Based on 63 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.Review this car
By thaduke2003 on Wednesday, June 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, economy, rarity"
Cons: "Practicality, price, no sunroof :("
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car is a bit of a stumper. I've owned around twenty cars over my driving career, and this is certainly up there for my favorites. As every review you'll likely read will mention (and your sales person surely ought to), this is positioned as a sports hybrid. Okay... Step one: buy the 6-speed manual. Buying the CVT means you don't care about sporty. At that point, you're throwing away one of the best features of this car, and a great deal of its raison d'etre (sorry for lack of accents...)- a wonderful, Honest-to-God Honda manual transmission. They really are some of the best in the business. Skip the CVT, or go buy a Prius, Insight, etc. They're much more efficient, plus can seat 3-5 people! The shifter could use a bit more weight to be excellent, but it still is superb. The clutch, too, could use a bit more firmness (a heavy-duty pressure plate would be a nice upgrade down the road), but otherwise, this is an excellent combination for anything but a racetrack. Step two: Forget much of the sport. This car has a combined rating of 130 BHP. This is a momentum car- if you're used to passing at will (as I was, coming out of an upgraded '13 Focus ST, with a 300 WHP '11 WRX before that), forget it. Planning is a must. However, if you maintain momentum, particularly in hilly terrain, this car comes alive (again, 6-speed!). One thing I must say is that after letting the engine break in for the first 1,000 miles (no heavy abuse, nothing north of 4,000 RPM, etc. [NOTE: Honda does NOT recommend or require a break-in period. It is not even mentioned in the owner's manual at all! This is entirely a self-imposed regimen to ensure maximum reliability]), between 1,200 miles and now, the engine feels noticeably more lively. As engines break in, they often gain a bit of power and efficiency, albeit only a small amount. On the other side of sport is braking and handling. On both of these, the CR-Z lets you down. The brake pads are decidedly not aggressive enough, leaving you wanting more even in moderate driving. They always get the job done, but only just. The suspension suffers from being largely carried over from the Fit Sport (the CR-Z can truly be considered the Fit Coupe Hybrid, as many parts are carried over unchanged), which is at least 100 pounds lighter. This means that the damping and spring rates are soft in the CR-Z, leaving a bit too much body roll, but without the benefit of a softer ride. Better shocks/struts are a must-do if you want to really get the most out of this car on a backroad or track! Step three: Forget ultra-efficiency. Let's face the elephant in the room- the CR-Z gets decidedly unimpressive fuel economy numbers. A 1.0L, 3-cylinder Fiesta will handily beat the CR-Z's fuel economy, practicality, and many other traits, while saving ~$6K+. Driving the car aggressively, but with an extremely smooth foot, I'm averaging 40.8 MPG on country roads (I actually went up 0.2 MPG switching to Sport mode full-time, likely due to my very attentive and aggressive driving style. While certainly not a hyper-miler, I have a tendency to get great fuel economy, likely due to preserving momentum). My last tank included a fair bit of A/C use due to heavy rains here in NY, and only dropped that number to 40.7, but of course, your mileage WILL vary. All this on NY 87 octane with ~10% ethanol, so higher numbers are certainly possible in those states fortunate enough to not have corn in their fuel. Also, the engine is still breaking in (I only have ~1,800 miles on it so far), so this should improve a bit. Step four: Forget practicality. Despite being a hatchback, the CR-Z is still (gasp!) a three door. The rear "seats" (they are actually usable and belted in other markets, but not in the U.S.) offer a bit of usable space, and if the divider is folder, they are covered, making for some hiding space for some goodies. The hatch area is deep, but putting taller objects in there will hurt what little rearward visibility this car has. Thankfully, a rearview camera is now standard on the CR-Z (it wasn't in '11-12), which helps. However, rear quarter visibility is still pretty poor (Holy blind spots, Batman!), so be careful when changing lanes in traffic! Step five: remember, it's a Honda! There's a reason that I love this car. It's quirky, but in a good way. For all its flaws and drawbacks, it's still an excellent car. It's a Honda, so I expect it to remain that way for a long time. Driven well, it's easy to keep speed up, even in hills, and it's rather tossable, despite very underwhelming tires (they're great on the Fit Sport, but less-than-stellar on the CR-Z. Extra weight, again?), and surprisingly good fun. The interior fit and finish is excellent, and the instrument cluster is very cool while being very easy to read. The lighting scheme is neat, and effective (although, as I said, I just leave mine in Sport mode now)- in Normal or Eco modes (stay out of Eco- it's a waste of time), the ring around the speedometer changes colors between green and blue, depending on the efficiency of your driving style. The shift indicator arrows mercifully disappear in sport mode (a constant annoyance in the Focus- they would appear mid-corner and distract the driver's eyes from the road- unacceptable in a sports-oriented car!), but are much more reasonable and unobtrusive than in many other cars. The seats are very comfortable. My one gripe is that the rear-"seat" access tab is on the driver's seat (???) instead of the passenger side, which seems like an omission in the transition from right-hand drive to left-hand. A minor gripe, but if you need to access the back regularly, it's a bit annoying. Also, the latch for the hatch area hangs low, so taller users (I'm 6'0") WILL hit their heads on it with some regularity. You've been warned... I happen to have the EX with navigation (and 6-speed, of course!), so a few notes on that: The navigation system is surprisingly good. Having dealt with many other brands' navigation systems, this is up there as one of the best (top two are this and those in the new Kia vehicles, believe it or not!). The load time is excellent, even in VERY rural areas, like where I live. The voice recognition does fine with my voice, despite a bit of an Irish brogue. The introductory speech that the system gives after pressing the voice command button is infuriating, however, as it takes several seconds (5+), meaning I usually end up using my fingers instead, negating any benefit. The touchscreen is very responsive, although the graphics/color schemes available are not very engaging, nor do they match the IP's colors very well. The HID low beams are nice, but the high beams and fog lights could use a bit more wattage, but this is an easy upgrade if you deem it necessary (aftermarket HID and LED kits are available). The OE sound system is very good, although the equalizer control for bass does not seem to do much in terms of subwoofer output. Sound quality is pretty darn good for a stock system. One last thing I have noticed is that the S+ "push-to-pass" button does not seem to do anything. There is zero discernible power/torque increase. I really think that it does not do anything. Oh well... Anyway, I love the car. It's a great, quirky car for this quirky man. If you like it on the test drive, and the payments work for you, and you can deal with the quirks and oddities, buy it! You won't regret it."
