2016 Honda CR-Z front quarter view The 2016 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid goes on sale 3 November in North America, with a starting price from $20,295. The CR-Z starts with the base version, the CR-Z LX, with 6-speed manual transmission (MT) and goes up to the CR-Z EX-L at $25,090 with standard navigation (CVT).

Refreshed with exterior design and trim upgrades for 2016, the CR-Z’s “one-motion” exterior wedge shape begins at its low-slung hood to form a broad forward stance, with its deeply inset beltline adding a dynamic element. The redesigned front end features sharp lines that flow from the sheet work and terminate in an angular eight-point polygon grille. A sharp, blade-like front diffuser sweeps up from the center and dissects the front corners to form triangular fog light wells that create a wider look and feature prominent lower aero sills. The upward sweeping aero features of the front are mirrored at the rear, pushing the exit pod design elements to the sides for a wider looking stance.

Standard exterior features include: CR-Z EX and EX-L versions add LED DRLs (daytime running lights), High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and fog lights.

Upgraded interior surface treatments include a new brushed metallic finish to the door handles, front paneling and center console. The leather-wrapped steering wheel and new-for-2016 heated and leather-trimmed seats on the top-of-the-line EX-L Navi trim include an attractive contrasting stitch pattern. Creating an even sportier cockpit feel, a new center console rises between the seats with a comfortable armrest and deep storage compartment. Allowing for this addition is a new standard electric parking brake (EPB) that eliminates the traditional parking brake lever and offers easier push-button operation. Other highlights consist of power windows, power door locks, remote entry and expanded view driver’s mirror. Additionally, the amenities include a modern instrument panel with illuminated 3-D color gauges, the tachometer with backl-it, sweeping upper dashboard shape that creates a wraparound cockpit environment, heated leather seats with contrasting stitch (EX-L), a console behind the front seats and a hard-shell separator for additional storage.

Another new standard convenience feature is the Smart Entry and Push Button Start/Stop system that simplifies approaching, entering and operating the CR-Z. Standard on the 2016 CR-Z is the 7-inch touchscreen, which incorporates display audio for easy swipe and related functionalities.

The hybrid powertrain uses a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single-overhead cam (SOHC) engine with I-VVT and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC). The engine receives additional power from the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system’s DC brushless electric motor. Powered by a 144-volt Lithium-Ion battery pack, the 15 kW electric motor assists in acceleration and also acts as a generator during braking or coasting to capture kinetic energy to recharge the battery pack. Combined peak output is 130 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 189 Nm (140 lb.-ft.) of torque (172 Nm/127 lb.-ft. on CVT-equipped CR-Zs), including electric-motor assist. For fuel ratings, the 2016 CR-Z offers a decent 6.0l/100km (39 mpg)  on a combined cycle.

Available with three drive modes as before; Econ, Normal and Sport, the CR-Z gets better mileage or output depending on the driver’s requirements.

Handling and stability of the CR-Z continues to rely on front MacPherson strut and H-shaped torsion beam at the rear. The electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering (EPS) has been tuned to make the CR-Z sportier than ever. All CR-Zs come with 16-inch aluminum wheels and 195/55R16 tyres. Other factors that make the CR-Z unique is the low ride height, compact wheelbase and low gravity. As for ergonomics, storage of battery and hybrid components are shifted to below the rear cargo area. To further improve the 2016 CR-Z’s handling prowess, the chassis elements have been re-tuned: the front stabilizer bar diameter, increased from 19 mm to 20 mm; the rear wheel track was increased by 10 mm; and front and rear brake discs were enlarged to 11.1 inches in diameter (up from 10.3 inch front and 10.2 inch rear).

 

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