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2013 Honda CR-Z

Overview
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2013 Honda CR-Z Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

The 2013 Honda CR-Z is among the few hybrids on the market that does not require a shot of 5-Hour Energy before sliding behind the wheel. It may lack genuine sports car credentials, but the CR-Z remains a fun, affordable alternative to conventional hybrids. A spiritual successor to the celebrated Honda CRX, the 2013 CR-Z is a front-wheel-drive, 2-door hatchback with just two seats. But whereas the CRX used a lightweight, minimalist approach to deliver efficiency and entertainment, the CR-Z utilizes a more substantial platform to accommodate the extra componentry of a mild hybrid drivetrain. Of course, there are more fuel-efficient hybrids on the market, such as the Toyota Prius C and Honda's 5-door offering, the Insight, but thrifty car shoppers looking for a sporty urban runabout will find the 2013 CR-Z is a car worth getting to know.

You'll Like This Car If...

Although the term "sporty hybrid" seems a bit oxymoronic, the 2013 Honda CR-Z is arguably the most fun-to-drive hybrid this side of the luxury category. Additionally, the CR-Z is currently the only hybrid available with a manual transmission.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Honda CR-Z is unable to accommodate more than two occupants, making it a less than ideal option for anyone who needs a small car with real people moving capability (think Volkswagen Jetta and Hyundai Elantra). And if fuel economy is the principal requisite for your next vehicle, the Toyota Prius C offers a 50-mpg combined rating for about $1,000 less than the 2013 CR-Z.

What's New for 2013

The Honda CR-Z sees a number of revisions for the 2013 model year. Chief among them are a new lithium-ion battery pack, freshened front-end styling, a modest horsepower increase from 122 to 130, and an expanded list of standard features.

Driving the CR-Z

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

drives as well as short inner-city commutes. Acceleration is fairly strong, thanks in part to the electric motor's assist, which comes in the form of pure torque. Plus, handling and braking are light-years beyond any mainstream hybrid we've driven. With Honda's 3-mode drive system, drivers can select between an efficiency-friendly "Econ" mode, a balanced "Normal" mode or a responsive "Sport" mode. Accelerator-pedal response is dampened and the steering feel is lighter in Econ mode, while Sport mode increases steering effort and throttle response for a very un-hybrid-like driving experience.

PLUS SPORT SYSTEM
Similar to automotive video games of yore, the Sport Plus button found in the 2013 CR-Z primes the powertrain for a quick burst of power to assist with passing or merging moves.

6-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
Although it comes with a slight penalty in fuel economy, we liked the crisp shifts and close gear ratios of the standard 6-speed transmission.

2013 Honda CR-Z Details
2013 Honda CR-Z photo Interior

Where all hybrid cars have additional gauges and playful readouts to make them appear more futuristic, the 2013 Honda CR-Z hybrid's cockpit looks like something from a pseudo-sci-fi film. Worry not, though, for in typical Honda style all of the CR-Z's controls are logically placed and easy to operate. We particularly like the placement of the climate controls, which reside just to the right of the steering wheel. As for comfort, the 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 black is the only interior color scheme available on most models.

Exterior
2013 Honda CR-Z photo

Some may see the 2013 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 built before. Designed using a "one motion wedge" concept, the CR-Z projects an unconventional image, 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

Unlike many of its compact car rivals, the 2013 Honda CR-Z offers most of today's must-have features as standard issue. Those include such niceties as a rear backup camera with guidelines, Bluetooth connectivity, aluminum-alloy wheels, automatic climate control, and a multi-information display. Notable audio hardware consists of six speakers, a USB port for portable music players and a 160-watt receiver. All CR-Z hybrids protect occupants with six airbags, the usual helping of electronic stability controls, and active head restraints that help reduce the severity of whiplash-related injuries.

