Honda CR-Z sporty hybrid e-car
Miserly with fuel, entertaining to drive
The idea behind this is simple: it lets you drive around town in Economy with throttle response and ancillary systems like the air conditioning all tuned to minimise power demand then switch into Normal for everyday driving - in this mode, the CR-Z turns in an average of 56.5mpg and emits 117g/Km of CO2 - and then push the Sport button for weekend fun.
The three-mode drive system has one failing: if you forget which mode you are in and move to overtake while in Economy you're left wondering where all the power has gone - with momentarily alarming results. With each mode the colour of the speedometer surround changes but this can be easy to overlook in the heat of the moment.