Friday, November 4, 2011

Honda CR-Z selling for RM115k !

My internet connection failed right on the day of the CR-Z launch, preventing me from putting up timely updates about the event. With service restored today, I can finally get on with my coverage of the CR-Z for Malaysia.

Honda Malaysia has put the selling price of the CR-Z at an astonishing RM115k, OTR. This is really an incredible price ! To be honest, early last week I SMS'ed some 'friends' with questions about the selling price. Obviously they won't be able to tell me the price outright so I carefully worded my questions, by comparing with existing models. The model I chose was the Civic 2.0l. My 'friends' responded with some hints which suggests to me that the CR-Z will be cheaper than the Civic 2.0l. I stopped at that, not wanting to over-push the 'generousity' of my friends. This is why I posted saying that I believe the CR-Z will sell below RM130k (the price range of the Civic 2.0l). I had honestly expected it to be around RM125k, with a best case of between RM119 to RM121k. But Honda Malaysia outdid themselves and surprised even me, by putting the price at RM115k.

To be honest, the CR-Z has not really been received well universally by all Honda enthusiasts. And my own reaction to it has been lacklustre as well.Much of that has to do with its relatively modest engine power but a little also with the rear suspension layout (torsion beam). However, this low a selling price - RM115k - changes the whole playing field altogether. In one single stroke, the Honda CR-Z is the most affordable 2-door sporty coupe in the Malaysian market. It is the cheapest amongst japanese, korean, and european brands. Even the Kia Forte Koup is slightly more expensive (though by a trivial RM1k). Within this price range too, the CR-Z's modest 124ps rating has also become quite respectable too. The Kia Forte Koup becomes probably the only competitor which is more powerful, thanks to its 2.0l engine. Other comparable cars (2doors, coupe or hatch) in the same price range, well, there really are not that many of them ! 

The closest alternatives are the hot hatches from Suzuki and local manufacturer Proton: the Suzuki Swift Sport 1.6 and the Proton Satria Neo respectively. Both of these uses a 1.6l DOHC engine with variable valve timing. Both are rated at 125ps. There is also the limited edition Proton Satria Neo R3 which has a more powerful 145ps engine though it is less of a direct competitor as it has been 'hardcored', much like a Type-R. 

Over the next few weeks, I plan to spend some time dwelling into this question. It should be a question Honda Fan readers will be interested in as well I think.


MiriHybrid said...

I'm surprised that they only brought in manuals. I had expected the opposite to happen.

WongKN said...

During the press conference, one journalist actually asked the same question. But Honda Malaysia's stand is that this is meant to be a sporty, fun to drive car and for that, a manual gearbox is the proper one. In the future they do plan to bring in the CVT version but not for the current term. A total of 100 units has been brought in from Japan, hopefully to be sold over the rest of this year.

KP said...

Wong, this is excellent news indeed. When will you be test driving it and share with wider fans? As usual, this highly anticipated model couple with a detail review by experience reviewer like yourself is worth waiting for. /thanks.

FiSH said...

Wow, I didn't expect the manual only, I thought it was both CVT and manual like the JDM lineup...

MiriHybrid - they don't stock where we are yet..... now do you want to get one?? Let's hope to cjheck it out on my next service.

WongKN said...

Apparently the media test drive has not been planned yet. Honda has had a run of rather bad luck this year; first the earthquake/tsunami and then the Thailand flood. The Thai flood impacted Honda greatest of all, perhaps partially due to their fault as Honda focussed to much component suppliers there. Consequently the HMSB factory is now at a complete standstill as there is totally no supply of many critical parts. The effect extends worldwide and even impacted the U.S. where a few critical electronics parts are sourced from Thailand. Talk about putting all your eggs into one basket. Honda must have thought Thailand is immune to any disasters, manmade or nature.

Anyway I can clearly see Honda in general and HMSB in particular, in cost savings mode as HMSB has cancelled many events this year, including a charity run which they promised me. Surprisingly they are still taking journalists to the Tokyo Motor Show (but no, I am still not part of the contingent yet).

When I do get a chance to test drive it, I will put up short notes here and the complete test drive reviews in TOVA proper, just like what I am doing with the Insight.

Thanks for all your comments guys. Now, I wonder if you have any thoughts on the news that a higher performance version is supposed to be coming out in the future. Do expect a hefty price premium though.

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