Inhabitat recently had the opportunity to test drive the new 2011 Honda CR-Z Sport Coupe in all three of its modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. A Prius driver myself, I have to admit there are times when I miss the pep of a sportier model while running errands around Los Angeles. As one of the most stylish sporty hybrids on the market with a sticker price under $20,000, the CR-Z Sport Coupe definitely provides an extra dose of fun for those who are hesitant to jump into a hybrid, and if that’s not enough to take it into consideration, maybe the fact that over 90% of the CR-Z is recyclable will be.
Don’t let the sticker on the window of the CR-Z fool you with its 37 average mpg rating; the car gets even better mileage in Eco Mode. Pushing the special Eco button initiates the car’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system, ensuring optimization of a wide range of functions that ensure the driver is getting the most out of the gasoline they’re putting into it. The normal mode provides standard settings and energy to all necessary systems. Pushing sport mode enhances the CR-Z’s systems and tightens the feel of the car including increased engine throttle responsiveness, electric power steering effort, and the electric motor power assist and gear ratio.
The sporty ride also has a heads-up display that gives the driver quick access to all of the car’s modes (including a red LED backlight while in sport mode and a green backlight when driving efficiently). The display also provides current mpg and lets you know how eco-friendly your last drive was when you power down the car. However, if you are looking to go full out hybrid all the time, you might want to consider the ACEEE greenest vehicle of the year, the Honda Civic Hybrid.