Honda adds tech to 2016 CR-Z, no powertrain upgrades

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Rumors suggest that the next-gen Honda CR-Z could finally become a real performance machine by dropping the hybrid setup in favor of a detuned version of the European Civic Type R's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. We aren't there yet, though, and for 2016 the wedge-shaped model instead receives a styling upgrade and some new tech. However, the hybrid powertrain is still exactly the same.

As previewed by the Japanese version earlier this year, the 2016 CR-Z receives a revised face with a reshaped grille. The front diffuser now slashes through the lower air dam to create triangular niches for the foglights. At the back, a redesigned bumper further echoes the nose's styling.

Honda's designers also tweak the interior by switching to an electric parking brake. This might seem minor, but because there's no longer a lever, a center console with an armrest can take up the open space. In addition, drivers can enjoy better infotainment from a standard, seven-inch Display Audio system. For the EX trim and above, the screen is used for the company's LaneWatch tech, too. Moving up to the top-spec EX-L adds navigation and heated leather seats.

Even with the powertrain the same, the 2016 CR-Z might drive a little better. Honda's engineers thicken the front stabilizer bar a hair and widen the rear track by 0.4 inches. The brake discs are also now 11.1 inches at the both ends, versus 10.3-inches at the front and 10.2 inches at the back previously.

For 2016, Honda revises the trims to LX, EX, and EX-L, but prices jump slightly. A base model now starts at $21,130 (with the $835 destination charge) versus $20,965 last year (with $820 destination). Perhaps these upgrades are enough to goose CR-Z sales because through September the model is down 25.1 percent with a volume of just 2,205 units.

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Design Updates, Enhanced Tech and New Higher-Level Trim Make the Fun and Efficient 2016 CR-Z Hybrid Sport Coupe More Stylish and Feature Rich

• New styling, inside and out, and new line-topping EX-L with standard navigation
• New available features include 7-inch Display Audio, Smart Entry and Push Button Start/Stop, Electric Parking Brake and Honda LaneWatch™
• New Honda accessories options

TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 2, 2015 – Combining new, more aggressive styling, upgraded standard and available features and sporty handling, the 2016 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid goes on sale November 3 with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP)1 ranging from $20,295 for the CR-Z LX with 6-speed manual transmission (MT) to $25,090 for the new EX-L with standard navigation (CVT). The CR-Z's agility is backed up by its punchy hybrid powerplant that produces up to an impressive 140 lb-ft of torque (MT)2, while offering EPA fuel economy ratings of up to 36/39/37 mpg3 city/highway/combined (CVT).

Boasting an edgier, more chiseled look, the redesigned front end features sharp character lines that flow from the sheet work and terminate in an angular eight-point polygon grill. A sharp, blade-like front diffuser sweeps up from the center and dissects the front corners to form triangular fog light wells that create a wider look and feature prominent lower aero sills. The aggressive stance created by the front end continues along the CR-Z's sides with flared full-length side garnishes that create a planted and sucked-to-the-tarmac look, complemented by new swept five-spoke design alloy wheels. The upward sweeping aero features of the front are mirrored at the rear, pushing the exit pod design elements to the sides for a wider looking stance.

Upgraded interior surface treatments include a new brushed metallic finish to the door handles, front paneling and center console. The leather-wrapped steering wheel and new-for-2016 heated and leather-trimmed seats on the top-of-the-line EX-L Navi trim include an attractive contrasting stitch pattern. Creating an even sportier cockpit feel, a new center console rises between the seats with a comfortable armrest and deep storage compartment. Allowing for this addition is a new standard electric parking brake (EPB) that eliminates the traditional parking brake lever and offers easier push-button operation. Another new standard convenience feature is the Smart Entry and Push Button Start/Stop system that simplifies approaching, entering and operating the CR-Z.

Newly standard on all CR-Z models is the 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen. The intuitive and easy-to-use Display Audio lets you swipe, tap and pinch–just like on a tablet computer or smartphone–to control the vehicle's audio system, display settings and other advanced features, including Pandora® compatibility. CR-Z EX and EX-L Navi trims include Honda LaneWatch™, which displays a wide-angle view of the passenger side roadway on the Display Audio screen. On the new EX-L trim, Display Audio includes as standard the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition and Honda HD Digital Traffic.

New 2016 CR-Z Features:

• Center console with armrest (standard)
• Electric parking brake (standard)
• Smart Entry and Push Button Start/Stop (standard)
• Display Audio (standard)
• Honda LaneWatch™ (EX and above)
• Heated leather seats (EX-L)
• Display Audio with Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ (EX-L)

The 2016 Honda CR-Z is available in LX, EX and EX-L trims. All trims come equipped with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an available CVT. To further enhance convenience and protection, to customize feature content and provide personalization opportunities for the 2016 CR-Z, Honda developed a range of Honda Genuine Accessories. New styling accessories include front bumper, rear tailgate and A- and B-pillar garnishes, LED fog lights with blue accent, and a fuel tank lid garnish. View, build and price a 2016 Honda CR-Z, including accessories at
Trim Transmission MSRP1 EPA MPG Rating3 (city/highway/combined)
LX MT $20,295 31/38/34
LX CVT $20,945 36/39/37
EX MT $22,140 31/38/34
EX CVT $22,790 36/39/37
EX-L MT $24,440 31/38/34
EX-L CVT $25,090 36/39/37

The hybrid powertrain uses a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single-overhead cam (SOHC) engine with "intelligent" Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC®) that receives additional power from the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA®) system's DC brushless electric motor. Powered by a 144-volt Lithium-Ion battery pack, the 15 kW electric motor assists in acceleration and also acts as a generator during braking or coasting to capture kinetic energy to recharge the battery pack. Combined peak output is 130 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 140 lb.-ft. of torque (127 lb.-ft. on CVT-equipped models), including electric-motor assist4.

