2014 Honda CR-Z will go on sale today, offering its customers sleek styling, numerous standard features and sporty handling, while at the same time maintaining outstanding fuel efficiency. The MY2014 CR-Z has undergone general update and now has more powerful battery pack, increased power and styling improvements.

This Honda model has also earned a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In addition, the CR-Z remains the only hybrid vehicle offered with a sporty manual transmission.

The car utilizes brand's highly efficient, compact Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system, which takes car for vehicle's excellent fuel efficiency. As a standard, models come equipped with six-speed manual transmission. Optionally, there is also offered the available CVT.

Additional standard features on every new 2014 CR-Z include Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Bluetooth Audio, rearview camera, an Expanded View Driver's Mirror, AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry and cruise control.

To be more precise, 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). The latter receives more power from the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system's DC brushless electric motor.

The15-kW electric motor is powered by a 144-volt Lithium-Ion battery pack. Combined peak output is 130 horsepower (95 kW) at 6000 rpm and 190 Nm (140 lb-ft) of torque. There are three selectable modes: Econ, Normal and Sport. Each one of them delivers the desired by the driver balance of economy and performance. The standard Plus Sport System delivers enhanced acceleration when the driver presses the "S+" button on the steering wheel.

The refreshed exterior design of the CR-Z includes "one-motion" exterior wedge shape, that forms a broader forward stance, power windows and door locks, remote entry, and an Expanded View Driver's Mirror. The up-level CR-Z EX model adds LED daytime running lights (DRL), High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with Auto-On/Off, and fog lights.

Front MacPherson strut and rear H-shaped torsion beam suspension, along with electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering (EPS), were also tuned. CR-Z models are equipped with 16-inch aluminum wheels and 195/55R-16 tires, or can optionally receive larger 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/45R-17 tires.

Going inside, the CR-Z interior offers modern instrument panel which includes gauges that illuminate with a three-dimensional color theme for a multi-layered appearance. There are also present, premium sport-oriented seats and a console behind the front seats which optimizes the cargo space.

The standard electronic features include a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers and speed-sensitive volume control, a CD/MP3 text readout and a USB3 auxiliary input jack for connection to a portable audio player, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, automatic climate control, cruise control and a rearview camera.

The optional equipment comprises of 360-Watt AM/FM/CD Premium Audio System with seven speakers including subwoofer, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with 6.5-inch screen and rearview camera display, FM traffic and voice recognition, Pandora Interface, Bluetooth streaming audio and an SMS text messaging function.

At last, Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure helps protect occupants in a frontal collision. The other safety technologies feature 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.

2014 Honda CR-Z Pricing:

TRIM MSRP EPA Fuel Economy Ratings1 (city/highway/combined)
CR-Z 6-speed manual $19,995 31/38/34
CR-Z CVT $20,645 36/39/37
CR-Z EX 6-speed manual $21,840 31/38/34
CR-Z EX CVT $22,490 36/39/37
CR-Z EX 6-speed manual with Navi $23,340 31/38/34
CR-Z EX CVT with Navi $23,990 36/39/37

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Source: Honda