Combines the economy and eco image of the Insight with the spirit of the old CRX coupé
Unusual looks
Entertaining handling
Low running costs
Real-life fuel economy may not come near the official figure
Cramped rear and poor rearward visibility
Lack of all-out speed

Honda CR-Z review (2010-2015)

Eco image, sporty spirit

More Info

honda crz front

What is the Honda CR-Z?

Here’s proof that you can have fun and save fuel: Honda’s hybrid coupé is both entertaining to drive and economical to run. The CR-Z shares its underpinnings with the Insight hatchback but has a larger, 1.5-litre engine — and a quick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox in place of a CVT. Its “mild” hybrid petrol-electric powertrain is tuned more for performance than for super-green fuel returns (it has no all-electric mode) but it manages a respectable 56.5mpg and emits a taxman-cheating 116g/km of carbon dioxide, aided by stop-start to cut the engine in idle.

Search for and buy a used Honda CR-Z

The electric motor is best thought of as a torque-booster: rather like a supercharger, it kicks in to supplement the high-revving engine under acceleration, and together they produce 122bhp. Though the official 0-62mph time is just over nine seconds in the latest models (about ten seconds in earlier versions till 2012), the CR-Z feels quicker than that, thanks to its smooth power delivery and a cheeky rasp from the exhaust. Sport mode livens it up a little, as it should; Econ mode is predictably slow but adequate for mooching about town.

honda cr-z rear

A low centre of gravity, taut suspension and good weight distribution go a long way to make the most of the modest power output, and the steering is responsive despite being electrically assisted; the CR-Z is, then, a much more rewarding drive than dull Cousin Insight.

A low-slung three-door coupé like this is never going to give limousine-style legroom in the back, but the CR-Z’s rear seats are particularly cramped; headroom is tight, too, and rearward visibility is poor. Best think of this as a two-seater with a little extra capacity for occasional use — and look for a CR-Z with the optional parking sensors fitted. The boot’s not bad, though, and the ride, although firm, is comfortable. General refinement is disturbed only by a little wind noise and, when you’re pushing on, engine noise, though you should be able to see this as all part of the fun rather than irritatingly intrusive.

honda cr-z cabin

If miles per gallon are your bag, the manual-transmission Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology  and the Renault Mégane dCi 110 with stop-start are both considerably more thrifty, but until Toyota puts the Prius powertrain in the GT86 (unlikely, at least in the near future), the CR-Z remains one of the most economical petrol-powered coupés. Its feelgood green credentials are underlined by the dashboard graphics and “econometer”: as well as advising on optimum gearshift points, a display of flower and leaf images gives feedback on how economically you’re driving.

What to look out for when buying a used Honda CR-Z

The earliest Insight hybrids have clocked up huge mileages, with many topping 100,000 miles without incident — Honda’s IMA (integrated motor assist) system is pretty robust. A recall was made in autumn 2011 for “unexpected engine behaviour” if the engine stalled with low battery power, but otherwise, the CR-Z should prove as reliable and dependable as any other Honda — that is, extremely.

The one to buy

Honda CR-Z 1.5 IMA Sport


1497cc, 4 cylinders plus electric top-up motor
122bhp @ 6100rpm
128 lb ft @ 1000rpm
6-speed manual
0-62mph in 9.1sec
Top speed:
56.5mpg (combined)
Road tax band:
L 4080mm, W 2014mm, H 1395mm

Honda CR-Z rivals

Lexus CT 200h (click here for used prices on

Toyota Prius (click here for used prices on

Volkswagen Scirocco (click here for used prices on