Honda CR-V SUV
Price £22,000 - £36,200
- Practical interior
- Very comfortable
- Great build quality
- Five-seater only
- Expensive to buy
- Not a proper off-roader
At a glance
“Well-built, safe and spacious, the Honda CR-V is a reliable, comfortable SUV.”
The Honda CR-V is a road-biased SUV that is better suited to driving on road than off it. The car has good looks and a classy interior that gets Honda's legendary build quality and lots of equipment to make it a rival for cars such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.
The interior of the CR-V is spacious, with a big boot, and also has rear seats that fold completely flat at the pull of a handle to offer a flat load area.
The Honda CR-V can be had with a 1.6-litre diesel and a 2.0-litre petrol, but the larger 2.2-litre diesel is the best engine to go for if you want a decent mix of economy and performance. Honda also offers a five-speed automatic gearbox as well as the standard six-speed manual.
The range starts with the basic S model, moves up to SE trim (which has all the equipment you could ever need), while the SR model gets a leather interior, and the range-topping EX has a level of equipment to rival an executive saloon.
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MPG, running costs & CO2
Petrol-engined models are significantly more expensive to run
The most economical Honda CR-V is the two-wheel drive 1.6-litre diesel, which can return 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions that mean road tax will cost £30 per year. The petrol engine can be had for almost the same price as the smaller diesel, and is slightly quicker, but is also more expensive to run, with economy of up to 38.2mpg and CO2 emissions of up 177g/km, which mean road tax will cost £225.
If you want to have cheap running costs and reasonable performance, the 2.2-litre diesel is the engine to go for. It is actually faster than the petrol, but can also get 50.4mpg and is cheaper to tax than the petrol at £180 per year.
Engines, drive & performance
The CR-V has good visibility and handles corners safely
While the CR-V can be fitted with four-wheel drive for increased grip levels, it has been designed to drive well on-road, rather than off it. The result is that the CR-V feels like a normal car rather than an SUV to drive, with suspension that absorbs the worst of the bumps but also manages to stop body lean in the corners.
Performance between the 1.6-litre diesel and the 2.0-litre petrol is closely matched, with the petrol being only slightly quicker from a standstill to 60mph. Both the 2.0-litre petrol and the 2.2-litre diesel can be fitted with the firm’s automatic gearbox, although we would avoid choosing it because it makes the CR-V feel significantly slower than it does with the manual.
Interior & comfort
The CR-V interior is comfortable, with plenty of space for five
The new Honda CR-V is much quieter than the car it replaced in 2007, and all models should prove to be more relaxing on the motorway. Getting up to speed, though, the 1.6-litre diesel can be a bit noisy. The new model also gets revised suspension, which does a better job of absorbing bumps on the road than the old car’s set up.
Compared to the old model, the new CR-V uses higher-quality plastics to make for a much more pleasant interior. High spec models also get a panoramic sunroof, a leather interior, and useful devices such as an electrically closing boot lid.
Practicality & boot space
A large boot and increased passenger space make it better than before
The Honda CR-V has an extremely spacious cabin, which can comfortably sit five people, while a flat floor in the back means there is plenty of rear legroom. The rear doors open very wide too, meaning there’s also excellent access to the back seats. Plenty of adjustment for the steering wheel and driver’s seat mean it should also be easy to get comfortable behind the wheel.
All CR-Vs get 60:40 split rears seats and, when they are up, the boot is a decent 589 litres in size. Drop them down – something you do by simply pulling a leaver on either side of the boot – and capacity grows to 1,648 litres.
Reliability & safety
Honda has fitted the CR-V with plenty of safety equipment
Honda’s reputation for reliability means that it’s often seen as a cut above models from Ford and other mainstream competitors, which seems to be justified when you take account of our 2013 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. In it, the public rated Honda sixth out of 32 manufactures – finishing ahead of companies such as BMW, Mercedes, and Audi, not to mention Ford. The Honda CR-V, meanwhile, came a respectable 31st out of 150 cars in our model rankings.
Safety is another strong point for the CR-V and the model got five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP. All versions get six airbags, electronic stability control, and seatbelt reminder buzzers.
Price, value for money & options
The CR-V has a high price, but lots of equipment is included
The Honda CRV costs more than rivals from manufacturers such as Ford, Kia and Hyundai, but should hold its value better than all of them.
The basic S model gets kit including climate control, cruise control and a DIGITAL radio. SE models add to that list with automatic wipers and lights, and a reversing camera, while SR models get leather seats and a premium stereo. Go for the top-of-the-range XT and boxes ticked on the list of standard equipment include electric seats, keyless start and go, an electrically operated tail gate, and a panoramic sunroof.