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Hybrid Car Fight: Toyota Prius vs. Honda CR-Z

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With gas prices constantly on the rise, many people are now considering to invest in hybrid cars. While hybrid cars are notorious for being pricey, a lot of car buyers are willing to shell out a significant amount of money knowing that they’ll be able to recoup this through savings they’ll generate through the years. Hybrid cars usually have a smaller and more fuel efficient engine, meaning their owners need not spend a lot of money for their fuel.

Two hybrid cars stand out among the rest—the Toyota Prius and the Honda CR-Z. These hybrid vehicle models are manufactured by two of the most esteemed car manufacturers in the world. The Prius and CR-Z are also among the best-selling hybrid cars in the market today.

Honda CR-Z

2014 Honda CR-ZThe Honda CR-Z is a sport hybrid coupe with a two-seater configuration. It is powered by a 1.5 liter, four-cylinder gasoline motor plus a small electric motor. The total output of the engine is 130 horsepower.

The CR-Z has a standard six-speed manual transmission, although there is an option for a continuously variable transmission or CVT. The CVT model can enable the vehicle to have as much as 36 miles per gallon and 39 miles per gallon of fuel efficiency, while the standard manual transmission gives the CR-Z returns of 31 miles per gallon and 38 miles per gallon for city and highway driving, respectively.

In terms of looks, the design of the CR-Z’s cabin appears as if it was derived from a spaceship. The instrument panel has an ultramodern design with a digital speedometer. Entertainment features include a premium audio system equipped with seven speakers. There is also Bluetooth connectivity, AUX and USB inputs, and rearview camera.

The CR-Z has an automatic climate control, remote entry and cruise control. It has 16-inch alloy wheels. Meanwhile navigation is made easier with its satellite-linked navigation program.

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is considered as the best-selling hybrid car today. It has a 1.8 liter, four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. It is very fuel efficient, with a rating of 51 miles per gallon for driving in the city and 48 miles per gallon for highway driving.

The Prius has three driving modes—power for increased throttle sensitivity, eco mode for better gas mileage, and EV mode.

Depending on the trim levels, the Prius has features like power windows and lock, six-speaker stereo system, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, and AUX and USB inputs. Standard features include leatherette upholstery, automatic headlights, foglights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Comparison

Both the Prius and CR-Z have distinct advantages over each other.

The CR-Z, for instance, has a stunning design that would appeal to most drivers. It also has sporty features while not sacrificing fuel efficiency as well. The CR-Z has a more powerful engine, which would matter if you are the type of driver who loves sporty vehicles. Although the disadvantage is that the CR-Z commands a higher insurance premium.

In terms of performance, the CR-Z is slightly better than the Prius. It is around 10 percent faster on the road and can accelerate to 60 miles per hour faster at 8.3 seconds compared to the 10.6 seconds of the Prius. The more powerful engine of the CR-Z enables it to zoom to a top speed of 121 kilometers per hour, slightly faster than the 112 kph of the Toyota hybrid car.

The Honda model is also wider than its Toyota counterpart, which makes it ideal for people who value spacious interiors. But the downside is that it is more difficult to find a wide parking space for this car.

Of course, if you are after fuel efficiency you would go with the Toyota Prius as it can move up to 51 miles per gallon for city driving. On the other hand, the CR-Z can only go as far as 38 miles per gallon.

The Prius is also preferred by many drivers because it is easier to maneuver thanks to its smaller turning radius compared to the CR-Z. The Prius also has space for up to five people unlike the CR-Z which is more of a two-seater car. The Toyota car also has a slightly more spacious cargo room at 26.1 cubic feet.

In terms of safety features, both models basically have the same safety functions although the Prius has more airbags while the CR-Z does not have a rear and knee airbag. The Prius also has a better crash test rating.

When you look at the price, the Prius and the CR-Z are sold within the $20,000 price range.

Basing on these details, it can be said that the Honda CR-Z is a slightly more powerful hybrid car. However, the Prius beats the CR-Z in other facets like fuel economy, safety, steering and handling.

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