As implied before, the exterior design is hardly extreme and unlikely to offend anyone (never a good idea when you want to remain a leader in a segment, why annoy half the buyers). The Touring trim does add a modicum of chrome trim, especially around the lower extremities. Up top are standard roof rails that crossbars can attach to, the lighting is all-LED and the tail lights are mounted high up, long a CR-V trademark.
The starter button is backlit in red and when waiting to be pushed actually slowly pulses color with the red becoming brighter and dimming and then brightening again sort of like E.T.’s heartlight, it definitely made me want to reach my finger out slowly towards it and then press it. (Phoning home came later via Bluetooth). Once pressed, the 1.5liters of heart fired right up and idled smoothly and silently in the best tradition of smaller displacement Honda motors, a characteristic I’d sort of forgotten about lately. The sewing machine cliché is overused in general but in this case absolute accurate.
This engine is turbocharged and produces 190hp@5,600rpm along with 179lb-ft of torque between 2000 and 5000rpm. Pickup from a stop is immediate without noticeable lag, although engine noise while accelerating is a little more evident than ideal. It’s not as if you’d have to shout to be heard above it, but it’s definitely present in the cabin when the accelerator is depressed.
At a steady cruise though it’s silent, and at freeway speeds the main noise is some wind noise over the windshield instead of around the mirrors as usual, the engine at that point is not evident aurally unless pushing the go-pedal harder, although at speed it isn’t as evident as when starting out. At any speed the turbo adds enough air into the chambers when asked to do so in order to effect a strong pull and noticeable speed increase, even at higher elevations and speeds.
Honda has received some unwelcome press regarding an oil dilution issue experienced by some vehicles with this engine when it was introduced (evidenced by a rising oil level due to fuel mixing into it), as a result they extended warranties as they felt appropriate and apparently made some changes, it’d be hard to see them doubling down on extending this engine into the entire range as the standard one if it was a serious ongoing issue. Time though will tell.
Transmission duties are handled by a Continuously Variable Transmission and while this one does generally race to its torque peak and stay there (usually around 3000 or so rpm) when accelerating, if floored it will rev higher than that, but has less of an artificial “shifting” feel than some other CVTs. However it was not as bad as many CVTs in the old days (what, a decade and a half ago?), and in fact with the radio on or a companion talking to you, its action was virtually unnoticeable.
Even if every other noise input was eliminated I’d say the vast majority of drivers/buyers would not find anything off-putting about its characteristics, some of us gearheads might but only since we are kind of pre-conditioned to complain about anything “different”. It’s fine, your spouse or parent or kid would be unlikely to mind or remark on it. And again, the record speaks, buyers don’t shun the CR-V.
The steering is an electric system and, well, the car turns as directed. The suspension is firm yet comfortable, a bump manifests itself as a minor thump and then it’s over, it doesn’t lean excessively or uncomfortably, it steers easy and predictably, and while no racer (obviously), is more engaging than the segment average.
The 19″ wheels and 235/55-19 Continental CrossContact LX Sport tires likely help with this as well, while on the larger diameter side of average there was little tire noise on any surface (surprisingly so, in fact) and steering, stopping and starting were always well controlled.
When I drove this CR-V in the snow earlier this year it was equipped with winter tires and again was very predictable and in fact when driving in a high-speed slalom on a snowy surface, playing with the stability control button produced some interesting effects wherein when off the CR-V would allow lots of fun sliding action but when engaged mid-course then the AWD and ESP systems would move the power around as needed to get it around the cones as desired. And yes, you can hang the tail out in a CR-V (with the right technique and the correct buttons pushed).
There was no snow here last week but plenty of sunny albeit cold weather. When I took the CR-V on some dirt roads the AWD system was clearly FWD-based with the rear engaging once slip was detected. Driving on the highway I likely never had the system engaged beyond perhaps during some harder starts, either way it’s very transparent, nobody though will confuse a CR-V for a rockhopper. The system is best (and perfectly) suited for inclement weather and loose surface conditions.
