Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
Go

2011 Honda CR-Z

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

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.

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)

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

Buying this car?

2011 Honda CR-Z Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 65 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.8/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

50+ mpg car that is comfortable, fun, and sporty

By on Friday, October 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,600

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very fun to drive"

Cons: "No back seats"

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

"If you drive the vehicle around town and keep it under 65mph the car can get 50+ mpg. I've tested it multiple times and the car is amazing when it comes to miles per gallon. It's a very comfy car and sporty."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great vehicle, reliable 41 MPG overall

By on Sunday, September 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good price for a very fuel efficient car."

Cons: "Road noise"

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

"I've had this vehicle nearly two years. Impressed with the performance- quite peppy, and the fuel economy which I check and record on every tank. Overall has been 41.5 mpg, including a harsh Michigan winter last year. It did fairly well in snow, too. The engine stops when the car stops and restarts when the brake is released. It was easy to get used to that and I no longer even notice it. It has never failed to restart. It is interesting to observe the operation of the hybrid system and to use that real-time information to adjust driving to get better fuel economy. It is a two-seat car and there is room behind the front seats for storage. They almost could have installed two small seats there. Back of that space folds down to provide a flat storage area. There is more road noise than I am used to, but even that seems to be less noticeable with time. Overall a good value and fun to drive."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Extremely Happy with my Vehicle!

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Is like a Future Car"

Cons: "Not as fast as the competition!"

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

"Love my car, the only thing is the lack over extra power when is in Sport Mode. Fast, but not fast enough for the Sporty Car it is."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Awesome car

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 650

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Mileage, fun to drive, modern style."

Cons: "none"

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

"Great gas mileage getting 39.9 all city driving. Handles like it's on rails. Gets a lot of attention everywhere I go. Doesn't come with a spare tire, but Honda online store sells a spare tire kit."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best value for the money.

By on Saturday, July 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "I don't know how Honda sell's it for so little."

Cons: "Only issue is the blind back quarter panels"

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

"It has options you don't expect to find on a car of this price and the gas mileage is really excellent. I average 32 MPG in the city and hit 40+ on the road doing the speed limit. Honda should of provided a model with a turbo because this car really handles."

15 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Great two seater, needs back up camera!

By on Thursday, July 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Excellent driving car"

Cons: "blind spots"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Great driving car, excellent mileage, 37mpg+. Limitation is that it does not have jump seats in back for those all too frequent times when you have to give a ride to a third person. The car needs an aftemarket back up camera because there are significant blind spots."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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

Buying this car?