After just a year on the market, Honda's sporty CR-Z hybrid won't see many changes for the 2012 model year. The automaker recently announced pricing for the 2012 CR-Z, as well as a minor change to the hatchback's interior color availability.

According to Honda, the 2012 CR-Z will start at $20,315 including destination, making the hatchback around $200 more expensive than last year's model. That also keeps the two-seat CR-Z around $1,000 more expensive than the five-door Insight, Honda's only other model offering an exclusively hybrid powertrain.

In addition to an increased base price, the 2012 CR-Z will also feature one other difference compared to the 2011 model. For the new model year, Honda is adding an available black interior on CR-Z models equipped with the popular Crystal Black Pearl exterior color. Otherwise, the CR-Z remains largely the same as it's carried into only its second model year.

Among the only hybrid cars ever offered with a manual transmission, the CR-Z was first revealed in concept form at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2009. A production-ready model debuted soon after, with U.S. sales beginning in late 2010. Offered only with a 1.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder producing 122 horsepower, the CR-Z achieves 31 miles per gallon in the city and 37 highway mpg with its 6-speed manual transmission, or 35 city mpg and 39 highway mpg with its continuously-variable automatic.

Intended to appeal specifically to niche buyers looking to combine hybrid efficiency with sportiness, the CR-Z's sales figures have been expectedly low. Last month, Honda sold just 537 units of the small hatchback, giving it just over 10,000 sales through the first nine months of 2011. Overall, the Honda brand sold fewer than 1,500 hybrid models last month - a small figure compared to nearly 10,000 hybrid sales from rival brand Toyota, whose popular Prius accounts for more than 90 percent of its hybrid sales.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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