Over a total of 326 miles last week which included a trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming via the freeway and a return trip a little more inland via county highways that totaled about 120 miles, my usual 150 mile Denver mostly freeway with traffic loop, and then the rest of my travels being mainly in town with maybe another ten miles of freeway duty, the CR-V returned a very good 30.7mpg.
Officially rated at 27city, 32highway, and 29average, that’s right in there. It’s no wonder people are moving on from sedans, 30mpg is excellent even though some vehicles do even better, however the returns diminish quickly at higher levels when you do the math (20mpg to 30mpg is a much bigger difference than 30mpg to 40mpg)
One curiosity regarded the stop-start system, it never stopped the engine for me. Now I have to assume that normally the gas mileage would be even better if the system was doing its thing, however I suspect that this one did not as it may have been set to disable the system at the snow day.
Pretty much all the factory reps had little cheat sheets of ways to override the electronic system defaults in order to do the various things we tried with the cars that day. I specifically recall one of the reps (who shall remain unnamed) going through all sorts of random button pushes and steering wheel turns in a specific order to get it to do something, there is every possibility this was turned off then and never reset.
Normally there is a large button to the right of the shifter that can be pushed to turn it off, but it then just resets at the next start-up. Pressing that button repeatedly did flash a note in the instrument cluster that it was enabled/disabled, however it stayed off (fine with me).
Standard on every CR-V this year is “Honda Sensing”. This is Honda’s main suite of safety tech that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keeping Assist, and Road Departure Mitigation. The Blind Spot system is not part of this (in my opinion it should be) but was also standard on this car as was a Rear Cross Traffic Monitor as well as a Driver Attention Monitor.
Thankfully I didn’t have occasion to need any of these technologies but playing with them did reveal that the Lane Keep Assist was quite strong and frankly I did not care for the way that it seemed to like to follow specific road markings rather than sensing where the actual lane was.
By that I mean that when progressing down a highway with a center divider paint line and the edge of the road paint line, when a right turn exit ramp was added to the mix and the edge of the road line veered right, the CR-V would try to turn the wheel to follow it.
I’d be down with that if I had turned on my right turn signal but not otherwise especially when the paint line to the left of the car progressed straight ahead. It definitely was a stronger pull than in many/most other cars and while I don’t just drive with one finger draped across a steering wheel spoke, I’m also not usually holding the wheel in a rigid death-grip either. After several occasions where this behavior exhibited itself I ended up mostly turning it off, which defeats the purpose.
Now built in Indiana with the engine produced in Ohio I believe it contains around 65% US/Canadian parts content. This particular car was built there, however I was somehow supplied with a Monroney of an identical one with a lower serial number that was built in Alliston, Ontario, Canada.
The base price of the 2020 CR-V Touring as it’s pictured and reviewed here is $34,750 (Honda doesn’t break out the paint and AWD options separately but they added $395 and $1,500 respectively). Destination and Handling adds another $1,095 for a grand total of $35,845.
There really is not much of anything to criticize in the CR-V, it’s simply exceptionally competent at what it does. The CR-V is driven by first-time drivers, students, married couples, young families, single people, retired folks, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, your boss, your employee, your car dealer, your pizza guy, and pretty much any other group of people one could mention. Crossovers may not be all things to all people, however there is no denying that the market loves them and they provide comfort, space, enough power all-weather capability, and easily competitive fuel economy, all at a price that people are apparently very much willing to pay.
It’s not a segment that is likely to diminish in volume anytime soon, and the leaders in the segment are finding ways to improve the offerings further every year. Frankly they’re great and extremely useful, no wonder they are everywhere and the CR-V is one of the best (and has been since it was first introduced). That’s why there’s likely no more than one degree of separation between most of us and someone who drives a CR-V, if in fact we don’t have one ourselves.
A very sincere Thank You to Honda for supplying us this CR-V and a full tank of gas in order to see why it’s so successful in the market!
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Thanks for this review. Yes, these are extremely popular hereabouts. I wonder if I would get hit with that $1000+ “destination and handling” fee at my local dealers, which are perhaps 40 miles from the assembly plant. Probably.
