2009 Honda CR-V SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 2009 Honda CR-V

  • The 2009 Honda CR-V boasts great crash test scores, intuitive controls and above-average driving dynamics. However, the mandatory 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is ponderous and there's no six-cylinder option.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sensible cabin layout, ample cargo capacity, agile handling, exemplary crashworthiness.

  • Cons

    Underpowered, elevated road noise, transmission lacks manual mode.

  • What's New for 2009

    Aside from several new exterior colors, the 2009 Honda CR-V is unchanged from last year.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

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

Water leaks in crv interior

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Vehicle: 2009 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Noticed longterm musty smell in our one owner , one driver 2009 CRV. Found significant amount of water in spare tire compartment and front passenger floor board. Car in excellent shape w/22k miles, no moonroof, no accidents with dealer installed roof rails. Saw several similar complaints on internet. Took to dealer, cost $600 to "seal under rear bumper" and under windshiel lower cowl area. Hopefully the problem was addressed. Was told seams were not sealed by factory. Dealer had seen this problem before and was very through looking for the problem-not a dealer issue. Honda, however, would not cover the cost of any of this, although it is clearly a factory quality control problem.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

The good ratings are deceiving

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Vehicle: 2009 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I don't understand how the star rating is so high for reviews that are quite negative. READ THE REVIEWS. We've had this vehicle almost a year and regret it. Believe what the others have said about the drivers seat and headrest being uncomfortable! You don't really notice it from just taking it out for a test drive. Poor inside storage design - the double glove box and under seat storage is nice, but the other cubby holes are practically useless. And it's crazy to put cup holders in the door - your drink spills when shutting the door. The gas mileage is also quite disappointing. Wish we never traded in our 2005 Toyota Matrix.

Buzzing when car starts

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Vehicle: 2009 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Bought my cr-v new in 08 problem free till about a week ago, when starting , the relay switch buzzes.. Honda says its a "quirk", which to me says "problem" called the main office in CA was told to take it the dealership were my car can be checked out, but dought anything will be done about the buzzing.

Great ride

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Vehicle: 2009 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Bought the 09 in September and now have 21000 miles on it. Of course, all highway driving and I am averaging 26.2 mpg. I do watch the mpg gauge but average about 63-66 mph on my 39 mile commute (ea way). Lots of storage room when I drive to/from my kids' colleges. Added a Thule kayak rack - busted my knuckles but works well. Great fit and finish. No problems other than brake grinding noise which turned out to be small stone that got caught up in brakes - just shook it out. Downsides: Fabric stains easily. No middle console, just cheapo holder between front seats which wastes space. These are awfully minor points and I love the CR-V, will def buy another when I hit about 130K or so.

3rd crv very dissappointing

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Vehicle: 2009 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

This is our 3rd CR-V; loved the first two; dislike this one. Very unhappy with the design and the gas mileage. The new shift design leaves no floor room and long legs hit their knees. Also, the outlet is way under the bumped out shift column. I miss the tire mount on the rear, the ability to lift the back window alone; you have to latch the seats when down or they fall back and the interior color choices were all light which stain easily. Only getting 22 on the highway. Usually keep 3-4 yrs, will be trading this one soon

Love new 2009 cr-vlx

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Vehicle: 2009 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I found a New 2009 CR-V still avail in Thousand Oaks CA & opted for that to save $ - LOVE IT. I drive a lot and usually hate getting in a car but I'm enjoying the comfort. My small complaints are the tires they chose - very hard ride and NOISY if you open the windows above 50 mph. I wish it had an auto headlight & wiper on/off (as my Jeep Gd. Cherokee had) but that is my only "Wish" - I'm not raving about the mileage, and it's obviously better than my 8cy, its just not THAT much greater - and I wish it had a little more "oomph" I LOVE the car - Very happy - LOVE the Nav (didn't think I'd really use it) it helps a LOT from an ATM or gas location to a restaurant. So cool!! Happy Owner here.

Full 2009 Honda CR-V Review

What's New for 2009

Aside from several new exterior colors, the 2009 Honda CR-V is unchanged from last year.


