Best & Worst Honda CR-Z Years (We Checked)

The Honda CR-Z, a sporty hybrid hatchback, has drawn both praise and criticism throughout its production years.

Evaluating its best and worst years can help potential buyers make informed decisions.

This article will shed light on the most notable aspects of various CR-Z model years, touching upon factors such as performance, reliability, and overall value.

The Best Year for Honda CR-Z

The 2013 model year stands out as the best year for the Honda CR-Z. This particular year brought several performance enhancements to the hybrid hatchback, making it a favorable choice for those in search of a sportier hybrid option.

In 2013, the CR-Z’s electric motor output grew to 15 kilowatts, improving its overall performance. Additionally, the nickel-metal hydride battery was replaced with a higher capacity lithium-ion pack.

These changes provided a more efficient and powerful energy storage option, ultimately leading to increased driving performance.

One of the most attractive features of the 2013 CR-Z is its sporty appearance.

This particular year managed to strike a balance between the Insight hybrid’s practicality and the iconic sporty look of the 1980s CRX. The result is an eye-catching, compact hatchback that exudes a sense of fun and adventure.

It’s worth noting that the 2013 CR-Z model also came in a variety of trim levels to suit different preferences, budgets, and needs. This allowed buyers to tailor their vehicle to their specific requirements, making the 2013 CR-Z an ideal choice for a wide range of individuals.

In summary, the 2013 Honda CR-Z stands out as the best year for this model due to the performance enhancements, sporty appearance, and variety of trim levels available. The improvements made to the electric motor and battery pack, combined with its eye-catching design, make it a popular choice among hybrid enthusiasts looking for a bit more fun in their driving experience.

Other Good Years

In addition to the best and worst years for the Honda CR-Z, there were some other noteworthy years that deserve mention.

2016: The final production year for the CR-Z saw a few more updates.

Honda gave it a refreshed exterior look, with new front and rear bumpers and LED daytime running lights. They also introduced a new interior trim option called “Exedy,” which featured stylish sport seats and an upgraded infotainment system.

These additional good years helped solidify the CR-Z as an innovative hybrid sports car during its production run. Although it may not have been the most successful model in Honda’s lineup, those who owned and loved the CR-Z appreciated its unique blend of sportiness and efficiency.

The Worst Year for Honda CR-Z

The 2011 Honda CR-Z has been noted as a less-than-stellar model year for the hybrid vehicle. The car, which debuted as a fusion between the Insight hybrid and the CRX from the 1980s, attempted to offer both efficiency and sportiness in one package. However, some issues became apparent in this initial production year.

Check also our guide to how long the Honda CR-Z will last.

For starters, the 2011 CR-Z’s performance didn’t quite match the sporty promise. Equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor, the car produced a combined 122 horsepower, which was less impressive than some enthusiasts hoped for. The driving experience was somewhat lacking in excitement, even with the available manual transmission.

Another concern with the 2011 Honda CR-Z was its cargo space. As a two-seater, one might expect it to offer ample storage for personal belongings. Unfortunately, this model year struggled with limited cargo room, making it less practical for those who need to carry items regularly.

Additionally, the CR-Z’s fuel efficiency couldn’t quite compete with its hybrid rivals at the time. Although it managed an EPA-estimated 37 miles per gallon combined with the CVT transmission, other hybrid contemporaries offered better mileage, making the CR-Z’s efficiency seem less attractive.

  • Performance: 122 horsepower, less-than-exciting driving experience
  • Limited cargo space: Struggles with storing belongings
  • Fuel efficiency: EPA-estimated 37 mpg combined, outpaced by rivals

It is important to note that these concerns were primarily present during the 2011 model year. In later years, Honda made improvements to the CR-Z, addressing some of the initial drawbacks. The Honda CR-Z eventually discontinued in 2016, but its unique blend of hybrid efficiency and sporty styling remains memorable among enthusiasts.

Other Bad Years For Honda CR-Z (and Fit EV)

  • 2015 CR-Z: These models faced recalls because of a possible electric motor issue, which could impede smooth driving. Once again, recalls don’t mean that every vehicle in the specified range has the problem, but it’s something to be aware of when considering these year models.
  • 2014 Fit EV: Similar to the above-mentioned CR-Z models, the Fit EV from these years was subject to recalls for potential electric motor problems. These issues could affect the performance of the electric motor in certain conditions. However, the majority of owners might not encounter any issues at all.

Common Problems to Look for in a Honda CR-Z

Check our list of Honda CR-Z problems.

Honda CR-Z is known for its attractive hybrid sports coupe design, enjoyable driving experience, and decent fuel efficiency.

One issue that some drivers report is poor rear visibility due to the split rear window.

This can not only make parking and reversing more challenging but can also be a safety concern for some drivers, especially in busy areas.

Another potential problem is the limited rear seat space.

The CR-Z’s rear seats are quite cramped and more suitable for small children or just for additional storage. This might not be the best choice for those looking for a practical, family-friendly car.

Although Honda is well-known for its reliability, some drivers of older CR-Z models have experienced issues with the car’s hybrid battery system. The hybrid battery may not hold a charge as efficiently as when it was new, which could lead to decreased fuel economy and performance. This could be an expensive repair, depending on the availability of replacement batteries.

In summary, potential buyers of a Honda CR-Z should keep an eye out for:

  • Poor rear visibility due to the split rear window
  • Limited rear seat space, more suited to small children or storage
  • Potential hybrid battery issues in older models

Being aware of these common problems can help prospective buyers make an informed decision when considering a used Honda CR-Z.


Back to overviews: Best & Worst Years Per Honda Model.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.