I have mixed feelings on Honda’s direction in powertrains. The small displacement/turbo/CVT seems to be the way everyone is going, and perhaps I would come to love it. My gut tells me that these components are not going to be the long-term trouble-free pieces of yore. But that’s the problem with any new design – we just don’t know, and won’t until we spend years with one ourselves.
We strongly considered a CR-V back in 06, at the very end of the enlarged 2nd gen. I could eventually see ending up in a vehicle of this size class as a good all-around solution.
My one experience with the 1.5T CVT was in a Civic. Impressive acceleration and MPG, but utterly joyless (not that most people care, especially on a CRV), and I do question the longer term durability. Seems that everyone is moving towards maintenance-free but ultimately disposable powertrains, dictated by CAFE. Electric is frankly looking better than ever.
VW has been selling turbocharged engines for a couple of decades now and the reliability has been just fine. The torque off a small turbo transforms how any small car drives. Devices such as shut-down turbo coolers have made the units very reliable.
Similar things were said about overhead valves, power steering and automatic transmissions.
Those 1.5 liter Honda turbos have had some issues. Mainly with oil consumption and blow by. Also many companies are even going with small 4 cylinders and turbos on their bigger 3 row crossovers. Subaru Ascents are that way and they offer a class 3 trailer towing package, up to 5000lbs towing. I’m sure they produce plenty of power, but for how long? Plus most crossovers are built with the idea most owners won’t tow with them.
I’m talking about the overall package: CVT and all. My overall impression based on the last decade or so is that the fuel-pinching tech and cost cutting (CVTs cheaper to manufacture than traditional auto transaxles) is coming home to roost. The quality of these Civics does not impress either. My friend has had some rather “un-Honda-like” build quality issues with his ’17. The large panel gaps, uneven upholstery stitching, all this adds up to a rather poor impression of quality to me.
J P, as Canuck states, turbos really transform the experience. I get plenty of low, lazy torque in my VW, with max torque available at 1600 rpm. Makes it easy to do whatever you want.
The pump for the oil cooler runs after shut down, cooling out any hot spots.
First 10,000 miles, it used oil at a rate of 1 quart per 12,000 miles. At 40,000 it improved to a calculated 1 quart in 16,000 miles. Closing in on 50,000 miles and oil use now almost imperceptible.
I’ve had zero issues.
I saw one litre of consumption in the first 7,000 km, when the first oil change was due. Now there is no oil consumption. This is a good thing as VW has designed the motor to correctly seat the piston rings.
It’s obvious why these have the appeal they do. They certainly do have a lot going for them. For whatever reason the instrument panel layout is really appealing; perhaps it is the sweeping tachometer which allows for more space efficiency.
While I’ve mentioned this before, daughter has three harps, the tallest of which is 6’2″ tall. It’s highly inflexible. She and I have been discussing harp-mobiles and the CR-V is one that has crossed my mind as a potential candidate when the day arrives for acquisition. Thus your reviews are highly helpful. I really like how the rear shelf is adjustable; she will need a flat floor and I can see this feature going a long way toward that.
Lest I be that guy of dissension (aren’t those folks annoying?), I had to wrack my brain for thirty minutes to identify anybody I know who owns a CR-V. I finally identified one person, although I have not see her in two years, thus I don’t know if she still owns it. 🙂 It’s undoubtedly a regional thing as you and I discussed long ago.
I had to rack my brain as well to remember anyone I know that owns a CR-V currently and I did come up with one. I also know someone who had one many years ago.
We’ve had many neighbors with CRV’s but no one whom we know closely has ever owned one. Though I can say the same about Accord and Camry.
Did I miss something? I didn’t read anything about what this was like to drive/How it handled. Or what the turbo and CVT were like at highway speeds.
My CR-V experiences are limited to a 1st generation FWD model, and a 2nd generation AWD model with the somewhat rare manual transmission. The 1st generation car was great, like a slightly bigger Civic while my impression of the 2nd generation model was marred a bit by the extra weight of the AWD hardware and front tires that were trying to go flat.
Of the two, I would eagerly buy a 1st generation but long for that manual transmission that was also available on that generation.
Honda has lost me as a customer, I have owned 4 and driven at least a dozen more, with their switch to the CVT.