10 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By DougCRZ on Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fuel efficient, fun to drive, great stylin"
Cons: "doors swing really wide."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"If you are researching this car like I did, you have probably read many mediocre reviews. But the concept of a "sport hybrid" really got my attention, so I took it for a test drive anyway. And I'm glad I did. I owned a 2009 VW Passat with a 2.0 turbo, 5 seats and 200 hp. It was a great car but the maintenance got expensive for the German engineering. So I set out to shop for a new vehicle. I was looking for a car that is fun to drive, great on gas mileage, and something more reliable than the Germans. What would fit the bill better than a sport hybrid from Honda? Most online editor reviews are written by captain obvious. I KNOW it is a 2 seater. I KNOW it's not a sport car. I KNOW it is a small car. And I can care less about the specs. What I really care about is how I feel when I drive it. And that was the reason I bought it. Let's start with the exterior. It is totally a personal preference. I think the CR-Z looks very sporty and futuristic. LED running light and HID headlights really add to the styling. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, CR-Z really reminds me of the old CR-X that i couldn't afford in high school. The interior. The gauges looks like something out of a Sci Fi movie. It is very futuristic which match the the theme of the car. Although I found the instrument panel was a little busy at first, I got used to it after a day of driving and found Honda really put in some thought into it. While the design of the car makes you want to drive it like a formula one, the color changing gauge and information display really motivate you to be fuel efficient without being annoying. The layout of the dash, from the AC to the sound system, is very intuitive overall. The passenger compartment is am lot roomier than the exterior may suggest. For me, I drive by myself 90% of the time, 10% with my girlfriend or a friend, and I don't remember the last time a human being sitting in the backseat of my old car. Cargo room is plenty on the CR-Z. I manage to put a large north face duffle bag, a messenger bag, and some random stuff in the back with room to spare. A week worth of groceries is definitely not an issue. The seat while being bucket style, offer good support and comfort. Performance. It all depends on your expectations. For me, I was looking for a fun commuter. Coming from a full size turbo charged sedan, the CR-Z does not feel underpowered at all... when you put it in Sport mode. 130 horse power may sound really boring but with the assist of the electric motor, the car feels a lot faster than you may expect. The electric motor almost gives it a turbo like feeling at the traffic light. When you put it in sport mode, it feels like a totally different car. The steering tightens up, the motor revs up a lot quicker, and even the exhaust note got throatier and it doesn't sound out of breath at high RPM. My commute consist of about 10-15 minutes of twisty back road and driving my car in sport mode really make my daily commute a little more fun. Driving in normal mode, the car almost feel like cheap sedan like a Versa, or Yaris. It's very fuel efficient in normal or eco mode, but very boring. I can only recommend using it in heavy traffic or long highway stretch. The suspension is tight but adequately soaks up potholes. There is very little body roll during cornering, well, at least compare to a sedan. It's just fun enough for everyday driving. Fuel efficiency. I have no idea how some reviews reported only 20s in city and 30s on highway. They must beat the heck out of their demos. I like to drive fast and I get consistently 32-34 mpg local and at least 46 on the highway. All I can say is, you got to know what you want. If you want a 2 seater pure sport car buy a miata. If you want to save the planet by getting 50+ mpg, get a prius. If you are like me, want to save gas while still have fun driving, CR-Z is perfect for you. Speaking of the miata, I think both are quite similar in terms of handling and power. Of course, CR-Z is a lot more practical and fuel efficient."
19 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By Ms. B on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price for a single girl on a low budget."
Cons: "only fits 2 people. Not for a family.."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought it cus I have a CRV and drive 30 miles on the highway to work and was spending a bunch of money in gas a week. Well now I spend half the money and use the money I was spending on gas for a car payment. Think smart people. I still have my 2003 CRV cus I love it and have never had any issues with it. The CR-Z rides nice and I zip to work and home. Best value for a Hybrid. I love the look and feel of the car. Cant go wrong with a Honda.."
7 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Don on Friday, February 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of power. Fun to drive."
Cons: "Hard to see out the back!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I average 40 mpg. Can be noisy with the wrong tires. It is a blast to drive. lots of storage in the back. Use caution backing up and changing lanes."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Chrmd7522 on Thursday, December 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car has been great!! Just got it about a week ago and could not be happier with it."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful