2008 Honda CR-V Review

Pros & Cons

  • Thoughtful interior design, high-quality interior materials, versatile cargo hold, quiet and comfortable ride, high crash test scores, agile handling.
  • Engine and transmission can be overwhelmed by hilly stretches of highway.
List Price Range
$6,199 - $11,895

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2008 Honda CR-V models

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.

2008 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Honda CR-V.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

USED 2008 CR V 4 wd
rottiesrule,05/06/2015
EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
Bought used with 140K, now has 157K and ZERO problems. Average 26 mpg mixed driving. Drove 1600 mi cross country, with cargo tray on hitch 200 lbs of stuff on it, 100 lb dog inside with seats folded down of course, 70 mph and I averaged 30 mpg on hwy. Power is good for a 4 cyl and a 3500 lb car. SAFE SAFE great safety rating,great brakes, great build quality, is bigger than it looks. The design of the cars interior will grow on you, very thoughtful and utilitarian design that you will appreciate the longer you drive it.It is a car that is a good compromise of reliability,room, and economy! I had a Suburban that could not pass a repair shop. The CRV likes to pass gas stations and thats great! 2017 update 200001 miles , 22 MPG, oil change brake pads no other issues. The weather stripping around window frames showing age but everything else is 100 % great.
Remarkably trouble free and still fun to drive
Bill,05/27/2016
EX-L 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
Driven 144,000 miles 9+ years all over Arizona, New Mexico, California and Nevada. Had minor a/c issue fixed under extended warranty at 98,000 miles. Replaced front brake pads (only) and rotors milled at 90,000 miles (I know!!) Now (May 2017) the rear brakes are STILL good - no noise or pulling. Never had a vehicle even near this long lasting. Oil changes every 3 or 4K. Still safely on 3rd set of tires, largely because the 2nd set (High grade Michelins) lasted for 65k. That's it! Other than gasoline (honest 24mpg city, 28mpg highway). I'm 65+ and still working. That CR-V is simply the best overall vehicle I have ever owned. Bonus: Honda's factory premium sound system w/XMS continues to perform as it did from Day 1 - concert quality, no distortion.
Gotta love it!
T. Moore,06/12/2016
EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
We love our CRV. We love the cargo capacity and we have hauled just about everything you can think of. We love the comfort of the interior and have taken many driving trips in it. Except that now that it is a bit older and the ride is getting a little bumpy, there is nothing we can say that's negative about this car. Except for the routine oil changes/maintenance, it has not seen the inside of a dealership or repair shop. When we trade it, it will be to get a newer one. We're just that satisfied.
Reliability and comfort in an affordable SUV
Dawn Bowie,08/23/2016
EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
Other than low fuel economy (19 miles in the city) and a design issue with the cargo space (rear seat supports narrow the floor space in the center of cargo area), I love my 2008 Honda CR-V. Good pickup and handling, comfortable seating and decent electronics make this a great all-around auto. I'm the original owner and have had no major issues and costs to maintain my CR-V have been excellent. Will keep her as long as she will run!

Features & Specs

See all Used 2008 Honda CR-V features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2008 Honda CR-V

Used 2008 Honda CR-V Overview

The Used 2008 Honda CR-V is offered in the following submodels: CR-V SUV. Available styles include LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A), LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr SUV w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A), and EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Honda CR-V?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Honda CR-V trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Honda CR-V EX-L is priced between $6,990 and$10,995 with odometer readings between 80530 and185193 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Honda CR-V EX is priced between $6,199 and$11,895 with odometer readings between 83123 and156332 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Honda CR-V LX is priced between $6,974 and$6,974 with odometer readings between 109744 and109744 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 Honda CR-VS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Honda CR-V for sale near. There are currently 18 used and CPO 2008 CR-VS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,199 and mileage as low as 80530 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Honda CR-V.

Can't find a used 2008 Honda CR-Vs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda CR-V for sale - 3 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $10,491.

Find a used Honda for sale - 12 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $18,952.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda CR-V for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $11,133.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $23,270.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 Honda CR-V?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Honda lease specials
Check out Honda CR-V lease specials