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2012 Honda CR-Z

Overview
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2012 Honda CR-Z Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid is a rather special car. In the great tradition of small Honda 2-seaters, the CR-Z hybrid offers a fun, fuel- efficient way to get around. The 2012 Honda CR-Z bristles with flashes of the legendary CRX, with a cozy cabin built for two and big hatchback that opens to a roomy cargo hold. But, unlike the gasoline-only CRX, the 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid relies on a hybrid gas/electric setup to achieve its miserly fuel consumption figures. As a commuter car, the CRX was very affordable, and its lightweight body and sporty suspension made it a blast to drive. The CR-Z hybrid isn't as lightweight as its predecessor, but it is fun to drive and is filled with a host of safety and electronic goodies the CRX never had. Also, the CR-Z is the only hybrid we know of that has a manual transmission. There are more efficient hybrids out there, and there are even some non-hybrid cars that can match the CR-Z's fuel consumption (think Hyundai Elantra and VW Golf TDI diesel), but if you're looking for that classic Honda styling and bulletproof reputation, or if you were once a CRX owner and just want a little taste of the past in a more modern form, the 2012 Honda CR-Z is a car worth getting to know.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're seeking a hybrid car that is fun to drive, doesn't look like a hybrid car and is filled with cool features, the 2012 Honda CR-Z is really the only game in town.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you just want a fun-to-drive second car, the MINI Cooper or Mazda Miata MX-5 is a much better choice. If you sometimes need to carry more than one passenger, the CR-Z can't accommodate, and if you're solely in the hybrid market for the fuel economy, both the Insight and the Prius are more fuel efficient than the 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid.

What's New for 2012

The only significant change for the 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid is the addition of available black cloth seats on cars wearing Crystal Black Peal paint.

Driving the CR-Z

Driving Impressions If you owned a CRX and are expecting the same nimble, athletic performance in the CR-Z, you'll be sadly disappointed. However, The CR-Z is still a great car for long...

drives as well as quick inner-city commutes. Acceleration is fairly strong, thanks in part to the electric motor's assist, which comes in the form of pure torque, and the CR-Z's handling and braking are light-years beyond any hybrid we've driven. With Honda's 3-mode system, the car can be set to an efficiency-friendly Econ mode, a balanced Normal mode or a responsive Sport mode allowing 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" drive.

Sporty Aesthetics
The 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid'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.

6-speed Manual Transmission
Although it comes with a fuel mileage penalty, we liked the crisp shifts and close ratios of the standard 6-speed transmission.

2012 Honda CR-Z Details
Interior

Where all hybrid cars have additional gauges and playful readouts that make them a bit more futuristic, the 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid's cockpit looks like something from a 3-D sci-fi movie. No need to worry, though, because in typical Honda style all of the CR-Z's controls are logically placed and easy to understand and operate. We particularly like the placement of the climate and Sport/Normal/Econ controls so close to the steering wheel. The radio is a bit of a reach; however, if you go with the available voice-activated navigation, you can just speak commands or activate the iPod integration controls from the steering wheel. Straight ahead are the glowing instruments that include an analog tachometer wrapped around a digital speedometer that changes its background color depending on the mode (Sport/Normal/Econ) selected. There is also a gauge to let you monitor the hybrid powertrain's activity and tell you how efficiently you are driving. As for comfort, the 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid's sport seats are nicely bolstered and very comfortable, but the shiny silver fabric covering them may not be to everyone's liking. Unfortunately, Honda does not offer a leather seat option, and only cars painted black can be outfitted with black cloth seats.

Exterior

Some may see the 2012 Honda CR-Z as a coupe version of the Insight or the rebirth of the CRX, but however you look at it, the CR-Z is like nothing Honda has ever built before. Designed using a "one motion wedge" concept, the CR-Z is very un-hybrid looking, and actually appears a bit sinister. From its trapezoidal wide-mouth grille to its half-glass rear hatch, the CR-Z's exterior seems to flow in one, continuous line as though carved from a single steel billet.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid has a standard 122-horsepower, 1.5-liter gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain and a 6-speed manual transmission. As for interior amenities, the base CR-Z is pleasantly well equipped with convenient features, including a 160-watt, 6-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 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid also offers a higher EX trim level that adds an upgraded 360-watt sound system with seven speakers, foglights, 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 optional.

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 @ 6,000 rpm
128 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-1,750 rpm (manual); 123 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-2,000 rpm (CVT)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/37 (manual), 35/39 (CVT)

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2012 Honda CR-Z Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 64 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
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

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

FUN, Sporty, Efficient!!! Roomy...

By on Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,300

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: "economical...you cannot beat the gas mileage"

Cons: "seats aren't exceptionally cuishiony"

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

selling car due to job opportunity in Asia

"I love this economical car that took me from Maine to NYC and back again for only $45 in gas! IT's fast, efficient, fun to drive. Huge cargo area, enough to hold a bathroom sink & cabinet (tried & proved). Excellent sound system & MP3, iphone or GPS compatibility. This is an excellent car for those who commute daily, travel or just like cruising."

9 people out of 19 found this review helpful

selling car due to job opportunity in Asia

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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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