Honda CR-V Review
The comprehensive Honda CR-V review
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What's in this guide?
- Critic reviews
- Get a better deal on a Honda CR-V
- How does the Honda CR-V compare with its peers?
- Honda CR-V SUV Pricing
- Engine and performance
- Honda CR-V Fuel Efficiency
- The verdict on the Honda CR-V
- Compare some options to finance a Honda CR-V
- Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes
|CarAdvice||76%||"The 2019 Honda CR-V is one of our favourites at CarAdvice."||Read more|
|CarsGuide||70%||"The CR-V Vi is a great entry-level comfort-focused mid-size SUV..."||Read more|
|Motoring||72%||"It's a simple, comfortable wagon without any pretensions or flare."||Read more|
|Whichcar||80%||"The new generation Honda CR-V is a roomy medium SUV with an easy driving nature and a very family-friendly cabin."||Read more|
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How does the Honda CR-V compare with its peers?
The complete Honda CR-V review
Honda CR-V SUV Pricing
Entry-point prices for the CR-V start from $30,990 for a Vi spec 2WD model. Honda installs a 2.0-litre, naturally aspirated i-VTEC engine. Vi CR-Vs have a CVT auto transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, AC with rear vents, a 5-inch infotainment display with Bluetooth, as well as a multi-angle reversing camera and a full-size spare alloy wheel.
The next model up is given the VTi label and a price of $33,590. This model swaps the large naturally aspirated 2.0-litre, for a more powerful turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine. Honda also fits front fog lights, dual-zone climate control and a keyless entry system, plus a larger 7-inch touchscreen with double the amount of speakers (eight), four USB connections and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The VTi also has roof rails, a reversing camera with dynamic graphic overlays and a tonneau cover.
For buyers who need to carry six passengers plus the driver, there's the VTi-E7, based upon the VTi spec model. Additions include the extra two seats, a leather-appointed seat trim, larger 18-inch wheels, an eight-way power adjustable driver seat and the steering wheel is wrapped in leather. Honda lists the VTi-E7 for $38,204.
Also developing upon VT-S models is the VTi-S. This particular CR-V retails for either $36,968 as a front wheel drive or $40,265 as an all-wheel drive. The VTi-S is only available as a five-seater. However, compared the VTi, you get a whole suite of Honda smart driving assists (on AWD models), 18-inch rims, a power boot lid, built-in navigation, front and rear parking sensors and a LaneWatch camera (a wing mirror supplement that enhances the driver's vision of the passenger side when indicating). Topping off the VTi-S are automatic headlights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
If you like the specifications of the VTi-S CR-V, but need seven seats, the VTi-L7 is certainly an option. This model is 2WD only and costs $42,839. You'll receive everything the VTi-S has, but also a panoramic sunroof, leather-appointed seat trim, heated seats in the front, an eight-way power adjusting driver seat with built-in lumbar support and seat memory as well as automatic rain-sensing wipers.
Finally, we have the AWD VTi-LX model. This will set you back $48,318 and is based around the VTi-S trim. This model has Honda's "Sensing" driving assists, a panoramic sunroof, privacy glass, LED headlights with cornering function, front LED fog lights, leather-appointed seat trim, heated front seats and door mirrors, an eight-way power adjustable driver seat with lumbar support and seat memory, automatic rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a digital radio, a leather-clad shifter knob and a four-way electric adjustable front passenger seat.
On all CR-Vs, Honda includes a seven-year and unlimited-kilometre warranty. There's also seven years of roadside assistance included. For VTi-S models upwards, Honda includes 12-months rego and CTP insurance. There appears to be no extra charge for metallic and pearlescent paint finishes, which is highly unusual.
Prices shown are for NSW, postcode 2000.
Click on the model you're interested in to compare finance options.
|2WD, auto, 2.0-litre petrol, 5 seats: $30,990||2WD, auto, 1.5-litre petrol, 5 seats: $33,590||2WD, auto, 1.5-litre petrol, 5 seats: $36,968|
AWD, auto, 1.5-litre petrol, 5 seats: $40,264
|2WD, auto, 1.5-litre petrol, 7 seats: $38,204||2WD, auto, 1.5-litre petrol, 7 seats: $42,839||AWD, auto, 1.5-litre petrol, 5 seats: $48,318|
The above prices are the manufacturer's recommended drive-away prices (MRDP). VTi-S and above models include 12 months of rego and compulsory third party (CTP) insurance. They also include dealer delivery rates and government duties. The CTP is calculated based on the CR-V being garaged in postcode 2000, with a 40-year-old "rating one" driver.
