2013 Honda CR-V Review

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of room for passengers and cargo
  • high fuel economy
  • user-friendly controls
  • ample tech and family-friendly features
  • top crash test scores.
  • No available engine upgrade
  • transmission lacks manual mode
  • rear seats don't slide fore and aft.
List Price Range
$10,307 - $18,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Notably, we picked the Honda CR-V as one of Edmunds' Best Used SUVs for 2013.

Vehicle overview

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.

2013 Honda CR-V models

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.

2013 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.


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.


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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Honda CR-V.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

VTC Actuator defect - 3 yr/36000 warranty useless
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.
Grinding Noise/VTC Actuator Problem
J. Hamby,09/04/2015
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!
Best Overall Value after Hours of Research
After much research, im a CRV Owner. Gas mileage in town is 27 Avg. Gas mileage on 2000 mile trip from Michigan to Alabama and back 29mpg. Econ mode on whole time. MPG AVG 28.7. Very Comfortable seats. Lots of leg and storage room for all passengers. Rear seats recline, love it. Low interior noise. Very High reliability. Blue tooth works great, and reads my text messages to me. I love the plastic stays nice longer. Its soft where it needs to be. I did significant research on 2013 CRV and 2013 Rav, I went with CRV. For 2013 CRV LX AWD Paid 24000 plus tax and plate. American Made in Ohio is a plus. Im pretty picky and hard to please, im extremely happy with my CRV.
Bought a 2012 CR-V LX Nov. 1, 2012 for $21,600 plus tax and license. Gave away my 10 year old Matrix which had held up nicely. Shopped online for best prices. I saved $1,100 by buying from a dealer 70 miles north. Honda seems to have anticipated what I want in a car: good radio sound; easily read instrument panel; daytime running lights; radio controls on steering wheel; good acceleration; head room; comfortable back seats; height adjustable front seat; constant mpg readout; respectable gas mileage; those high and narrow taillights; headlights are good high and low. The front seat seems almost to firm but most seats are a challenge for a tall (6ft 2in) driver. I'd gladly buy it again.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2013 Honda CR-V features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.4%
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 2013 Honda CR-V
More About This Model

Quick Summary
Honda's CR-V is already known for its efficiency and utility and the 2015 CR-V enhances those qualities. The refreshed 2015 Honda CR-V gets a new engine and transmission aimed at further improving efficiency plus new safety, comfort and convenience features. If you're shopping for a top-shelf compact SUV, the CR-V remains one of your best bets.

What Is It?
The 2015 Honda CR-V is a five-passenger compact SUV. It was all-new in 2012, but is significantly refreshed for the 2015 model year.

Only one engine and transmission combination is available. It consists of a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine combined with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The engine features direct injection for increased efficiency. It still puts out 185 horsepower, but torque increases 18 pound-feet to 181 lb-ft. Power is routed to the front wheels on standard models with all-wheel drive as an option.

There are now four trim levels available starting with the base LX. From there you step up to the midlevel EX and then the EX-L. New for 2015 is the top-of-the-line CR-V Touring, which features 18-inch wheels and a power rear lift gate among its many features.

2015 Honda CR-V

How Does It Drive?
You'll need to drive the 2014 and 2015 model CR-Vs back-to-back to observe any significant dynamic difference between the two. Response to throttle inputs is marginally better in the 2015 model, but it comes at the expense of any direct connection between engine and wheel speed thanks to the new CVT. Even so, this is probably the best CVT in the class. Honda has done a remarkable job of minimizing the engine drone common to this style of transmission.

From a driver's perspective the biggest advantage the CVT offers is a Sport mode, which enables snappier reactions to throttle inputs. Engine braking is available in the "L" setting, but this transmission still lacks the feel and control of a traditional automatic like you'll find in the Toyota RAV4 or Mazda CX-5.
Still, most drivers won't complain about the CR-V's abilities. Acceleration to 60 mph, at 8.8 seconds, is better than last year's model but still a bit slower than the 2.5-liter Mazda CX-5. Steering weight is relatively light but presents predictable and intuitive feedback.

Retuned spring and damper settings do little to change the CR-V's family-friendly character on the road. Few will find its ride disagreeable — even when fitted with the Touring trim's 18-inch wheels.

2015 Honda CR-V

What Kind of Fuel Economy Does It Deliver?
Overall fuel economy increases significantly over last year's CR-V. And since Honda was already near the top of the segment, a few more mpg lets it make the claim to lead the class in this category.

EX AWD models (the volume leader) increase from 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway) to an estimated 28 combined (26 city/33 highway). All front-drive models should earn 29 mpg combined. Our tester, in AWD Touring trim, delivered 25.5 mpg during 711 miles of combined driving.

