Steering feel is largely absent but, happily, so is torque steer. Sport mode quickens the throttle calibration, alters the assist characteristics of the electric motor, and reduces steering boost, all of which conspire to make the CR-Z even more fun. At low speeds, chassis balance tends toward understeer, but the little Honda's rump becomes more willing to rotate as corner entry speeds increase. The standard all-season Dunlops scream at the very suggestion of hard cornering. Their noise also dominates at highway speeds, where the engine is commendably hushed-in stark contrast to the Fit, whose short top gear results in lots of racket from under the hood.
Ride quality is impressive for a vehicle with such a short (94.5-inch) wheelbase, and soft dampers allow the suspension to use its full wheel travel on very bumpy pavement, relying on compliant bump stops to soften any hard bottoming out. Unfortunately, this calibration results in a lot of body motions-the CR-Z will pogo its way through rough back roads with considerable body lean and heave. Its path doesn't seem to be upset by all the vertical motions, but your passenger might not be so lucky.
If your passenger happens to be familiar with the original CRX, he might point out that it wasn't a full-on sports car, either. Like many legends, the CRX's reputation might not completely reflect what it actually was, or what it did. You see, that hot-hatch image we associate with that 1980s hatch was the high-po model: the CRX Si. It's easy to forget that lesser variants of the CRX combined reasonable measures of fun-to-driveness with downright astonishing fuel economy.
That sounds just like the CR-Z, now doesn't it?