12 Best Family Cars: 2018 Honda CR-V
Among 2-row, 5-passenger compact SUVs, you can't go wrong with the 2018 Honda CR-V. That's because Honda's venerable crossover pretty much does everything right. From its roster of safety systems to its stellar fuel economy, eye-popping cargo space and seamless smartphone integration, the Honda CR-V simply outclasses every other compact SUV, proven once again by its recent segment win in Kelley Blue Book's Best Buy Awards. For younger or smaller families, this small SUV comes up big.
Safe, smart, and stress-free
The latest CR-V, totally redesigned just last year, established itself as one of the safest compact crossovers you can buy thanks to a robust safety/driver assist system. Every CR-V trim except the base model comes with Honda Sensing. This suite bundles forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow. Also included is blind-spot monitoring, which can warn you of a car that you may not see but that the CR-V does with its always-on digital eyes.
Combined, these systems have the potential to prevent an accident and save your sanity. Your conscience can be further put at ease knowing that the Honda CR-V scores a 5-Star Safety Rating (the best possible) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Also standard on every CR-V except the base LX trim is an impressive and easy-to-use infotainment system. Centered around a high-resolution 7-inch display, it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. These two systems will make your smartphone even smarter, allowing for hands-free text-messaging, listening to podcasts, using navigation and more.
Furthermore, the HondaLink system offers helpful features and access to your vehicle's mileage and fuel level status even when you're away from it. We particularly like its Parking Reminder functionality that allows you to locate your CR-V in a crowded lot. Because no one wants to be searching for a car with tired, cranky kids in tow.
Spacious, efficient, and solid to drive
Honda has a knack for creating copious space in even its smallest vehicles. Just look at those "magic seats" in the Fit hatchback and HR-V subcompact SUV. The CR-V continues that theme with roomy front and rear seats, and class-leading cargo space. Regarding the latter, the 2018 Honda CR-V packs around 40 cubic feet of storage capacity behind the rear seat, and nearly 76 with the seats folded.
That kind of space and versatility will easily swallow a family's worth of groceries or half a team's worth of sports gear. In fact, the CR-V is so flexible that it can grow with your family, becoming something of a family member itself.
The 2018 CR-V is as efficient as it is versatile, saving you gas and ultimately money. No matter which engine you choose -- the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder found only in base models or the 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that serves the rest of the lineup -- you'll enjoy great efficiency. The small but zippy turbo engine returns up to 34 mpg in front-wheel-drive (FWD) models, while the 2.4-liter earns up to 32 mpg. Opting for all-wheel drive (AWD) isn't a penalty, either, with those traction-enhancing models’ fuel economy only 1 mpg less with either engine.
The icing on the cake for Mom and Dad is that the CR-V is enjoyable and easy to drive. Both engines have good power -- 184 horsepower for the 2.4-liter, 190 for the turbo 1.5-liter -- that serves well around town and on the highway. And in either setting, the CR-V is comfortable and easy to maneuver.
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