Used 2013 Honda CR-V SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Honda CR-V SUV Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2013 Honda CR-V SUV

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • Roomy, fuel-efficient and loaded with family-friendly amenities, the 2013 Honda CR-V is one of our favorite compact crossover SUVs.

  • Pros

    Lots of room for passengers and cargo; high fuel economy; user-friendly controls; ample tech and family-friendly features; top crash test scores.

  • Cons

    No available engine upgrade; transmission lacks manual mode; rear seats don't slide fore and aft.

  • What's New for 2013

    In the wake of last year's redesign, the Honda CR-V carries over unchanged for 2013.

Full 2013 Honda CR-V Review

What's New for 2013

In the wake of last year's redesign, the Honda CR-V carries over unchanged for 2013.


Like the high-school class valedictorian who finds himself swimming in a sea of "A" students on his first day at an Ivy League college, it's easy for even the most impressive small crossover SUVs to get lost in the shuffle. Despite this challenging landscape, the 2013 Honda CR-V earns a well-deserved spot in the hearts of consumers. Much of its appeal is due to Honda's knack for giving most shoppers exactly what they want.

Compact crossovers are often the transportation of choice for those with small families. With ample passenger and cargo capacity and a full complement of family-friendly amenities, the 2013 CR-V is equipped to meet these responsibilities with a cheerful smile. Fuel economy is exceptional, while precise handling and intuitive controls ensure a thoroughly pleasant overall driver experience.

The 2013 CR-V's biggest shortcoming concerns what's under the hood. There's only one engine available, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder. It does provide that exceptional fuel economy, but if you're looking for an engine upgrade, you can't get one here. Also, a manual shift mode for the transmission isn't available, so those who enjoy interfacing with paddle shifters will find themselves out of luck.

One of the more impressive rivals faced by the Honda CR-V is the new Ford Escape, which comes to the table with a wider array of engine choices. Equally desirable are the feature-packed Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the agile-handling Mazda CX-5 and the comfortable Chevrolet Equinox. Still, despite a campus thick with bright young talent, the CR-V is easily a well-rounded standout, especially for shoppers with family-oriented needs.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Honda CR-V is available in LX, EX and EX-L trim levels, and each can be equipped with front- or all-wheel drive.

The well-equipped LX comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver-seat height adjustment, 60/40-split rear seats, a rearview camera, a 6-inch multi-information display, steering wheel audio controls, and Bluetooth phone and streaming audio. All LX models also have a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, a Pandora interface, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.

EX models add 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a sunroof, rear privacy glass, a retractable cargo cover and six speakers for the sound system. Going with the EX-L gets you roof rails, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar, leather upholstery, heated front seats and an upgraded sound system with seven speakers and satellite radio. On top of this, the EX-L with Navigation adds a navigation system (with voice controls and real-time traffic), while the EX-L with Rear Entertainment System adds a rear entertainment system. Note that the nav system and rear DVD entertainment system can't be ordered together.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2013 Honda CR-V comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. The latter sends power to the front wheels exclusively until slippage is detected, at which point power is sent to the wheels with the most traction. In Edmunds performance testing, an EX-L with all-wheel drive went from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds -- a tad slow for a four-cylinder small crossover SUV.

EPA estimates for the front-drive model are an estimated 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. AWD CR-Vs drop slightly to 22/30/25. These ratings make it one of the most fuel-efficient choices in its segment.


Standard safety equipment on the 2013 Honda CR-V includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. All CR-V models also come with a back-up camera.

In Edmunds brake testing, a CR-V EX-L came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet -- a short distance for a vehicle in this segment.

The 2013 CR-V earned a perfect five stars for overall protection in government crash tests, scoring five stars for both frontal- and side-impact protection. In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CR-V received the best possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The cabin of the 2013 CR-V boasts fluid, organic lines and ample nooks and crannies for stowing carry-on items. A logical layout makes controls easy to find and the overall aesthetic is pleasing to the eye. The open space between the front seats seen in the previous generation's sub-EX-L models has been retired, and all 2013 CR-Vs feature a full front console that increases utility by providing a bevy of additional storage compartments.

The sliding rear seats seen in the previous-generation CR-V are no more, but they've been discontinued to make way for an amenity that's perhaps even more useful: a spring-loaded auto-fold feature that allows you to fold the rear seats almost flat by gently pulling on a lever. The current seat offers just as much legroom as the sliding seat did, since its new fixed position mirrors the one held by the sliding seat when moved all the way back.

