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2012 Honda CR-Z Review

While some hybrids are more spacious and use less fuel, reviewers said the 2012 Honda CR-Z offers terrific handling and a smooth ride.

Pros & Cons

  • Nimble handling
  • Comfortable ride
  • Responsive brakes
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Fuel economy unimpressive for a hybrid




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 8.9
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2012 Honda CR-Z Overview

The 2012 CR-Z’s hybrid powertrain consists of a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, and reviewers said the CR-Z has enough power for highway passing and merging. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available. Critics preferred the manual transmission, which they said makes the CR-Z more fun to drive. The CR-Z gets its best fuel economy with the CVT, with an EPA-estimated 35/39 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a small car. However, hybrids like the Toyota Prius c and Honda Civic Hybrid use considerably less fuel. Auto writers thought the CR-Z’s handling is impressive for a hybrid and they praised its sharp steering and smooth ride. Most test drivers said the CR-Z’s regenerative brakes have a natural pedal feel, which is also high praise for a hybrid.

Reviewers said that colorful gauges give the 2012 Honda CR-Z’s interior a sleek, futuristic look and a few pointed out that enameled plastic surfaces and chrome accents make the cabin feel more refined. The CR-Z seats two, and test drivers thought the seats are supportive, but said the pitched roofline cuts down on headroom, the low seating position can feel awkward and rear visibility is poor. Cargo space is limited, but reviewers wrote that there’s enough room for two golf bags. The CR-Z comes with standard automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, cruise control, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary jack. Available features include Bluetooth, a voice-controlled touch-screen navigation system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a premium audio system. Reviewers liked the CR-Z’s straightforward interior controls, and noted that the climate controls are intuitive.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Volkswagen Golf gets great fuel economy ratings when equipped with an available turbodiesel engine, and test drivers praised the Golf for its composed ride. The Golf also has great cargo space for the class, and earned praise for its high-quality interior.

The 2012 Honda Insight’s fuel economy ratings are better than the CR-Z’s, and test drivers said the Insight offers sharp steering and composed handling. The Insight can also seat five, and it has a lot more cargo space with its rear seats folded.

Compare the CR-Z, Golf and Insight »


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