Selectable Econ, Normal and Sport operating modes let the driver select his or her desired balance of economy and performance. In addition, the standard Plus Sport System delivers increased acceleration when the driver presses the "S+" button on the steering wheel (when the battery is more than 50-percent charged and the CR-Z is traveling over 19 mph). The CR-Z's idle-stop feature temporarily turns off the gasoline engine when the vehicle comes to a stop under certain conditions. In this situation, the hybrid powertrain's ECU monitors the closed throttle, speed and brake pressure to determine the driver is bringing the car to a stop. When the brake pedal is released, the engine is restarted and power is available immediately.


Refreshed with exterior design and trim upgrades for 2016, the CR-Z's "one-motion" exterior wedge shape begins at its low-slung hood to form a broad forward stance, with its deeply inset beltline adding a dynamic element. Standard exterior features include power windows and power door locks, remote entry, and an Expanded View Driver's Mirror. The CR-Z EX and EX-L model add LED daytime running lights (DRL), High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with Auto-On/Off, and fog lights.


The front MacPherson strut and rear H-shaped torsion beam suspension systems, along with electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering (EPS), are tuned to provide a sporty driving experience. All CR-Z models have 16-inch aluminum wheels and 195/55R16 tires. The CR-Z's low height, compact wheelbase and placement of the battery and other hybrid components beneath the rear cargo area contribute to a low center of gravity and responsive, sporty handling.

To further improve the 2016 CR-Z's handling prowess, the chassis was retuned with several components receiving upgrades: the front stabilizer bar diameter was increased from 19 mm to 20 mm; the rear wheel track was increased by 10 mm; and front and rear brake discs were enlarged to 11.1 inches in diameter (up from 10.3 inch front and 10.2 inch rear).


The CR-Z interior has a high-tech appearance and intuitive controls including the new Display Audio touchscreen. The hybrid sport coupe's ultra-modern instrument panel features gauges that illuminate with a three-dimensional color theme for a multi-layered appearance, with the tachometer backlighting color changing based on driving style. The sweeping upper dashboard shape creates a wraparound cockpit environment. Premium sport-oriented seats provide firm lateral support along with everyday driving comfort and are now offered on the new EX-L trim as heated leather seats with an attractive contrasting stitch pattern to provide a premium sporty interior feel. A console behind the front seats optimizes cargo space, with a hard-shell separator that can be closed to create additional hidden storage.

Standard electronic features include the Display Audio-operated, 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers and speed-sensitive volume control and a USB5 auxiliary input jack for connection to a portable audio player. Other interior features include Pandora® compatibility, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, automatic climate control and cruise control.

The CR-Z EX and EX-L adds a 360-Watt AM/FM/CD Premium Audio System with seven speakers including subwoofer and HD Radio™6. A Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™7 is standard on the CR-Z EX-L. Included with the Navi system are HD traffic and voice recognition, Bluetooth® streaming audio and an SMS text messaging function.


Honda's exclusive Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure helps protect occupants in a frontal collision. Additional safety technologies include dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; standard front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); side-curtain airbags, active head restraints; an anti-lock braking system (ABS); a tire pressure monitoring system; and design features to the front of the vehicle intended to mitigate potential injuries to a pedestrian in a collision.

All 2015 and newer Honda models, including the 2016 CR-Z, incorporate a multi-angle rearview camera8. Viewable on the 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen, the camera can show a top view, normal or wide view when the transmission is in Reverse. The camera view features dynamic guidelines that help the driver better judge distances and project the vehicle's future path based on the driver's steering inputs.

The 2016 Honda CR-Z is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile new-car limited warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and a 5-year/ unlimited-mile corrosion limited warranty. A 15-year/150,000-mile emissions warranty also applies when the vehicle is registered and normally operated in California and certain states that have adopted California Zero-Emission Vehicle regulations. Genuine Honda Accessories are covered by the vehicle's 3-year, 36,000-mile limited warranty when obtained and installed at the time of original vehicle purchase.

For More Information
Consumer information is available at To join the CR-Z community on Facebook, visit Additional media information including detailed pricing features and high-resolution photography of the 2016 Honda CR-Z is available at

1 MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $835 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

2 140 lb-ft of torque @ 1000-2000 rpm (combined engine SAE net plus electric motor) for MT, 127 lb-ft @ 1000-3000 rpm (combined engine SAE net plus electric motor) for CVT.

3 Based on 2016 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition, and other factors.

4 130 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (combined engine SAE net plus electric motor horsepower).

5 The USB Audio Interface is used for direct connection to and control of some current digital audio players and other USB devices that contain MP3, WMA or AAC music files. Some USB devices with security software and digital rights-protected files may not work. Please see your Honda dealer for details.

6 HD Radio is a proprietary trademark of iBiquity Digital Corporation.

7 The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ is available on the CR-Z EX-L in the United States, except Alaska. Please see your Honda dealer for details.

8 Always visually confirm that it is safe to drive before backing up; the rearview camera display does not provide complete information about all conditions and objects at the rear of your vehicle.

Third-party trademarks: The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., is under license. Pandora, the Pandora logo and the Pandora trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pandora Media, Inc. Used with permission.


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