“Pickup from a stop is immediate without noticeable lag, although engine noise while accelerating is a little more evident than ideal.”
“At any speed the turbo adds enough air into the chambers when asked to do so in order to effect a strong pull and noticeable speed increase, even at higher elevations and speeds.”
“Transmission duties are handled by a Continuously Variable Transmission and while this one does generally race to its torque peak and stay there (usually around 3000 or so rpm) when accelerating, if floored it will rev higher than that, but has less of an artificial “shifting” feel than some other CVTs. However it was not as bad as many CVTs in the old days (what, a decade and a half ago?), and in fact with the radio on or a companion talking to you, its action was virtually unnoticeable.
Even if every other noise input was eliminated I’d say the vast majority of drivers/buyers would not find anything off-putting about its characteristics, some of us gearheads might but only since we are kind of pre-conditioned to complain about anything “different”. It’s fine, your spouse or parent or kid would be unlikely to mind or remark on it. And again, the record speaks, buyers don’t shun the CR-V.”
“The steering is an electric system and, well, the car turns as directed. The suspension is firm yet comfortable, a bump manifests itself as a minor thump and then it’s over, it doesn’t lean excessively or uncomfortably, it steers easy and predictably, and while no racer (obviously), is more engaging than the segment average.”
“The 19″ wheels and 235/55-19 Continental CrossContact LX Sport tires likely help with this as well, while on the larger diameter side of average there was little tire noise on any surface (surprisingly so, in fact) and steering, stopping and starting were always well controlled.”
Sorry, what I missed was apparently in the test last week?
My cousin is pushing to get me into one of these, her husband has a 4th generation that has nearly 175 thousand miles on it and it has been flawless.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of stories about the Honda 1.5 being a less than perfect engine.
Not sure I understand, sorry, the quotes above were from the second page of this review. Last week I reviewed a pickup truck with an off-road package. I may be totally misunderstanding your question though. The CR-V was generally unremarkable in its operation and that’s to be taken as high praise, the CVT and turbo aspects did not come across as negatives at all when driving and were well-tuned to the vehicle and conditions likely to be encountered, it had plenty of power and responsiveness both in the city and on the highway and did what was expected in a smooth and confident manner with generally more left in reserve, i.e. I wasn’t constantly flooring it, not even close. Same with handling, there was no instance where I felt concerned that it would not corner as desired, of course it is no Corvette in that department but it’s not meant to be. It gripped well and cornered at speeds entirely in keeping with traffic around it. While it would not traverse a curvy road as fast as some regular cars, it also wouldn’t be significantly behind and the actual act of carving around corners didn’t impart a sense of impending doom or any tippyness – assuming one has driven other Crossovers and isn’t coming straight out of something much lower-slung with much wider tires etc.
I’ve seen the stories re the 1.5t as well, in the CR-V for example it was one of two engines offered. Now the other engine (the one without the stories) has been cancelled in favor of this one for every variant. It would seem to me that Honda would be foolish to make this the only engine if they believed it to have ongoing issues. It’s also offered in various other models of theirs, not just this one.
Too bad the current version doesn’t have a manual-transmission version, which would deter the juvenile car thieves in my city.
Beyond my needs and budget but my experiences with the Fit with the same 1.5 in NA form that was my mother’s last car sought me to seek out one of my own. My only complaint with the CVT in Mom’s is that there was no way to disable creep other than shifting into neutral – I would assume auto stop-start would get rid of the annoyance of having to hold the car on the service brake at a stoplight (which can’t be great for the transmission bands).
I sought out a manual transmission when I bought mine and have been well satisfied with that apart from the fact that Honda didn’t take the opportunity to make 6th a really tall cruising gear. Around town I usually drive it like a 4-speed with a skip shift between 3rd and 6th, and use 4th mainly as a hill-climbing gear.
Covid means that the longest road trip I’ve taken was the 100-mile drive home from the out-of-town dealer I bought it from at the end of February, at which point I shifted between 4th, 5th and 6th more often than would otherwise be necessary following break-in advice not to run the engine at too steady a speed for too long.
