If you like your crossover to have lots of space and great gas mileage no matter which version you buy, the Honda CR-V might be for you. But what about if you want a crossover that is fun to drive? We take a look at the 2013 Honda CR-V and see how it stacks up against the new competition in our latest video road test.
The CR-V has always played it safe when it comes to exterior styling, and this new model is no different. The latest version does clean up some of the odd lines of the last version, and at the rear, there's a more interesting taper that preserves all the cargo space of the previous generation.
The CR-V's interior has changed more, and for the better. The dash is attractive and the controls are straightforward. Up close, some of the details feel a little budget-minded.
The only engine available in the CR-V is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 185 horsepower. The power is sent to either the front, or all four wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission.
The CR-V earns some of the best gas mileage ratings in the class, at 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Opting for all-wheel drive will knock both ratings down one mpg to 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Elsewhere in the real world, the CR-V can be a letdown compared to the exciting new 2013 Ford Escape. The real letdown here is the electric power steering, which isn't as nicely weighted as the previous CR-V. We noticed it requires frequent, small adjustments during normal driving.
The CR-V's best touch is its folding rear seat. A simple pull of a strap releases the lower seat cushion, and folds down the seat back, making a large, completely flat load floor. In that configuration the CR-V has an ample 70.9 cubic feet of cargo space, a few cubic feet more than the new Escape. Honda has also dropped the cargo floor and liftover height, making loading large items in the back even simpler than before.
The CR-V has the best crash-test ratings in its class. NHTSA gave it five stars overall and the IIHS gave it top scores as well, along with naming it a Top Safety Pick.
The new Honda CR-V starts from just over $22,000, and includes Bluetooth with streaming audio. For features like navigation and satellite radio, you'll have to move up to the EX-L, at about $29,000. This CR-V EX-L has a price tag of just over $31,000, and includes those features, plus leather-trimmed seats.
So what's the bottom line with the 2013 Honda CR-V? It hits all the right marks for cost-conscious families. The interior layout and safety ratings are both best-in-class. And while it doesn't feel as sprightly as former CR-V models, it's a great choice for those who put space and comfort high on their shopping list.