OverviewIt's not the flashiest SUV, it's not the cheapest, it doesn't even have the most tech, but what it does have is executed thoughtfully and to a high standard. The CR-V is extremely practical, so you should absolutely check one out when shopping for your next SUV.
|CarAdvice||"In short, you can barely go wrong with the Honda CR-V."|
|CarsGuide||"It does look amazing and offers all the practicality of the CR-V range, with cheap running costs to boot."|
|Motoring||"...if you value your cash, lack pretension and appreciate the lessons of the past as well as the fashions of today, then consider the Vi."|
|Whichcar||"Power comes from a strong turbocharged engine, and the CR-V balances a comfortable ride with good handling."|
Engine and performance
Honda builds the CR-V with either a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine or a 1.5-litre, turbo charge block. Both engines run on petrol. The 2.0 VTEC inline four can only be found under the bonnet of the base spec Vi 2WD. All other models use the more powerful VTEC 1.5-litre motor.
Performance wise, the 2.0-litre engine makes 113kW at 6,500rpm. Compare that with the 1,498cc turbo block, which outputs 140kW at a much more useable 5,600rpm. When it comes to torque, that diminutive 1.5-litre engine trumps the higher capacity Honda powerplant again, the smaller engine producing 240Nm between 2,000rpm and 5,000rpm. For the 2.0-litre model, torque output is a decidedly average 189Nm at 4,300rpm.
Car reviewers' thoughts on the Honda CR-V engine/gearbox line-up
Unsurprisingly, in our review sample, all journalists found the 2.0-litre non-turbo smooth but flat. One wrote that it took a lot of effort just to keep up with traffic unless you planted your foot on the accelerator, which won't help fuel economy. Others described the engine as a little outdated (having no turbo means there's extra power and torque to be squeezed from the engine).
According to the motoring media, it's preferable to go for the 1.5-litre turbo engine, which is found in the entire model range apart from the base spec Vi CR-V. That is, of course, if your budget will stretch for it. If not, then you'll be stuck with the thirsty and underpowered 2.0 VTEC.
The 1.5 delivers better fuel economy too, though the margin narrows the higher the spec you opt for, thanks to increasing kerb weight.
All models have a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is designed to offer infinite gear ratios, seamless gearing changes and improved fuel economy. Often times, CVTs receive a lot of flak from car reviewers. They tend to be a little sluggish. This one wasn't derided too much, though one tester said it caused the CR-V to judder at low revs.
Honda CR-V engine and transmission statistics
|Vi||All other models|
|Engine type||Naturally aspirated, single overhead cam VTEC||Turbocharged, double overhead cam VTEC|
|Drivetrain||Front 2WD||Front 2WD, some AWD|
|Fuel tank capacity|
|Max power||113kW at 6,500rpm||140kW at 5,600rpm|
|Max torque||189Nm at 4,300rpm||240Nm at 2,000-5,000 rpm|
|Fuel consumption (combined)||7.61L/100km||7.0-7.4L/100km|
|Top speed (km/h)|
|Towing capacity (unbraked/braked)|
Honda CR-V Fuel Efficiency
Honda lists the fuel consumption of the 2.0-litre Vi as:
- Combined: 7.6L/100km
- Urban: 10L/100km
- Extra-urban: 6.3L/100km
For the VTi 2WD, fuel usage is:
- Combined: 7L/100km
- Urban: 8.8L/100km
- Extra-urban: 6L/100km
The VTi-E7 2WD, VTi-L7 2WD and VTi-S 2WD work out at:
- Combined: 7.3L/100km
- Urban: 9.2L/100km
- Extra-urban: 6.2L/100km
The VTi-S AWD and VTi-LX AWD use an advertised:
- Combined: 7.4L/100km
- Urban: 9.3L/100km
- Extra-urban: 6.3L/100km
On paper then, it seems the VTi CR-V is the most fuel efficient of Honda's mid-size SUVs. Remember that these numbers are calculated using strictly mandated fuel economy tests and that real-world conditions vary greatly. Consequently, the fuel usage you achieve in a CR-V on public roads could be a lot higher than the brochure numbers. You should only use these stats as a means of comparing models.
How did the press cars fare? CarAdvice managed a combined fuel consumption of 8.1L/100km in the 2.0-litre Vi compared to 7.6L/100km as per the brochure. CarsGuide recorded 7.4L/100km on a mixture of long runs and rush hour traffic, again in the 2.0-litre Vi model, which was 0.2L/100km lower than the manufacturer's numbers. Motoring averaged 8.2L/100km combined in the 2.0-litre Vi.
The CR-V isn't a hot hatch or supercar and it wasn't designed to rival their immediate and responsive handling. As a car that will more likely be used for the school run, you really want this to be a comfortable and safe handling car.
Testing experts described the CR-V's ride dynamics as soft but in no way sporty. They found it to be comfortable, stable and planted even on rough potholed roads. Critics felt that Honda engineers had managed to minimise body roll. That's great because typically owning an SUV, you trade-off having a more upright seating position and view against the higher centre of gravity.
Little touches like the steering taking 2.3 turns from lock to lock will help you when navigating around tight car parks or busy metro areas. As long as you keep in mind the car's passenger-centric purpose, you'll be perfectly comfortable driving around town or on motorway runs. If you're looking for something more exciting to drive, look elsewhere. Some of the car journalists hinted that rivals like the CX-5 and the Tucson are a more involving ride.
