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2013 Honda CR-Z

Overview
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2013 Honda CR-Z Review

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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 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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