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Honda CR-Z Hybrid Disappoints on Consumer Reports Test

By Pure Green Cars on 12/09/2010 – 5:15 am PSTLeave a Comment

The new Honda CR-Z Hybrid scored too low to be recommended in the influential Consumer Reports testing made on four different fuel-efficient cars - Honda CR-Z, Ford Fiesta, Mazda2 and Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI.

The vehicles are part of a test in the January issue that featured four different types of fuel-efficient cars.

The new two-seat Honda CR-Z hybrid hatchback scored too low for CR to recommend it. Despite getting 35 mpg overall and having a crisp manual transmission, its ride was stiff, visibility is lacking, and it isn’t very sporty to drive. It was the lowest ranked of the four fuel-efficient cars that CR tested this month. The two-seat Honda CR-Z is derived from the Insight, a five-passenger hybrid hatchback that also scored too low to be recommended.

On the upside, the new Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 subcompacts posted “very good” ratings in the magazine’s ratings. The corporate twins are both fun to drive and deliver impressive fuel economy, CR says.

The Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI posted an “Excellent” score, delivering impressive, comfort, convenience and room.

The Fiesta and Mazda2 are both fun to drive and provide excellent fuel economy, but there are trade-offs, like sluggish acceleration in the Fiesta and choppiness in the Mazda2’s ride,” said Rik Paul, Automotive Editor, Consumer Reports. “The CR-Z tries to sporty hybrid and it’s not outstanding in either category. It’s not fun to drive and the fuel economy is not what you’d expect from a hybrid.”Prices ranged from $14,770 for the Mazda2 Sport with manual transmission to $27,204 for the Vokswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI.

Vehicles were selected for this grouping because The CR-Z, Fiesta, and Mazda2 are all recent introductions. CR previously tested a Jetta TDI diesel sedan with a manual transmission and had not tested the diesel engine in a Jetta SportWagen with a manual transmission.

While the Jetta is Recommended, the Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 are too new for CR to have reliability data and the CR-Z scored too low in CR’s road tests to be Recommended. CR only Recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR’s Annual Auto Survey of its more than seven million print and Web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

The Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen is a premium compact wagon whose ride has an underlying firmness, especially at low speeds, but is supple and well controlled. The Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI ($27,204 MSRP as tested), is powered by a 140-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that that delivers leisurely acceleration and gets 36 mpg overall and a superb 49 mpg on the highway in CR’s own fuel economy tests. The six-speed manual transmission shifts smoothly. Braking is Very Good. The interior is well-finished. Folding the 60/40-split rear seatbacks creates a spacious cargo area, which has a spacious cargo area.

Ford’s subcompact Fiesta is enjoyable to drive. Its agile handling, relatively quiet cabin and composed ride are high points. The Ford Fiesta SE sedan ($16,595 MSRP as tested), is powered by a 120-hp, 1

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Tags: , jetta sportwagen, , new ford fiesta, ride, volkswagen jetta

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