Review

Honda CR-V SUV

Price  £22,775 - £36,210

Honda CR-V SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Solid build quality
  • Lots of safety features
  • Excellent reliability record
Cons
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Relatively high running costs
  • Big alloy wheels spoil ride quality

At a glance

Our Pick
SE Plus 1.6 i-DTEC 5dr £28,060
The greenest
S 1.6 i-DTEC (2WD) 5dr £23,855
The cheapest
S 2.0 i-VTEC (2WD) 5dr £22,775
The fastest
Black Edition 4WD 1.6 i-DTEC 5dr £31,950
Top of the range
EX 1.6 i-DTEC Honda SENSING Auto 5dr £36,210

"The Honda CR-V is a great family car: it’s well made, comfortable and dependable, while shunning the glitz associated with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3."

It's hard to believe, but the Honda CR-V name has been around for over two decades now. In that time, Honda's compact SUV has established itself as a firm family favourite, with low running costs, a high-quality interior and strong secondhand values making it a credible alternative to more expensive rivals like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.

While the CR-V is available with two or four-wheel-drive, it's predominantly an on-road rather than off-road car. This is in keeping with many of its competitors. Newer cars like the Nissan Qashqai may be more economical, but the nine-speed automatic gearbox and fuel-efficient diesel engine available with the CR-V help it remain competitive.

The CR-V feels spacious inside, with a versatile seating system and a large boot that can be made even larger at the pull of a handle. This allows the rear seats to fold down, creating a flat load floor and giving the CR-V a bigger boot capacity than any other car in the compact SUV class.

Adding to the CR-V's family-friendly credentials is a comprehensive list of safety equipment, such as autonomous braking and an electronic stability programme, which both come as standard. Honda also offers an optional ‘Driver Assistance Safety Pack’; this includes a collision warning system and cross-traffic assistance, which warns you of vehicles approaching from the side. Active cruise control is also available, allowing the CR-V to automatically maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front when cruising.

The Honda CR-V is available with a 153bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine or two 1.6-litre diesels, which offer either 118 or 158bhp. We recommend the less powerful 118bhp diesel, as it provides a good mix of power and economy. The more powerful diesel engine is also only available with four-wheel-drive – an expensive option that few CR-V drivers will need.

Honda fits a six-speed gearbox as standard to the CR-V and there's also a modern nine-speed automatic available. While the CR-V is a comfortable and quiet car that grips the road well, it's not as much fun to drive as the lighter and more agile Mazda CX-5.

CR-V customers have a choice of six trim levels, ranging from S to EX – there are two models with standard sat nav, referred to as Navi. Standard equipment is generous across the CR-V range, with all cars having alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control and DAB digital radio.

Our pick of the range is the SE Navi: the Garmin sat-nav system, rear parking sensors, front foglights and Honda's CONNECT infotainment system make it a more useable car for day-to-day life. While the top-spec CR-V EX comes with a panoramic sunroof and leather seats, specifying a CR-V in this trim makes it almost as expensive as the more desirable Mercedes GLA-Class.

The Honda CR-V should be a reliable and safe car. It finished an impressive 21st out of 200 models in our 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey and a host of standard driver aids such as autonomous braking and hill-start assistance, coupled with a full five stars in Euro NCAP crash-tests, attest to its safety credentials.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.6 / 5

The Honda CR-V is relatively cheap to run, but is outclassed by rivals

Engines, drive & performance

2.8 / 5

The Honda CR-V is more suited to drivers looking for comfort rather than driving precision

Interior & comfort

2.7 / 5

The Honda CR-V dashboard is well built, but some features are a little dated

Practicality & boot space

4.2 / 5

SUV body style makes the Honda CR-V very practical; four-wheel-drive models are good tow cars

Reliability & safety

4.2 / 5

The Honda CR-V is a great example of Honda’s renowned durability and use of safety tech

What the others say

3.5 / 5
based on 2 reviews
4 / 5
"The new Honda CR-V moves the game on considerably from the car it replaces, offering a safe, comfortable and surefooted drive."
3 / 5
"The Honda CR-V gives you masses of space, great versatility and relaxed driving manners. However, there are plenty of other SUVs that offer more equipment and superior refinement for less money."
What owners say 
4.3230337078652
4.3 /5 based on 356 reviews
69%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
18 Feb 2016
Own this car? Leave your review.