Abundant tech features are available, with a Pandora interface and Bluetooth phone and streaming audio being offered as standard equipment on all models. The CR-V is also available with an SMS text messaging function that allows you to listen to incoming text messages via the audio system and reply with one of six preset responses.

The CR-V also swallows more stuff than its outside appearance would suggest. With the rear seats in place, the CR-V can carry 37.2 cubic feet of cargo; fold the rear seat down and that figure grows to an impressive 70.9 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

While its performance relative to that of other four-cylinder-powered crossovers is competitive enough, there's no denying that the CR-V is a bit lacking in low-end power. This makes the absence of a V6 or turbocharged four-cylinder upgrade all the more apparent. Still, the CR-V's mill returns very good fuel economy, and while its five-speed automatic is a little behind the times (just about every other competitor has a six-speed auto), it shifts smoothly and responds decently enough to throttle inputs.

Although a few other small crossovers are more enjoyable to drive overall, the CR-V offers precise steering and commendably steady handling. Ride quality on most surfaces is acceptably smooth, and unlike the previous generation, the 2013 Honda CR-V also boasts a relatively quiet cabin. Overall, the feeling is one of refinement.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 57 reviews) Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Vtc actuator defect - 3 yr/36000 warranty useless

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I bought my Honda CRV in mid-2013. By the time the car was 1 year old, with 10,000 miles, there was a grinding noise when I would start the car. The grinding noise lasts about 2 seconds. It has been into a Honda dealership several times. I was told Honda is working on a "fix" and that the problem would be addressed when the engineering department had the issue figured out. One year later (but still under warranty), the grinding noise is louder and longer than before, and happens almost every time I start the car. Upon doing some research, I learned that Honda has been installing the defective VTC actuator since 2008, in Accords. The defective actuator was also installed in 2012-2014 CRV's. It appears that Honda continued to use the defective actuator since 2008, yet customers are being told that a "fix" is in the works, 7 years later. American Honda has advised Honda service departments to not replace the actuator as it is likely that the replacement actuator will present the same grinding noise. A regional case manager also assured me that a "fix" was in the works but did not comment when I pointed out that Honda continued to use a defective part from 2008-2014. Honda repeatedly emphasizes that this is not a safety or performance issue, to which I have replied that is likely the reason it has been 7 years with no fix -- it is a low priority and Honda chooses to direct its engineering resources elsewhere. Dealerships will not do anything as American Honda will not allow replacements to be made. This is my last Honda. Their way of doing business is horrendous. What I have now is a vehicle that definitely attracts attention (but not in a good way) when it is started as everyone in the vicinity gets to enjoy the grinding sound of metal-on-metal.

Honda is the best! get a crv!

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

It is beautiful, fun to drive, had good traction in rain and highway speeds+ and always looked beautiful. The seats and interior were easy to clean and always looked great on my 2013 CRV. The back seat is super spacious and so is the rear cargo area. I looked at all other small suv's and they never had as much room inside, especially in the back seat and cargo area. The only complaint I have is the road noise was louder than in a car. I was told that smaller SUV's are like that. I'm not sure I believe that, but in spite of the noise which is worse if the road is rough and at highway speeds and if your car needs an alignment, I could still enjoy my music from the fabulous USB plugins. I just loaded up a flash drive and plugged it in. Sounded great. I looked at newer models though, and we bought a new Civic and the newer models have a touch screen for music controls which I hate. The knob you could turn to quickly scroll through songs and albums worked much easier. The touch screen is a pain for finding anything and not getting sidetracked by accidentally touching the wrong spot. My CRV was a gorgeous blue called Mountain Air. I don't know why Honda doesn't make more cars in this color and make the Acura SUV's in that color. The newer CRV has a redesigned front which I do not like as well as the 2013 model and possibly the 2014. It is more of a snub-nosed look I find ugly. The interior is uglier, too, with more of a very dark charcoal kind of color with beige. I know that color is harder to keep clean because we have it on our new Civic. All dust shows all the time. The touch screen is more of a pain on the Civic to clean, too. Our 2013 CRV was easy to clean and always looked great. We got a super trade-in value for it because it still looked like new. I've never missed a car so much or regretted trading one more. I'd buy it back in a second. I have always owned American-made brands and always had problems with them, windows quit working, air conditioners quit, handles fall off, the vent louvres break, quit working, they just are not that dependable. Then, we bought an older, 1998 Honda Odyssey with high miles and to my surprise, everything worked! I could immediately see the difference in quality materials and design. Everything was quality built, no thin, cheap plastic like on my GM or Ford cars. I loved it. It drove and rode like a smooth-riding car, unlike a previous Pontiac van we owned which was more like a truck and soon had no working AC or windows. Fun in our 100+ summers. After owning the Odyssey, I decided the next vehicles would be Hondas. They are so ridiculously dependable. All reviews agree. Never go back to American made crap. Our friends work for a dealership that has GM and Ford and Chrysler. They get new vehicles every couple of years and we watch as they always have to have their new vehicles in the shop for ridiculous little things that don't work or quit working within weeks of getting their brand new vehicle. That doesn't happen with Honda. I value the five-star crash test rating (you'd be horrified if you knew what the other makers' ratings are....try one star front crash rating on Nissan Rogue for instance...and I value the dependability of Honda most of all. I hate breakdowns. With all the other old cars I have owned, I am practically an expert on what car noises, symptoms usually mean, but don't have to worry with a Honda. My other car, a 2003 Buick LeSabre Custome Celebration model with alll the bells and whistles for that year, has had problems with AC quitting, then mysteriously working again and lights not working, lots of fuse replacements, etc. Not fun. Get a Honda.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car.

