• Jun 17, 2010
Jason Barlow in the Honda CR-Z in Japan – Click above to watch video after the jump

Honda snagged former Top Gear presenter and current Top Gear mag and Sunday Times writer Jason Barlow for a drive around Japan in the Honda CR-Z. He starts his shtick by putting the car in context "It's not a gas-guzzling V-eht," (watch the vid, you'll see), but "a different kind of car for a different kind of road trip."

We're fine with that. But when he opines a little later that "It's a car that car enthusiasts have been waiting for, rather than being made to drive a car that looks like a little spaceship," well, we wonder who did the writing on the one. See, we have a nagging feeling that if he were reviewing the CR-Z for Top Gear, well, the script would have read slightly differently... Follow the jump to see what he thinks and how he goes on his "journey of discovery."

[Source: YouTube via Carscoop]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Barlow is from Fifth Gear, not Top Gear.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Barlow hosted Top Gear in the final couple of years of the old format, which ended in 2001. Vicki Butler-Henderson also starred in TG on and off for a number of years in the 1990's when Clarkson, Needell and Willson hosted the show.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wasn't the Honda 600 the spiritual ancestor of the CR-Z?

      • 4 Years Ago
      This little car is growing on me more and more. While I'm not the biggest fan of hybrids, it looks like it might be genuinely interesting to weave around corners, all while easing up on my wallet as gas prices increase, which they inevitably will.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What ruins this car for me is not the fact that it is slow or doesn't get the kind of fuel economy one would expect, but rather, in NA it doesn't come with a back seat. For me, a car has to have a back seat for semi-occasional use, even if it only has enough room for a cat.

      A well balanced, well tuned car doesn't necessarily need a lot of power to excite the senses. In my experience, driving a slow car fast can be just as exciting as driving a fast car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        58 mpg in Econ mode isn't good enough for you?
        • 4 Years Ago

        I should clarify. 56mpg is good enough for me, and I would be willing to bet that it is better than rated in the real world if proper driving techniques are applied. Other people though, seem to think this is inadequate when you consider the size of the car and that it isn't particularly powerful, which is understandable as well. When you factor in the fact that it is a hybrid, one might expect better economy.

        It should also be noted that what I value in a car is a well sorted chassis, quick reflexes, good brakes, a manual transmission, fuel economy, and some sort of back seat so that I am not limited to bringing one person along for the ride. I don't care about power. This car could have a total of 90hp, and it wouldn't matter. I drive for the joy of driving, and you don't need to go fast to have fun, especially when you can row your own gears.

        @ Kiiks

        I really like the Fit. I like how incredibly functional the interior is. And I really like the fact that it can carry a bunch of stuff and your friends, and still get great fuel economy. I have no qualms with the Fit, its a great car. However, being a 20 year old lad, I like the way the CR-Z looks, and even though it is less functional, it is probably the car I would end up with in my driveway (so to speak, it would actually have to be parked on the street). On an emotional level, it appeals to me more. But... it doesn't have a backseat, and so it really isn't even an option.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As they say, driving a slow car fast is more fun than driving a fast car slow.

        They already have a fun slow car, the Fit. It is also amazingly utilitarian, with almost 60 cubic feet of cargo space, so good that two of my friends bought one. Take away the rear seats, the cargo space, add weight, make it more slower and more expensive. Really?
      • 4 Years Ago
      "you have to recalibrate what you expect from a car"

      uhhh.. that's the fanciest way of apologizing for poor acceleration I have ever heard.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That language jumped out at me too. And he qualifies it with "The
        whole point of the CR-Z is to recalibrate..." I'm going to turn down
        that invitation Honda. The point of this car is to lower your
        expectations. No thanks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No Jason, a car needs to be calibrated to MY expectations for me to buy it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      He must be from Top Gear Australia, because that's not the same Jason I remember from Top Gear (UK) season 1.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jason Barlow starred in the old TG format and hosted the show for a while around nine/ten years ago after the Clarkson/Needell/Willson era.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Top Gear did not begin in 2002, you know.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice advertorial.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You know, people might say "oh this car isn't that sporty" etc., etc. but i mean, seriously, would you take this? or a Prius/Insight? I mean, c'mon, at least it's an improvement AND it's sportiER than a Prius and Insight. i'd certainly take it over those two...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. Trashing on the CRZ due to it's specs is getting a bit old. Honda is calling it a "sporty" car. How is that bad? They're not saying it's the next Civic SiR, or the next Prelude, or the next RSX Type S. It's a sporty hybrid that's comfortable, fun to drive, feature-laden, and efficient. So far the reviews have been great.

        I'm sorry, but the 80's are over - and unfortunately, small, lightweight, fun to drive cars that get 55-65 mpg are (mostly) gone as well. Until the next generation of engine technology appears, I think the CRZ may a peak into the future of sporty - maybe even "sports" - cars. With predictions of $5/gal gas by 2012, and people demanding strict crash ratings, every electronic stability/traction control known to man, as well as hundreds of airbags per vehicle - the performance specs of the CRZ are going to become more and more common.

        Honda is just ahead of the game.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I like it, looks great and 10seconds to 60 is wholly usable in urban congested traffic so not a deal breaker. I might opt for one of these for DD.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Check out the eye candy at 3:15. :)

      • 4 Years Ago
      You know what, the CR-Z is actually growing on me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Speaking of Top Gear, I can hardly wait for the CR-Z to be reviewed during next season!
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