandsFreeLink just to get a word in edgewise. I'm not sure if the software, hardware, or both are improved, but it feels like a useful feature now. It's nice being able to activate Siri without touching my phone. Siri bypasses the need for me to have to sort out which voice commands do what for my radio, which vary by territory anyway. Canadians can change climate control settings with voice commands according to my Owner's Guide, but Americans are left out entirely this round.

Did Sport mode give me an intake/exhaust?!? (EX and above)
This little tidbit is so humorous to me, because it is not documented anywhere in English (save for a handful of third party articles talking about the Japanese redesign that we were rumored to get). The 2016 CR-Z has both Active Noise Control and Active Sound Control. Here's the description of these features on the US 2016 Accord press kit:

Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC) are standard across the Accord model range. Using microphones, a signal processor and the Accord's audio speakers, ANC counteracts engine noise, while ASC helps create a more linear and sophisticated high-rpm engine note.
Now, how do I know the 2016 CR-Z has this feature? They market it in Japan!



Which very roughly translates to:

Inflate the fun to manipulate in the switching of the sound that reaches the ear. Manufacturer's option
The to the speaker output pleasant engine sound depending on the situation "active sound control". ECON or NORMAL at the time of the 3 mode drive system, the feeling of acceleration and sophisticated sound response to the linear accelerator in operation. SPORT at the time of the more boost the sound, to produce a more chest throbbing run.
I have the same microphone in my headliner, and when I am heavy on the throttle in each of the three drive modes, the loudness of the engine note inside the cabin changes. I thought I was losing my mind for the first week after my 600-mile break-in, or that maybe they added a bunch more power and didn't bother updating any documentation. Nope, it's just my audio system augmenting the engine sound. Further proof can be found in the US parts list: 39200-SZT-A01 CONTROL UNIT, ACTIVE NOISE $245.28. Weird, to be sure, but I'll be darned if hitting the sport button and hearing the engine note get a little louder doesn't put a big smile on my face.

That's it! That's all I've got right now. Is there anything new or cool in the 2016 you noticed?

Related: http://www.crzforum.com/forum/general-discussion/8557-favorite-surprising-cr-z-feature.html (all years)
 

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The 2016 CR-Z's new & improved features

I'm on my third CRZ (2016), having come from '11 and '13. All were EX models.

I absolutely love the car with the latest batch of changes. The keyless entry and updated infotainment were sorely needed.

Some changes that didn't live up to expectation, and some that did:
- the keyless entry will not automatically lock or unlock as you leave or approach the car.
- Honda has put the same piano black plastic around the radio console. It's way too shiny and glints from sunlight has already triggered two migraines. I keep a lotto ticket wedged into the hinged sunglasses door to act as a shade.
- The automatic day/night mirror that was standard on the EX has been deleted. I don't really miss it, but a home link rear view mirror would have been nice.
- I'm not a huge fan of the Honda lane watch camera. I like the systems that chirp on my significant other's Mazda3 when changing lanes or backing out. The button on the stalk has a sharp edge which is rather surprising for a Honda.
- I've gotten rather used to the ebrake. It will automatically release in reverse with the seatbelt on.
- In addition to the exhaust note mentioned in the OP, the dampers were noticeably firmer and the car is quieter on the highway (although that could be the new tires).
- Initially I was disappointed that it didn't have CarPlay, but I really don't miss it. Sometimes Bluetooth audio has a hiccup if I plug the phone into the charger. I do like that the Bluetooth seems to have better response, particularly when I run the GPS on the phone, but it always has to assert an ugly dialogue box on the radio display everytime audio is transmitted. I guess there's no way for it to tell the difference between streaming audio and a phone call if you are listening to other content.
- When on the Bluetooth audio page of the radio, it has a pause button which historically has been absent in the iPod page.
- I think the turn signal stalks are an all new design. Not illuminated though.
- The armrest is comfortable and the storage is good. But if you have your arm on it at idle, the lid is prone to rattling on the console.
- The annoying mysterious rear hatch rattle seems to be gone
- The new radio also has an info screen that displays a little more mpg data than the one in the cluster. However, the bar display is not linear like the cluster.
- I like that the nanny legal screen that appears at startup, goes away on its own quickly, and goes to the screen that you had previously displayed on the radio.
All in all, I really like the 2016, and wish it had these improvements years ago.
 

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- the keyless entry will not automatically lock or unlock as you leave or approach the car.
This surprised me most, coming from the 2015 Civic loaner, which unlocks when you grip the door handle. I think you still had to use the lock button when leaving it, though. Seems simple enough: no key = locked as a persistent state! Especially since it knows whether you are inside or outside the car. At least make it a setting we can change.

