Want a Cheap, Sporty Hybrid Car That No One Else Wants? Buy a Honda CR-Z

The Honda CR-Z was a quirky little two-door hatchback that was marketed as a sporty hybrid. It was a hybrid because it came equipped with a hybrid powertrain and it was sporty because it was also available with a manual transmission. You might think that this unique combination of being wild and mild would have struck a chord with the population at large, but it didn’t and the CR-Z was inevitably discontinued due to declining sales.

Fortunately, any prospective hybrid car buyer can capitalize on the car’s unpopularity and still pick one up for relatively cheap nowadays. Considering today’s crazy car market, that’s a rarity.

Why would anyone want a Honda CR-Z in the first place?

Journalists inspect the new hybrid sports car "CR-Z" from Honda Motor
Journalists inspect the new hybrid sports car “CR-Z” from Honda Motor | YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP via Getty Images

The Honda CR-Z provides a well-versed answer to a question that no one asked: Can a hybrid car be fun to drive? Yes, it can. But only if you get it with a manual transmission. To clarify, this plucky little hybrid hatchback was produced from 2011 to 2016. During the time it was in production, Honda offered it solely with a 1.5-liter hybrid powertrain that could be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT.

I have driven both iterations and I can honestly say that the six-speed manual is actually more fun than you would think. Honda is known for making some of the best shifting cars in the business (ahem… S2000) and the CR-Z is no exception. Its short shift action, smooth-engaging clutch, and responsive gas/electric operation provide a true go-cart-like driving experience.

Sure, it might only have 121 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque, but the CR-Z tips the scales at only 2,670 pounds, which for reference, is about 200 pounds lighter than the 2022 Civic. That lightweight and lively engine combination make driving much more entertaining than your run-of-the-mill hybrid.

CNET once reported about the CR-Z stating: “The well-tuned steering and suspension keep the car afloat in this category, as it can be very fun to drive.”

The CR-Z feels bigger on the inside

A combo photo shows Honda Motor's concept vehicle the CR-Z CONCEPT
A combo photo shows Honda Motor’s concept vehicle the CR-Z CONCEPT | KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

RELATED: The Honda CR-Z Is a Fun and Under-Appreciated Sport Hybrid

While the Honda CR-Z is a small car, it actually feels more spacious when you sit inside of it. There’s ample room for two adults but don’t look for a back seat, because there isn’t one. That being said, the CR-Z is practical for angle single drivers or couples as the little two-seater boasts a lot of cargo room.

Its hatchback shape and lack of rear seats mean that there is plenty of room for your stuff. In fact, the CR-Z’s overall cargo volume measures 25.1 cubic feet. When compared to the 16.7 cubic feet of cargo volume that you’ll find in the 2022 Honda Accord, you can see that the CR-Z has a lot of room on offer.

How much can you buy a Honda CR-Z for?

Honda introduced the Honda CR-Z Hybrid during the opening day of the NAIAS The North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall.
Honda introduced the Honda CR-Z Hybrid during the opening day of the NAIAS The North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall. | David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images

A nationwide search on CarGurus reveals that you can currently purchase a Honda CR-Z for around $5,000 to $22,000 depending on the car’s condition, location, and mileage. That compares favorably to other used hybrid cars like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, which can cost in the high $20,000 range in the current market conditions.

If you’re looking for a fun and sporty hybrid that you can still find at an affordable price, then the Honda CR-Z is a great choice.

RELATED: Hybrid Honda CR-Z Gets the Supercharger Treatment