2012 Honda CR-Z Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Honda CR-Z Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Honda CR-Z Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 122 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 31/37 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Honda CR-Z

  • The 2012 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.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Nimble size and handling; quick steering; good fuel economy; sporty looks.

  • Cons

    Poor rearward visibility; excessive road noise; most competitors have backseats; missing a few upscale features; so-so crash scores.

  • What's New for 2012

    Introduced just last year, the 2012 Honda CR-Z returns essentially unchanged.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A safe and fun "sport"

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Honda CR-Z

I bought this car after driving a 2006 VW GTI 1.8T for over six years. I will say that the CR-Z is a fun little car to drive, but has VERY slow acceleration. Pretty good storage space considering you're giving up a backseat. The WORST thing about this car was the blind spots caused by the rear hatch door and window design. My CR-Z was totaled two days after I bought it. I was rear ended while standing still by someone going about 45 mph and walked away with pretty bad whiplash but not much else. It's a safe car. A good value for the money but I'd wait for them to work out the design flaws before investing in one. Again the blind spots are TERRIBLE.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Average car, not worth the

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Honda CR-Z

Just traded in my Honda CRZ after 2 years. Bought it new, not at all worth the 20k I paid. This is a car that has all the potential, but none of the thought process it needs to be unique and worth it. The interior is typical cheap crap that scratches VERY easy. Since the car is low to the ground, you'll mainly do this getting out of the car. The engine shuts off when you stop the car, and this car dents VERY EASY. Engine shutoff was getting worse in mine. Also, it's slow as hell. Get ready for insane blindspots in this car. The hatch is not positioned properly, so changing lanes on the highway/backing up will be, let's say..fun LOL. My new Dodge dart is faster and gets the same gas mileage.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Lots of room for a

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Honda CR-Z

First off, I love my CRZ. We were on a waiting list to get one when they first came out. Test drove it, and it was instant love. Having had the car for about two years now, we still love it. Part of me wishes they would come out with a 4 seater version, but then I guess it would loose some of its appeal? There is a WHOLE lot of room in this tiny car. I kid you not, we bought a queen sized bed frame, mattress, etc (From Ikea of course -.-) and we fit it in the car?! Amazing. It also fits multiple full sized bikes, without taking off the wheels. I don't recommend it.. you might mark your interior plastics.. It's really fun to drive and great on gas. We easily average about 40mpg

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great crz

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Honda CR-Z

I recently purchased a 2011 CR-Z EX from beaverton Infinity. I was looking at new but found this one with less than 7k miles and saved a ton of money. I love this car. The styling and performance are great. The best part I am averaging over 44 MPG since purchase. I have a daily commute of over 70 miles and my fuel cost is averaging $30 a week. If your looking for a fun to drive yet economical car. You should check it out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Exceeds expectations

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Honda CR-Z

I bought this car in Jan 2011 as a commuter. As of 5/1/2012 have over 33,000 miles. No problems, only time gas mileage less than EPA hiway was 2 people climbing mountains in NC, got 36.5. Average commute is 80 mi/day, 99% hiway. Averaging 39MPG, high was in city driving on a week-end trip when we got 43MPG in Miami. Performance good for 65-75MPH driving on interstates, very little around town but when I do it shows about 40.3. More than enough room (6'1"), actually have to pull the seat up to reach the pedals. Interior quality good, more than enough room for my usage.

4 of 33 people found this review helpful

I am soooooo sorry i

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Honda CR-Z

I hate this car. I bought it on an impulse and am sorry I did. I actually waited almost 5 days to go pick it up from the dealership after I had purchased it. I am sure that it is a good car (after all, it IS a Honda), but I swear it is among the ugliest cars on the road - especially the back end. I do not like the car because of it's impracticality. Too small, very uncomfortable, slower than I would have expected, noisy interior on the open road. There is also no place to rest your arms. Cup holders cannot accomodate anything too large - definitely a hazard when you are trying to get stuff in and out. My car is for sale and has been since about 3 months after my purchase. Hate it.

Gas Mileage


  • 31
  • cty
  • 37
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Honda CR-Z Review

What's New for 2012

Introduced just last year, the 2012 Honda CR-Z returns essentially unchanged.


These days there are a lot of sporty coupes on the market and more than a few hybrids. But there's only one sporty hybrid coupe, and that's the 2012 Honda CR-Z.

