Honda CRZ Hybrid, hybrid car, hybrid vehicle, green car, green vehicle, green automotive design, green transportation, alternative transportation, Laura K. Cowan, Laura Cowan, Inhabitat test drive, CRZ test drive, Honda CRZ, Honda CR-Z

How sporty is Sport mode, really? We’re so glad you asked. It’s surprisingly powerful, actually–even coltish. The CRZ feels a bit restrained in ECON mode, though not nearly as much as in other Honda hybrids, and Normal mode gives it as much zip as a regular sporty Honda coupe. Push the Sport button, and suddenly the car wants to leap out of the gate at every gear change, straining against the clutch. Yes, really.

Drawbacks? Well, those two seats limit the car’s usefulness to anyone other than singles with a date in tow. That keeps the weight down to offer you this performance, however. Also less than stellar is the gas mileage, which averages 40 mpg but quickly rises or plummets on your decision to drive in Normal or Sport mode. You will have to be careful to rein this little beast in, if you’re lucky enough to get one. We’re thrilled Honda has proved hybrids can be sporty and fun to drive, and done it in such a nice little package. Click through our gallery below to see more details on the inside of this dark horse hybrid.

+ Honda