I purchased my '09 CRV in January 2011. It had been a leased car and only had 16,000 miles on it. The other vehicles I was considering at that time were a 2011 Hyunda Tucson, a 2011 Toyota RAV4, a Toyota Venza, and a Chevy Traverse.
I've enjoyed driving this car. It's very comfortable on long trips (it's been cross-country 4X), has plenty of power, and the cargo area is much larger in cubic feet than most other small SUVs. I have dogs, which I take to weekend events, and the rear easily holds 2 crates, although I am concerned if I were rear-ended whether they would be safe.
I have had it routinely serviced at a Honda dealer, replace the battery once, and all four tires. A few months ago the TPMS light went on, and sure enough I had a damaged tire which had to be replaced. The downside...it kept coming on at least once a week, which would cause me to panic and immediately look for a service center. After a few weeks of this, I took it to my Honda dealer. They told me all 4 tire sensors were shot and needed to be replaced. Total parts & labor: $500
Only complaints (which Honda has not improved/changed) are: road noise, should get better mileage for a small 4 cylinder engine, no vents to deliver air to back seat or rear compartment, and the backseat does not fold completely flat.
I had planned on trading it in on a new SUV this past winter, only to be told by several dealers that they would only give me wholesale price for it. The reason? It is one of the millions of vehicles which has a defective airbag. Honda sent me the recall notice several months ago, and I immediately called to be put on the list. As of today, they tell me they are getting very few air bags in and it may be a very long wait. I'd like to get a newer vehicle, but not willing to take approx. $5k for my car.
We bought the CRV to replace a Town and Country. My wife wanted something smaller to use for work. It is very noisy on the Houston roads, the car has 23,000 miles and the tires are already showing alot of wear. If you put the back windows down at highway speeds, there is a deafening noise that sounds like a jet is taking off in your back seat. The mileage is also not as good as we expected. Sitting in both front seats on long trips isn't all that enjoyable
I bought this for my wife, it has done everything I knew it would as I have owned Honda products in the past. 2-WD is more than adequate in the snow; absolutely no problems on ice/snow. Nothing breaks, everything works. Will last 20 years. Honda is quality.
The knowledge that is will always start and nothing ever breaks. Drives like a car, very easy to handle!
It indeed could use more power; but for family use it is fine.
We've had this car for 9 months, now, and could not be more pleased. Highway mileage from Florida to upstate NY averaged over 30 mph. Comfort and driveability are superb for this level of vehicle. (I do agree with a few others that road noise is a little above what we'd like, but who's perfect? Even with the 2-wheel drive that's standard in the south, we had no trouble driving in the snow and ice of Rochester, NY area a couple weeks ago. Overall, we're VERY pleased with our purchase and would buy another CR-V in a minute.
Handling, comfort and mileage
A little more sound insulation would help the CR-V.
I admired the new CR-V body style for a couple of years before buying one. I did a test drive and mentioned to the salesman that the headrest was uncomfortable. He said not to worry, it was adjustable. After purchasing the vehicle, the dealership did not provide an overview of any of the features -- all they wanted to do was make the sale. I recently drove my CR- V on a 6 hour day trip. By the time I got there, I had a massive headache. I also had a bruise on my left leg because the parking break is placed right where I normally rest my leg. Can you say buyer's remorse? I hate this car. The headrest is not adjustable and the parking break is going to stay where it is. Back to Toyota next time.
In this case the things I dislike overpower anything positive about the car.
Fix the headrest!!!! Move the parking break as far left as possible. Check out the design for the Toyota Highlander - most comfortable car I ever had.