Honda CR-Z Review
The 2014 Honda CR-Z ranks 22 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Honda CR-Z, as well as reliability and safety data.
The 2014 Honda CR-Z is ranked:
Auto writers say that while the 2014 Honda CR-Z is one of the sharpest-handling hybrids on the market, it’s far from a sports car and its two-seat interior makes it less practical than other hybrid cars.
The 2014 CR-Z has a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that reviewers say provide enough power for highway cruising and passing. Reviewers praise the standard six-speed manual transmission for its smooth throws. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. The CR-Z gets its best fuel economy ratings when equipped with the CVT with an EPA-estimated 36/39 mpg city/highway. That’s excellent for a small car, but not as good as the fuel economy of rival hybrids like the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid or the Toyota Prius c. Though auto writers say the CR-Z won’t be mistaken for a sports car, it has sharper handling and better driving dynamics than most other hybrids. Among its qualities are crisp steering and brakes with good pedal feel, they say, which is unusual praise for a hybrid.
Test drivers are intrigued by the 2014 CR-Z’s ultramodern cabin, which reminds them of a spaceship. They say the two-seat hybrid is sufficiently comfy and offers enough head- and legroom for most, though taller occupants may feel cramped by the sloping roofline. Cargo space is good for a small hatchback and there are plenty of interior compartments for storing small items. Standard features include automatic climate control, a rearview mirror with a built-in backup camera display, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls and a six-speaker CD audio system with USB port, an auxiliary audio jack and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Also available are a voice-controlled navigation system, a multi-angle rearview camera and an upgraded audio system with Pandora Internet radio compatibility. Test drivers report that the climate controls and gauges are clearly labeled and easy to use but the optional navigation system can make some audio system adjustments confusing.
- “While there are more efficient hybrid cars, not many of them are as stylish or fun to drive, and you certainly won't find them with a manual transmission." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The Honda CR-Z is a gas-electric coupe that seeks to provide both engaging driving dynamics and hybrid fuel efficiency. It isn't entirely successful on either front, and its two-seater configuration limits practicality, but for those seeking an inexpensive, mildly sporty hybrid, it's the only choice on the market.” -- Left Lane News
- "The 2013 Honda CR-Z isn't as sporty to drive as it looks, and its two-seat interior limits its practicality. It's a fun city car, but in general we think there are better choices." -- Edmunds (2013)
- “If you need a commuter car that is efficient and stylish, this is your car. There are no other choices. At least there are no other choices if you want style along with your efficiency and don't ever need to carry more than one person, because, unlike the Euro version, there is no back seat in U.S.-spec CR-Zs." -- AutoWeek (2013)
Other Cars to Consider
Reviewers like the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid’s performance, noting that it has ample power and drives much like a gas-only car. The Jetta Hybrid also gets better fuel economy than the CR-Z, and test drivers say there’s ample legroom in the rear seats.
The Mazda Mazda3 isn’t a hybrid, but it offers superb fuel economy and reviewers like its upscale cabin and say it’s a thrill to drive. The Mazda3 is also available with driver assistance features that are rare for the class, including blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and forward collision warning.
Details: 2014 Honda CR-Z
The 2014 Honda CR-Z seats two and has front-wheel drive. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor are standard, which are paired with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT. The CR-Z comes in two trims: base and EX. In 2013, the CR-Z received some styling and powertrain updates, but is mostly unchanged since its launch in the 2011 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 through 2014 model years.