It is hard to be objective when labeling a particular vehicle as the best among its class. A car can be the most impressive in acceleration but may not be as good in terms of economy. One definite way of evaluating a car’s versatility is how well it sells.
The Honda CR-V has consistently been on the list of the world’s best-selling SUVs for years now. In 2018, it ranked third in the U.S market, and the following year, in 2019, it ended up as the second best-selling SUV in the world selling a total of 831,000 units. Even though it did not bag the number one spot in 2019, its sales still increased by 14 percent from the previous year. In a span of five years, Honda is able to sell over 3.5 million units of CR-V by 2018. Why is Honda CR-V such a hit to consumers?
The Honda CRV is very popular and is usually at the top of the compact SUV class. Among the reasons that draw consumers to this Honda SUV are the size and design. Driving it feels more like a car than an SUV. It is considered an ideal crossover which offers a lot of features such as a spacious interior to provide more comfort for passengers. It also has smart configuration for cargo so owners can get a lot of room for groceries, hockey bags, even bikes.
It also does not disappoint when it comes to performance. The Honda CRV delivers a pleasant ride in many ways. The 2019 model has a four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission, which makes it smooth and reliable. It is also known for capable steering and impressive brake response, making it a champion for drivers who commute.
Moreover, Honda SUVs are popular for its fuel-efficient design, which makes the Honda CRV at the forefront among its class. It has a best-in-class fuel efficiency, which is definitely a plus considering the ever-increasing price of fuel. Another attractive feature is its technological features. The 2019 model, for example, comes with a built-in GPS, a Display Audio System with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a blind spot info system.
What Makes Honda CR-V the Best Compact SUV
The Honda CR-V is no doubt a great compact SUV. It has a lot to offer—great fuel economy, comfortable ride, a nice cabin with lots of room for people and their things. It is no wonder why it’s been one of the best-selling SUVs for a decade now. It is also ranked as the number 1 compact SUV in car review websites.
If you want a compact crossover SUV, the Honda CR-V is a good choice. It is fuel-efficient, comfortable, and practical. It has everything you would want in a small family vehicle. The latest Honda CR-V available in the market, the 2020 model year, and it also offers plenty of attractive features. For 2020, Honda made some changes on the exterior styling and no longer offers the 184-horsepower base engine from the lineup, which leaves the turbocharged engine as the only power plant.
The Honda Sensing, the automaker’s exclusive suite of safety and driver-assistant technologies, which has adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, is now included with the entry-level trim. Before, it was only standard in upper trims.
Honda refreshed the CR-V for the 2017 model year, so a molder older than 2017 is notably different from the latest model. To understand why Honda CR-V is a smash hit, let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
Interior of the Honda CR-V
The CR-V can accommodate five people in two rows and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and power-adjustable front seats are also available. You can also opt for a heated steering wheel and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
One of the things that makes the Honda CR-V stand out is the fact that it is one of the most spacious compact crossovers, having a generous amount of headroom and legroom in both rows. Their seats are also supportive.
For child safety, the CR-V has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the back outboard seats. The back middle seat has a single tether and one lower anchor. There’s an additional anchor that you can borrow from the driver’s side. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the CR-V’s LATCH system the 2nd highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The lower anchors are not hard to find but you would need a considerable force so you can attach the car seat straps. You can also easily confuse the tether anchors for other hardware on the back of the seats.
But when it comes to quality, the CR-V is top-notch with its luxurious, sophisticated cabin with premium materials, such as faux wood accents in upper trims.
The cargo capacity of the CR-V is 39.2 cubic feet of space behind the second row (37.6 in the Touring). When you fold down the seats on the second row, it expands to a great 75.8 cubic feet at the back of the front seats. These are impressive figures for the small SUV class.
CR-V Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
The Honda CR-V has a standard 5.0-inch infotainment display, a four-speaker stereo, a USB port, and Bluetooth. There are more features available including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a stereo with six, eight, or nine speakers, a 7.0-inch touch screen, a navigation system, a moonroof, wireless device charging, HD Radio, satellite radio, and additional USB ports. There’s a volume knob, however, there aren’t any physical controls for on-screen infotainment settings and the touch screen’s input response time can be slow. While a few buttons are there on the steering wheel for some common functions, it still doesn’t make the touch screen any easier to use.
The 2020 Honda CR-V’s engine is robust. Honda dropped one of the CR-V’s powertrain lineup from the previous year model. They stick with one, a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine now comes standard with 190 hp and 176 lb-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) also comes standard.
