Honda CR-V SUV

Price  £22,345 - £35,620

Honda CR-V SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

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

At a glance

Our Pick
SE 1.6 i-DTEC 5dr £27,570
The greenest
S 1.6 i-DTEC (2WD) 5dr £23,400
The cheapest
S 2.0 i-VTEC (2WD) 5dr £22,345
The fastest
SR 1.6 i-DTEC 5dr £30,625
Top of the range
EX 1.6 i-DTEC Honda SENSING Auto 5dr £35,620

"The Honda CR-V is an excellent family car that provides a superb alternative to glitzy German models such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3."

The Honda CR-V is a long-established contender in the compact SUV class. With its classy looks and high-quality interior, it goes head-to-head with other premium models such as the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.

It's available with a choice of two or four-wheel drive, although ultimately it's a car for tarmac rather than anything more challenging. The latest generation of lightweight, car-like SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai may be more economical, but the CR-V's diesel engines and nine-speed automatic gearbox help it close the gap.

The CR-V is a spacious car, with versatile and clever seating. However, its ace card is a large boot that can be made even bigger at the pull of a handle. This tips the rear seats down to create a flat load floor and class-leading boot capacity.

If that weren’t enough to entice family buyers, the CR-V comes with lots of safety equipment as standard, including automatic emergency braking. Meanwhile, options include Honda's ‘Driver Assistance Safety Pack’. This features forward collision warning and cross-traffic assistance, which warns of vehicles approaching from the side. Active cruise control is a feature on some models, too, enabling the car to automatically maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

CR-V power comes from a 2.0-litre petrol engine or one of two 1.6-litre diesels. We prefer the less powerful diesel: it's economical, yet punchy enough for most people's needs. The more powerful diesel is only available with four-wheel drive.

In addition to a six-speed manual gearbox, there's an optional nine-speed automatic. The CR-V is a comfortable and refined car. It's grippy, too, but ultimately not as much fun to drive as the lighter and tauter Mazda CX-5.

There are six trim levels, ranging from S to EX and including two sat nav-equipped versions called Navi. Standard equipment is generous across the range, with alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control and DAB digital radio all thrown in.

Our favourite is the second trim in the line-up, called SE Navi. It adds Garmin navigation, rear parking sensors, front foglights and the Honda CONNECT audio and information system. Beware of the top-spec EX. This trim level brings a full leather interior and a panoramic glass sunroof – but at a price tag that pushes the CR-V squarely into contention with the more desirable Mercedes GLA-Class.

There are few question marks over the Honda CR-V's quality and reliability. Meanwhile, the model was awarded the full five stars for crash safety by Euro NCAP and has a long list of standard safety equipment, including city braking, hill-start assistance and ISOFIX child-seat mounts.

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 CR-V is more suited to drivers looking for comfort over driving precision

Interior & comfort

2.7 / 5

The Honda CR-V's 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 
4.3 /5 based on 352 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
12 Oct 2015
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