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NUTS & BOLTS

Specs on the 2011 Honda CR-Z EX

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bottom line: The Honda CR-Z is the perfect second or third car for the affluent family fleet. It's overburdened as an only car. The problem here is utility, although the CR-Z has 25.1 cubic feet of luggage space. We found much of that space to be less than useful.

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Ride, acceleration and handling: In "Sport" mode, it gets excellent marks in all three. It's livable in all three in "Normal" and "Econ" settings.

Head-turning quotient: It's a matter of acquired taste. I like its sleek angularity and Audi R8 face, which everyone seems to be copying nowadays. But I'm told by certain associates that I have no taste.

Body style/layout: The Honda CR-Z is a compact, front-wheel-drive, gasoline-electric-hybrid two-seat coupe. The front-mounted engine is assisted by a 10-kilowatt permanent magnet electric motor powered by a nickel-metal-hydride battery.

Drive system: A 1.5-liter in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine (122 horsepower, 123 foot-pounds of torque) works in tandem with a battery-powered electric motor (equivalent 13 horsepower, 58 foot-pounds torque) to propel the car. An automatic, continuously variable transmission (no fixed gears) is standard. A six-speed manual gearbox is available.

Capacities: There are seats for two people and enough luggage space for two soft-pack overnight bags. The fuel tank holds 10.6 gallons of regular gasoline.

Mileage: Our real-world mileage was 34 mpg city and 36.5 mpg highway.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front/solid rear); antilock brake protection, emergency braking assistance, side and head air bags, and electronic stability and traction control.

Price: The base price on the 2011 Honda CR-Z EX sports coupe with onboard navigation is $23,210. Dealer's invoice price is $21,894. Price as tested is $23,960, including a $750 transportation charge. Dealer's price as tested is $22,644.


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