The CR-Z is having a rough time in the US with sales through September being 25 percent down to just 2,205 units, but Honda isn’t letting go and is updating its hybrid sports hatch for the 2016MY.
It’s not a surprise facelift, as Honda prepared us for it with the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) model in late August. In a similar fashion, the North American spec car receives some mild cosmetic revisions, together with new features and options, and a new trim grade named EX-L.
Honda’s subtle styling modifications on the outside include an edgier interpretation of the front bumper with a blade-like element and a restyled, eight-point-grille, plus new five-spoke alloy wheels, and a new rear bumper that mirrors the upward sweeping design of the front.
On the inside, the 2016MY CR-Z gains new brushed metallic trims on the door handles, front paneling and center console, while the fitment of a new standard electric parking brake (EPB) discards the traditional parking brake lever making space for a new lower center console between the seats that incorporates an armrest and a storage compartment.
New standard features across the range include the Smart Entry and Push Button Start/Stop system and a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen, with the EX and the new EX-L Navi trims gaining LaneWatch, which displays a wide-angle view of the passenger side roadway on the Display Audio screen.
For 2016, Honda is introducing a top-of-the-line EX-L Navi trim that adds heated and leather-trimmed seats with contrasting stitch pattern, plus navigation and extra functions for the Display Audio system.
Finishing up the changes for the new model year are a set of optional styling accessories such as front bumper, rear tailgate and A- and B-pillar garnishes, LED fog lights with blue accent, and fuel cap trims.
The CR-Z retains its 130hp 1.5-liter petrol engine and electric motor combo, with a standard 6-speed manual transmission and an available CVT. Sales start on November 3, with prices kicking off from $20,295 excluding delivery.