2018 Honda CR-V Review

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2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz
October 7, 2017

Rankings

The 2018 Honda CR-V may be light on personality, but this compact crossover checks off every other box. It’s a very smart choice.

Toss a rock and it’s hard not to hit a 2018 Honda CR-V. This compact crossover is a household name for good reason: it’s brilliantly aligned with the needs of most drivers. Sure, it’s not terribly exciting, but the 2018 CR-V is quiet, comfortable, roomy, powerful, fuel efficient, and has a great safety record.

It’s even a good value, which is why it scores a commendable 7.2 out of 10 on our scale. It’s hard to imagine how anyone could make a better crossover—but we’ve said that about CR-Vs before and Honda continues to impress. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

After a thorough redesign last year, the 2018 CR-V carries over unchanged. It’s offered in LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels, all with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

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Most CR-Vs—EX and above—feature a strong 1.5-liter turbo-4 that cranks out 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission is the only gearbox on offer. It’s not a powertrain setup that will stoke enthusiasts’ flames, but the CR-V’s turbo engine provides smooth acceleration even with a full load of passengers and suitcases aboard.

CR-V LX trim levels use a 2.4-liter inline-4 rated at 184 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque, but the base engine is a little gruff, its power delivery is peaky and requires a good stab at the throttle, and it isn’t as fuel efficient.

Regardless of engine, the CR-V handles well with direct, light steering, and its suspension soaks up rutted pavement quite well. Sure, it lacks the athletic feel of the Mazda CX-5, but the CR-V’s nimble feel and highway stability make it a match for just about any kind of routine driving.

Base CR-Vs miss out on a slew of safety tech—automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control—that’s standard on EX and higher trims. It’s those features that help grant the CR-V an impressive 9 out of 10 score for safety by our measure.

However, all CR-Vs are comfortable inside with nice materials and plenty of room for four average-sized adults. Even the middle seat in the second row is acceptable as long as you’re not transporting a trio of linebackers to practice. The CR-V’s cargo area boasts a usefully low liftover height and minimal intrusions from the wheel wells, but Honda has chosen not to follow some competitors by squeezing a third row back there. We think that’s just fine, since the larger Honda Pilot serves that role much better.

But for drivers seeking a relatively compact footprint, good fuel economy, and a highly refined feel for around $30,000 or less, the 2018 Honda CR-V is as good as it gets.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$24,150
MSRP based on LX 2WD
 
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7.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety 9
Features 7
Fuel Economy 7
Best in Mid-Size SUVs
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2018 Honda CR-V Pricing Insights

  • 2018 Honda CR-V is here
  • Rebates: No cash incentives
  • Lease: No promotional leases
  • Finance: Rare 1.99% APR about to expire
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