2020 Honda CR-V
This vehicle was once the best-selling SUV in the USA. As of the end of 2019, the Honda CR-V was the fifth best-selling vehicle in the USA. This strong seller continues to attract consumers, even in a down year.
We were curious how the Honda CR-V became very popular with a wide variety of consumers. We brought in a 2020 Touring model with all-wheel-drive to see for ourselves.
Honda created a distinctive design for the CR-V that does not borrow from any Honda – or, any SUV. The front end comprise of a black-and-chrome grille, LED lighting and a deep lower fascia. The overall silhouette appears to be chunky, but full of purposeful lines heading towards the rear. The glasshouse sits on a high beltline and stretches past the c-pillar to a narrow space between third side glass to the liftgate.
The liftgate area is framed by a pair of high mounted taillights cascading down along the roofline and turning underneath the rear glass. A chrome strip frames the lower edge of that glass. The liftgate opens at bumper height for a huge load area. Additionally, our Touring tester adds roof rails, and a set of 19-inch alloy wheels.
The interior is dictated by Honda’s current design language. The instrument cluster is all digital, with a center screen for most readouts. That screen is flanked by graphical fuel and temperature gauges. The single touch screen sits on top of the center stack that also houses climate controls. Steering wheel controls also include audio, cruise control, information, and heated steering wheel switches. Our tester also had a T-bar transmission lever, instead of the button arrangement now found on most Honda and Acura models these days.
The Touring trim also adds a faux wood trim that accents well against the black upholstery and trim. We found the leather seats to be a bit supportive, with a comfortable cushion and seatbacks that tended to be firm on our Touring tester. The space is very good up front as it is in the second-row. The headroom and legroom are plentiful all around. Cargo space is very generous, starting with 39.2 cubic feet with the rear seat up. Fold the rear seat down, and you have a maximum cargo space of 75.8 cubic feet.
Powering the CR-V Touring tester is a 190 horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 179 pound-feet of torque. This engine is connected to a continuously variable transmission and an all-wheel-drive system. Overall performance is adequate. The CVT does hold back in certain situations, such as passing and acceleration.
In terms of fuel economy, we experienced an average of 28.0 MPG.
Where the CR-V shines is in its ride quality. It is smooth and absorbent over bumpy sections of the road. We also like the braking system, especially the pedal feel, and stopping power in normal and panic situations.
On-center feel of the steering system is also very good and offered a good turning radius. We wished it would feel less numb and a bit more responsive. As for the handling, it feels soft and shows a bit of roll and lean on some corners. As we did some winter testing, we found some issues with the standard tires on slicker surfaces.
Pricing for the Honda CR-V starts from $25,150 for a LX model with front-wheel-drive. Our Touring AWD tester came with a sticker price of $35,845. You can also get the CR-V with a new Hybrid driveline. That vehicle can get up to 40 MPG in the city.
As one of the most popular vehicles sold in America, the CR-V is often cross-shopped with other equally popular vehicles in one of the hottest segments in the business. The CR-V competes with the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Jeep Cherokee, and Volkswagen Tiguan.
After driving this latest version, we understand how the Honda CR-V is a very popular vehicle with consumers. There are plenty of good qualities that are attractive to current owners. It is a very competent vehicle that will continue to sell volumes in the years to come.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors