Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Should-you-buy Should You Buy a 2020 Honda CR-V?

Should You Buy a 2020 Honda CR-V?

The 2021 Honda CR-V always feels like the right vehicle for the job

  • 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.

2020 Honda CR-V Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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.

2020 Honda CR-V Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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.

2020 Honda CR-V Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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).

2020 Honda CR-V Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2020 Honda CR-V Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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