Trouble is, this compact two-seater doesn't really excel in either area. While the CR-Z feels decidedly zippy, a suspension that's tuned more for comfort than speed creates handling that's just so-so thanks to a notable amount of body roll. Likewise, the CR-Z's fuel economy numbers are quite strong, but really no better than non-hybrid economy hatchbacks that are more practical, better equipped and usually more refined.

Built on the same underpinnings as the Insight, Honda's small four-door hybrid, the CR-Z is powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a total output of 122 horsepower. A choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive round out the drivetrain details. However, unlike the hybrid systems used by Toyota and others, the CR-Z doesn't propel itself on electricity alone, and it doesn't achieve the exceptional city fuel economy that you might expect.

Given its limitations, we think buyers can generally do better than the 2012 Honda CR-Z. Competitors that offer similar or superior fuel economy include the Mini Cooper, which boasts better handling and an abundance of style. The new Hyundai Veloster is another great choice considering its added versatility, while it's also worth considering the sporty Chevy Sonic and Ford Fiesta.

Compared to the CR-Z, all are more practical, less expensive and have quieter, higher-quality cabins. If getting Honda's famed reliability is important, the Civic coupe enjoys the same advantages. As such, the Honda CR-Z may be one of a kind, but that doesn't make it the one to buy.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The two-seat 2012 Honda CR-Z comes in two trim levels: base and EX. Standard equipment on the base model includes 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, hill-start assist (manual transmission models only), cruise control, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a cargo cover, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, steering-wheel audio controls, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The EX adds automatic xenon headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, metallic interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth and a seven-speaker upgraded audio system. The EX can also be had with an optional navigation system that includes a touchscreen interface and voice controls. Notable dealer-installed options include 17-inch alloy wheels, performance tires and satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2012 Honda CR-Z is powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid system that mates a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a total output of 122 hp and 128 pound-feet of torque with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. Torque numbers drop to 123 lb-ft with the optional CVT, which also comes with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

A three-mode drive selector allows the driver to choose from Sport, Normal or Econ modes. Each adjusts parameters for throttle sensitivity, steering assist, transmission programming (CVT), additional electric motor assist (manual transmission) and air-conditioning usage.

In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped CR-Z went from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds -- quicker than average for its class. With the CVT, this time lengthens to 9.2 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates are 31 mpg city/37 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 35/39/37 mpg with the CVT.


The 2012 Honda CR-Z comes with standard safety features that include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags and active head restraints.

In Edmunds brake testing, it came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet -- a good distance among compact cars.

In government crash tests, the CR-Z earned an overall rating of three stars (out of a possible five) as well as three stars in both overall frontal and side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the CR-Z its highest rating of "Good" in both its frontal-offset and side-impact tests, but a second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the roof strength test.

Interior Design and Special Features

While the 2012 Honda CR-Z sold in other worldwide markets has a small backseat, Honda has chosen to equip the American version with a flip-down rear parcel shelf instead. The idea is to apparently better associate the car with the original two-seat CRX, though some measure of practicality is sacrificed, of course. Seat comfort is adequate, but tall drivers may find a lack of adjustability.

The CR-Z's rear cargo divider can easily be lowered to create a flat load floor and hide any items in the parcel shelf's bins. A multiposition cargo shade is also part of the deal. Maximum cargo capacity is 25.1 cubic feet, and two golf bags should fit with the divider lowered.

The interior's most notable feature is its space-age dash design, which is built around a large digital speedometer surrounded by an equally prominent analog tachometer. Adding a wow factor are background lights behind these gauges that change color to indicate driving style efficiency. A configurable display allows you to call up other useful information including instant and average fuel economy readings.

This is a practical car, not a luxury coupe, so the interior trim is fairly plain, although it's fair to say that it's less premium than the CR-Z's competitors. It's also important to note that rear visibility is problematic through the dual-panel rear glass and the bodywork that surrounds it.

Driving Impressions

Though the 2012 Honda CR-Z is not meant to be a sports car, it is still a fun little car to drive, with quick steering and a nimble feeling that comes from its short wheelbase and light weight. The ride quality is firm, but not objectionably so for a car like this. Road noise is louder than for many other similar cars, though.

Powertrain performance depends largely on which of the three drive modes you select. Punch the Sport button and the car gets up and goes, while the fuel mileage-maximizing Econ mode makes for noticeably pokier acceleration. Most drivers will find the Normal mode just about right. Both transmissions are winners, with the six-speed manual offering easy action and a nice mechanical feel, while the CVT still manages to seem sporty by virtue of its steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.

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