Go

2012 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?

2012 Honda CR-Z Review

By

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)

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?

2012 Honda CR-Z Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 81 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

I drive this small car from 2012

By on Sunday, May 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,500

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "small sport and funn to drive"

Cons: "just for 2 and baggage"

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

"Down size: missing arm rest,(you can purchase from around #300.00) noisy and could be wet if you open windows - solution are add wind shield left foot rest little not eronomic"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great for me, decent value

By on Thursday, January 21, 2016

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, great interior"

Cons: "Two seater only, not updated with latest technolog"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Looking for a car, I specifically wanted a manual transmission. I've always been a Honda fan so when I saw this on the lot I thought I'd try it out. Most reviews say this fails at being sporty or economical. They're right. What they don't get right is that the car is fun to drive. The interior looks like a video game, the exterior looks like a toy car. I smile whenever I look at the car from behind. In normal mode, the car drives like an economy car. However, the s+ button, gives the car a pseudo turbo boost. Lots of power and low end torque. In sport mode, the car drives closer to a sports car. I don't think I'd want to drive it consistently in this mode. So, this car may not be for everyone but it works for me."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Honda definitely delivered an awesome car

By on Sunday, November 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "MPG, Sporty feel when driving, Honda quality"

Cons: "Blind Spot, uncomfy seats"

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

"I purchased my CR-Z in 2011. I have loved it since; even considered going with a newer model when the time comes. It is a rare car to be seen on the road which makes it an even cooler car to drive. Lots of compliments and definitely turns heads. The gas milage is above all my favorite part. I commute 52 miles one way 5-6 days per week. My average mpg is 45. Only costs me about $22.00 or less to fill up and delivers about 400-500 miles to the tank depending on how I drive it and how many mornings I'm running late and have to throw it in sport mode for that extra push. I love that the engine shuts off when stopped however it can become bothersome in extreme heat or cold and the heat and a/c also shuts off but nothing I can't live with considering I'm only at a red light for a minute and it improves mpg drastically. Despite what critics say, it is a very sporty and fun car to drive. Granted, it is no Porsche and certainly not a muscle car, but still makes for a sporty, fun driving experience. TONS AND TONS of room considering it is a two seater. You wouldn't believe how much I have packed my car full before. The divider separating the front seats and the trunk easily folds down. To be honest, I have actually fit my 6'2 friend in the back of this car which you wouldn't guess just by looking from the outside. My only real complaints are it does tend to be a very uncomfortable ride for long trips as the seats are not comfy what-so-ever. The passenger side is more noticeable than the driver. However, when the seats are laid back, you have plenty of room to stretch out. The dashboard controls are very easy to use while driving unlike many new cars which I find to be very complicated while driving and searching hard for a particular button or temp control. Road noise is at a minimum but you are able to hear the engine quite loudly. This is my second Honda and like my first, I am right under 100k miles and never have I once had to have it in the shop for anything more than an oil change. Only other complaint and this goes for most Honda cars: Honda used cheap quality top coat on the paint job which can sometimes lead to spots that can not be removed from the paint. Particularly on the hood and top of vehicle. My red Accord was very noticeable however my charcoal CR-Z not so much and certainly not to the degree of my Accord. Very safe vehicle as well. I was struck hard on the driver side by a semi-truck and walked away without a scratch granted it was no life threatening accident but a considerable amount of damage was caused. Driving in Econ mode feels a little sluggish when needing to accelerate quickly, though that is to be expected but on the bright side, switching between modes in very simple with the touch of a button on the left hand side of the steering column and using the different modes, you will certainly tell a difference. Sport mode does tend to burn way more fuel than Normal or Econ but its fun to throw it in to sport occasionally and use the paddle shifters. Overall, I would give this vehicle a 10 simply based on the famous Honda quality and reliability as well as design and mpg. Mpg really does depend on your driving, even for a hybrid. As I stated before, I receive 45-50 mpg on most days. Biggest flaw to this car would be the blind spots and seeing through the read windshield. I found this to be difficult at first and nearly had several collisions however it wasn't long until I became use to it and figured out my methods for working around the blind spot. Overall, I give this a 10 and would recommend to anyone! It is listed as a sports car with most insurance companies so that can sometimes affect your premiums but nothing too bad. When I say sporty, again it is no Porsche but if you are looking for a hybrid but want something a little less stereotypical hipster such as the family ride Prius, then this may be the car for you! And in response to the one bad review on this site stating the car kept shutting off during her test drive which "made it the worst car she's ever driven", it is designed to do that...all I could do was laugh."

14 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Small, fun, and economical

By on Sunday, June 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun, economical, and pracitical for 2 people"

Cons: "The door panel arm rests are rough on long trips"

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

"My Crz has seen many non-stop long mile trips (including going through the desert and horrible snow storms) and has never let me down. Throughout these trips I have always averaged 42 MPG (the manufacture seriously under-rated the highway MPG). In the snow I had snow tires installed turned off the traction control and have never gotten stuck even when "plowing" through 8-14 inches of snow. The cargo space in this vehicle is actually quite high. I am able to pack mine and my wifes luggage for a trip and still have plenty of room to pack more. The Crz is a very fun hybrid but no where near being a quick vehicle. The only complaint I have ever had with this car is that the elbow rest on the door panels are very rough and hard for long mileage trips. Overall I feel as if the car is just big enough to get the job done for 2 people while being very economical and fun while getting to your destination."

21 people out of 38 found this review helpful

FUN! and Economical

By on Saturday, May 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,500

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: "Fun, Fun, Fun"

Cons: "no arm rest"

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

"With 6 speed manual and three driving modes; sport, regular, and Economy, this car transitions from granny car to hot rod with the push of a button. I prefer regular mode, getting up to 40mpg, and kicking into sport mode when passing. Economy mode will bog down a bit on big hills, but is great on flat terrain, or in town. This car has been very reliable. After 4 years, I had to replace the starter battery, but that would be expected on any car."

14 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Like it better than my BMW Z3 or Nissan 350Z

By on Thursday, April 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 121,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great mileage, curb appeal, trunk space, unique"

Cons: "Seat fabric shows wear"

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

"I've had a CR-Z Ex since Sept. 2010 and have logged over 120,000 mostly freeway miles in it. I love this car. It's been out almost five years and people still look at it and ask me about it. I routinely get 40-43 mpg since I'm most on the freeway at speed. I use the Sport button to confound the road bullys who think this car can't move. I can leave all but the muscle cars with this assist. I've had almost no issues with the car, exceptions being a weird intermittent powert window seal, fog lights that broke from temp extremes and the lumbar support in the seat has fabric that is wearing poorly, which I've never seen before. But all things considered, I would buy one again. In fact, I am. I have an order in for a Deep Violet Pearl CR-Z EX with every option I could cram into it. THIS CAR IS ME. Honda hit a home run right out of the park with the CR-Z."

31 people out of 42 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement