Is the 2011 Honda CR-Z a Comeback CR-X Model Remake?
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Is the 2011 Honda CR-Z a Comeback CR-X Model Remake?

Is the 2011 CR-Z an attempt by Honda to recreate the legendary old CR-X?

The enduring popularity of the Honda CR-X is a factor of its split-personality econobox and small sports car dual roles. Similar attempts to capture two markets produced a car that could be regarded as schizophrenic or just plain useless, but the CR-X (stood for Compact Renaissance X) produced a harmonious fusion of sportiness, fun, efficiency, and yes, style. This winning combination has had Honda fans clamoring for a comeback since the original CR-X line died in 1992 and was replaced with the Civic CR-X del Sol. Is the CR-Z a remake of the CRX?

There are some similarities between the two cars despite 20 years of intervening Honda history. Both cars have the same basic layout: a two-seater hatchback. In fact, both cars are of relatively similar size (especially when comparing the evolution of product lines like Accord). Other than the basic structure, the cars have little else in common.

CRX was known for its simplicity. The HF or high-fuel efficiency model lacked an automatic transmission, power steering, and air conditioning in many cases. All of its engineering was designed around producing a light, compact, and cheap car. This Honda did very well: it produced a car weighing in at about 1800 pounds and costing $9,400 (approximate original MSRP for 1991 CRX HF). This works out to approximately $14,900 in current 2011 dollars.

The all new Honda CR-Z is anything but simple. It contains all the modern amenities expected for today’s cars including air conditioning, air bags, anti-lock brakes, and an electronic dashboard. It also includes several less than typical pieces of standard equipment: the hybrid drive train and some seriously high tech looking seat styling. Despite this, the base model only costs $19,435 brand new. For what the car offers, this isn’t a bad deal, but it definitely does not recreate the penny pinching mentality of the CR-X.

One look at the dash of the CR-Z suggests that it is attempting to fuse all three CR-X models into one. The buttons that enable you to select between Sport, Normal, and Econ driving modes are designed to change the tuning attitude and response of the car, but they don’t do anything near as radical as turn it into a CRX HF, DX, or Si. The fuel economy number is limited to 37 mpg highway on the CR-Z, but even the sporty CR-X Si could get 39 mpg.

In short, while CR-Z is certainly a part of the Honda family and displays elements of kinship with its older CR-X brethren, it is not a remake. It is, rather, a separate and distinct model that will make its own history. CR-Z is certainly the closest thing to the CR-X that Honda has made since the original, however. It is entirely possible for Honda to expand the CR-Z model range in the future and introduce an HF version just like they have done with the 2012 Honda Civic HF, which has seating for four and 40 mpg highway EPA estimate.

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Comments (3)

Interesting article, although I know VERY little about cars! ; )

Thank you! Basically, the old CR-X was a very popular two-seater because it was sporty and fun. It is still popular today because it gets incredible gas mileage: as high as 50+ mpg. People have been begging Honda to remake it since it was cancelled.

They are very good cars

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