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2011 Honda CR-Z

Overview
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2011 Honda CR-Z Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

Remember the Honda CRX? It was a nifty little two-seater compact sports car that handled better than it accelerated and, although it wouldn't be considered fast by today's standards, it was definitely fun to drive – and it delivered good fuel economy. Honda stopped making the CRX in 1991, but the car maintains a cult following to this day. Enter the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z. It's what the CRX might have evolved into had Honda kept it around all these years. Like its predecessor, it's not fast but it is fun to drive and, with a hybrid heart and sport-compact footwork, this new entry brings something different to the table.

You'll Like This Car If...

Although space is limited to two people and it's not as powerful as other competitors, the CR-Z's main draw is its ability to achieve hybrid-car fuel efficiency while delivering sporty driving dynamics.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want something that can offer a more thrilling ride for spirited weekend drives, then a Mazda MX-5 or Mini Cooper might be a better fit. Also, there are bigger, more practical hybrids that deliver better fuel economy than the CR-Z.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2011 Honda CR-Z is the only two-seat hybrid in the market today and the only hybrid available with a six-speed manual transmission. And while there isn't a specific class for sporty hybrids, the CR-Z loosely competes with a diverse group of cars that ranges from the sporty Mini Cooper to the mileage-maxing Toyota Prius.

Driving the CR-Z

Driving Impressions While it might not exude sports car like prowess in the acceleration or top speed departments, the Honda CR-Z does feel spritely for the daily drive and...

can get to highway speeds without any hesitation. Those willing to forgive the tame performance will appreciate the car's exceptional handling and responsive brakes, characteristics not perhaps expected in a hybrid vehicle. Three different driving modes – efficiency-friendly Econ mode, balanced Normal mode and responsive Sport mode – allow for a custom driving experience. Accelerator-pedal response is dampened and the steering feel is lighter in Econ mode, while Sport mode makes the steering feel tighter and acceleration quicker for a "sportier" experience.
Favorite Features

Sporty Aesthetics
The CR-Z's design is futuristic and aggressive and we can only hope that it's a glimpse into what Honda has in store for products to come.

Six-speed Manual Transmission
Although it comes with a fuel mileage penalty, we liked the crisp shifts and close ratios of the standard six-speed transmission.

2011 Honda CR-Z Details
2011 Honda CR-Z photo Interior

At first glance, the Honda CR-Z's interior looks like the control center for a spaceship. Upon closer inspection, the buttons and gauges are very intuitive and driver-friendly. The climate controls are easy to read and within close reach, and the gauges on the instrument panel are laid out in a futuristic manner, with a tachometer/speedometer unit with a three-dimensional effect. Soft-touch plastics are found throughout and seating is in mesh form only; there's no option for leather. Also, the interior is available only in a two-toned black and gray configuration.

Exterior
2011 Honda CR-Z photo

Call it a "two-door Insight" or a "next-gen CRX," but, whatever crafty name anyone might come up with for the CR-Z, it's safe to say that it's definitely different. The CR-Z was designed with a "one-motion wedge" concept in mind, which means that the aerodynamic flow of the body lines extends seamlessly from the front of the car to the back, bookended by a trapezoidal grille up front and half-glass hatch in the rear.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Honda CR-Z has a standard 122-horsepower, 1.5-liter gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain and a six-speed manual transmission. As for interior amenities, the base CR-Z is pleasantly well equipped with convenient features, including a 160-watt, six-speaker audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs, steering wheel-mounted controls, automatic climate control, automatic headlights and remote keyless entry. Safety features include six airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA).

Optional Equipment

In addition to an available Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters, the Honda CR-Z also offers a higher EX trim level which adds an upgraded 360-watt sound system with seven speakers, fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth, HID headlights, foot-well lights, alloy pedals, heated power mirrors and illuminated vanity mirrors. A navigation system is optionally available.

Under the Hood

The gasoline/electric powertrain comprises a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine mated to a 10-kilowatt motor, combining to deliver 122 horsepower. This combination is the sixth iteration of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology since its debut in the original Honda Insight for the 2000 model year. While 122 horsepower might not sound like much, the broad torque band makes freeway passing and darting through intersections easy. One feature we did not care for was the auto-stop feature, which is a fuel saving measure that turns off the engine at a complete stop, but also causes a slightly annoying hesitation upon restarting.

1.5-liter gasoline engine with Integrated Motor Assist
122 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
123 (CVT), 128 (manual) lb.-ft. of torque @ 1000-2000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/37 (manual), 35/39 (CVT)

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2011 Honda CR-Z Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 56 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.8/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Best Value for a hybrd

By on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great price for a single girl on a low budget."

Cons: "only fits 2 people. Not for a family.."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

This vehicle is fully loaded. Has everything. Navagation, phone, cruise control and back up camera

"I bought it cus I have a CRV and drive 30 miles on the highway to work and was spending a bunch of money in gas a week. Well now I spend half the money and use the money I was spending on gas for a car payment. Think smart people. I still have my 2003 CRV cus I love it and have never had any issues with it. The CR-Z rides nice and I zip to work and home. Best value for a Hybrid. I love the look and feel of the car. Cant go wrong with a Honda.."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

This vehicle is fully loaded. Has everything. Navagation, phone, cruise control and back up camera

I love this car

By on Friday, February 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Lots of power. Fun to drive."

Cons: "Hard to see out the back!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I average 40 mpg. Can be noisy with the wrong tires. It is a blast to drive. lots of storage in the back. Use caution backing up and changing lanes."

Fun to Drive and Easy on the Gas

By on Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "see above"

Cons: "It only holds two people."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a one owner car. I"m the proverbial "little old lady from Pasadena". Has been well taken care with all of it's maintenance kept up. Gets 35 - 38 mpg in town and over 45 on the open road or freeway. Color is a beautiful Northstar Blue. New battery. Original upholstery has had seat covers over it from purchase date, so is in good condition. Loads of storage space. Easy and fun to drive."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

wish never bought it. only good thing sometimes

By on Monday, October 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "ok gas mileage"

Cons: "two many for space allowed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"the motor will stop at a light.poor rear vision.manual rear view mirror.very stiff ride. buy a seat cushion"

2 people out of 20 found this review helpful

I love my CRZ!

By on Monday, September 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great fuel economy; fun to drive"

Cons: "placement of heating/cooling vents"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I had no problems driving my CRZ in the snow last winter. I also get over 40 mpg in the city w/ summer gas. It looks good and has a smooth drive. Even my 6 ft. husband enjoys driving my car (and fits in it as well). The only complaint I have about my car is the placement of the vents for the driver for heating and cooling."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best Commuter Vehicle For the Money!!

By on Tuesday, September 03, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great MPG, Fun Handling, Good Looks, Fairly Priced"

Cons: "Sluggish Acceleration, Little Storage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought this car with the sole purpose of using it to drive back and forth to work. Since purchasing, I have found to enjoy this little car so much that I drive it more often than any of my vehicles. I drive 85 miles (170 miles round trip) each day to work and average about 4,900 miles/month. I have tracked all of my fuel and overall associated costs for this car to see how I am doing. Since I bought this car, I have averaged 42mpg with the best tank being 46.7mpg and the worst tank being 32.6mpg. In the spreadsheet that I created to track all of my costs, I have determined that this car literally pays for itself when compared to the cost of driving my Toyota Tacoma over the same amount of mileage (to date, I have saved over $9k in fuel costs alone). This car is extremely economical, but still a fun little car that can handle some winding roads with ease. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a cheap & fun little car, but not for anyone with intentions of using it as a family car."

22 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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