When the original Honda CR-V debuted in the late 1990s, its mission was simple: offer a distinct alternative to more mainstream mid- and full-size large SUVs. With its car-based design, economical four-cylinder engine and sedanlike ride and handling, the CR-V was an instant hit. Priced competitively and offering plenty of passenger room and cargo capacity for most people's needs, the Honda CR-V has long enjoyed strong sales numbers and much loyalty from consumers.
Today, the compact-SUV segment has grown to include more than a dozen different models, with varying philosophies of what constitutes the perfect blend of size, power and capability. While some models offer more powerful upgrade engines and others can deliver true off-road capability, the Honda CR-V remains focused on its more practical aspirations. True to form, it is one of the best choices available in the all-important areas of being both easy to drive and family-friendly.
Current Honda CR-V
Redesigned for the 2017 model year, the current Honda CR-V boasts improvements on many fronts. Exterior changes are subtle, but they manage to convey a more purposeful and upscale vibe, from the aggressive headlights to distinctive L-shaped taillights. The cabin gets an extreme makeover as well, with a new dash design and more legroom and cargo room than before, though the CR-V was already one of the roomiest vehicles in its class.
The CR-V is powered by one of two engines, depending on which trim is specified. The base LX comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder carried over from last year's model. It churns out 184 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. EX, EX-L and Touring models are motivated by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 190 hp and 179 lb-ft. The turbo engine's character is more robust than what its modest horsepower increase might suggest. Both engines are paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and can be ordered with front- or all-wheel drive.
In our reviews, we've been thoroughly impressed by the new Honda CR-V. The turbo 1.5-liter engine has plenty of power at low rpm, and it lasts all the way to redline if you're winding it out. Factor in the remarkable fuel economy and you've got what could be the best all-around engine in this class. Meanwhile, the revamped chassis and steering give the CR-V a solid feel around turns as well as an even more absorbent ride. Then there's the CR-V impressive utility and safety features. Put it all together and you're looking at a top pick for a small crossover SUV.
Read the most recent 2017 Honda CR-V review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Honda CR-V page.