No backseat, poor rearward visibility, missing some upscale features.
Maybe you've heard the whispers. "Honda's lost its edge," the car enthusiasts say. They complain that the company's cars have gotten too big; its technological advances are matched by the competition; its cars are no longer sporty or fun enough. The mojo is gone. Or is it? The 2011 Honda CR-Z has arrived.
Small? The CR-Z is Honda's smallest car on sale in North America. Sporty? It's been specifically tuned to provide nimble handling. Technology? This one happens to be a hybrid, thank you very much. Obviously, Honda wants to demonstrate it still has game. Even the CR-Z's name is a reference to the iconic CRX, the diminutive two-seater from the late 1980s and early 1990s that crystallized the company's reputation for building fun and efficient cars.
So has Honda truly gotten some Blues Brothers inspiration and put its band back together? After testing the CR-Z, our answer is "sort of." In terms of performance, the CR-Z — at least in its present form — is handily outpaced by many hopped-up two-doors, including Honda's own Civic Si. Most likely, Honda enthusiasts will continue to grumble.
But thanks to sharper reflexes, quicker acceleration, some stylish sheet metal, a two-seat layout and a Technicolor gauge cluster, the 2011 Honda CR-Z is still a noticeable step up in excitement from its workaday Honda siblings, the Fit and Insight. True, there are some caveats. The two-seat layout isn't very practical. It's hard to see out the back. Fuel economy, though very good, might not meet your expectations for a hybrid. And, at $23,000 and change for the EX with Navigation, it's significantly more expensive than cars like the Fit and Ford Fiesta.
Usually a "pay more for less" formula isn't a great path to sales success. But we think consumers just wanting a sporty and efficient urban runabout — which was likely the vast majority of CRX buyers back in the day — will be pleased with the CR-Z. Some faith, if only fractional, has been restored in the big H.
"Performance" isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you start up the 2011 Honda CR-Z. Turn the key and the engine starts up with nothing more than a mild "brrmmmm," evoking all the aural authority of a household Honda generator. But a generator is an apt metaphor; under the hood is Honda's familiar Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system.
The total combined output from the 1.5-liter engine and electric motor is 122 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. For our test car, which came equipped with the quick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, this was good for a 0-60-mph sprint of 8.8 seconds. Warp-speed acceleration it's not, but the CR-Z's pace is more than half-a-second quicker than a Fit's and about equal to that of a Mini Cooper.
As for fuel economy, the CR-Z checks in with an EPA-estimated 31 city/37 highway mpg and 34 mpg combined rating (35/39/37 mpg with the optional CVT). This is well off the pace set by mileage kings like the Insight and Toyota Prius, but it's still very good, and a few mpg more than any gas-powered rival. In our time with the car, we averaged 30.2 mpg.
Around town, the CR-Z feels spry and nimble, with credit going to the car's quick steering, small size and relatively light 2,635-pound curb weight. This aptitude translates well to a curvy road, too, with the car's responses making it fun to drive — up to a point.
When pushed to its limit, the 2011 Honda CR-Z reminds you why it's "sporty" with a "y." Grip from the 195/55R17 tires is modest, with the CR-Z pulling 0.83g on the skid pad and snaking through the slalom at 61.4 mph. Discouragingly, these numbers are pretty much the same as those posted by the last Fit Sport we tested. It's also worth noting that the CR-Z exhibited some oversteer (an uncommon handling trait for a front-drive car) in the slalom test with the stability control turned off. We've noticed similar dynamics, though to a lesser extent, from the Fit and Insight.
Although it only seats two people, the CR-Z does well in terms of accommodations. There's a respectable amount of legroom and headroom for the driver, which is further helped out by a standard height-adjustable driver seat and tilt-telescoping steering wheel. The seats are supportive enough for long drives, though one of our editors expressed his desire for additional legroom while seated in the passenger seat.
On the move, the CR-Z exhibits more high-speed stability and confidence than the Fit or Insight. Its firmer ride quality and average amounts of wind and road noise are acceptable given the car's sportier mission, and none of our editors complained about it being uncomfortable. However, the CR-Z can feel a little skittish when taking corners over broken pavement, which is likely an inherent result of the car's light weight, short wheelbase and economy-minded rear suspension design.
One of the more interesting features on the 2011 Honda CR-Z is its three-mode drive selector. Pushing one of the three buttons on the left side of the dash (Sport, Normal and Econ) tunes the car for the specified driving, and we found it does indeed make a difference. Sport is nice on a curvy road, as it quickens the car's throttle response and dials back the steering assist for added steering heft. We weren't particularly fond of Econ, however, as it dulls the CR-Z's responsiveness considerably in the name of better fuel economy. One of our editors quipped that he thought the throttle pedal was sending commands to the engine by postal service.
The CR-Z's general layout is similar to the Insight's, with an easy-to-reach and compact automatic climate control layout to the right of the steering wheel, and either an audio head unit or integrated navigation system centrally located in the dash. Our EX test car had the navigation system. It's the same one found in the Civic, Fit and Insight, and includes voice-command functionality and the ability to program addresses while on the move. Unfortunately, the unchanged graphical display and font looks dated for an all-new car. The CR-Z is also missing some desirable upscale features, including leather/heated seats and a sunroof.
Also missing is a backseat. In other worldwide markets, Honda will sell the CR-Z with four-passenger capacity, but here Honda wanted to capitalize on the heritage provided by the two-seat CRX. It is a curious choice on Honda's part, as practicality drops considerably. Instead of a backseat there's a two-bin parcel shelf that can hold bags and other small items.
A rear cargo divider can be easily flipped down to cover the parcel shelf as well as create a flat cargo area. The rear cargo shade can also be placed in a different position on the floor to create a separate divided section. The CR-Z's double-paned hatchback, however, does impede the driver's rear visibility, as do the very thick rear hindquarters. Backing out of parking spaces can be tricky.
Design/Fit and Finish
The CR-Z's sheet metal commanded its share of positive attention. Most of our editors commented favorably about the car's styling, and in general the car stands out as being both distinctive and stylish.
The cabin is similarly distinctive, thanks to the colorful and futuristic gauge cluster. As with the Insight, graphical displays and a variable-hue background help the driver adjust his driving style for better fuel economy. The 3-D-effect digital speedometer display is also neat. Interior fit and finish is solid, but the significant use of hard plastic is indicative of the CR-Z's economy-car roots.
Who should consider this vehicle
Like Rush Limbaugh and Barbara Boxer, "fuel-efficient" and "sporty" aren't a typical combination, so from that sense, there's definite appeal to the 2011 Honda CR-Z. But shoppers should be aware of the car's distinct limitations and make sure to take a look at other available spunky cars that offer more practicality, similar fuel economy and price tags that are, in some cases, lower.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
2011 Honda CR-Z Overview
The 2011 Honda CR-Z is offered in the following submodels: Hatchback. Available styles include EX 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), EX 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6M), and 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). CR-Z models are available with a 1.5 l-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 122 hp, depending on engine type. The 2011 CR-Z comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic, 6-speed manual. The 2011 CR-Z comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 2011 Honda CR-Z?
Save up to $217.2 on one of 18 used 2011 Honda CR-Zs for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $5988 as of Dec 11, 2017, based on data from 14 dealers and 98 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 4.1 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2011 Honda CR-Z trim styles:
The 2011 Honda CR-Z Base is priced around $7978 with average odometer reading of 78222 miles.
The 2011 Honda CR-Z EX is priced around $7917 with average odometer reading of 81363 miles.
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Is the 2011 Honda CR-Z a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2011 Honda CR-Z and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2011 CR-Z featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2011 Honda CR-Z? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2011 Honda CR-Z and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2011 CR-Z 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2011 CR-Z.
Review As a previous owner of a CRX-DX (7-years) this CRZ is a welcome pleasure. I traded in my 2001 A4 1.8TQ for this little piece of heaven. It is nice getting back to a smooth clutch. The Audi was a little long on both travel and throw. The exterior styling is a mix of Porsche 928 rear end & heavily modified S2000 front. The interior high end with soft touch controls like the Audi. The well placed control close to the driver. The 6 weeks has been unbelievable in the gas mileage. I am just about to fill up for the third time with: 41.7, 43.5 and 43.4 for miles/gal. avg. Not bad for a 80 City / 20 Highway driving. There seems to be no difference in Normal / Econ mode on mileage, just on stop idle.
2011 Honda CR-Z inventory listings Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Honda CR-Z for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 1 new and 60 used and CPO 2011 CR-Zs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 5988 and mileage as low as 46074. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2011 Honda CR-Z. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 217 on a new, used, or CPO 2011 CR-Z available from one of 2804 dealerships in your area.
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What options are available on the 2011 Honda CR-Z?
Available Honda CR-Z 2011 Submodel Types: Hatchback
Available Trims: EX, Base, EX w/Navigation, LX
Exterior Colors: Premium White Pearl, North Shore Blue Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic, Milano Red, Spectrum White Silver Pearl, Storm Silver Metallic, North Shore Blue Metallic, Passion Berry Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl, Deep Violet Pearl, Jet Black, Milano Red Pearl
Interior Colors: Sport Gray cloth, Black, Black/Red, Black cloth, Gray cloth, Black/Red cloth
Popular Features: Back-up camera, Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Aux Audio Inputs, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Stability Control, Sunroof/Moonroof, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, USB Inputs, Bluetooth, Upgraded Headlights, Keyless Entry/Start, Navigation