Honda Canada has decided to discontinue sales of its compact hybrid hatchback, the CR-Z, starting in 2017. Existing stock will continue to be available for sale from dealerships that have inventory.
The vehicle sold poorly from the start with only 517 units rolling off dealership lots in 2011, its first full year in the Canadian market. From there, things only got worse as sales figures declined–a total of 55 CR-Zs sold in the 2015 calendar year and only 1,324 copies have sold in Canada to date.
News of the CR-Z’s demise was confirmed via GoodCarBadCar after the outlet spoke with Honda Canada spokesperson Maki Inoue about the vehicle’s future.
“As Honda aligns its product portfolio to best take advantage of growth opportunities in the marketplace, it will add a new Accord Hybrid, and discontinue [the] CR-Z this year,” said Inoue.
The CR-Z was initially touted as a sporty proposition to young buyers who craved excitement behind the wheel. The stakes were high as the compact hatchback was anticipated as a modern replacement for the much-loved CR-X–a car that developed a cult-following among Honda enthusiasts thanks to its sprightly dynamics, playful character and wallet-inflating efficiency.
The CR-X was a tough act to follow, but the recipe for continued success was clear: build a lightweight, efficient and sporty hatchback that packs an engaging performance punch along with plenty of attitude. This is where the CR-Z lost the plot.
While the car’s styling was spot-on, its driving experience missed the mark, leaving drivers feeling somewhat disconnected from the vehicle in comparison to its predecessor.
On a positive note, Honda’s CR-Z was the first and only hybrid car available with a manual stick-shift transmission, and it was also the only two-seat hybrid available shy of a Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 or Ferrari LaFerrari–we must admit we appreciate Honda’s efforts to save the manual and position a hybrid car as a sporty runabout.