Honda's 2012 CR-Z hybrid was a generally well received vehicle when it debuted last year and its 2013 model is looking even better. For its latest incarnation, the CR-Z gets Honda's exclusive Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Bluetooth Audio and a rearview camera standard. Oh, and let's not forget its new Knight Rider-style turbo boost feature.
Inside, Honda says the CR-Z gets an all new high-tech appearance including the aforementioned HandsFreeLink, which allows users to link their smartphone or iPod to the CR-Z's infotainment system via Bluetooth, letting you listen to music and make hands-free calls. Pandora Internet radio, satellite navigation and SMS text messaging functionality are also available.
Starting at $19,975, the CR-Z draws its power from a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine and a 15 kW electric motor running off of a 144-volt lithium-ion battery to produce a total of 130 horsepower and 140 lb.-ft. of torque. Fuel mileage numbers are estimated at 36 miles per gallon in the city, 39 MPG on the highway and 37 combined MPG.
Driving modes include Econ, which limits engine power in favor of increased fuel economy; Normal, for standard driving and Sport mode, which increases throttle response and improves steering.
Even cooler, Honda has added a Plus Sport feature, that, when the battery has more than 50 percent power and you are driving more than 19 miles per hour, can be activated to give the CR-Z a power boost from its electric motors for 5 seconds. When active, the feature flashes an icon on the dashboard. So, it's basically like a turbo button in a video game, just in real life.