- Honda has put the same piano black plastic around the radio console. It's way too shiny and glints from sunlight has already triggered two migraines. I keep a lotto ticket wedged into the hinged sunglasses door to act as a shade.
Have you considered buying the Nav trim from another year? Wasn't it the same weird texture as the dash?

- The automatic day/night mirror that was standard on the EX has been deleted. I don't really miss it, but a home link rear view mirror would have been nice.
It was standard because they already ran power to it for the backup camera. Nav models actually didn't have the automatic day/night mirrors as standard because they used the Nav screen to display the camera. A unique design choice for sure.

- I'm not a huge fan of the Honda lane watch camera. I like the systems that chirp on my significant other's Mazda3 when changing lanes or backing out. The button on the stalk has a sharp edge which is rather surprising for a Honda.
I have mine disabled with turn signal activation in the settings, I don't want to become dependent on a feature that isn't standard on all cars yet, though Honda will probably add it to their standard safety suite soon enough. I occasionally activate it manually when changing lanes in traffic for slight peace of mind. I think Honda uses cameras because radar is probably more expensive to implement. I still think the little backup sensor discs are unsightly on a bumper, so I'm thankful in a way.

(although that could be the new tires)
Bridgestones on yours, too? Those old Dunlops were trash.

- I think the turn signal stalks are an all new design.
For 2016, they are. They also have one-touch 3-blink lane change functionality, which I enjoy.

- The armrest is comfortable and the storage is good. But if you have your arm on it at idle, the lid is prone to rattling on the console.
- The annoying mysterious rear hatch rattle seems to be gone
Your car idles? Haha, I kid. Mine is in auto stop at 98% of lights, so I haven't noticed this quirk yet. I haven't heard any vibrations in this car, which is nice.

Thanks for the detailed response!
 

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Yes, the car did finally come with Bridgestone this time. I took off previous Dunlops at delivery lol.

I may go with the early model nav trim. I had considered it, but the lotto ticket has been working ;)

The seats seem firmer too. At first I thought it was just due to less wear but my passenger noticed it as well.

To my understanding the sway bar is slightly bigger and the rear track has increased by 1 cm. Brake rotor diameter has also increased.

The rear back up camera has the choice of three views. The lanewatch side camera has lines every 16 feet which represent car lengths.

The USB ports have more current than the previous one. My phone no longer loses charge while connected with the GPS on. Speaking of GPS, one can buy the Honda GPS app, but it's not as sophisticated as others.

Stock radio range and noise suppression is very good. I didn't have static until about 70 miles from the FM station, and kept finding signal until about 90 miles. This varies of course due to terrain and competing stations.

The display audio headunit has a 'secret' key combo to bring up a diagnostic screen that can allow mirrored video over hdmi while moving. It's more of a novelty as I have the phone mounted nearby.
 

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Oh, let's see now. I'd quote you guys, but it'd take three pages. Most of what I read sounds like the kind of "do things right" that Honda seems so good at.
Nice to hear of the lock button in the hatch handle.
I know I'm a dinosaur, but so's most of my music. And after having bought most of my favorites -often in three media modes: vinyl record, cassette tape (I just missed 8-track, thank god), and CD- I have little sense of guilt about "sharing" music anymore. Being able to burn a rotation on to a CD is fast and cheap, and when a disk gets damaged, who cares? I'm sure this is the same radio that was in the CR-V loaner I had for a week, it had a hidden CD slot as well, and no CarPlay. The radio in the Civic loaner didn't much impress me with its Android implementation, yet. Couple more years, perhaps. I greatly appreciate the extra USB sockets, but are all of them charging ports? I'm not sure the Civic's were. Also, I had no luck with putting more than one thumb drive in at a time, the radio never found more than one. My '13 Z seems to do well through bluetooth. I know there was a fairly significant radio upgrade in '13.
Very interesting about the dynamic noise reduction- Nissan had done that on the Maxima in about '80 or so, but I don't recall "hearing" any more about it. Glad to hear it's been resurrected... although for what it is, if you're on a road surface the tires get along with, the Z is a remarkably quiet little car.
The Civic's remote lock also locked the car when I got about twenty feet away. During the worst part of our summers, I got awfully spoiled by the Civic's remote start, which also set the climate control to around 75° or something, my god it was wonderful. Sadly, the Z didn't get the remote start.
Shiny dashboards can be quickly fixed with some Testor's Dull Coat, but yeah, building it that way just isn't right.
I didn't like the Lane Watch gimmick in the Civic, because the screen was too far below the driving line-of-sight. It was a little better in the CR-V, and I'll bet in the Z that it might be very good.
From what I've found on the internaweb, I'm not sure that video cheat for the HDMI input works on the Z's radio, and that it isn't persistent in cases where it works- it has to be keyed in every time the car's started. I'd be delighted to hear if that's wrong. Apparently the people trying to hack video into the '13's head unit never mastered it. The thread here on the forum died.
Mine had Dunlops on it when I got it, and I replaced them very recently with some "Thunderer" tires from Thailand. The Dunlops were getting noisy with age (45K), and these things seem fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I greatly appreciate the extra USB sockets, but are all of them charging ports? I'm not sure the Civic's were. Also, I had no luck with putting more than one thumb drive in at a time, the radio never found more than one. My '13 Z seems to do well through bluetooth. I know there was a fairly significant radio upgrade in '13.
I believe they do both charge, and the radio seems to be able to distinguish between a USB stick and an actual iPod or iPhone. Similar to your dual USB stick situation, when you have an iPod and iPhone (both technically iPods, to the untrained radio) connected simultaneously, one seems to take priority. I can't tell if it's the first device it registers or if "slot 1" always takes over. Makes no nevermind to me, since I can just switch over to Bluetooth to prioritize my phone, which my iPod classic doesn't have.
 

