I’ve always loved what the CR-X stood for: a nimble economy car that’s all smiles when squealing the tires at the speed limit. So when I first drove the hybrid CR-Z from 2011, it felt like a betrayal of its predecessor; a close cousin of the gutless Honda Insight, it neither offered the sprightly dynamics nor the understated style of its classic ancestor.
But although Honda couldn’t fix all of the CR-Z’s shortfalls with a mid-cycle refresh, it’s surprisingly improved behind the wheel.
Yes, the front is still one giant overhang and the side looks like a crudely cut cheese wedge. But sit inside and the red-tinged black fabric seats are a step up from the pallid grey ones in the 2012 model, which resembled a dentist’s chair. And while not having the impudent spunk of a Veloster Turbo, the 130-hp engine actually gained some pep in the mid-range, making it enjoyable to row through the six-speed manual’s gears. For the price range it’s still one of the better transmissions around, with aRead More »from 2014 Honda CR-Z, seeking a wilder mild hybrid: Motoramic Drives