You may find the engine mumble when subjected to heavy acceleration, but the CVT is smoother than what its competitors have. The CR-V’s turbo-four engine produces lots of power and helps this SUV accelerate quickly enough for most needs.
The crossover earns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Trims with AWD earn 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Those are great numbers for a nonhybrid small SUV.
Ride and Handling
The Honda CR-V may not handle with the same sportiness as the Mazda CX-5 or the Ford Escape, but it offers a balanced ride with responsive steering and minimal body lean. On top of that, it provides a comfortable ride as well, all credited to a suspension that does a good job of handling flaws on the road. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available as an option.
Reliability and Warranty
J.D. Power gives the 2020 Honda CR-V a moderately above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.
Crash Test Results
The 2020 CR-V was given an overall rating of five out of five stars by the National Highway Traffic on its crash evaluation. It also got five stars in the frontal and side crash assessments and 4 stars in the rollover evaluation.
The vehicle also did well in tests done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2020 CR-V got the highest score of Good in 6 crash tests, and models that have standard driver assistance features earned the highest mark of Superior for how well they prevent a forward collision. However, the CR-V’s headlights only got a Marginal rating (second-lowest rating) for forward visibility.
CR-V Safety Features
An automatic high-beam headlights and a rearview camera come standard. The Honda Sensing is also a standard feature. This Honda exclusive safety suite bundles together adaptive cruise control, a collision mitigation braking system, lane keep assist, road departure warning, and traffic sign recognition.
Now that you know what features Honda CR-V has that makes it desirable, it’s time to take a look which trim model is right for you.
The 2020 Honda CR-V comes in four trim levels, namely, LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. All models are equipped with a turbo-charged four-cylinder engine. Honda also now has a brand new CR-V hybrid.
The entry-level trim has a myriad of standard safety features, but is lacking when it comes to tech. You would need to upgrade to the EX trim or higher if you want to have a touch screen or a smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Front and rear parking sensors are available as an option across all trim levels and it would cost you $514, and if you want to opt for an all-wheel drive you would need to spend $1,500 more.
Honda CR-V LX
The base trim CR-V LX pricing starts at $25,050. It comes standard with a 5-inch infotainment screen, automatic climate control, a four-speaker stereo, a USB, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, Honda Sensing suite of safety features and high-beam headlights.
Honda CR-V EX
This trim level has an MSRP of $27,650 and gets a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a dual zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, satellite radio, heated front seats, a six-speaker stereo, proximity keyless entry, blind spot monitoring, moonroof, two second-row USB ports, and rear cross traffic alert. A heated steering is available as an option for $500.
Honda CR-V EX-L
The EX-L trim’s pricing starts at $30,050. It gains a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-trimmed seats, a power liftgate, power-adjustable front seats, an auto dimming rearview mirror, and an eight speaker stereo. You can also get a hands-free liftgate at an additional cost of $390. The heated steering wheel is also available as an option.
Honda CR-V Touring
The top-of-the-line Touring trim costs $33,250. It has a satellite-linked navigation system, a nine-speaker stereo, wireless device charging and rain-sensing windshield wipers. It also has all the available options of the EX-L trim.
The 2020 Honda CR-V is definitely one of the best compact SUVs out there. It is no wonder the Honda CR-V continues to do well in sales for years. It has ample cargo space, roomy seats plus an opulent cabin. To add to its appeal, it is able to offer a good balance of comfort and agility and it accelerates swiftly enough for most needs. The only downer is its infotainment controls, but it is not that bad to take away this SUV’s charm.
Aside from the 2020 model, one of the Honda CR-V’s main selling points, as a family vehicle, has always been its interior space. The 2020 model has only slightly bigger exterior dimensions but due to its best-in-class space efficiency, it has a much larger interior, making a seven-seat version now available.
The latest available CR-V has a wide, deep boot that has a longer bay than previous models, accommodating a 19.5in frame mountain bike. On top of that, it comes with clever features designed to make CR-V easier to use, like an electric tailgate with a height-setting function that can prevent it from opening into low ceilings. The center console is divided into 3 areas and the second-row seat backs can be folded in one action to make loading quicker and easier.
Family vehicles also need to be safe and thanks to the Honda Sensing safety systems, the CR-V is equipped with lane departure warning, a collision mitigation braking system, intelligent adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist. The CR-V also prioritizes connectivity which is a main consideration these days. It supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that link smartphones to the Honda Connect infotainment system.