The largest selling vehicle in my immediate area is the Jeep Renegade. I would like to see a point by point comparison between the Renegade and the CRV. I suspect that aside from lacking the “brave, and adventurous” image and never used additional ground clearance, the CRV considerably exceeds the Renegade in all categories
As it should, it’d a class up from the Renegade. The CR-V starts at $25,350 and the loaded test car seen here runs around $35k. The Renegade starts at $21,395 with current national incentives and can be loaded up to just over $30k. Honda’s direct competitor to the Renegade is the HR-V and Jeep’s to the CR-V is the Cherokee.
My mistake, I meant the “Wrangler, which I believe is considerably more expensive than the CRV.
Ah, I see. The CR-V is in probably the single most competitive segment in the car business today, the Wrangler has had a market to itself for many years and will until Ford starts shipping Broncos next year. That alone likely explains the difference.
Exceeds it including price and size… They aren’t direct competitors, the Jeep Compass and Jeep Cherokee are both larger than the Renegade and sort of split the CR-V although both are smaller inside. Ground clearance difference is about half an inch when comparing AWD models.
Interesting about your sales data, where do you live? The CR-V has outsold the Renegade nationally almost 5:1 since 2015, and likely more if only retail sales are counted.
Honda’s Renegade competitor is more likely the HR-V, one size down.
I live in a near north suburb of Milwaukee. It is not uncommon during a walk to see several in a block, sometimes even next door to one another. No other vehicle comes close in popularity, I could not name the second most popular as all of them are “also rans.”
Japanese vs Italian reliability.
Let’s see how that works out.
CRVs are, indeed, commonplace in my neighborhood. In fact, I can think of several families who own two of them. Not infrequently and older CR-V is passed onto the driving-age kids, while mom or dad get a new one.
I don’t get the opportunity to drive many new cars, but a few years ago, my Odyssey had to go into the dealer for a few days for repairs, and I got a CR-V as a loaner vehicle. This coincided with a week when I had a lot of driving to do, so I was treated to a long-distance test drive. And was glad to drive it, because I was curious why these things are so dang popular.
Like you said, there was “not much of anything to criticize” with my loaner CR-V. Everything worked seamlessly and intuitively — the car was comfortable (though too small for my own needs), and reasonably powerful and decent handling. My kids loved it — asked why, and they said that everything in the CR-V was easy. And I guess that sums up the appeal; it’s a fuss-free car. Not too memorable from my standpoint, but for the average person, it just fits.
In your review, I do like the concept of the variable cargo floor height – I suppose it sort of answers a question that no one asked, but still, I can see it being useful. As for the “Honda Sensing” and its quirks… no thanks.
We drive a base version of one of these. It is a thoroughly pleasant car with few vices. It also is not a car that ignites any passion, whatsoever. It is the automotive version of a smartphone. One owns it (leases it, in our case) for a few years, takes it back for repair if anything goes wrong, counting on Honda and the warranty to cover things, mostly, and fully expects no issues during our tenure. However, subsequent owners and high mileage and age will likely create some ownership nightmares.
The two nits are, one, the engine shutdown at stoplights, easily overridden, though one must override it at the beginning of each drive. The jolt of restarting, and then immediately proceeding along, breaks every car-guy “Danger, Will Robinson” mental circuit every time, as one imagines accelerating under reduced engine oil pressure and also abusing the transmission.
Two is the lane keeping assist, which feels like either a flat tire or a bad suspension or steering bushing, as the steering wheel shakes in your hand. It does discipline one to use his turn signals and make a bit of an extra effort to stay in the lane.
But we all adapt. I override the engine stop, and live with the lane assist. I would call this car the current standard in middle class motoring. The more elemental driving inputs and car feedbacks, and the styling and functional quirks, have all been smoothed away. It makes for a modestly pleasing and dependable driving experience. It also helps me to understand why younger people have no passion for driving anymore, and equate driving more with things like brushing their teeth.
Very on-point review Dutch. These cars are in many ways better than ever, especially to the average consumer who wants an easy to use efficient appliance type experience like they do from their phone. And in a applicable extension of the comparison, they’re happy to get 5-6ish years out of their nice new car and they’re onto the next one. But it’s hard to get excited about any of this.
