Honda Not Giving Us Fits, but CR-Z Hybrids Instead

July 14th, 2009

Honda CR-Z HybridSince it has gotten such lousy reviews on the new Insight, Honda apparently hopes the new CR-Z Hybrid will do better, even as it uses basically the same powertrain. The difference is that this car, like the beloved CRX before it, will appeal to the sporty set. Judging by the many positive comments on the Autoweek story, a lot of them will be tempted. Sign up for email info from Honda here.

The CR-Z Hybrid will go on sale in Japan in February 2010 and should be in the U.S. by the middle of next year. Honda seems ready to commit to an across-the-board hybrid lineup, as Toyota has. Whether that will work in this country is anybody’s guess. The Insight was the top-selling car in Japan this year (until the new Prius took over the crown), and Honda has new, better, two-engine powertrains under development for its larger models.

Let us not forget, however, that Japan has government incentives to go hybrid, as well as higher gas prices. Hybrids are going to be niche vehicles here unless either or both of those conditions change.

2009 Honda FitHonda also announced that the Fit Hybrid will become available in Japan before the end of the year; there are no plans to bring it here. This news may not send thrills and chills up your spines, CR-Z fans, though the Fit will cost lots less and may well sell better. But, my God, it’s ugly.

If the CR-Z Hybrid were in the $20,000 range, as predicted, would you buy one? What would tempt you?

—jgoods

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  1. frank furbish
    July 16th, 2009 at 15:27 | #1

    Tina and I would love to buy the CRZ as long as there is a small jumpseat in the rear for our little one on the way!!!

  2. Ron
    July 15th, 2009 at 08:00 | #2

    I absolutely want a CR-Z, especially if it is less than $25k. I’ve been looking forward to this car since it was first unveiled. There’s only one thing that might dissuade me from purchasing it: Lack of a manual transmission. Thus far, all photo’s have been of an automatic model. I did read one comment from a Honda engineer saying that since it is a spiritual successor to the CR-X it has to have a manual option, but that is hardly official. If it comes in manual, count me in. Also they could make the grill a little less prominent.

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