2008 Honda CR-V SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Honda CR-V SUV

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Honda CR-V Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 166 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Honda CR-V

  • The Honda CR-V is the best-selling SUV in America and it's easy to see why. It may not be the largest or the most powerful compact SUV, but the 2008 CR-V is an extremely well-rounded runabout that should be high on your test-drive list.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Thoughtful interior design, high-quality interior materials, versatile cargo hold, quiet and comfortable ride, high crash test scores, agile handling.

  • Cons

    Engine and transmission can be overwhelmed by hilly stretches of highway.

  • What's New for 2008

    Changes for the 2008 Honda CR-V are restricted to the EX-L trim level, which gains an eight-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and the premium sound system that could previously only be had with the optional navigation system.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (20 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

Don't buy a crv

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

The good reviews were written when the car was new. Honda CRV's developed all kinds of problems with drive train vibrations. Buyers beware! The fix is expensive. The road noise is so loud you can't hear the radio at high speeds. Save your money Honda quality is not what it used to be.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Best car ever owned!

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Purchased new 08 LX AWD in December 07 and have 106K miles on clock. The car drives and runs like it was still new. Never one problem. Just did oil changes using the 15% maintenance reminder. I just replaced the original battery, changed the plugs and had valves adjusted as routine maintenance by dealer. I am hoping to get another 100K worry free miles. I bought this car for my wife who drives it a lot to sell insurance and she loves it. I feel better knowing she is driving a safe car, especially in winter time in New England. I actually tried to spin out on slippery roads and it was difficult! Love the CRV and recommend to anyone who does not want to deal with problems. I get 25 mpg!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Two years of ownership

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

It's been almost two years since I got the '08 CR-V LX AWD. I now have 34k miles on it. Two trips to the dealer, one for minor rattles, another for rusty/fused brakes (parked at the airport for 2 weeks). Tires are about to be replaced, brakes are at 40%, handles well in the rain and snow. Average fuel economy (measured for the full tank) has been around 22, with the worst of 19 in the city driving and best of 27 on highway. Sometimes I average 30+ mpg for a 40-50 mile trip. CR-V drives very car-like and has good handling, but sometimes I wish it has a manual transmission, as automatic can be hesitant sometimes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Tire and ac problems -

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

First problem when car was around 1.5 years old with 31,000 km I was told I needed new tires. Dealership indicated they put cheap tires on the vehicle. I have never had to put new tires on any of our vehicles until the 70,000 km mark. Next problem when car was 2.5 years old, in July, on one of the hottest days in Canada, the air conditioning stopped working. We were told after a $99.00 diagnosis problem that we needed a new part - a sensor wasn't working but there is one small problem, the part is on back order and you can't have it fixed until October and guess what it is not under warranty. Cost will be approximately $700.Our AC will work about the time the snow flies.

2008 crv--love it, but a

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I really relied on Edmunds reviews when deciding to purchase this car so I thought I'd give my thoughts. I'm happy I bought this..and would buy it again, but I'd but the next model up for the extra cash. If you want pep, go elsewhere. I feel safe rain or snow, and I get an average of 24-25 miles/gallon. Have done 30 mpg on a pure highway trip. Love the flexibility and space. My two gripes are 1) the brakes wear really fast--too fast. After 2.5 years, I had to replace them. And that's too soon. 2) I have some odd whistling noises when the car shifts gears/gets to a certain RPM. Dealership can't figure out what the hell it is but it's been there since the beginning.

2008 honda crv

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Of course there is the grinding/annoying brake noise, it has pulled to the right when stopping (deal said that rust/dirt causing the problem), have had clicking sounds at times when I go to start it and for some reason the rear differential has a problem every 10,000 or so miles. My 97 CRV's differential had problems at maybe 150-160 thousand miles .. needed grease! The dealer told me the clicking sound I get at times when I go to start it just can't be the starter because it's a new vehicle!! What is it then - battery is good! Pulling to the right when stopping - per them dirt on rotors/brakes - why do they get so much dirt? Why do they want $100 to grease the differential every 10K?

Full 2008 Honda CR-V Review

What's New for 2008

Changes for the 2008 Honda CR-V are restricted to the EX-L trim level, which gains an eight-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and the premium sound system that could previously only be had with the optional navigation system.


The 2008 Honda CR-V is underpowered, sort of weird looking, doesn't have a third-row seat and no longer has a picnic table built into its cargo bay. These are all criticisms that can be lobbed at the CR-V, but none seem to matter much to American consumers. In 2007, Honda's fully redesigned compact SUV was the runaway best-selling sport-utility on the market, beating out nameplates like the RAV4, Escape and Tahoe by tens of thousands. While sales are often a poor meter of a vehicle's worth, in the CR-V's case, the American public has picked a winner. It's an extremely well-rounded machine that successfully manages to be just what its name suggests -- a Comfortable Runabout Vehicle.