Spot-on: my mother drives a ’17 much like this one, and my sister drives the ’13 she bought from Mom. They’re boring, but more comfortable and efficient than my Subaru. The exhaust note is almost diesel-like, and the CVT is pretty much unnoticeable in normal driving.
My sister is still driving her gen1, because the newer ones didn’t offer a manual.
So Jim, if it came down to a CRV and RAV4, which would you give the nod to?
I’ll punt a bit but I think I’d need to look at both of their Hybrid offerings first, neither of which I have driven but is probably what I would choose from in their respective model ranges. The Plug-in capability of the new RAV4 Prime I think will win it a lot of fans if they can keep the volumes up and the price down.
Honda has plenty of electric capability, they’ve done (and offer) enough Hybrids over the last two decades and the Clarity in its various forms is interesting along with the not for U.S. Honda-E. It’s a little surprising that the CR-V is just now getting a Hybrid option. It bears mentioning that as big as Honda seems to us over here, they are nowhere near Toyota’s size worldwide and even in Japan they don’t seem nearly as common as Toyotas.
From an aesthetics standpoint I personally prefer the most recent RAV4 in certain trims (which is newer than the current CR-V), however that’s extremely subjective and the CR-V isn’t ugly either and manages to look more “put-together” and less budgety in its more basic trims than the RAV4.
But I wasn’t fond of how the CR-V tried to control where I was in the traffic lane as I discussed.
With the RAV4 being #1 and the CR-V being #2 in the segment there isn’t anything that overwhelmingly would decide it. I’m a fan of turbos and am not scared of CVTs – I also haven’t been burned by either to date. The RAV4 is perhaps slightly better “off”-road, and I liked the lockable differential (unlocks at 25mph) that my own 2011 RAV4 had in deep snow. For general everyday usage though? I’d look at both, drive them back to back and see what the dealer could work out…the differences come down to the individual’s preference that is shopping for them.
For both RAV4 and CR-V, I’d only consider the hybrid versions.
I prefer RAV4 hybrid’s electric rear axle over CR-V hybrid’s mechanical AWD.
Electric rear axle minimizes parasitic loss in FWD mode, and should need less maintenance (no viscous coupling or clutch pack).
Honda’s done well with this vehicle for the entirety of its lifespan, and this generation is remarkably competitive for something at the end of its run. The long term record of this 1.5 will indeed be interesting to watch. If they pull off traditional levels of Honda engine durability, it will go down as an impressive engine given the power and economy.
Petrichor, fairly unrelated but thought you’d find it interesting: there are increasing rumblings (no pun intended) about Toyota U760E transmissions, that go beyond the Torque converter issues that warranted extended warranties on the ’12-’14 cars with the aggressive Flex-Lock issues.
Specifically the use of pulse width modulation for pressure control causing excessive wear on valve bores.
The fact that Sonnax (big name in transmission rebuild kits) has seen fit to release a comprehensive rebuild/update kit for these things is telling.
I reason I bring this up because my brother got a ’15 Camry in his shop with a toasted transmission at 125k miles.
Toyota makes fluid replacement in them a real pain in the ass which doesn’t help things. Ironically enough, the Hybrid models have a very simple drain and fill procedure.
I’m afraid I’ve implemented a policy of Good News Only for the rest of 2020, gtem.
I’m no mechanic, but most of the weaknesses in that article seem to be sourced in aggressive fuel economy programming.
I tend to drive in town in Manual 4 to lockout 5 and 6 and prevent the engine loafing and trans shifting up and down with every light throttle application. I’m also planning on 60K fluid changes, though perhaps more frequent is warranted. Beyond that I’ll just pray with the proverbial rosary beads and hope the occurrence rate is low. Thanks for the info, I saved the linked website.
