Building on years of sales success, the 2018 Honda CR-V continues to show why it has been the best compact SUV on the market. The interior space, quality, safety features and the right amount of engine performance are big keys to its success.
Thanks to my wife and sister-in-law, I have a pretty good amount of knowledge on the Honda CR-V. They have both driven one for years and I’ve spent time working on my wife’s 2001 CR-V. With her in the market for a new SUV, it was fortunate timing I received a loan of the 2018 Honda CR-V.
If you haven’t seen a CR-V in a while, the years of redesigns have made substantial changes to the compact SUV including the 2017 redesign. For example, it has grown larger and more stylish with each passing year and I swear my wife’s 2001 model could easily fit inside the 2018 model with room around the sides. While it isn’t sports car sexy, the Honda CR-V looks good with a well defined belt line running from the front bumper along the doors and into the rear. The new grille has a slight smile sway to it and it simply looks good from any angle.
Inside the larger exterior translates into a considerable amount of space. It has plenty of seating space for 5, storage bins and a class-leading cargo volume. The 2018 Honda CR-V really just feels comfortable climbing in, loading cargo and it works well for small kids. Again, it doesn’t have an amazing interior, but it has just the right amount of space, materials and technology for the money.
Speaking of technology, our test model came with an interactive infotainment screen with only a single volume button. For those with OCD over finger prints, the screen could be an issue, however, for myself it isn’t an issue and the software operates quickly with easy to find icons.
Our fully loaded Touring model came with a variety of safety upgrades like a blind spot monitor, cross traffic alert, multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines and Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
Another great features is the hands-free power tailgate. This is the system which allows you to slide your foot under the tailgate and it opens. It is a great idea when your hands are full, however, I often forgot to use it.
On the road, our CR-V was powered by a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a CVT (continuously variable transmission) producing 190 horsepower while returning 28/34 city/highway MPG. It is a big surprise how much power the engine puts out for its small size and I found I was completely comfortable with it in all the different driving situations I put it through.
While the CR-V has grown physically, it still retains a smooth drive with pretty good handling. The CR-V doesn’t drive sporty by any means, but it handles as you would expect an SUV would.
Ultimately, I was hard pressed to find many things I didn’t like about it. The good fuel economy, quality, safety features and a starting price of $32,750 for the FWD model, it is a great choice for families or people who simply want to sit up higher and have more cargo room than a sedan.