2013 Honda CR-V carries a 2.4-liter four-cylinder
engine, rated at 185 horsepower and 163
foot-pounds of torque.
of the first of the now-popular class of vehicles known
as crossovers, the compact Honda CR-V deservedly has
always been a star in its niche, even as the competition
originally for 1997, the CR-V last year entered its
fourth generation, with an all-new design that gave it a
sleeker, less boxy exterior; a more refined interior;
and some new technology to help it keep up with the
tech-savvy buyers to whom the CR-V consistently appeals.
2013, prices begin at $22,795 for the base
front-wheel-drive LX version, and run as high as $30,295
for the top-of-the-line EX-L version with all-wheel
drive and the navigation package. The "L"
designation stands for "leather."
between are the LX all-wheel-drive version and a variety
of EX (no leather) and EX-L models, with either two- or
tester was the top model, the EX-L all-wheel drive with
the built-in navigation system. This model was equipped
with everything one can buy on the CR-V except the
rear-seat entertainment system, which apparently is not
available on models that include the nav system.
also an upscale version of the CR-V sold under the Acura
name — the RDX. It has its own unique exterior and
interior styling, but essentially is just a fancier CR-V
underneath, although it is about five inches longer. It
ranges from $34,320-$39,420, and also comes with either
front- or all-wheel-drive.
CR-V has room for up to five passengers. No third row
has ever been offered in this model, although its
biggest competitor, the Toyota RAV4, did have a small
third-row seat in its previous generation; it lost that
feature with a complete redesign for 2013.
competitors in this burgeoning class include the Ford
Escape, which was also redesigned for 2013 and now looks
a lot like the CR-V; Nissan Rogue; Mitsubishi Outlander
and Outlander Sport; Subaru Forester; the new Subaru XV
Crosstrek; Subaru Outback; Buick Encore; Kia Sportage;
Hyundai Tucson; Jeep Patriot and Compass; Mazda CX-5;
Volkswagen Tiguan; Chevrolet Equinox; and GMC Terrain.
with all of that competition, the CR-V holds its own in
the market. Although sales are off slightly so far this
year from last year’s totals, Honda sold 281,652 of
the CR-V during 2012, a 29 percent increase from 2011.
That outpaced the RAV4 by more than 100,000 sales and
made the CR-V one of the nation’s best-selling
vehicles for the year.
CR-V also garnered some accolades, such as making Kelley
Blue Book’s list of "Top 10 Family Cars,"
popularity is based on a variety of attributes,
including comfort, safety, reliability and even its fuel
economy — 23 mpg city/31 highway for the front-drive
models and 22/30 for the all-wheel drives.
not best in class for mileage, though. Mazda claims
26/35 with the manual-transmission version of its CX-5,
and 26/32 with the automatic version. Still, the CR-V’s
fuel economy is comparable to most of its competitors,
even though its standard five-speed automatic
transmission is getting a bit dated; most vehicles in
this class have a six-speed, which generally gives
slightly better highway mileage.
the hood of all CR-V models is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder
engine, rated at 185 horsepower and 163 foot-pounds of
torque. We found it to have plenty of power for this
vehicle, even with a couple of people in the back seat
and some luggage in the rear.
gave it a run on some hills, too, and the CR-V never
felt underpowered, although the cruise control didn’t
hold the speed on the uphill runs as precisely as I
expected — it dropped as much as 5 mph at times.
standard equipment are leather seats/steering
wheel/shift knob; heated front seats (10-way
power-adjustable for the driver); a power tilt/slide
sunroof; a rearview camera built into the
voice-activated navigation system; a premium audio
system with seven speakers (including subwoofer); power
windows/mirrors/door locks with remote; and dual-zone
automatic climate control.
says the new exterior design was intended to give the
CR-V a more aggressive look, but to me it’s actually
softer than before, with lines that seem to flow. It’s
remarkably similar in appearance to both the Escape and
is a new horizontal three-bar grille and deep-set
multi-reflector headlights, bolder fender flares and a
lower rear roofline with a liftgate that tilts slightly
forward at the top.
the CR-V is now more carlike, and the seats are lower
than before. Outward visibility is still excellent,
longtime CR-V owners, we noticed how quiet the newest
generation is, even at high freeway speeds. Honda
attributes that to a more-rigid body structure, improved
suspension isolation, more insulation, and better
aerodynamics—including underbody covers and a rear
our test, we averaged about 27 mpg in a mix of highway
and city driving — with the highway miles about 70
percent of the total. That was using the provided ECON
mode, which sets transmission shift points to optimize
fuel economy rather than provide jackrabbit starts.
features include electronic stability control,
four-wheel antilock disc brakes with brake assist,
roof-mounted side-curtain air bags with rollover sensor,
and front seat-mounted side air bags.
package: Compact, five-door, five-passenger,
four-cylinder powered, front- or all-wheel-drive
crossover utility vehicle.
The CR-V entered its fourth generation for 2012, with a
new, sleeker body design and more-refined interior. It’s
roomy, pleasant to drive, and has adequate power with
its four-cylinder engine.
No engine upgrade offered for more power; five-speed
automatic transmission is outdated; no manual gearbox
available for better fuel economy.
2.4-liter inline four-cylinder.
185 horsepower/163 pound-feet.
front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.
weight range: 3,305-3,490 pounds.
volume: 37.2 cubic feet (rear seat in place); 70.9 cubic
feet (rear seat folded down).
fuel economy: 23 mpg city/31 highway (front drive);
22/30 (all-wheel drive).
as tested: $30,295
the Road rating: 8.7 (of a possible 10).
prices exclude destination charge.