2016 Honda CR-Z USA-01

Unveiled in August, the latest facelift for Honda’s CR-Z isn’t just confined to the Japanese market; the hybrid coupe has reached North America as the 2016 Honda CR-Z and it will go on sale today from $20,295 to $25,090 (RM86,947 to RM107,490) stateside.

The refreshed CR-Z sports an edgier, more chiseled look. The snout and chin is more protruding than before, and there’s a new angular eight-point polygon grill. A blade-like front diffuser sweeps up from the centre and dissects the front corners to form triangular fog light wells, which create a wider appearance and feature prominent lower aero sills.

The more aggressive front end is matched with flared full-length side garnishes that create a “planted and sucked-to-the-tarmac look” (Honda North America’s words) complemented by new five-spoke two-tone alloys. The rear bumper is also more prominent than before, with exit pod design elements pushed to the sides for for a wider looking stance. The blade design mimics the front’s.

Having seen the facelifted car in the metal at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, I prefer the less contrived look of the original Z facelift – how about you? The new LED headlamps and full length DRLs with eyebrow turn signals are cool. The US market doesn’t get them though, ditto the JDM car’s new 17-inch alloys.

Inside, the biggest change is the adoption of an electric parking brake in place of the traditional handbrake lever, which frees up room for an armrest and a deep storage compartment. The gloss black plastic trim on the door handles and centre stack are now in brushed metallic.

US cars get smart entry and push start as standard, while top EX-L variants get heated leather seats.

2016 Honda CR-Z

Also standard on the US 2016 CR-Z is a seven-inch touchscreen head unit that lets one swipe, tap and pinch like on a smartphone. Top two EX and EX-L trims (LX is base) include Honda LaneWatch, as seen on our Accord. The EX-L gets sat-nav with voice recognition and Honda HD Digital Traffic.

No change to the 1.5 litre i-VTEC and IMA motor combination, which is hooked up to a 144-volt lithium-ion battery pack. As before, there are Normal, Sport and Econ modes, a S+ button for a temporary boost and auto start-stop. The CR-Z can be had with a slick six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT with manual mode and paddle shifters.

Check out the JDM CR-Z facelift as well as one with the full Modulo treatment and optional Recaro seats.

2015 Honda CR-Z facelift, Tokyo Motor Show
JDM 2015 Honda CR-Z facelift