With high gas prices and growing environmental concerns, Americans are turning to compact SUVs in record numbers for their ability to provide safe, family-friendly utility while getting better gas mileage than larger models. The CR-V is one of the best at accomplishing this mission. While lacking in power (particularly on the highway), the CR-V's 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine delivers very good fuel efficiency. This Honda is also quite safe, with top scores from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The CR-V's interior is its best attribute, offering an impressively large and versatile cargo hold that tops out at 73 cubic feet of space. Additionally, there are plenty of bins, cubbies and cupholders to stash things. The reclining rear seat is spacious and comfortable, and it slides fore and aft to maximize rear legroom or to get problematic kiddies closer to mom and dad. To more easily spot childhood calamities, Honda has thoughtfully provided a "conversation" mirror (spy mirror may be more appropriate) built into the overhead console's sunglasses holder.

The CR-V was a pioneer more than 10 years ago when it helped create the compact SUV segment. Today, this segment is one of the most competitive and popular, with at least 16 models competing for Americans' hearts, minds and checkbooks. The CR-V's competitors include impressive vehicles like the Nissan Rogue, Mitsubishi Outlander, Saturn Vue and Toyota RAV4, the latter of which won an Edmunds.com comparison test of compact SUVs that included the CR-V. All are deserving of a good long look, but the 2008 Honda CR-V is an excellent choice that does a great many things very well. The American public has made a few iffy decisions in the past (Richard Nixon, Taylor Hicks), but picking the CR-V as their favorite SUV isn't one of them.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Honda CR-V is a compact SUV that seats five people. It's available in LX, EX and EX-L trim levels. The base-level LX comes with 17-inch steel wheels, cruise control, keyless entry, full power accessories, a tilt-telescoping steering column, a trip computer, a conversation mirror, a retractable front center tray table and a four-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack. The EX comes with alloy wheels, a sunroof, rear tinted glass, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a removable trunk shelf and a six-speaker stereo that comes with an in-dash six-CD changer. The top-of-the-line CR-V EX-L adds leather upholstery, a power driver seat, front seat heaters, upgraded exterior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a front center console (instead of the retractable tray), satellite radio and a premium sound system with seven speakers and a subwoofer.

The lone option is a touchscreen navigation system that includes a rearview camera and digital audio card reader. With the navigation system, the premium sound system's CD changer migrates to the center console and a single-CD player is added behind the retracting touchscreen.

Powertrains and Performance

The CR-V is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 166 hp and 161 pound-feet of torque. The engine comes paired to a five-speed automatic transmission, and buyers have a choice of front-wheel drive or an all-wheel-drive system that only apportions power to the rear wheels when front slippage occurs. In performance testing, an all-wheel-drive CR-V went from zero to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds, a slow time for this class of vehicle. What it lacks in quickness, it makes up for in fuel economy, however. For 2008, the front-wheel-drive CR-V achieves a 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway rating.


All major safety features are standard on the 2008 Honda CR-V, including antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A backup camera is available only on EX-L models equipped with the navigation system, but Honda dealers can sell you parking sensors for lower-line models.

The CR-V performed extremely well in government crash tests, earning a perfect five stars across the board for front and side crash protection. The IIHS also gave the CR-V its best score of "Good" for frontal-offset and side-impact crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Perhaps the best attribute of the CR-V is its attractive yet practical cabin design. Honda's designers sweated every detail. Not only are the controls and instrumentation ergonomically correct, but there are numerous parent-friendly conveniences as well. For starters, the wide-opening rear doors and lightweight rear liftgate make it simple to load infants and their strollers. We especially like the multiple detents on the rear doors, which keep them from swinging back in tight parking spaces.

The 60/40-split rear seat has reclining seatbacks and adjusts fore and aft. From the front seat, you can monitor toddlers via the conversation mirror built into the sunglasses holder, while the folding center tray in LX and EX models allows for hasty dashes to the backseat. Luggage capacity measures 35.7 cubic feet, and the cargo shelf in EX and EX-L models allows for two-tier loading. With the rear seats folded, the CR-V can hold 73 cubic feet of cargo.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Honda CR-V has a level of agility that most other compact SUVs can't match. Like other Hondas, it feels light on its feet, with well-weighted steering that provides excellent feedback. Ride quality is composed and comfortable, and the cabin is well-insulated from the road noise that plagued past CR-Vs. The brakes are also an area worth commending, as pedal action is smooth and consistent. Of course, the CR-V Achilles' heel continues to be its overwhelmed four-cylinder engine, and highway passing can be an adventure.

Talk About The 2008 CR-V

Read more about the 2008 Honda CR-V

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs