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2011 Honda CR-Z: 2-Seat Gasoline Electric Hybrid Sport Coupe

Updated on April 26, 2012

Early in 2011, my husband and I purchased a Honda CR-Z. If you haven’t heard of them, it’s because there aren’t many on the road. The salesman told us… I know, he is a salesman; he is supposed to make it sound good... Anyway, he told us that there was to be a very limited production number of this model of car. That is supposed to make it more valuable… more special. But it’s a special car to me without all that sales talk.

3-Mode Driving System lets you tailor your driving experience.
3-Mode Driving System lets you tailor your driving experience.

You see, it’s a fun little car to drive. It replaced my car, but my husband and I both call “dibs” on driving it for the day. Ultimately, whoever has to drive further is the lucky one to get this sporty little car. Hmmmm… You know … It’s amazing how I suddenly have to make these long trips across town, across the state …

What makes this car so special? To begin with, it’s a gasoline-electric hybrid. But don’t let that fool you. It provides a super sporty performance despite its hybrid technology. It's equipped with a 3-mode driving system:

  • Sport
  • Normal
  • Economy

Notice the Red on the Tachometer
Notice the Red on the Tachometer

3-Mode Drive System

It’s this 3-mode drive system that allows me to create my own unique driving experience – based on road conditions, or just plain personal preference. The 3-mode drive system makes the CR-Z a very versatile and fun little car to drive, and gives the driver full control over their driving experience. It’ll make you feel young again!

In sport mode, you really feel one with the vehicle. It allows you to enjoy the performance of the car to the fullest extent possible. The steering feels more responsive –firmer and more direct. During sport mode, the electric motor is used more aggressively to provide quicker acceleration and throttle response. And, the tachometer lights up red to give you that feeling of power! It really hugs the road and is especially fun on a curvy stretch of road.

In normal mode, the steering is what you would expect. It has a nice acceleration feel that’s between sport and economy. And the tachometer lighting transitions from blue to green as driving efficiency increases. Normal mode is the default mode that the car starts up in.

Economy mode is where you want to be if you want to drive efficiently and maximize your mpg. It has smooth acceleration (but not sluggish) with a very low engine rpm. This car even optimizes your air conditioner for higher fuel efficiency. The tachometer lighting transitions from blue to green as driving efficiency increases in this driving mode also.

The paddles are located on the steering column and have "+" and "-" symbols on them. They toggle easily when pulled forward.
The paddles are located on the steering column and have "+" and "-" symbols on them. They toggle easily when pulled forward.

Racing Inspired Paddle Shifters

The CR-Z is a 2-seat sport coupe. I’m told it’s even more fun to drive with the 6-speed manual transmission. It’s pretty darn fun without it! It is the only hybrid available with a stick shift.

It has racing inspired paddle shifters right on the steering column. Using these paddles, you are able to shift through seven simulated gear ratios at will, another way of providing the ultimate customizable driving experience.

My husband and I have a hard time finding a car that we both like to drive – since there is over a foot difference in our height. But the CR-Z works very well for us because it has an adjustable tilt, a telescopic steering column, along with an inflatable seat height adjustment. We are both able to find the perfect driving position that fits us just right.

It has an expandable 25.1 cubic ft. cargo area with a cover to hide the contents from prying eyes.

In addition to showing that its 107F outside at 7:00 p.m., the Vehicle Information Display can also show the mileage that you received on your last three trips.
In addition to showing that its 107F outside at 7:00 p.m., the Vehicle Information Display can also show the mileage that you received on your last three trips.

A Really Smart Car!

The dashboard displays provide the driver with real-time feedback. One of the displays, the Eco-assist™, teaches you how the car likes to be driven. It does this by providing information about how you are driving and how that driving is affecting the mpg, so that adjustments can be made.

The dashboard also has an information display that can be toggled through on the steering wheel or on the instrument panel. This display shows:

  • IMA system power flow indicator
  • Eco-Guide and Eco-Scoring
  • Digital fuel-mileage indicator
  • Average fuel economy indicator
  • Average speed and elapsed time indicators
  • Miles to empty indicator
  • Exterior temperature indicator
  • Oil life indicator
  • Customizable settings

What are the drawbacks?

