“The most frustrating thing about it is the way raindrops remain on the side windows after you’ve wound them down and back up.”
There, in a nutshell, is all one owner can find to criticise his CR-Z.
Strange, then, that so many of the pre-facelift cars available from 2010 to December 2012, and under discussion here, appear to have had numerous previous keepers. One independent Honda mechanic thinks he knows why: “People get bored because the car just works!”
More likely they’re a teensy bit worried about the life expectancy of the little coupé’s nickel-metal hydride battery, whose five-year warranty has just expired. It can’t be anything to do with the way the car drives.
Our 2010 road test, for instance, called it “brisk enough to be fun, especially so in Sport mode”. We went on: “It’s not the miniature driver’s tool that the second-gen CR-X was but it’s different, stylish and engaging.”
Now, eight years on, it’s a lot cheaper, with mid-spec Sport models (the most popular trim) starting at around £4500 and top-spec GTs around a grand more. Compare that with 2010 prices, which ranged from £18,035 for the standard S (alloy wheels, power windows and mirrors, and climate control), through £19,095 for the Sport (cruise control and parking sensors) to £21,220 for the GT (heated leather seats,a sunroof and front foglights).
That wasn’t overly expensive for such a technically advanced car but pretty stiff all the same for one capable of mustering only 122bhp from its 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and electric motor combined.
Fortunately, torque was a handy 128lb ft – delivered at just 1500rpm.
This healthy dollop of pulling power is why the CR-Z feels quite nippy. There are three driving modes to choose from via a rocker switch alongside the steering wheel. Most fun is Sport, which sharpens the steering and throttle response, while making the instruments glow red. Then there’s Normal, which makes the car feel slightly detuned and is the default setting. The third is Econ, which prioritises economy and should yield around 52mpg on a long run.