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When all this iPod, bluetooth, Android and the real user world gets sorted out, in-car entertainment is going to be both spectacular and simple.

Anyone dealt with Ford's Synch stuff?
 

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I had a '12 CR-Z and now have a '16. It is definitely quieter and I've put on some stickier and quiet summer tires in addition to some sound deadening.

Personally, I love the Lanewatch camera, my Accord had it too. The S2000 I have... well... lower the top and there aren't any blind spots :)

Maybe it's just me but the handling is better, the rear doesn't get as upset by bumps as previous years, the ride is possibly slightly stiffer but still comfortable and there is less body roll. I frankly plan on keeping the suspension stock. The tires combined with an LSD should equal some serious handling.

As for the audio system, I love the changes for 2016.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When all this iPod, bluetooth, Android and the real user world gets sorted out, in-car entertainment is going to be both spectacular and simple.

Anyone dealt with Ford's Synch stuff?
Used Ford/Microsoft SYNC on a rental 2014 Fiesta after I had taken delivery on my '11 while they sorted out the paint and seat staining issues (which they never did). It wasn't any better or worse than HandsFreeLink at the time. I think it had Bluetooth audio, which of course my car didn't. Embarrassing that Ford's cheapest car had a radio that had a feature mine didn't. All that to say: "meh." But I don't think anything Ford has done in the past 30 years has been right, except killing off the Thunderbird a second time and making the GT40. What's that called? "Jaded?" Or "hater?"
 

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I used to do Model A restorations, and learned enough about ol' Henry to have serious reservations about Fords. And I may not keep my CR-Z for a decade or two, but every drive it feels like it'd go the years and the miles without a peep. I guess the other makers just don't have such good robots.
 

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I guess the other makers just don't have such good robots.
Or R&D departments, engineers, accountants. The Japanese may have "stolen" mass auto production from the US, but to take it and beat them at their own game is still impressive to me. When you have a Japanese brand building 99% of their models in North America (hey, we ARE part of the 1%!) and Chevy importing cars from Thailand, something seems backwards. Oh well.

:eek:fftopic:
 

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I would gladly give back one of the USB slots to get back the AUX jack. (Why do we need two of them anyway?) I still would like to use some of my older devices that can only accommodate the AUX jack connection. Still prowling various area shops looking for a USB to AUX plug in cord. Any suggestions appreciated.

Also not too crazy about the extra button pushes required to navigate (no pun intended) around the new audio/visual controls. Maybe I was spoiled by my 2013 EX Navi, but I thought when you upgrade to a new model things were supposed to be a stop forwards, not backwards. Approaching my first 1000 miles (31 days) and everything is starting to feel more comfortable.
 

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The automotive industry wasn't stolen, but driven away by various unions. Somehow they thought it was proper for someone putting three bolts (more or less) in a fender as it went down the production line to earn enough to be able to support a family of four. Sites such as DetroitYES - Fabulous Ruins Table of Contents will show how well that scheme worked out.

I don't know enough about USB to know if an adapter exists that will let player (etc.) output sneak into a sound system.
 

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I would gladly give back one of the USB slots to get back the AUX jack. (Why do we need two of them anyway?) I still would like to use some of my older devices that can only accommodate the AUX jack connection. Still prowling various area shops looking for a USB to AUX plug in cord. Any suggestions appreciated.
I posted-then-deleted a device I bought for my 2011 to give it Bluetooth capabilities but it does the reverse of what you need. It allowed a Bluetooth-enabled device to connect to any AUX port.

After some googling, this $28 transmitter is what you need to have AUX again. You can use one of the two USB ports to power it. Voila!
 
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