2016 Honda CR-V Review

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7.0
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Consumer Reviews
4 Reviews
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The 2016 Honda CR-V has its priorities in the right place, with lots of space and features—but performance takes a back seat.

The Honda CR-V may not be the fastest, best-handling compact crossover SUV on the road, but it excels at the things that matter to families that own it.

Today's CR-V is one of the most spacious vehicles in its class, and one of the more fuel-efficient ones, too. Its safety scores and performance are more mixed, though.

The CR-V's rivals include vehicles such as the Chevy Equinox, the Ford Escape, the Hyundai Tucson, the Toyota RAV4, and the Kia Sportage.

For the 2015 model year, the CR-V was updated with a fresh interior and new front- and rear-end styling that cleaned up its jumbled look considerably. From the outside, the look is more closely tied to the small Fit and HR-V hatchbacks, and to the 2016 Civic sedan, too.

Its appearance is more tidy now, but the CR-V can look bulky, especially from the rear, where Honda masks the tall cargo bay with an upswept, triangular window. It's fine for family duty, but the overall shape lacks the flair and detail of, say, the new Hyundai Tucson.

Inside, the freshened-up cabin wears better plastics and finer graining than it did before the 2015 model year. The functional and simple dashboard serves it well, with climate controls just below audio controls, and an enlarged 7.0-inch touchscreen display for the audio system on all but the base model.

There's just a single powertrain offered on the 2016 CR-V, and straight-line performance is middling. The 2.4-liter inline-4 has direct injection and is coupled to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for very good fuel economy—up to 33 miles per gallon highway. It's neither particularly fast nor sporty, but that's not what hundreds of thousands of buyers a year are looking for, according to Honda's sales stats.

Handling, too, is just average, but it hasn't held the CR-V back. The suspension is tuned for a softer ride over crisper responses, and steering is predictable and not at all aggressive. It's even-handed, not at all sporty—and even the optional all-wheel-drive system is more an all-weather component than a trail-riding companion, like the systems found in the Subaru Forester or the Jeep Renegade.

Where the CR-V puts its best and highest effort is into space and utility. Almost a mid-sizer by raw dimensions, the CR-V has excellent interior space for its overall size, and fits it with one of the most clever folding seats in its class, combined with impressive back-seat comfort and good ride comfort in general. Flipping and folding the back seats is simple: just open one of the back doors, and with one arm and a simple pull of a strap, in a very fluid motion the lower cushion tumbles forward into the footwell, the headrest angles forward, and the rear seatback flips forward, all tucking nearly behind the front seat, to a completely flat position.

Cargo loading is also a snap, as the liftover height is less than 24 inches. And up front, there's a minivan-like selection of cupholders, cubbies, and cargo trays in the redesigned console, including a storage bin stuffed with USB ports, a 12-volt charger, even an HDMI jack.

Safety has always been a selling point for the CR-V, and after a re-test, federal authorities rated the CR-V at five stars overall. Honda recently redesigned the CR-V's front end to accommodate the new small-overlap test performed by the IIHS—which calls the SUV a Top Safety Pick+.

On the safety roster of equipment are the clever LaneWatch camera in the right door mirror; it shows an image of the car's blind spot on the center dash display when the driver signals for a right turn or lane change. It's standard on all but the base LX, while a rearview camera is standard across the board. A host of advanced electronic active-safety systems like adaptive cruise control are available—but only on the Touring edition.

The CR-V keeps pace with the market in terms of connectivity, and it includes a well-rounded feature set. The base LX is a low-volume vehicle, and most buyers will choose the mid-level EX or EX-L models. But if you want extras like a navigation system or satellite radio, you may have to move up two steps beyond the most popular EX model to the EX-L Navi trim—or to the new Touring trim for that safety package.

The EPA rates the CR-V with front-wheel drive at 26 mpg city, 33 highway, 29 combined. Adding all-wheel drive lowers the rating to 25/31/27 mpg, even though the vehicle's all-wheel-drive system fully disengages the rear wheels when cruising to help save fuel.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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April 8, 2017
For 2016 Honda CR-V

I love Honda Cars

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It is very roomy more than the Cadillac. Is very comfortable, pretty inside and out side. Great on gas. Great puck up and stability when driving.
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August 21, 2016
For 2016 Honda CR-V

happy with it

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but for the phone connecctivity everything is ok maybe a little better gas millage!
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June 30, 2016
For 2016 Honda CR-V

Perfect for empty nesters. Much improved over 2012.

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I have no negative things to say. Just happy with whole Pkg. It's an EX-L with Nav. The Nav could be better.
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June 16, 2016
2016 Honda CR-V AWD 5-Door EX

Car is great , radio needs improvement.

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Very comfortable to drive , great visibility , great gas milage but radio sucks no xm on one of the top end models the ex , had to go up to the exl which I didn't want.
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January 18, 2017
For 2017 Honda CR-V

Nice med sized CRV

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Much roomier, better gas mileage and dependable vehicle. 3rd new purchase in a row (2010, 2014, & 2017). Like the more room and new model trim. Can't go wrong.
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November 9, 2016
2015 Honda CR-V AWD 5-Door Touring

The CRV is a rational purchase, well price, cheap to run, never breaks and keeps its price

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The Crv is a reasonable purchase. It runs well, its cheap on gas and the oil changes are controlled by computer. I do 10,000 miles between changes. It never breaks and the resale is very good.
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October 11, 2016
2015 Honda CR-V 2WD 5-Door EX-L

Why I should have NEVER bought my $30,000 2015 Honda CR-V

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Living in Florida A/C must be cold. My 2015 Honda CR-V, the A/C is NEVER cold unless you drive at least a steady six miles at 50 MPH. The dealer showed me it was cold 43 degrees. I asked how long have you had... + More »
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December 20, 2015
2015 Honda CR-V AWD 5-Door EX-L

very good car

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this is my first cr-v probably not the last one .i appreciate very much the new cvt the the front and back seat are very comfortable and i have more power than i need
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December 20, 2015
2015 Honda CR-V AWD 5-Door EX

I feel at home in my new CRV it is comfortable and comes with some cool bells and whistles.

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I have been very happy with my CRV's performance and the amenities. It is comfortable, Sleek, and fun. I was told the mileage will get better the older it gets. First it started out at 19mpg and now I average... + More »
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November 17, 2015
2015 Honda CR-V AWD 5-Door EX-L w/Navi

We love every CR-V that we have owned.

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This is our 4th CR-V. We have been leasing them since 2000. The cars get better each year and get better mileage even though they keep getting bigger. We average around 25 mpg. The cars have been completely... + More »
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