What's the used Honda CR-V like?
SUV might stand for ‘sport utility vehicle’, but the third-generation Honda CR-V very much trades the ‘sport’ part of that description for ‘comfort’. Honda engineered its family SUV with an emphasis on cosseting, so gave it comfortable seats and a smooth ride.
Honda also realised that some of its customers might not necessarily need four-wheel drive to tow horseboxes out of muddy fields and would appreciate the reduced fuel consumption this omission would bring. So the CR-V can be had with two-wheel drive – indeed, many of the used examples you’ll find for sale today are so specified.
As you can probably guess, the CR-V was primarily aimed at those who wished to remain on tarmac rather than go rock-crawling. To that end, the CR-V took aim at more road-biased rivals such as the Ford Kuga, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe rather than the Land Rover Freelander.
The CR-V is quite a large car and this is reflected in the interior, which is one of the biggest in the SUV class. The boot is noticeably larger than most of its rivals, except for the five-seat version of the Hyundai Santa Fe (which can also be found in seven-seat form, unlike the CR-V).
The rear seats in the CR-V can also be made to fold flat, although it is let down by the fact that you only get a 60/40 split, whereas the Volvo XC60 and Santa Fe get a more useful 40/20/40 arrangement. The Honda does at least have handles in the boot to drop the rear seats, meaning you don’t have to go into the vehicle to flatten them.
Downsides are mainly focused on the dashboard and infotainment system. If you avoid the S spec CR-Vs and go for the SE, you will get all the equipment you’d expect. It’s just not as easy to use as it is in rivals, blighted by many confusing buttons, screens that should be clearer and long-winded menus.
The CR-V received a refresh for the 2015 model year, which tweaked the look of the car slightly but consisted mostly of a new 1.6 i-DTEC diesel, replacing the old 2.2-litre engine, to provide a useful decrease in fuel consumption and emissions.