The CR-Z is Honda's attempt at blending sportiness and efficiency, but it does neither very well and sales of the hybrid are tanking. A 2013 update, however, adds more power, increased fuel efficiency and additional features; is it enough to hook buyers?
The CR-Z's 1.5-liter four-cylinder returns for 2013 with assist from a new higher-voltage lithium-ion battery pack. Horsepower jumps to 130. Fuel economy is up, too. The 2013 CR-Z is EPA rated at 36/39/37 mpg (CVT) and 31/38/34 (six-speed manual); an increase of 1 mpg over last year's figures.
Base and EX trim levels return for 2013, and both get additional features. Newly standard across the lineup are a backup camera, Bluetooth hands-free audio and a Plus Sport system; the latter gives drivers an on-demand electric power boost via a steering-wheel-mounted "S+" button. Optional on uplevel EX versions is a Honda's satellite-linked navigation system, which includes real-time traffic, voice recognition, Pandora internet radio interface and SMS text messaging functionality.