It’s super frustrating when its this silly incremental MPG-chasing that dooms otherwise perfectly good hardware, or when this stuff is coming from a company that makes rock solid automatic transaxles (the old 4spds in the 4cyl/V6 cars live to 300-400k+ with just a few simple “spill and fill” fluid changes done here and there. The fluid change on these 6spds needs some McGuyver-ish factory fluid level checking accessory and a scanner to confirm trans-temp I believe. Completely silly and unnecessary over-complication on what they would rather you think of as a “sealed” “lifetime fluid” transmission. And I’m sorry to be the bearer of worry-wort transmission news, to you, a guy who ran screaming to trusty old Toyota from a CVT Nissan.
My wife has had a 2018 CR-V EX-L for 2.5 years. Great cargo room, uncomfortable seats, decent acceleration, self-diluting engine oil, good fuel economy, noisy on the highway. That sums up my experience.
It used to be kind of cute – but now it is just really ugly.
These things are everywhere on Canada’s Wet Coast, our cars coming from Alliston.
Not everyone is a gear-head and probably 90% of the motoring public. The CRV is designed for that 90% who want a comfortable, reliable and spacious car for their families. G forces don’t factor in. Same goes for the CVT: that same 90% of customers won’t care. I know why: I have driven quite a few CVTs and they work just fine except for blasting through the Rockies. I may add that I am the only person I know who regularly blasts through the Rockies.
I had a 1984 Honda 500 Interceptor. On its first service, I came back and found a new engine in it. Honda did the same thing on the 1.5 turbo engines.
Turbos are the way to go. The EA888 in my Golf is a real romper-stomper that can cruise at 110 km/h and get 4.6L/100km fuel consumption. The torque is absolutely a blast and makes the car very punchy in normal driving.
Problems in over two years of driving? Zero.
Consumer Reports is not as kind regarding the engine problems that have plagued the recent model CR-Vs. However, Honda has extended the warranty in response to these problems.
I drove a a recent model CR-V. The CVT does a reasonable impression of a conventional automatic with convincing fake shift points. The engine does tend to drone like other CVT equipped vehicles though.
In a vacuum the CR-V would be a good car, the problem is the RAV4 can do everything the CR-V can with less problems and better drivreability.
Great review and thanks for this Jim. My wife really wants one of these, so this information is very helpful.
Personally, for her needs, and her desire for simplicity, I think an HR-V is enough vehicle for her to replace her aging Lancer, but happy wife and all that….
For those complaining of the thinning oil with these 1.5T(s), I have an early one (2016 Civic EX-T Coupe), and (he says as he knocks the wood on his desk) I have never had such a problem with my car. I have nearly 69K on the Civic now. I am regular with the oil changes, and have not encountered this problem. Now with that said, I am keeping a very close eye on that oil level between oil changes. I have heard that this issue is more of a problem for folks that only go short distances in their car, and mine is used as a DD and goes 34 miles on mostly the highway before it is shut down. That is plenty of time to warm it up.
@ Jason: The instrument panel with the tach over the digital speedometer is a very cool thing, and one I like very much. Pictured below is the one from the Civic.
To ALL Automotive writers that complained about the lack of a volume knob… here’s what I have to say… Whaaaaaa. Suck it up guys! – But alas, Honda caved. My car does not have one. Subsequent years did have a volume knob. You get used to it! I use the touch sensitive one on the steering wheel anyway. I got used to this the same way I got used to my ’79 Futura’s “Horn-on-the-Turn-Signal-Stalk”. Everyone hated that. It took less than a week to get used to that feature. Now when I drive my Mustang, I am looking for a steering wheel control for the volume. Again, it’s all in what you get used to, and not a big deal.
Regarding the CVT: The one in these cars is excellent. I hated these things too after driving my wife’s 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer. The 2016 Civic (presumably the same one as the CR-V since these cars are on the same platform believe it or not) is a whole ‘nother animal. What was your comment Jim? That was a decade and a half ago when they sucked? or something like that? ;o)
And as to the Nanny(s): I thank God every day that I don’t have them. My Civic came with a really cool camera on the right side mirror for lane changes and that’s it. I’ll do my own driving thanks. I must’ve gotten lucky, as I think subsequent Civics did not come with this camera which comes on automatically with the right turn signal. Instead, they yank you back into your lane, if I am understanding this correctly.
