For the first time I didn’t go for a test drive eventhough I have the chance, and for the first time I was in the back seat as a passenger while my friend was in the driver seat. The reason is simply, yet embarrassing – the test unit has manual transmission. There was I, together with my friend Tony, went for a test drive for the Honda CR-Z. While currently only manual transmission is available for the CR-Z, the sales advisor told us that the CVT transmission CR-Z will be available around June.

Since I won’t be driving the CR-Z, I was the back seat passenger – well, I wouldn’t call the rear seat of CR-Z as a seat. Even children will have a tough time fitting themselves in the rear seats. I placed my body on the right side of the rear seat, while my legs were in the left rear footwell, and my head moved forward and in downward position. I wouldn’t say this is a bad thing for the CR-Z, since Honda already announced that the CR-Z is a 2+2seater, not 4.

Something might surprise you though – riding in the back seat of CR-Z isn’t that bad at all! Other than the super-lacking rear space, the suspension was not as stiff as I imagined for a sports car. The suspension did a good job in absorbing the bumps while maintaining good body control. The engine let out a sporty yet inobtrusive note when pushed hard, while it has good noise insulation while going at high speed.

I can’t comment on how the CR-Z performance and handling are, but Tony said it is more powerful than his manual Persona.When Tony floored the pedal, I can feel the surge that I had never felt in a hybrid car! This must be one of the most powerful hybrid (at least in Malaysia, until we can see the Porsche Hybrid here) available and also affordable to the buyers! My first impression on the manual CR-Z is promising, and hopefully the automatic transmission CR-Z will be as good to drive as well.

Written by Simon Har

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