How Safe Is It?
Significant structural changes were made to the 2015 Honda CR-V's chassis to enhance performance in small overlap frontal collisions — the only test where the 2014 model didn't get a "Good" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The federal government gives the 2014 model a five-star overall rating for crash performance. Honda anticipates that the 2015 CR-V will earn another five-star rating from NHTSA and is aiming for a Top Safety Pick Plus ranking from the IIHS.

Stopping from 60 mph required 119 feet, which is good for the class. However, multiple stops produced brake fade, which is indicative of a weak braking system. Prolonged descents will require care in the CR-V.

A rearview camera is standard on all trims, but the advanced safety features — Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking and Lane Departure Warning are only available on the Touring trim. Lane Watch, which displays the rear-quarter view of the passenger side on the dash-mounted screen, is standard on EX and higher trims. Though it's been around the Honda line for a few years, this feature is new to the CR-V. It's activated by the right turn signal.

Other new safety/convenience features include a lane-keeping assist with active correction and adaptive cruise control.

2015 Honda CR-V

What's New Inside?
Short of a redesigned center console, little is changed inside the CR-V. An armrest is now incorporated into the design and the sliding lid covering the cupholders is eliminated in favor of a shape which just happens to perfectly hold an iPad. Underneath the hinged armrest is an HDMI port and two USB outlets (EX trims and higher). Two 12-volt outlets are also available.

Otherwise, interior space remains essentially the same. Honda does a superb job giving passengers a genuinely roomy interior with an airy feel. Pillars are pushed out, headroom is ample and even big folks fit in the back.

The CR-V remains near the top of the segment for cargo space and adds convenient features like the ability to drop its split-folding second-row seatbacks via handles in the cargo area. The seatbacks don't fold completely flat, however.

How Much Does Pricing Change?
Overall pricing remains relatively stable with a front-drive LX model starting about $24,000. Small increases are justified by additional equipment, however.

For an extra $200 the volume-selling EX trim adds the most value: a power driver seat, keyless entry and start, display audio, lane watch, heated seats, rear vents and a sliding sun visor. A similar value increase exists at the EX-L level though the same money gets you only rear vents and a sliding sun visor over the LX trim. The newly available Touring trim (in front-wheel drive) starts at $32,400. The AWD Touring version tested here stickers at $33,600.

What Are Its Closest Competitors?
There are an abundance of solid choices in the small SUV segment and Toyota's RAV4 is among them. It's available with a 6-speed automatic transmission in front or all-wheel drive and supplies nearly the same cargo space as the CR-V. It's also available with a locking center differential to enhance off-road capability.

Nissan's Rogue was redesigned for 2014 and offers either a third row or a flexible cargo area with movable shelving. It offers the same combined mpg rating as the CR-V and also comes only with a continuously variable transmission in front- or all-wheel drive.

If you're looking for more engine options Ford's Escape offers three. And Mazda's CX-5 is undeniably the most enjoyable of the group when comes to driving reward.

Why Should You Consider This SUV?
The Honda CR-V delivers all the elements compact SUV shoppers are looking for: efficiency, flexibility, value and comfort. The upgrades to the 2015 model further enhance those traits while giving it a more modern look on the outside. The 2014 model earned an "A" rating in our testing and the 2015 model will score equally well.

Why Should You Think Twice About this SUV?
Some shoppers don't like the feel of continuously variable transmissions. Now that it's the only choice in the CR-V you should take a test-drive to see for yourself. Also, if you prefer to have power to spare, the standard four-cylinder in the CR-V might come up short.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Used 2013 Honda CR-V Overview

The Used 2013 Honda CR-V is offered in the following submodels: CR-V SUV. Available styles include LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A), LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr SUV w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Rear Entertainment (2.4L 4cyl 5A), and EX-L 4dr SUV w/Rear Entertainment (2.4L 4cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Honda CR-V?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Honda CR-V trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L is priced between $10,536 and$18,000 with odometer readings between 41030 and155035 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Honda CR-V LX is priced between $10,307 and$16,294 with odometer readings between 29248 and167530 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Honda CR-V EX is priced between $11,650 and$15,568 with odometer readings between 35009 and138489 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 2013 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) 2013 Honda CR-V for sale near. There are currently 64 used and CPO 2013 CR-VS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,307 and mileage as low as 29248 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 2013 Honda CR-V.

Can't find a used 2013 Honda CR-Vs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda CR-V for sale - 1 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $14,337.

Find a used Honda for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $23,557.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda CR-V for sale - 1 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $14,669.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 9 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $9,540.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 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