The Honda CR-V was launched in 1995, and has proved an extremely popular SUV ever since. It has always been designed as a ‘soft-roader’; much more accomplished on the road than on dirt, and has grown in size and weight over the years.
We’re focusing on cars built after 2002 – starting with the second generation, which was available with either a 2.0-litre petrol or 2.2-litre diesel engine. An automatic 'box could be specified with the petrol version and all models were capable of providing four-wheel drive, although only when traction was lost.
The third-generation CR-V was introduced in 2007. It was a completely revised car from the ground up, but the same (albeit improved) two engines remained. This time, though, an automatic gearbox was available on both the petrol and diesel. This car was both bigger and heavier than the previous version, and all were four-wheel drive, making it a popular choice for towing.
In 2012, Honda launched the all-new fourth-generation CR-V. The same 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines feature, but both were revised to improve fuel economy and power. Buyers can specify an auto ‘box with both engines. The petrol is available as a two-wheel-drive model.
Honda has consistently been top in our reliability surveys, and while the CR-V has an impeccable reliability record, there are still a few things to watch out for.
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Honda CR-V ignition problems (2002 -2007 cars)
Some second-generation CR-Vs had issues with their ignition switches. Electrical contacts within the switch could wear prematurely, which would eventually lead to the engine stalling.
Honda CR-V front seat problem (2002-2007 cars)
Second-generation CR-Vs also had a problem with the front seats. Seat anchorage retaining nuts might not have been installed properly. If a collision were to occur the seat might not withstand the force.
Honda CR-V EGR valve problem (2002-2007 cars)
There have been reports of second-generation cars cutting out or losing power. This is usually caused by the exhaust gas recirculation valve. Make sure that it has been replaced.
Honda CR-V fuel leak problem (2007-2012 diesel cars)
Some cars built between November 2009 and January 2010 might have a fuel leak issue. It’s possible that fuel could leak from an injector and fuel return pipe resulting in a loss of power, illumination of warning lights, diesel fuel smell, smoke, or even a fire.
Honda CR-V cruise control problem (2007-2012 cars)
Some cars built between July 2008 and June 2010 have experienced problems with their cruise control. The system can fail to disengage due to faults in the engine management software.
Honda CR-V steering problem (2007-2012 diesel cars)
Some owners have complained that third-generation CR-Vs pull to the left and have steering wheel judder when on full lock. Excessive tyre wear is also a problem. Check all of these points and make sure you’re happy before handing over any cash.
Most of these issues should have been remedied by Honda for free, so make sure the work has been carried out.
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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