Although the 2014 Honda CR-Z remains a tough sell on its performance credentials, it's starting to become a fairly strong value. Honda has added a mere $20 to the bottom line of its putative "sport hybrid," and that leaves the car with an MSRP of $19,995. True, that's not much under $20,000, but for all the inroads that hybrid vehicles have made in this country, the 2014 Honda CR-Z will be one of just three to be offered under that point; the others are the Honda Insight ($18,600) and the Toyota Prius c ($19,080). And neither of those entries have the kind of dynamic styling offered by the CR-Z, nor a manual transmission.
In fact, no other U.S. hybrid offers a manual transmission, which does provide at least a modicum of performance cred in the 2014 Honda CR-Z.
The car also comes with a fairly robust list of standard equipment, including automatic climate control, Bluetooth technology, LED brake lights, a rear camera display integrated into the rearview mirror, steering-wheel-mounted audio/phone/cruise controls, and an uplevel audio system. As regards the latter, the 2014 Honda CR-Z starts with a six-speaker setup with 160 watts of power and AM/FM/CD/USB playback.
Now, there's no getting away from the fact that the 2014 Honda CR-Z doesn't offer quite the efficiency advantages of the rest of the hybrid segment, but it can go 31 mpg city/38 mpg highway/34 mpg combined with its DIY shifter, and no other manually transmissioned car in the country tops those marks. Equipped with a CVT, the CR-Z's efficiency grades rise to 36/39/37, albeit with a price that increases to $20,645. As a result, the unique combination of attributes offered by the CR-Z saw some notable sales momentum this summer, posting advances above 15 percent in both July and August before stumbling in September (along with much of the industry).