Optional Equipment

As is the case with all Honda products, most optional features available on the 2013 CR-Z can be acquired by stepping up to a higher trim level. Trading up from the base model to the EX trim lands you xenon headlights, which are up to three times brighter than traditional halogen systems, LED daytime running lights, and a 7-speaker premium audio system with a subwoofer. While its capabilities are comparatively outdated, a touch-screen navigation system with a basic text messaging function is available on EX models.

Under the Hood

The gasoline/electric powertrain comprises a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine mated to a 15-kilowatt motor, combining to deliver 130 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 130 horsepower might not sound like much, the broad torque curve makes freeway passing and darting through intersections a breeze. 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 and often causes the vehicle to judder upon restarting. If you find a row-it-yourself gearbox unappealing, every CR-Z model can be fitted with a gearless continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

1.5-liter gasoline engine with Integrated Motor Assist (hybrid)
130 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
140 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-2,000 rpm (manual); 127 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-3,000 rpm (CVT automatic)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/38 mpg (manual), 36/39 mpg (CVT automatic)

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2013 Honda CR-Z Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 74 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 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

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."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

The Coolest Hybrid on the Market

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Sporty look, excellent handling, fuel efficient"

Cons: "Just a two-seater"

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

"I fell in love with this car the moment I saw it online- it combines a classic 80's sporty body (based on the old CR-X) with a futuristic interior. And to top it off, it gets awesome gas mileage (I'm getting over 37 mpg). For some reason this car gets so-so reviews by the "official" press but they don't seem to understand the car. This a car for people who want a fuel efficient car but don't want to drive a mom car to do it, and there just aren't any other hybrids out on there that are this fun to drive and look this cool doing it. The two major complaints- engine performance and rear visibility- simply don't hold up once you actually drive the car. In sport and normal mode the engine is responsive. Yes, acceleration is dampened in Eco mode, but that's how the car maximizes fuel efficiency. For an extra boost, you can use the Sport+ feature, which revs up the electric motor and acts like a booster pack. As far as rear visibility is concerned, you easily get used to that once you drive it. Also, the car comes with a backup camera standard. The interior of the car is exceptional with a sleek dashboard and controls. Everything feels modern and nothing feels cheap. I ended up getting the EX trim line for the additional leather accents and lighting in the car. I especially love the Eco monitor which helps you drive more efficiently with braking and acceleration. All in all, this car is going to be one I have fun driving for years to come."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

not for everyone, but perfect for me

By on Friday, March 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "nimble handling, sporty looking, good mileage"

Cons: "rear visibility only saved by its backup camera"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"The CR-Z falls between standard categories, so it doesn't rate high in most comparisons. It does fall into my category -- it rates really high with me. It looks good, with its low-drag Kamm-back design, and it's heaps of fun to drive."

9 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Fun commuter car!

By on Friday, March 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,960

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, great on gas. good trunk space"

Cons: "no center console, bad rear vision"

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

"I got this car for commuting purposes. I walked away from a Mazda RX8 to this. I love that it's still quick and fun when I want it to be but also gets me 35 mpgs. It looks very stylish (except for the wheels. Don't know what Honda was thinking about)and I got a lot of compliments. Now for the not so great... Since the engine stops when you're at a red light, so does your AC. Additionally, there's not center console so that's something you'll have to invest it. The blue-tooth only does phone calls and not music (you'll have to get an adapter for that). Besides a few annoyances, this car is awesome. The back folds down to give you a great cargo area so it's great for long trips and it has the power when you need it."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Roomy 2 door

By on Sunday, March 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Love the look, lots of storage, fun to drive"

Cons: "Too low to the ground"

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

"They are no longer making this car and that is a shame because it's has so much style, room and very economical"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Excellent Sporty Hybrid

By on Sunday, January 11, 2015

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

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun drive, good value for the money. Typical Honda"

Cons: "No moonroof. Rear window pilar"

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

"a fun car to drive, a lot of pep. Very stylish body, good aerodynamics. Comfortable seats and good driving position. Instrument display,functions and location are excellent. Many extras as standard equipment. CVT is quiet and smooth."

19 people out of 40 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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