I spotted a hot-off-the-factory-floor Honda CRZ (I don’t care about the damn hyphen!) on the street in Chicago today. I knew they went on sale last month, but this is the first I have seen. As a former CRX owner, Honda’s development of a replacement for its 80s-era econobox (which was built up to 1991) has been of keen interest to me. The presale reviews I read indicated that Honda got some things right but missed others. My desires align almost perfectly with the CRX but not so well with the CRZ:
- fuel efficient
- modestly sporty drive
- two seats but large cargo area
- mechanical reliability
By all accounts, the CRZ hits the second and fourth points but fails on the first and third. Reliability is an unknown at this point, but the complexity of hybrid designs pose some obvious risks. For a hybrid vehicle to get poorer fuel efficiency than the CRX with a traditional engine of 20 years ago is pretty telling to me. Of course, the new vehicle has to accommodate a host of new safety and comfort demands, but still ….
Walking by it on the street, I had the impression is was too large. The side-by-side comparison with the CRX reinforces that impression:
It don’t think it’s a mere trick of perspective. Maybe I’ll swing by a Honda dealer and test drive one, but in its current incarnation, I don’t think I’ll be giving up my 10-year-old Acura for a new car payment on this misfit.