So my '11 Mustang is in the dealership for its second transmission/clutch replacement.
As there is still currently no actual solution I'm just biding time until its considered a lemon.
At only 3k miles per clutch assembly, that won't take too long.
On my way home today, driving my WONDERFUL (no really, by contrast its FANTASTIC) Chevy Cruze rental I stopped at the Honda dealership to see how bad the CR-Z really is. I drove the 6 speed, not the CVT.
No one around here seems to like it (other than that one guy who owns one), but I'm having a hard time figuring out why.
In a 45min test drive mix between highway and like 8 miles of stop and go traffic light leapfrogging, I averaged 41.8 MPG. Thats not Prius numbers, but its quite a bit better than the EPA rating, and I wasn't gentle at any of the lights where I found myself first in line.
The exhaust sound is... well its not great, but its not bad. It sounds a bit like an SI in vtec, but muted. Certainly sounds better than any other economical car I've run across.
The interior is REALLY nicely laid out. The gauges are really cool. You feel like you are on the set of a space movie made in 2011, not an old 1960s star trek episode.
The one I drove in didn't have a center console/armrest. It needs one badly, but its a $300 option so its not a HUGE deal. The door armrests are covered in a neat textured fabic, but they don't have any sort of padding. Probably weight savings, but it felt much cheaper than my old SI did.
The shifter is LONG. REALLY LONG. the throw is a good 4 inches from center, and it feels a bit loose. Not as good as the Civic SI or S2000 for sure. Maybe a short shift kit would help.
The clutch is ultra soft. There is almost no resistance, and you can barely feel it grab. I've got a messed up left knee so I didn't find this such a bad thing. I do feel like it might be a weak point if you ever wanted to upgrade the power.
While driving, it feels faster than it is. I've yet to discover why exactly some cars feel this way, but the CR-Z, to me, is one of them. Its fairly nimble and darty, and has no trouble passing other vehicles at 80+ mph.
So TCL automotive experts... what am I missing? Is there some other $20k economical new car that has slightly sporty undertones that I'm forgetting?