2009 Honda CR-V Review

Pros & Cons

  • Sensible cabin layout, ample cargo capacity, agile handling, exemplary crashworthiness.
  • Underpowered, elevated road noise, transmission lacks manual mode.
List Price Range
$4,750 - $12,599

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2009 Honda CR-V models

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.

2009 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.


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.


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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Honda CR-V.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great SUV for a single man
EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
This car has been great for my needs. Mainly, I use it for car camping. I removed the back seat and use the extra room for moving furniture and large items. When I bought the car, it had a tow hitch already installed. I have used it to pull several U-haul trailers and a flatbed trailer borrowed from a friend to move sofas, love seats, etc and it has worked great for all purposes. Also, I added a roof rack and a cargo box that has worked great for my needs. The original tires that were on it when I bought it used lasted for 85,000 miles. I tend to get 24 mpg with a mix of city and highway use. If I travel at 70 mph on the interstates and/or take back road highways at 55 mph, I tend to get the 27 mpg that Honda states the car can get. Otherwise, if I drive 75 mph I tend to get 24-25 mpg. My main complaints are the drivers side power window is not always reliable but the others work fine up to this point. Also, the moon roof has not opened in nearly 3 years. I have tried to reset it following online instructions and I can hear a sound like a motor trying to move it but it goes nowhere so I stop to avoid breaking it further.
Reliable, comfortable - might buy another one
M Hurst,03/01/2016
LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
I've owned many Hondas, this is my first CR-V. It had been a leased vehicle, so when I purchased it, in 2011, it had 16,000 miles on it. As of today (3/11/17) it has 106,000 miles on the odometer and it runs as smoothly. I've had it serviced regularly at a Honda dealer, so any parts which have been replaced (very few) are Honda parts. I've recently been looking new SUVs in the same size, and I've discovered the CR-V still has the largest cargo area (taller than most). - Honda finally listened and with the 2017 model, they improved the backseat/cargo area by allowing the backseats to fold completely flat. They have also put some vents in the rear of console which should deliver enough air to keep back seat passengers comfortable. It is also loaded with many of the safety features you'll find in other new vehicles. I love my fully adjustable driver's seat, but I think it is only available on the EX-L version. CONS These include: some road noise, back seats which don't fold completely flat, and it should get better gas mileage for a 4-cylinder engine. They are claiming the new 2017 model has a 1.5 liter engine which s turbo charged and it gets better mileage. Both of my airbags were replaced due to the recall. I'll be looking at another brand of SUV when I replace mine, but with a price tag of around $30k for a new 2017, I'll probably purchase something else.
Honda continues to make great vehicles
M. Hurst,12/13/2015
EX-L 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
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 enough power for me, 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 new tires every 25-30'000 miles. 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, it 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 last year, 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 airbags. Honda sent me the recall notice several months ago, and I immediately called to be put on the list. After several months, I finally called my Honda dealer and made such a fuss about the airbag replacement, they miraculously found some, gave me a loner, and had the job done in a matter of days. Would I purchase another Honda CRV - maybe.
Nice Small Honda CR-V EX-L AWD (love it so far)
EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
Recently picked up an 09 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD with 88,800 miles on it (This is my first Honda). Go to say, overall I am fairly impressed by it. I did a thorough overall inspection in, out, around, under, etc... and that was before I got in it to test how it drives, shifts, sounds, etc...) For having that many miles on it I have to say it looks and drives like an auto that would have half the miles on it. I can't comment on reliability and costs yet as I just picked it up a week ago. So far though, it runs, drives and looks great. I got an excellent deal at $11K purchase price. Everything in and out functions as it should and I received it with new brakes all around and new tires. I have owned a few Chevy SUV's in the past and seriously those were ready for the junk yard by the time they hit 100k miles, not to mention that they were both money pits (I do maintain my autos faithfully and do most of the maintenance work myself so I know the job is getting done correctly). I do not beat on my autos, it can be hard to determine how a machine will hold up as everyone drives and maintains there autos differently. I will try and do my best to update my review as time goes by (this one will be tested in the New England environment). We like my Honda CR-V so much that we are in the process of trading in my wife's Kia Soul (purchased new, now has 78,000 miles on it) for another Honda CRV

Features & Specs

20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
166 hp @ 5800 rpm
20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
166 hp @ 5800 rpm
20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
166 hp @ 5800 rpm
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
166 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all Used 2009 Honda CR-V features & specs


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
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2009 Honda CR-V

Used 2009 Honda CR-V Overview

The Used 2009 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-L 4dr SUV w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A), and EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Honda CR-V?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Honda CR-V trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Honda CR-V EX-L is priced between $5,900 and$12,599 with odometer readings between 77500 and188794 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Honda CR-V LX is priced between $4,750 and$10,000 with odometer readings between 73402 and213792 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Honda CR-V EX is priced between $5,500 and$9,997 with odometer readings between 90906 and207980 miles.

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Which used 2009 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) 2009 Honda CR-V for sale near. There are currently 33 used and CPO 2009 CR-VS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,750 and mileage as low as 73402 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 2009 Honda CR-V.

Can't find a used 2009 Honda CR-Vs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda CR-V for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $12,986.

Find a used Honda for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $13,819.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda CR-V for sale - 8 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $17,347.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 1 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $20,346.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 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