A poorly designed interior can make or break a model in the highly competitive mid-size SUV market. How does the CR-V stack up?
The testing panel found that the CR-V's interior is extremely practical while still proving comfortable. Adult passengers have sufficient room in the front. The general consensus revealed that Honda has done a solid job of laying out the vehicle controls and infotainment system inputs.
The base model Vi's 5-inch display screen received a bit of criticism for lacking Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions. One commentator said that it was the worst they've trialled in a car since 2015. All other spec levels have a 7-inch touchscreen with smartphone connectivity. Pundits praised Honda for its clean, simple, digital instrument cluster, which has features like a reversing camera, normally found on more premium specifications.
Also, there's a load of room in the cabin. As you'd expect from a car created to carry five or seven passengers, there are a number of storage bins, wells and pockets dotted around the cabin. Some of the more nifty features include a centre console with a lift out section, so you can put larger items in, and rear doors that open to 90-degrees. This makes strapping in your kids a breeze and one reviewer enthused how it saved him from enduring backache.
Boot capacity is a vast 522 litres on five-seater models, meaning the CR-V can rival competitors like the RAV4 (577 litres), the X-Trail (565 litres) and the Tucson (488 litres). On seven-seat models, the capacity drops to 150 litres, which is still enough room for grocery shopping. If you need more capacity, you can drop the seats down and there's 1,084 litres of storage before you reach the level of the windows.
Obviously, as you spend more cash, you get more passenger comforts. Top level models have power adjustable front seats, with heating, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, privacy glass and larger alloy wheels. You'll also enjoy a panoramic sunroof and Honda's "Sensing" driver assistance suite. There are downsides to having such a tricked out car though: you're carrying more weight and will burn additional fuel.
Honda CR-V safety and driver assists
|Vi 2WD||VTi 2WD||VTi-E7 2WD||VTi-S 2WD||VTi-S AWD||VTi-L7 2WD||VTi-LX AWD|
|5-star ANCAP rating||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|2 x ISOFIX anchorages||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Seatbelt reminder for all passengers||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|SRS airbags front||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|SRS airbags side||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|SRS airbags full-length curtain||✔||✔||✖️||✔||✔||✖️||✔|
|Forward collision warning (FCW)||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️||✔|
|Collisionmitigation braking system (CMBS)||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️||✔|
|Lane departure warning (LDW)||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️||✔|
|Lane keep assist system (LKAS)||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️||✔|
|Road departure mitigation system (RDM)||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️||✔|
|Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with low-speed follow (LSF)||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️||✔|
|Anti-lock braking system (ABS)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Agile handling assist system (AHAS)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Emergency stop signal (ESS)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|High-beam support system (HSS)||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️||✔|
|Hill start assist (HSA)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Driver attention monitor (DAM)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Vehicle stability assist (VSA)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Trailer stability assist (TSA)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Front parking sensors||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Rear parking sensors||OPT||OPT||OPT||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Dynamic reversing camera||Fixed||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Honda CR-V interior and comfort features
|Vi 2WD||VTi 2WD||VTi-E7 2WD||VTi-S 2WD||VTi-S AWD||VTi-L7 2WD||VTi-LX AWD|
|Smart keyless entry with push-button start||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Active noise control||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Dual-zone climate control||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Dual rear vents||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Third row AC outlets||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️|
|Electric parking brake (with brake hold function)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Power windows, auto up/down for driver||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✖️|
|Power windows, auto up/down for all passengers||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Rear privacy glass||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Auto-dimming rearview mirror||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Eight-way power adjustable driver's seat||✖️||✖️||✔||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Four-way power adjustable front passenger seat||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Heated front seats||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Two-tone premium fabric||✔||✔||✖️||✔||✔||✖️||✖️|
|5-inch infotainment screen AM/FM||✔||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️|
|7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Garmin sat-nav with traffic||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Honda CR-V exterior styling features
|Vi 2WD||VTi 2WD||VTi-E7 2WD||VTi-S 2WD||VTi-S AWD||VTi-L7 2WD||VTi-LX AWD|
|Hydrophilic door mirror||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Heated door mirrors||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Rain sensing wipers||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Front fog lights||✖️||Halogen||Halogen||Halogen||Halogen||Halogen||LED|
|Wheels||17-inch alloy||17-inch alloy||18-inch alloy||18-inch alloy||18-inch alloy||18-inch alloy||18-inch alloy|
The verdict on the Honda CR-V
Car reviewers found little fault with the Honda CR-V mid-size SUV. You should check one out if you're in the market for a five or seven-seater SUV with plenty of equipment. The VTi-LX AWD is the most expensive of the CR-V models, but it has a lot of tech and gadgets. If anything, the motoring media picked fault with the specs for lower-end models, but the CR-V manages to overcome any deficits with an abundance of practicality and smart design.
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