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda CR-V LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

2013 honda crv lx has 40,000 miles I've had no issues with the car. One dislike was road noise from the factory continental tires so I found some ex l 17 inch wheels and bought a new set of michelin latitude tires. It's amazing what a difference that made. Another dislike is that there is no arm rest for passenger driver. Other than that it gets great gas mileage and has plenty of room for size.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Grinding noise/vtc actuator problem

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Beware! I have a 2013 CR-V that has been making a terrible grinding noise since about 6 months after purchase. Honda Service has diagnosed it as the VTC Actuator. Noise has become much worse over time and this noise occurs almost every time I start my vehicle. Very annoying!! I've been told Honda Motors Tech Division has been working on coming up with a fix but there is NO FIX at this time. I was basically told by the Honda Service Dept to drive it till it breaks. Not what I wanted to hear. This problem has been occurring in various Honda vehicles since model year 2008 and they still don't have a fix. Why? Why keep producing something with the same problems?? Honda won't even attempt to replace the part to see if it will remedy the problem, because they say the new part won't fix it. If you can't fix it, then you need to replace the car!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Wanted an escape got a cr-v

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda CR-V EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

For the longest time I had wanted a Ford Escape. When my mom finally talked my dad into getting me a new, fuel efficient car he suggested a Honda CR-V. I was skeptical at first, so we test drove an Escape which we then decided had too much road noise, funky wipers and my dad (who's a diesel mechanic) said it wasn't a quality build. Later we went and test drove the 2013 CR-V, and I was more comfortable the second I sat down. The sales guy was very helpful and showed me how to work the driver seat, steering wheel, wipers, turn signals, radio and more all for a test drive. Obviously I chose the Honda CR-V. I make a round trip of 400 miles from Toledo to Cincinnati a few times a month. Ohio is pretty flat and I average about 30-31 mpg going between 70-75 mph (sometimes with the cargo space and back seat loaded down with boxes for a college student). In the city I get about 20-25 mph depending on where I'm going. I haven't had any issues with the mechanics of the car. There was a simple recall when I first got the car and it was corrected right away for free. Oil changes and tire rotations aren't too costly and the service staff at either Honda I go to are very friendly and helpful. Toledo has pretty snowy winters and the CR-V handles very well in the feet of snow that can come down in one day. The traction control has saved my butt a few times in the Toledo winter. I have had a slight issue with the USB port but it's easily resolved by restarting the car. The Bluetooth comes in handy except when the microphone doesn't transmit to the person on the other line. Overall the electronics have been pretty solid. I love my CR-V, I've had it for almost three years this thanksgiving and it's been a damn good car.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Faulty a/c and electronics

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Bought a new 2013 from Whittier Community Honda. 14 months later a/c goes out & battery dies. After doing some research, both are known defects. Honda even lost a class-action lawsuit in 2013 for the a/c but never corrected the problem for newer models. Honda refused to repair a/c saying it's my problem. Honda should've at least warned me about the design flaw & problems so I could make an informed decision whether to buy or not. I had 2 previous Honda's. One had a recall that they never told me about & the other had a class action lawsuit regarding brakes that Honda again lost but they forgot to tell me. I don't trust Honda anymore especially Whittier Community Honda.

Talk About The 2013 CR-V

Read more about the 2013 Honda CR-V

Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Honda CR-V Suv in VA is:

$63.33 per month*

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