Small SUV Best Buy of 2018
Honda's compact SUV returns in all-new form and back to the head of the class with superior room, impressive safety features and a turbocharged engine.
The Honda CR-V is among the most familiar of faces in Kelley Blue Book's annual Best Buy Awards. In fact, in the four years since the program's inception, the Honda CR-V has taken the crown three times. And had the new-for-2017 version been available in time for last year’s Best Buy program, it would likely still be undefeated.
The CR-V outclasses every other small crossover, a segment that now counts a dozen competitors. Its secret sauce is made from a recipe of many quality ingredients. Whether you want a fuel-efficient errand-runner, a no-fuss carryall for the college-bound student that will serve long after graduation, or a refined, leather-laden commuter with enough premium amenities to pass for a luxury SUV, the Honda CR-V will fit the role.
Class-Above Interior Room
Since its inception two decades ago, the CR-V has boasted impressive space for both passengers and cargo. With each generation, this Honda SUV manages to one-up itself. This all-new, 5th-generation CR-V once again had us wondering just how Honda's designers managed to pack so much space and flexibility into a compact SUV. The class-leading numbers back up our real-world passenger and cargo-hauling tests: Behind the rear seats is nearly 40 cubic feet of space. Fold them down -- a cinch thanks to a one-pull lever -- and that space swells to nearly 75 cubic feet.
Technology and Safety Galore
Some of the most impressive features in the new CR-V are ones that you won't see, and others that will hopefully never be used but are always ready to take action. We're talking about the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistance systems, which comes standard in every CR-V but the base LX. The suite includes blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and automatic emergency braking, all of which can prevent or mitigate an accident.
Another feature -- adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow -- can take some of the drudgery from commutes that are either long or clogged. One of our editors whose daily commute is both long and clogged remarked that the system "worked like liquid." Standard on all CR-Vs is brake hold, which holds the brake at stop lights so you can take your foot off the pedal. That may seem superfluous, but once experienced it's hard to go back to a vehicle without it.
The CR-V also impresses in the infotainment realm. Every CR-V except the base LX comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity standard, and the systems connect to smartphones quickly and seamlessly.
Efficient, Reliable and a Resale Value Star
The CR-V has always been efficient, but it continues to improve on that front, too. With the all-new 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder -- again, standard in all but the base LX model -- Honda's compact SUV is rated for highway fuel economy of 34 mpg in front-wheel-drive form, and only 1 mpg less with optional all-wheel drive. The carryover 2.4-liter engine that powers the least-expensive models also impresses with fuel economy up to 32 mpg. Helping each is the standard CVT transmission, a gearless system that aptly mimics a traditional automatic.
The 2018 Honda CR-V is still new, but this model is built upon 20 years' worth of high reliability and resale value. Regarding the latter, this latest model is predicted to retain its value better than almost every rival in its class.
Video Tour: 2018 Honda CR-V
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