Oh, and just stop with the stop/start already? Does it REALLY save that much fuel to justify burning up a starter motor prematurely? Thankfully my car does not have such a thing. When I cross shopped a Cruise back when I bought my car, THIS feature (and the high pressure sales tactics at the Chevy dealer) killed any chance of me buying that car. If this can’t be permanently disabled, then I’ll look elsewhere for a car for my wife. End Rant.
Most likely, we would be getting a CR-V a few notches down from the high end Touring, although the Hybrid intrigues me, if anything, just to get the non-Turbo engine since my wife drives really short distances. Of course, I suspect that Honda has worked out the whole oil mixing with the gas problem, but time will tell on that. For my Civic, it’s 69K and counting with the affected engine. Fingers crosses as they say.
Oh, and Jim: The overused sewing machine cliché is very appropriate here. I feel the same way. This engine is very smooth, even at higher RPM(s).
I’m not likely to buy one though.
We have had a ’10 CRV and while it’s been generally good there are a few annoyances and one real issue. The foam in some of the seats broke down pretty quickly – the bolster on the front passenger side cushion is literally gone, just some floppy fabric left. The chrome on the H on the steering wheel rubbed off after just a year, and one of the vents lost its handle quickly. And the driver’s visor failed and drooped int the line of view. (Oddly, everything else still looks nice and works.) The mileage around town is atrocious. But the killer is – at 100k miles, rigorously maintained – it’s burning oil at a quart every 500 or less miles. Apparently we’re not the only ones with the problem, probably the rings (but out of warranty of course.)
There was a warranty extension specifically for your oil burning issue on that year CR-V according to Consumer Reports. If this is something that was documented and serviced at a dealer it may be worth looking into. The limit was 8yrs and 125k miles but you didn’t say when it started getting bad or if your dealer knew about it within the time limit…
Could be wrong but I think the warranty extension only applies to 2017 and above CR-Vs.
It’s a different action, I’m quoting from a 2015 publication date specifically regarding the third generation CR-V, not the current one.
It seems that industry-wide, the 2008-2010 timeframe had a LOT of oil burning issues crop up, even in established engines that had been around (both Honda’s ubiquitous and rock solid K24 like in your CRV, Toyota’s 2.4 as well, VAG 2.0Ts, BMWs, GM 2.4s, etc). There was a move to “low tension” oil retention piston rings in this time frame (another “fabulous” piece of fuel-saving tech), presumably there are just a few suppliers of these rings serving the entire automotive industry.
Great review Jim. In the upper $30’s range though, this should have ventilated seats. RAV4 Limited has them available.
Jim, fantastic write-up!
My employer owns the 2019 base model CR-V. While driving at highway speeds, I notice moderate-to-excessive tire and rear cabin noise. Did you experience the same or was road noise generally dampened, due to upgraded tires in the higher trim level models?
Thanks! Tire noise was surprisingly good on mine to the point that I was, well, surprised at how low it was. Note that it is *possible* that the Touring model gets more sound deadening, but whether it was the tires or sound deadening it was good. Tires were also quite new, the CR-V had just over 4000 miles on it and I’d guess that almost half of those miles had been done with winter tires on it. Tires often get louder as they get older/have more miles on them (as you likely know).
Robert, my wife’s 2018 EX-L CR-V is noisy on the highway too.
The last time I drove the vehicle, she must have had under 20k miles….all on the originally outfitted tires (no winter tires here in Alabama!). I think the lack of road noise on your loaner must be attributed to higher-end tires on the Touring model.
We just joyfully parted ways with our 21 CRV Touring and couldn’t be happier. To be fair, yes it’sa very well engineered vehicle with typical terrific Honda fit.
But after owning 65 vehicles, I must say I hated the way the Honda drove in every way. Safety features (collision detection systems) have a place no doubt. But I found that this system was simply putting me at more risk. For example, I was in the middle pan, the car to my left was over in the turn lane and the car to my right was turning right. I’d say my front fenders were equal with their rear fenders when all of the sudden my car applies the brakes hard and nearly caused me to be rear ended. Nope. I’ll happily drive my 22 Silverado with no safety features. Better still, my 1976 Lincoln