Like many Honda products past and present, the 2009 Honda CR-V is a top seller because it just makes sense. Safety? Check. Crash test scores don't get any better than the CR-V's. Versatility? Check. Maximum cargo capacity is a substantial 73 cubic feet of space, and there are numerous nooks and crannies in which to stash your stuff. Comfort and convenience? Check. The driving position is close to ideal, the controls are idiot-proof and the spacious rear seat both reclines and slides fore and aft. Secure handling? Check. In fact, the CR-V's communicative steering makes it downright entertaining to drive.

Given the CR-V's all-around competence, we're surprised that Honda hasn't seen fit to give this loyal steed a few more oats. Despite being one of the lightest compact SUVs on the market, the last all-wheel-drive CR-V we tested weighed in at a substantial 3,552 pounds -- yet the only available engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at just 166 horsepower. With that kind of weight-to-power ratio, no amount of VTEC trickery can keep the CR-V from turning in a doglike performance at the track. If zero to 60 in 10 seconds and a 17.4-second quarter mile don't tickle your fancy, check out Toyota's V6-powered RAV4, which nearly matches the CR-V's fuel economy while hitting 60 mph almost 3 seconds sooner.

Other concerns about the CR-V include higher-than-average road noise and the lack of a manual mode for the mandatory five-speed automatic. We're not crazy about the front-end styling, either. But judging by this Honda's sales success, plenty of car shoppers aren't bothered by such issues. The well-rounded CR-V does most things well, and Honda's long-standing reputation for reliability is icing on the cake.

Competition in the small to midsize crossover SUV segment is stiff. Other notable choices include the sharp-handling Nissan Rogue, the European-flavored Saturn Vue, the excellent Toyota RAV4 and the pricey but competent Volkswagen Tiguan. Indeed, the RAV4 has won our last two compact SUV comparison tests, beating out the CR-V each time. Nonetheless, the CR-V's jack-of-all-trades nature has kept it competitive, even as newer models have debuted. As long as you don't mind the leisurely acceleration, you can't go wrong with the 2009 Honda CR-V.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Honda CR-V is a compact SUV with seating for five. There are three trim levels: LX, EX and EX-L. 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, an overhead "conversation mirror" for backseat monitoring, a retractable front-seat 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, tinted rear glass, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a removable trunk shelf and a six-speaker stereo 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 seat 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 a 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 2009 Honda CR-V is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 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 AWD system that only apportions power to the rear wheels when front slippage occurs. In our most recent performance test, an AWD CR-V loped from zero to 60 mph in a lackadaisical 10.0 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates are about average for a four-cylinder compact SUV at 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.


The 2009 Honda CR-V is equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A back-up camera is available on EX-L models equipped with the navigation system, and Honda dealers can install parking sensors on lower trim levels.

The CR-V performed exceptionally well in government crash tests, earning a perfect five stars across the board for front and side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also gave the CR-V its top score of "Good" for frontal-offset and side-impact crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The CR-V's cabin is both functional and attractive. Gauges are clear, controls are where you'd expect them to be and materials quality is good, if not extraordinary. Parents will appreciate the wide-opening rear doors and lightweight rear liftgate, which ease the process of loading infants and their strollers. A "conversation mirror" built into the overhead console's sunglasses holder enables front-seat occupants to keep an eye on the backseat without turning around.

Speaking of the backseat, it's of the 60/40-split-folding variety, with reclining seatbacks and fore-and-aft adjustability. Luggage capacity with the seatbacks up measures 35.7 cubic feet, and the cargo shelf in EX and EX-L models allows two-tier loading. With the rear seats folded, the CR-V can hold an impressive 73 cubic feet of cargo.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Honda CR-V is remarkably nimble by compact SUV standards, thanks to a relatively firm suspension and sharp steering with excellent road feel. Braking performance is top-notch as well, with our most recent CR-V tester turning in a laudable 119-foot panic stop from 60 mph. The ride is slightly busier than the norm, but not objectionably so. Road noise is more annoying -- while previous CR-Vs were even noisier, some other compact SUVs have noticeably quieter cabins. The CR-V's Achilles' heel continues to be its four-cylinder engine, which simply can't compete with the V6s available in rival models. With a full load of passengers and cargo, highway merging can be harrowing, and the automatic transmission hunts more than Teddy Roosevelt on an African safari.

Talk About The 2009 CR-V

Read more about the 2009 Honda CR-V

Gas Mileage


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