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2012 Honda CR-Z Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

Okay, the 2012 Honda CR-Z is a two-seat coupe. But its low roofline, high-voltage battery pack, and modern crash safety and roof-crush regulations all conspire to make it small inside as well as out. There's not even the pretense of a rear seat, and the high floor of the load deck means you won't be carrying any large rectangular boxes either.

In other markets, Honda does fit vestigial rear seats, but new rear-seat headrest requirements conflicted with the angle of the roof--so they were dropped. Their traces remain in a pair of storage wells the size of dishpans, and a panel that flips down to cover them. The lid over that area resembles nothing so much as the cover of an Igloo cooler.

Driving the 2012 Honda CR-Z may mean giving up a lot--luggage, pets, and all but a single, carefully chosen friend.

The three-position cargo cover will fold down so two sets of golf clubs can be carried. But golfers and others will find the liftover high and the hatch opening narrow. Total cargo space is given as 25.1 cubic feet, far less than the capacity of a subcompact five-door hatch with its rear seat folded down. Have we mentioned that the CR-Z is a low car?

The CR-Z is a bit more than 13 feet long, which is about a foot shorter than the Insight five-door hybrid hatchback from which it's derived. The two front seats are roomy and supportive, though the seating position is lower than in the Insight. The cloth seats are well bolstered, and are both wide and tall, meaning most drivers will fit comfortably. Two adult men may still find their knees touching, and the passenger will need to keep his left leg clear of the shift lever for the six-speed manual transmission so the driver doesn't ram it into his knee.

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