In spite of its apparent small size, the front cabin is full size and comparable to much larger cars. The rear hatchback area is quite good and swallows up most everything I put into the car. It is not an SUV but plenty of gear and luggage fits back there. The CR-Z is extremely economical and returns about 39-40 mpg. I have the automatic variable transmission which is smooth and reliable. The ride is quite comfortable, the seats are excellent quality and comfort. Headroom is good and the A/C is excellent. The beautiful dash instruments are amazing and very helpful. The super large digital speedometer is the greatest! It takes a few days to get used to the engine shutting down at traffic lights and it becomes normal after a while. The engine springs to life instantly whenever you release the brake. It is an amazing system. The only fair criticism of the car's design is the blind spot on the rear quarters. The rear hatch lift gate has the annoying horizontal bar of the window. After a short while, even that becomes acclimated to. Using and relying on the large side mirrors becomes a standard habit. Of course, the CR-Z is a very appealing and dynamic looking car. I frequently am given favorable comments of appearance of the car.
I get compliments. It handles the road better than its competition. It can be driven hard and return 26 to the gallon. The transmission has no slop at 24,000 miles, the steering is still sharp. It has excellent storage capacity. It's easy as heck to park, and with proper orientation of the mirrors and a tiny bit of moving your head like any safe driver would, the sleek rear end does hinder you with blind spots.
I bought this car for commuting to work. Now my wife wants to take it as much or more than I do. Sporty look. Enough cargo for both of us to get away for a few days. Gas mileage is better than advertised, especially in ECON mode. The only issues I have are legroom is a bit tight for me (I am 6'3") and the radio does not pair without a cable. Otherwise the car is absolutely great! I see a lot of Prius on the road, but would buy 10 CRZ's before I'd buy one of those.
A few months have passed since the original post. Still enjoying the CRZ; it has exceeded my expectations. The only issue I have had is connecting my iPhone to play music. Worked for a while, but now I am unable to get a connection. Wireless would have been a better alternative. Otherwise, very pleased overall.