Pricing for the CR-V starts at $28,905 in Canada, $25,300 in the US.
The Honda CR-V is the second best-selling compact SUV in Canada.
It remains a good choice but it’s lost some of its appeal due to past issues.
The Honda CR-V was intimately involved in the official creation of the compact SUV segment in the mid-to-late 1990s. This cemented its position as a pioneer and the SUV for the Canadian family job. Now in its 5th generation, it remains a popular choice as it continues to deliver what customers want.
The Honda CR-V has always managed to evolve with the times, delivering more space, capabilities, technology, and so on. Move for move, it countered or out-smarted the Toyota RAV4 and, at one time, the Ford Escape to remain at or very near the top of the segment. Despite Honda’s efforts, the CR-V has lost a little ground to the RAV4 mostly due to issues linked to the powertrain.
Even if the Honda CR-V faltered, albeit very slightly, it’s still one of the better options in an extremely hotly-contested segment. Should it then be on your shopping list? Certainly. Should it be your next purchase?
Why you should buy a 2020 Honda CR-V:
The CR-V’s standard turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine produces a surprising 190 horsepower and 179 lb.-ft. of torque. It makes for a spirited performer.
The CR-V continues to offer one of the largest trunks in the segment at 1,110 litres (39.2 cubic feet).
The cabin is excessively roomy, a perfect fit for the average Canadian family.
The rear doors open almost 90 degrees for effortless access to the second-row bench. Interior storage is fantastic.
Honda’s efficient Real-Time AWD system is standard on all trims save for the basic LX 2WD.
The tested Canada-only Sport trim ($36,105) adds unique visual touches such as 19-inch wheels, larger dual tailpipes, LED fog lights, and a power hatch.
The recent 2020 refresh has updated the front and rear bumpers as well as the center console for a sportier, more modern look.
It’s pleasing overall to drive.
Why you should not buy a 2020 Honda CR-V:
The 5th generation CR-V dates back to 2017 which explains why it is equipped with a small by today’s standard 7-inch touchscreen display.
The standard Continuously variable transmission (CVT) acts like older CVTs meaning that it annoyingly holds engine revs for extended periods of time.
Honda’s turbocharged 1.5-litre engine has experienced some issues in the recent past. It’s also fairly noisy and harsh.
With competition in the form of the RAV4, the Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, and Chevrolet Equinox, the CR-V is feeling the pressure. Luckily for it, its reputation and name precede it, almost guaranteeing that it will always be a best-seller.
There is a certain simplicity to the Honda CR-V where it doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. It could argued that Toyota’s pushing its luck with the RAV4 Trail edition but that’s not exactly the point. In a segment where there are countless alternatives, the CR-V is an easy and smart choice.
If it were up to me, I’d follow Canada’s example and get a Toyota RAV4 for its styling, powertrain, and, in this country, the ability to get a hybrid version (CR-V hybrid not available in Canada as it is in the US).