6 Best & Worst Honda CR-Z Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Honda CR-Z is an underrated hybrid subcompact car that was introduced as a 2011 model year. 

This model offers excellent fuel economy, great handling, and an attractive sporty design. 

In this article, we’ll be going through all of the best and worst model years of the CR-Z.

2015 Honda CR-Z

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Honda CR-Z Are:

The best Honda CR-Z model years are 2016, 2015, and 2014. The worst model years of this model are 2011, 2012, and 2013. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Honda CR-Z?

2016 Honda CR-Z

The 2016 CR-Z marks the end of the line for this nameplate, but is recognized to be one of the better attempts by Honda at creating a sporty hybrid car.

New for this model year are the following:

  • Updated front and rear exterior
  • Added standard features
  • Added optional features

The model comes in 3 trims: LX, EX, and EX-L Navi.

The base LX starts things out with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, and a suit of power accessories. 

The midrange EX adds automatic xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRLs), and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, among other added features.

The range-topping EX-L Navi comes with heated front seats, and HD radio, and a satellite-linked navigation system.

Owners love this model for its fuel economy, value for money, appearance, driving experience, and comfort. 

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: NA

2016 CR-Z, Edmunds Review:

“I bought this car for commuting to work. Now my wife wants to take it as much or more than I do. Sporty look. Enough cargo for both of us to get away for a few days. Gas mileage is better than advertised, especially in ECON mode…”

2015 and 2014 Honda CR-Z

The 2015 and 2014 CR-Z model years offer quick steering, respectable fuel economy, and a sporty exterior. 

Both model years come in 2 trim levels: Base and EX. 

Both are powered by a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine (130 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque) and a small battery pack for slightly more range and power. 

This is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission (with an option to upgrade to the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). 

The special 3-mode selector of these models allows the driver to choose from 3 modes: Normal, Econ, and Sport. Each mode sets certain parameters for gas pedal sensitivity, transmission programming, electric motor assist, steering effort, and even air conditioning usage. 

Based on the EPAs findings, variants with the manual transmission can achieve 34 MPG for combined city and highway driving while the CVT provides as much as 37 MPG under the same driving conditions. 

2015 CR-Z

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: NA

2014 CR-Z

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 88 / 100

2014 CR-Z, Edmunds Review:

“My husband was dying to get back to a stick shift. I refuse to buy anything with less than 35 MPGs avg. We both wanted fun, comfort, and style. Answer: the CR-Z. It took us two years to be able to buy one since we do need one car with more space, but as a second vehicle for commuting and weekend errands, it’s perfect…”

Consumer Scores For Best Honda CR-Z Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
J.D. Power
Consumer Rating
2016 Honda CR-Z4.7 / 5.04.5 / 5.0NA
2015 Honda CR-Z4.7 / 5.04.5 / 5.0NA
2014 Honda CR-Z4.7 / 5.04.5 / 5.088 / 100

Related: 6 Most Common Honda CR-Z Problems (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Honda CR-Z?

2013, 2012, and 2011 Honda CR-Z

The 2013, 2012, and 2011 model years are the most problematic CR-Z models ever produced. The majority of the complaints were due to issues with the airbags, some owners even reported that the airbags did not deploy in a collision.

The 2011-2013 models were affected by the notorious Takata airbag recall. These airbags were prone to exploding and thus firing shrapnel into the cabin.

Owners complained that waiting times for repairs were far beyond unreasonable.

According to other reports, the entire SRS unit of the airbag (in charge of crash statistics, airbag deployment, and communication with other systems) was defective and immediate replacement was required.

Here are some of the airbag complaints filed for these models on the NHTSA.gov website.

“The contact owns a 2013 Honda CR-Z. The contact stated while driving 45 MPH, the airbag warning light inadvertently illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed a failure with the SRS unit. The contact was informed that the SRS unit needed to be replaced…”

“Passenger side impact air bag deactivates when moisture is present in the air. especially prevalent while raining.”

“Takata recall, I was involved in two driver side collisions, the first happened july the second september 13th this year. my airbags did not deploy in either instances both direct impact with driver’s side.”

If you are considering purchasing one of these models, make sure that all recalls have been addressed. You can check this by entering the car’s VIN number on NHTSA.gov/Recalls.

  • The 2013 CR-Z had a total of 3 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 11 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2012 CR-Z had a total of 2 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 7 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2011 CR-Z had a total of 12 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 36 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Airbag issues
  • Cracks in paint
  • Premature seat wear and tear
  • Rear hatch rattle
  • Noise from the transmission
  • Condensation in exterior lights
  • Paint peeling off

2012 Honda CR-Z

Related: Honda CR-Z Beeping Problems? (14 Causes & Solutions)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2016 Honda CR-Z000
2015 Honda CR-Z142
2014 Honda CR-Z131
2013 Honda CR-Z3112
2012 Honda CR-Z272
2011 Honda CR-Z12363

What Problems Do Honda CR-Z Have?

  • Airbag issues
  • Cracks in paint
  • Premature seat wear and tear
  • Rear hatch rattle
  • Noise from the transmission
  • Condensation in exterior lights
  • Paint peeling off
  • Uncomfortable seats

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Honda CR-Z?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Mini Cooper Clubman8.3$14,226 – $15,373City: 22 – 25 /Highway: 32 – 35
Mini Cooper8.2$12,979 – $19,187City: 23 – 29 /Highway: 31 – 39
Hyundai Accent8.0$10,235 – $11,042City: 26 – 27 /Highway: 37 – 38
Ford Fiesta7.9$9,853 – $14,126City: 26 – 31 /Highway: 33 – 43
Kia Rio7.9$9,959 – $12,445City: 27 – 28 /Highway: 37 – 38
Honda Spark7.7$8,980 – $10,757City: 30 – 31 /Highway: 39
Honda CR-Z7.7$13,400 – $15,948City: 31 – 36 /Highway: 38 – 39
Fiat 5007.6$9,600 – $15,960City: 24 – 31 /Highway: 32 – 40
Mini Cooper Paceman7.6$13,396 – $19,196City: 23 – 27 /Highway: 30 – 32
Volkswagen Beetle7.6$13,116 – $21,450 City: 23 – 25 /Highway: 31 – 34
Toyota Yaris7.2$7,676 – $13,334City: 30 /Highway: 36 – 37
Nissan Versa6.9$9,143 – $11,839City: 26 – 31 /Highway: 35 – 40

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: Honda CR-Z Alarm Going Off? (12 Common Causes)











  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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