The compact crossover SUV represents the automotive sweet spot for many Canadians, combining sedan-like driving characteristics with the practicality offered by a taller body and available all-wheel drive. The CR-V debuted in North America in 1997 and has gone on to become the second biggest seller in Honda’s line up in Canada, nipping at the heels of the uber popular Civic. As a matter of fact, the two vehicles are cousins of a sort as they are built on the same platform. So it should come as no surprise that they share many of the same qualities that thousands of Canadians are drawn to. Let’s explore why the CR-V is a particularly compelling choice for SUV buyers.
Fuel efficiency has been an important part of the CR-Vs mission from day one and it continues to deliver that in spectacular fashion, sipping only 8.0 Litres per 100 km (combined). That’s significantly better than the original CR-V managed despite being more powerful than ever and considerably bigger. A 1.5 litre four with direct injection and a turbocharger, married to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), helps make that possible. Low maintenance costs, class leading reliability, and excellent resale value complete the picture, providing the CR-V with some of the lowest ownership costs in the segment.
Yes, you can get a CR-V loaded with features formerly only seen in luxury vehicles: a panoramic sunroof, hands-free power tailgate, and rain sensing windshield wipers to name a few. However, even the entry level CR-V, the LX, does not leave you wanting. For example, every new CR-V is equipped with Apple Car Play & Android Auto, remote engine start, idle-stop, and heated front seats. Value is built in to every CR-V.
The CR-V has a long tradition of excellent crash test scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, protection doesn’t stop at passive safety. Late model CR-Vs also benefit from Honda Sensing, a comprehensive suite of driver assist technologies. Honda Sensing includes collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assistance. While crash protection is vital it’s preferable to avoid a collision in the first place and because Honda believes in safety for everyone every 2020 CR-V comes standard with the complete Honda Sensing Suite.
Being taller and relatively boxy vehicles, most SUVs come with a certain level of versatility built in and the CR-V is no exception. However, in typical Honda fashion, the CR-V takes versatility to another level, carving out extra space and adding a raft of people friendly design touches that maximize usability. The CR-V leads the class in passenger volume and luggage space. The rear doors open almost 90 degrees, facilitating passenger ingress and egress as well the installation and removal of kids’ car seats. Shifting your belongings in and out of the generous cargo hold is that much easier thanks to the low lift over height and shallow lip. Should you need to fold down the rear seats to accommodate bulkier items you’ll find handy levers located just inside the tail gate on both side. No need to run around to the side of the car or lean far into the cargo hold to release the seat backs. The CR-V also excels at interior storage; a highlight is the deep and multi-configurable center console. Yep, Honda’s packaging magic in still intact and evident throughout the CR-V.
While practicality is probably the chief reason for choosing an SUV, there’s no reason that the driving experience needs to be second rate. Here the CR-V’s all around goodness is clearly on display. Honda excels at balancing apparently opposing strengths. It is both agile and comfortable and despite its stellar fuel economy the CR-V accelerates with enthusiasm. Yet, it’s about more than zero to 100 km/h times and skid pad cornering figures. It’s about how that performance is delivered. Edmunds praises the steering for its precision and road feel and Car and Driver called the CR-V’s CVT one of the best available. Driver engagement and satisfaction remain a high priority with Honda.
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