Let’s look at the drawbacks. Some people may consider the fact that it’s a 2-seater to be a drawback, but if you only need room for one or two, it’s not a drawback at all.

The mileage may not be as good as you would expect from a hybrid: 35 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. However, we are seeing slightly better than that.

Side visibility was a major problem, but we were able to solve that by purchasing small mirrors that we mounted on the side mirrors. (see picture) These mirrors were in the Wal-Mart auto section and were less than $3, and they work really well!

Check It Out for Yourself!

To explore the CR-Z in-depth, click here, and then in the center of your screen, under CR-Z digital brochure, click on the link to check it out on your computer. As you move through the digital brochure by clicking on the right and left arrows, be sure to click on the pulsing circles to get more details about the car. The sound effects that go with the digital brochure are pretty awesome also.

"...a blast to drive..."

Having said all that, let’s look at what some of the experts are saying about the CR-Z. “ …a blast to drive when the road throws twists and turns your way.” “Many drivers will experience better that the EPA’s estimated mpg while driving in economy and normal modes.” And, “The CR-Z brings the idea of the iconic CR-X of the ‘80’s into the current era … the CR-Z is more refined and powerful, with one of the best mpg numbers available today."

Me? I say, “It’s a great little car! All this with a starting MSRP less than $20K. I wanna drive!”

All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2011 Cindy Murdoch

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Have you seen one of these on the road?

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Note: All pictures are my own.

Comments: "2011 Honda CR-Z: 2-Seat Gasoline Electric Hybrid Sport Coupe"

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    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      f - Hello again. If manufacturers can make cars this inexpensively, that look this good, and get good gas mileage, it makes it easier for more people to own. I average around 40 mpg.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      Voted up. Good hub.

      I guess, in time, a hybrid such as this is likely to become especially popular because of three issues which the politicians need to think about; these issues are:

      i) gas prices

      ii) gas prices

      iii) gas prices.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Victoria Lynn - There aren't very many of them on the road. We have really enjoyed it. Thanks for the votes and thanks for stopping by!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks for the review. I've never seen one of these cars on the road. Sounds like a neat car! Well-written and informative hub--tells us everything we need to know about it. Voted useful, interesting, and up!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Amanda - Thanks for stopping by. I hope reading this review helped with the questions you were having. A Camry is a very nice car.

      I used to have a car that was really pretty and looked good, but when you needed to accelerate, like to pass, or when pulling away from a stop sign, just did not have any pick up to it. We called it the putt mobile.

      The CRZ has some pick up to it, especially in sport mode.

    • Amanda Storm profile image

      Amanda Storm 

      7 years ago

      Interesting review. It sounds fun being able to tailor your driving experience. I like my Camry, unlike your car it has a two-mode driving system - faster and slower!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      It is a cool car! I bet you wouldn't be disappointed. Thanks for commenting.

    • amazingchild profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      That car looks cool! Now I want one! :)

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I am sure that I will enjoy it, Cloverleaf, if my husband ever let's me drive it. He gets up earlier than I do, and is easily out the door before me. I am not a morning person.

    • Cloverleaf profile image


      7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      homesteadbound, the CR-Z sure does sound like a fun car. Hope you continue to enjoy the new addition to your family.


    • the clean life profile image

      Mark Bruno 

      7 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      There you go :) save the gas for it is very expensive these days right. Put it in the electric mode. See ya in the forum

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Glad you enjoyed it, Mark. Don't want two car payments otherwise we'd probably have another one. I tend to leave the sporty mode to my husband and I have contests with myself to see how good a gas mileage I can get with it.

    • the clean life profile image

      Mark Bruno 

      7 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Congrats on your new car. maybe since you and your husband love to drive this very cool car, maybe you should buy one more, so that the both of you have the same wheels LOL. I love the car and love how much information you put into this hub. Great job. I have never seen that car on the road yet, but it sure looks sporty. Good luck with it and keep the speed down LOL



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