Honda CR-V review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid
Available colours:
Honda CR-V 2019 infotainment
Add to shortlist
  • Honda CR-V 2019 front right tracking shot
  • Honda CR-V 2019 rear left tracking shot
  • Honda CR-V 2019 RHD interior
  • Honda CR-V 2019 rear seats
  • Honda CR-V 2019 infotainment
  • Honda CR-V RHD front seats
  • Honda CR-V 2019 front right tracking
  • Honda CR-V 2019 front left tracking
  • Honda CR-V 2019 left panning shot
  • Honda CR-V 2019 boot open
  • Honda CR-V 2019 front right tracking shot
  • Honda CR-V 2019 rear left tracking shot
  • Honda CR-V 2019 RHD interior
  • Honda CR-V 2019 rear seats
  • Honda CR-V 2019 infotainment
  • Honda CR-V RHD front seats
  • Honda CR-V 2019 front right tracking
  • Honda CR-V 2019 front left tracking
  • Honda CR-V 2019 left panning shot
  • Honda CR-V 2019 boot open
RRP £30,880What Car? Target Price from£28,532
Share review

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

If you simply look at its list price, the CR-V seems rather expensive compared with the Citroën C5 Aircross and Mazda CX-5. They will be better bets if you want the lowest cash buy, but compared with other models, like the Kia Sorento, the CR-V is very competitively priced. The Hybrid has strong resale values, too, although not as strong as the RAV4 Hybrid's. 

We've seen around 33mpg average from 1.5 VTEC Turbo CVT automatic, which backs up its WLTP official economy. That's nothing special, though, when you consider that even the bigger-engined Mazda CX-5 2.0 165 auto managed 36.3mpg in our test.

It's another reason why we prefer the 2.0 i-MMD Hybrid. In its real-world test it managed over 45mpg, which is hugely impressive and makes it a genuine alternative for diesel. On the same day, the Kia Sorento Hybrid averaged 38mpg and the Land Rover Discovery Sport P200 mild hybrid 25mpg. The CR-V’s CO2 emissions aren’t particularly low, mind, so, if you're a company car driver, we'd advise a plug-in hybrid like the Ford Kuga. That'll massively cut your benefit-in-kind tax bill. 

Equipment, options and extras

The CR-V range opens with S trim, which comes with a decent amount of kit including 17in wheels, auto lights and adaptive cruise control, plus all the safety features and visibility aids we've already covered.

We’d recommend you spend a bit more for SE trim, which adds the infotainment upgrades we've mentioned (Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto and a 7.0in screen to name two), as well as the extra parking aids. You also get dual-zone climate control, 18in alloy wheels, privacy glass, auto wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. 

Going for the pricier SR adds leather seats, heated front seats, ambient lighting and keyless entry, while the top-of-the-range EX features 19in alloy wheels, a powered tailgate, a heated steering wheel and a head-up display. These upgrades really push you up the price list, though, which is why we say stick with SE.

Honda CR-V 2019 infotainment

Reliability

If you're looking for a dependable car then, according to our 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey complied using data from our readers, you will be happy with the CR-V. In the Large SUV class the only rival that finished higher was the Toyota RAV4.

At the manufacturer level, Honda did well, too. It finished in eight place out of 31, which was behind Toyota, Skoda, Hyundai and Kia, but above everyone else. Land Rover was in last place; if you are looking at the Discovery Sport that's worth a thought. 

Honda’s default warranty is three years/90,000-miles, including breakdown assistance.

Safety and security

Honda proclaimed confidently when the current CR-V was launched that it would achieve a top five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and indeed it did. However, if you drill into the individual category scores they are generally good but the Toyota RAV4 is better – the CR-V had issues regarding whiplash protection for adults in the back seats and child protections wasn't up with the best, either.

Automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, e-Call emergency response and lane-keeping assistance are all standard on the CR-V. Further up the range, SR trim gets you blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert – to warn you of approaching vehicles when you're reversing.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

 

Overview

Ignore the seven-seat version, because there are much better seven-seat large SUVs like the Kia Sorento. However, in fie-seat form and with the hybrid engine the Honda CR-V is a very recommendable car. It's really economical, very roomy for passengers and luggage, comfortable and decent to drive. Reliability is also a strong point, but make sure you get a good discount to bring the price down.

  • Vast passenger and boot space (five-seat models)
  • Economical Hybrid model
  • Comfortable ride
  • CVT gearbox sends the engine racing
  • Poor infotainment system
  • Seven-seat versions hard to justify over rivals

Also consider

Mazda CX-5

2020 - present

Smart, well-equipped and handles well for a large SUV

Mitsubishi Outlander

2019 - present

The Mitsubishi Outlander wins no prizes for refinement or inte...

Peugeot 5008

2020 - present

Stylish, practical and good to drive – one of the best se...

Renault Koleos

2019 - present

The Koleos is stylish and well equipped, but it’s not as spaci...