During our comparison test pitting six compact SUVs against each other, the Honda CR-V came out as one of the staff favorites for many reasons. Even though it is reaching the middle of its lifecycle, its roominess, design and performance held its own against newer models. All the others, in fact -- the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee -- have undergone redesigns since the launch of this generation CR-V.
Criticisms leveled against the Honda focused primarily on those features that are getting a bit long in the tooth -- things like the 5-speed automatic transmission in a world that sees more 6-speed autos or CVTs (though on the latter, some of us preferred the more conventional geared transmissions), the two-screen center stack with dated graphics and a relative paucity of soft touch materials in the cabin.
That said, the basic package of the Honda CR-V holds up very well indeed. The cargo area is cavernous with the lowest liftover of the bunch, there's a neat lever that allows you to drop the 60/40 split rear seats from the hatch area, and the front bucket seats are comfortable and both sides have built-in armrests.
Driving the CR-V is a breeze -- there's linear steering, great visibility, the 185-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine makes plenty of power and the real-time all-wheel drive system only kicks in when necessary, an aid to keeping the fuel consumption in check. Over the course of the nearly 800 mile round-trip to Phoenix, the CR-V averaged just over its EPA combined sticker of 25 mpg. With an MSRP of $31,275 including destination, the CR-V was the third priciest model in our group, about $1,000 less than the 2014 Nissan Rogue, which stickered at $32,395, and $205 less than the Jeep Cherokee.
For families, the Honda CR-V has all bases covered with plenty of interior room, the surefootedness of all-wheel drive, handsome looks and a price that is clearly competitive. As a result, there's no wonder the CR-V remains the best-selling model in its class.
More Honda CR-V
Curious what CR-V owners have to say? Ready to build and price your own? Our Honda CR-V Editors' Page is your guide and gateway to the wide spectrum of valuable information available at KBB.com.