Hondas are known for their quality, reliability, handling and high fuel economy. The CR-V is no different. Sold with great success as a more practical alternative to larger, less fuel-efficient SUVs, it’s no surprise that the CR-V is the best-selling utility vehicle in America.
For 2011, the Honda CR-V (MSRP $21,895) offers four trim models – LX, SE, EX and EX-L – each in two-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations. The SE is a new trim level for 2011, offering all the standard features of the LX, plus alloy wheels, a 160-watt stereo with six-disc changer and six-speakers, steering wheel audio controls and rear privacy glass.
All trim levels are equipped with an aluminum 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 180 hp and 161 lb/ft of torque through a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway on standard FWD models. Honda is one of the original pioneers of variable valve timing, and the i-VTEC engine in the CR-V helps improve torque, create smoother engine idle and reduce emissions through internal exhaust gas recirculation.
The light weight of the four-cylinder engine not only helps the CR-V with fuel efficiency, it also makes the CR-V one of the most agile crossovers on the road. The unibody construction of the CR-V uses high-strength steel for weight savings and a more rigid body structure. A front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension liven the handling of the CR-V to a well-tuned sedan quality.
Depending on the trim level, the CR-V ranges in weight from 3,386 and 3,554 pounds, making it one of the lightest CUVs available (in comparison, Chevy’s Equinox comes in at 3,786 pounds and can go as high as 3,823 pounds). Steering is sharp and predicable like that of a Civic sedan, and braking power is impressive as well.
Both inside and out, the CR-V executes all the crucial items without flaw, focusing on functionality without compromising any style. Outside, the two-tiered grille and a sweeping, fluid side profile enhance the attractiveness and aerodynamics of the CR-V.
Inside, the instrument panel and center stack are clear and intuitive, the quality of materials and controls is high, and the CR-V is loaded with cargo versatility. The split second-row seat offers 40/20/40 seatback folding, as well as sliding seat rails for added flexibility in loading larger items. And for those really big loads of cargo, the rear seats can even tumble forward for a long, flat area that measures 72.9 cubic feet with floor dimensions of 51 inches long by 39 inches wide. For comparison, the CR-V has more cargo capacity than Audi’s full-size Q7 SUV, which has 72.5 cubic feet.
Every CR-V comes standard with a generous list of features including a remote entry system, full power accessories, air conditioning with air filtration, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, sliding and reclining rear seats, a nifty retractable front center tray table and a four-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player and auxiliary input.
If you’re looking for some touches of luxury, the CR-V EX adds a power moonroof, steering wheel audio controls, a dual deck cargo shelf and 17-inch wheels. The EX-L loads it up with leather upholstery, heated front seats, 10-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control and a seven-speaker stereo with USB audio and XM Satellite Radio capability. The EX-L also offers the Honda Satellite Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition, Bluetooth and a Rearview Camera.
For a growing family, the CR-V is an ideal machine. Rear doors open wide, the rear tailgate is lightweight, the rear seats slide and recline and the available two-tier cargo area helps make loading children and all their toys, strollers, stuffed animals and random sticks picked up on the playground a little easier.
The Honda CR-V earned top scores in government crash testing, receiving a perfect five stars for all frontal and side-impact tests. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the CR-V came out yet again with a best possible rating of “Good” for frontal-offset and side-impact crash testing.
Standard safety equipment includes Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which enhances occupant safety during an accident, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control (TC), antilock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor, front side airbags and active front head restraints.
The Honda CR-V is the best-selling crossover in America for good reason; it’s the CUV that best balances efficiency, agility, practicality and value. It competes well in every feature category, and its reputation for quality and reliability is unmatched.
If you’re looking for a compact crossover that has the cargo capacity of a full-size utility vehicle with the handling characteristics of a sedan, the CR-V should be at the top of your ‘must drive’ list. Contact us today to see firsthand why the CR-V has won so many potential SUV buyers over.
Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $810.00 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary