The Honda CRZ series was started in 2010 and was discontinued in 2016 to further advance the Honda Accord Hybrids and Clarity. This was a hybrid electric manual car that tried to make its way into the industry but was unable to gather enough momentum to please today’s buyers.
And speaking of buyers, what do people usually look for in a hybrid car?
- Great fuel economy
- Decreased emissions
- “Advanced” technology
- Daily commuting
With these factors in mind, which Honda CRZs were the best?
In this article, I will rank the top three best Honda CRZs according to their uniqueness, innovation, and quirkiness.
Best Honda CRZ cars
- 2013 Honda CRZ
- 2016 Honda CRZ
- 2011 Honda CRZ
2013 Honda CRZ
The 2013 Honda CRZ comes with a few more upgrades than the 2011 and 2012 Honda CRZ.
This is typical for Honda – making micro-adjustments to further excel in their goals of the product.
For the Honda CRZ, it’s about balance. Being lightweight, having great fuel economy, fun and sport-like appears to be their goal.
Starting in 2013, the rearview camera and bluetooth became standard in the base model. Having a black interior was also changed.
There was also an increase in horsepower output with a larger lithium-ion battery used in the engine.
Of course, like most Japanese cars, the body was slightly tweaked to have a unique, modern design feel.
Inside, the 2013 Honda CRZs have a slightly shorter gear drive compared to the previous two years.
Some drivers will say that this version does feel “quicker” out of the box and this makes sense since they did have a slight battery and engine upgrade. However, looking for drastic differences may leave you disappointed.
Another adjustment to help combat the blind spots in the 2011 and 2012 Honda CRZ was to make the side mirrors a tad bit wider and convex. With that, they added an additional outside mirror to help with visibility.
There should be a distinct border that shows the different mirror borders.
2016 Honda CRZ
The final CRZ year also had several modifications.
The battery is located under the rear load floor while the fuel tank is under the “seating” area.
With a 1.3” drop in the front and 1.1” drop in the back and a black interior, drivers are in for a pleasurable experience, even if they have not driven any of the previous models.
The exterior was also tuned up compared to the last five models.
The dashboard and tech features were upgraded and added.
And again, Honda created another fun car for its specific niche.
In the final year of CRZ production, drivers would expect something great right?
The acceleration and power felt are comparable to a Honda civic… barely okay but this would not be your car if you wanted that oomph factor.
From a looking standpoint, the car looks great. If you sit inside, you can notice that the leather is fairly good in quality. However, it’s not amazingly expensive.
Nevertheless, ergonomics is good so you would not need to worry about any pressure points on your joints.
However, what was probably the nail in the coffin for the 2016 Honda CRZ is that for all of these improvements, the car still did not generate enough power. The fuel economy got worse and for a labeled “sports hybrid car”, it was expensive at the time.
No one would pay a premium for a hybrid car’s potential. It has to perform and have that driving experience.
2011 Honda CRZ
This car is pure fun… while it lasted.
With a sporty look along with great fuel economy, colors, and installments, tons of drivers appreciated the innovative hybrid design, despite its flaws.
You definitely get people’s heads turning on the streets and highway when you pull up with this car.
The engine is a 1.5 L (92 cu in) i-VTEC SOHC inline-4 engine. It is also combined with Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid-electric system.
This means that if you are not saving money on fuel economy, you can turn up the power just a tad bit and be slightly more impressive in your small, fun car.
This car started off with a gray interior. The OEM suspension was soft and a bit bouncy. However, depending on the package purchased, this can vary.
The major downside to this CRZ and the 2012 version is that there are no backup cameras. The blindside mirrors were also not introduced so additional work had to be done for the driver. However, people will always boast about the cruise and the great fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic, which is an ideal situation for hybrid cars.
The 2013+ versions all overshadow these older Honda CRZ models. A ton of upgrades were made for safety, and ease of use that it would just be impractical to purchase the first and second CRZ models unless you are looking for something so specific and vintage.
And there you have it. There have only been 6 models of CRZs ever designed and I chose my best three.
Some drivers may even go back into the time machine and compare the Honda CRZ to the Honda CRX. If you put those two cars side by side, you can clearly see that the Honda CRX was the Honda CRZ’s predecessor.
But overall, the Honda CRZ may have a sporty look but was used as a daily commuter. It’s not for racing even though there is a sports mode.
Performance and back seating will always haunt the Honda CRZs unless they do a major revamp for a future product release.
Maybe this is why Honda CRZs are so cheap in the current car market…