Review: Honda CR-Z (2010 – 2015)

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Great looking hybrid sports coupe. Fun to drive. Fairly efficient.

Poor rear visibility through split rear window. Rear seats only suited to small children.

Honda CR-Z (2010 – 2015): At A Glance

The CR-Z’s claim to fame is its hybrid drivetrain - power comes from the combination of a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and an electric motor. However, the real highlight isn’t the hybrid system at all, it’s the handling. This is a great car to drive, with nimble, direct steering and next to no body roll. It’s great fun on a twisting country road.

That’s just as well, because the hybrid system doesn't give scintillating performance. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes close to ten seconds – much slower than a similarly priced hot hatch - and official fuel consumption is 56.5mpg for the Sport trim level or 54.3mpg for the GT.

It might not be particularly swift on paper but on the road the CR-Z feels dynamic and exciting, thanks to a brilliant driving position, great dashboard layout and purposeful exhaust note. It’s not all good news. The rear seats are close to pointless, with barely enough room for children, while rearward visibility is poor due to the split tailgate glass.

The boot isn’t what you’d call practical either. It will take a few suitcases or a week’s shopping, but there’s a big load lip and the boot itself is shallow and high up, so heavy items are hard to load. However, this isn't exactly a car designed for a cross-continental escapade.

A starting price of more than £20,000 makes the CR-Z look expensive compared to something like a £17,000 Ford Fiesta ST, which is faster, just as fun and more practical. However, despite all its flaws, the CR-Z is still an intriguing car. It’s well put together, has stand-out styling and is genuinely great to drive. 

Honda CR-Z 2010 Road Test

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What does a Honda CR-Z (2010 – 2015) cost?

Honda CR-Z (2010 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4075–4080 mm
Width 1740–2013 mm
Height 1395 mm
Wheelbase 2425 mm

Full specifications

The CR-Z’s cabin is both very impressive and very compromised. The driver oriented layout is unique, with a big, clear central rev counter and speedometer that seems to almost hover. Everything glows blue except for a halo around the speedometer, which changes colour depending on whether you’re driving economically or not.

Material quality is good. There is no soft-touch dashboard covering but it doesn’t feel any worse for it, the plastics that are used feel particularly strong and durable. A feeling of quality and solidity permeates, with everything built to last, right down to the buttons on the stereo, which has great audio quality.

The driving position is good – you sit low to the floor, with everything oriented slightly towards you. Most of the controls are fairly intuitive to use, but the optional navigation system is a bit clunky and lets an otherwise excellent layout down a little. It is an option, though, so you aren’t lumbered with it by default.

Forward visibility is good, but the split rear screen means rearward visibility is downright bad. In fact, everything from the driver’s seat back is disappointing. The rear seats are close to pointless, with barely enough room for children and the boot, while big enough for most day-to-day things, has a big lip and a high floor. That means it’s pretty much impossible to easily load anything heavy or bulky into it.

Honda offers two trim levels – Sport and GT – and standard equipment is good across both, with cruise control, auto wipers and auto lights available on all cars. Moving up to GT grade doesn’t add all that much, but features include Bluetooth, leather heated seats and a panoramic glass roof.

Standard Equipment

CR-Z Sport models come with:

  • 16" Alloy Wheels
  • Black fabric interior
  • Climate control air conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Rain-sensing auto wipers
  • Dusk-sensing auto lights
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • Leather wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather and alloy gear knob
  • Alloy pedals
  • Premium audio 1 CD tuner - MP3 compatible with subwoofer (360w)
  • AUX and USB connection (use recommended USB flash memory device)
  • Engine start button
  • 3 Mode Drive System (Sport/Normal/Econ) with Plus Sport (S+) boost function
  • Electric adjustable and heated door mirrors
  • Electric retractable door mirrors
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Privacy glass
  • Halogen headlights
  • Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • Security alarm
  • ISO Fix points

GT trim adds: 

  • 17" alloy wheels
  • Black leather interior (front seats)
  • Heated front seats
  • Panoramic glass roof
  • Bluetooth Hands Free Telephone (HFT)
  • HID headlights with auto levelling
  • Headlight washers
  • Front fog lights

Child seats that fit a Honda CR-Z (2010 – 2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Honda CR-Z (2010 – 2015) like to drive?

Honda only offers one engine option – a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol linked to an electric motor. Power is sent to the front wheels via a slick, precise and enjoyable six-speed manual transmission. With this car being a hybrid you might expect excellent economy but the official figures are unremarkable compared with modern turbo petrol engines – fuel consumption is 56.5mpg for the Sport variant or 54.3mpg for the heavier GT.

You’re quite likely to get close to that in real world driving thankfully, because the hybrid system works really well. It assists the engine when it needs to and regenerates seamlessly under braking. The stop-start system is about as unobtrusive as they get, so getting around town is relaxing.

The CR-Z is much more at home out of town. Honda’s engineers have done a fine job with the handling, making a car that is an absolute pleasure to drive on a twisting road. There’s not much body roll and the steering is wonderfully-weighted and precise, giving a feeling of agility that rewards an enthusiastic driver.

That involving driving experience is enhanced by a purposeful exhaust note and well-spaced gear ratios, allowing you to wring every last rev out of the engine between gear changes without ending up at three-figure speeds. Indeed, the CR-Z isn’t actually all that quick in comparison to some cheaper hot hatches, with a 0-62mph sprint taking just shy of ten seconds.

There are three selectable driving modes available, selected by buttons on the dashboard. Normal, which the car defaults to every time it is started, offers a blend of performance and economy, while Econ prioritises fuel economy, with a less responsive throttle set up and more regenerative braking. There’s also a Sport setting, which gives the engine maximum assistance from the electric motor.

From 2012 Honda added an S+ button on the steering wheel, which allows you to effectively engage sport mode for a short sprint. In theory this should be useful if you’re pootling along in Econ mode and need to overtake, but in reality it’s a bit of a gimmick – it doesn’t make that much difference and the button for the proper Sport setting is hardly tricky to reach. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.5 i-VTEC 54–57 mpg 9.1–10.1 s 116–122 g/km

Real MPG average for a Honda CR-Z (2010 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

37–58 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Honda CR-Z (2010 – 2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Is there a hybrid car that has a petrol engine and is also a manual?

Is there a hybrid car that has a petrol engine and is also a manual?
There have been a few manual hybrid cars (like the Honda CR-Z) but the majority of hybrids are automatic.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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