2011 Honda CR-Z Review: A hybrid hot hatch? Not quite, but still a fun little car

Expert Reviews Honda

2011 Honda CR-Z
By Alex Kramer


  • Slick shifting 6-speed manual transmission
  • CRX-like handling
  • Decent fuel efficiency
  • Eye-catching exterior design


  • Unimpressive acceleration
  • Fuel efficiency should be much better
  • Interior needs some work

Ever since Honda pulled the plug on the CRX 20 years ago, loyal fans have been waiting for the rebirth of this popular sporty compact hatchback. Having owned 2 CRXs myself, I have spent many an hour wondering why Honda abandoned such a perfect combination of smart styling, peppy performance, and impressive fuel efficiency.

With the new CR-Z, Honda has again given us a stylish, sporty and efficient 2-seater, but this time there’s a twist. While the exterior design could easily convince you that the CR-Z is the modern incarnation of the CRX we have all been waiting for, what’s under the hood might make you change your mind. Powering the CR-Z is the same hybrid drivetrain that motivates the Insight, Honda’s other dedicated hybrid platform.

2011 honda cr-z

After finding this out, I was honestly dismayed and really wanted to dislike the CR-Z. After all, what’s the point of loading down a small car with unnecessary electric hardware, especially when the fuel savings are likely to be minimal? A lightweight small car with a small engine is inherently efficient, as the CRX proved time and again. Haven’t we learned that technological progress isn’t always the answer and that simple sometimes is better?

After spending five days behind the wheel of this unique little car, I have to admit it changed my mind and I actually kinda like it. Is the CR-Z the worthy successor to the CRX? Not quite. But for folks seeking a sharp looking, efficient, and fun to drive small car, the CR-Z does deliver.


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  • Peter Anastopulos says:

    Hideous ! Honda is failing on so many counts get your act together.First start with that mess at Acura and then higher an Italian or Dutch designer to revamp Honda.Look how good the KIA and Ford got in about 2 years.Fire the guy who came up with the Ridgeline,Crosstour,ZDX,TL, and CRZ.Time for a shake up.

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