By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
The 2014 Honda CR-V sails into the new year with little changed, not that one of the best-selling compact SUVs on the market needed changing. The 5-passenger CR-V is one of the few compacts that can actually accommodate tall adults in its rear seat as easily as up front. Its clever 1-pull fold flat seats provide an impressively large cargo hold further validating the CR-V's claims of versatility and value. With three well-equipped trims from which to choose, the CR-V for 2014 has most of the bases covered. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000 for 2014. However, stiff competition from the likes of Mazda's CX-5 (better fuel economy), Ford's Escape (better audio/infotainment options) and Subaru's Forester (permanent all-wheel drive) might have die-hard loyalists thinking twice.
The 2014 Honda CR-V is as comfortable mushing through unplowed streets as it is circling the flea market ready to haul home some vintage antiques. Excellent fuel economy, a very reasonable price, and a near flawless repair record should seal the deal.
If you need tow heavy loads or haul more than five passengers, the CR-V isn't for you. Also, while you can get features like navigation and upgraded audio on other competitor's mid-line trims, the CR-V only offers these features on its most expensive model, the EX-L.
KBB Expert Ratings
There are no major changes to the 2014 CR-V by Honda.
Driving Impressions The CR-V has always been a no nonsense compact SUV – big on value, comfort and durability. Its ride quality is better than many competitors who have opted for stiffer...... suspensions and larger wheels in an attempt to appeal to enthusiast drivers. But enthusiasts rarely buy compact SUVs, so Honda wisely kept the 2014 CR-V's ride smooth and its handling adept, but not sports car-like-quick. The passenger compartment is further isolated from the outside world by a rigid unit-body structure and extensive insulation throughout. Honda's Motion-Adaptive electric power steering works with the standard stability control to automatically encourage corrective inputs when it senses slippery or uneven road conditions. Add Honda's Real Time AWD system to the mix and you get a crossover SUV that can tackle the worst winter has to offer. Smaller, lighter and quicker to respond than the previous Real Time setup, the system can transfer up to 100 percent of torque to the rear wheels if necessary.
INTELLIGENT MULTI-INFORMATION DISPLAY (I-MID)
All 2014 Honda CR-V models come with a bright 5.0-inch LCD color screen in the center of the dash that allows the driver to access and control a range of functions using buttons on the steering wheel.
EASY FOLD REAR SEATS
The backs on the 2014 Honda CR-V's new 60/40-split rear bench seat flop forward with the pulls of levers conveniently located on either side of the cargo bay to create a near-flat load floor.
We like the sophisticated overall look and feel inside the 2014 Honda CR-V, highlighted by a smartly-sculpted dash, large and bright gauges and elegant switchgear. Special attention is paid to driver comfort, with supportive front seats that flank an accommodating center console punctuated by two big cup holders. A large covered center stow bin houses USB and auxiliary inputs as well as a 12-volt power point. Although the CR-V's overall interior dimensions are largely unchanged from the previous two generations, its cargo area now offers a bit more space than before with the rear seat up, but marginally less when it's folded down.Exterior
While the 2014 CR-V retains roughly the same dimensions as CR-Vs of yore, it looks substantially larger. With a bold, more aerodynamic look, the CR-V appears a bit more rugged, with swept-up rear quarter windows and edgy front and rear fascia treatments. A steeply-raked windshield and slightly lower roofline effectively complement the CR-V's high-profile grille and lamp treatments, while a large single-piece liftgate, coupled with a relatively low lift-over height, eases loading and unloading chores. All LX models are fitted with 16-inch steel wheels and 215/70 all-season tires, while EX/EX-L versions have 225/65 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.
Honda's CR-V LX for 2014 boasts a full range of power assists, a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with USB/AUX inputs, Bluetooth HandsFree Link, Pandora Internet Radio interface, read-aloud SMS text messaging capability, air conditioning, an intelligent Multi-Information Display, multifunction steering wheel, multi-angle rearview camera, keyless entry, cruise control and a tilt/telescoping steering column. The EX adds various interior and exterior enhancements, a power moonroof, privacy glass, alloy wheels and a security system, while the EX-L gains leather upholstery, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, XM Radio and more.
In keeping with its longstanding practice of offering vehicles largely in "mono-spec" trim levels, options for the 2014 Honda CR-V are extremely limited. The LX, EX and EX-L can be fitted with the new Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System, while CR-V EX-L buyers can opt to add either the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with a 6.5-inch dash-mounted touch-screen or a DVD-based Rear Seat Entertainment system that features a single 7.0-inch hi-resolution LCD screen that flips down from the headliner. Dealer-installed options include remote start, rear parking sensors and various roof-rack attachments.
The sole powertrain combination in all 2014 Honda CR-V models is the familiar 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine matched with the equally-familiar 5-speed automatic transmission. Rated at 185 horsepower, the CR-V has fuel economy ratings of 23/31 for front drive models and 22/30 with 4WD. To help in the mileage-maxing cause, all 2014 CR-Vs feature an energy-efficient multistage alternator and come with Honda's Eco Assist system that includes the green "ECON" button on the dash that can modify throttle mapping as well as operation of the air conditioning and cruise control. The maximum tow rating is a mere 1,500 pounds.
185 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
163 lb-ft of torque @4,300 rpm
EPA City/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg (front-wheel drive), 22/30 mpg (all-wheel drive)
The 2014 Honda CR-V LX 2WD has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price starting just under $24,000, the EX is just shy of the $26,000 mark, and the EX-L starts just over $28,500. A fully-loaded CR-V with navigation is around $32,000. Stepping up to all-wheel-drive will add about $1,250. To get your best deal, check the KBB Fair Purchase Price and find out what others in your area are paying for the CR-V. Historically, Honda's CR-V has done an outstanding job of holding onto its value over time, with only the Toyota RAV4 seriously challenging it in that critical area. In marked contrast to many other vehicles, the upline EX – and particularly the EX-L version – leads the CR-V's resale value index, with all-wheel-drive versions also besting front-drive models.