The 2014 Honda CR-Z may have less room inside it than any other car on the market below $50,000. It even makes the Mazda Miata look capacious. At least the Mazda has a trunk, rather than a tiny cargo bay with high load floor that's crammed between the backs of the front seats and the truncated tail.
At a little more than 13 feet long, the CR-Z has to meet today's crash-safety standards, meaning that almost half its length sits ahead of the occupants. The two seats are supportive and well bolstered, and accommodate even taller drivers. But two of our test drivers suffered back-aches within 90 minutes in the seats. The seating position is low, perhaps lower than almost any other vehicle on the road short of a supercar.
One problem: The seats are hemmed in by the rear bulkhead and side doors, so they're not nearly as adjustable in any dimension as we would have liked. And although the CR-Z is wide, two tall people may still find their inside knees touching. The passenger has to keep his left leg clear of the manual transmission shift lever, otherwise the driver ends up whacking it into his knee. Over and over and over.
Behind the two seats is a small shelf, whose floor contains a pair of storage bins with the inside volume of kitchen dishpans. They're under a flip-down panel that resembles nothing so much as an Igloo Cooler cover. A three-position cargo cover that separates the passengers from the load bay can be folded down to carry golf clubs.
But the hatch opening is narrow, and the liftover is high--because there's a battery pack below the load floor. Total cargo space is listed as 25.1 cubic feet, but it doesn't seem that big--and forget about those 3' x 3' x 5' cardboard boxes. Just rent a truck.
The CR-Z really is that small--and because it's low, the space is organized very different from the Smart ForTwo, a two-seater that surprises passengers with how much room it has inside. That's not the case with the CR-Z. Did we mention that the CR-Z is a small, low car with not a lot of space inside?