The Buyers are Right: What Makes the Honda CR-V one of the Best Selling SUVs

October 9th, 2020 by

A red 2019 used Honda CR-V is parked in front of the ocean.

When it comes to SUVs, more drivers have chosen a Honda CR-V than almost any other model on the road today. And Honda’s reputation for making long-lasting vehicles certainly helps persuade buyers to invest in one of these SUVs over the competition. Whether it is a new or used Honda CR-V, people seem to want this vehicle, making it one of the best selling SUVs on the market today.

If you, too, are interested in a CR-V, you can stop by Gwinnett Place Honda in Duluth, GA, to see for yourself what so many others have already discovered: Excellence. We are committed to making sure that you will receive the best treatment you’ve ever had when buying your next Honda car, truck, or SUV. But before you make your way over to our dealership, here’s a little more about the Honda CR-V, both used and new, that you should know ahead of time.

Five Generations of One Great Vehicle

Since making its debut in the 1997 model year, the Honda CR-V has quickly adapted to the American market’s tastes and needs to vault to the front of the compact SUV or crossover vehicle class. This is because the CR-V offers a combination of luxury details, efficient use of space, and outstanding overall performance that is simply unmatched among crossovers.

Some other brand models also offer great fuel economy but at the expense of performance. Some other crossovers have plenty of passenger space, but shortchange you on the trunk. Other automakers cut corners on the luxury features to try to keep the price down. The designers at Honda haven’t compromised anything and have given you a compact SUV that will indeed check all your boxes.

The Third Generation CR-V

A light blue 2011 used Honda CR-V is parked in front of a white building near Duluth, GA.

If you’re in the market for a used CR-V, you will probably be looking at either a third, fourth, or fifth-generation vehicle. The third-generation CR-V debuted in the 2007 model year. This model features a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder gas engine paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission that produces 166 hp and 161 lb-ft of torque for excellent overall pickup. Like all other CR-V models, including the current fifth generation, the third generation is front-wheel drive standard with available all-wheel drive. You should probably opt for the all-wheel drive if you live in an area with significantly cold and snowy winters.

This CR-V also gets solid overall fuel economy, with front-wheel drive models getting 20 MPG in the city, 27 MPG on the highway, and 23 MPG combined, with all-wheel drive models getting slightly less gas mileage of 19 MPG in the city, 26 MPG on the highway, and 22 MPG combined.* The third generation Honda CR-V comes in five different trim levels with LX being the base trim, followed by SX, EX, EX-L with leather seats, and EX-L Navigation with leather seats and a navigation feature in the infotainment system.

The Fourth Generation CR-V

Even though the third generation was successful with buyers, Honda was not ready to rest on its laurels and wanted to maintain its position as an industry leader in the compact SUV market. In 2011, the fourth-generation Honda CR-V was introduced for the 2012 model year. This model featured an improved engine as well as a roomier trunk.

The fourth-generation Honda CR-V sports a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine with a 5-speed automatic transmission that produces 185 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. As you can see, it is slightly more powerful than the engine on the third generation. Also, this engine is more efficient than the previous model, getting 23 MPG in the city, 30 MPG on the highway and 26 MPG combined with the front-wheel drive CR-V, and 22 MPG in the city, 29 MPG on the highway, and 25 MPG combined for the all-wheel drive model.* The initial fourth generation Honda CR-V also comes in five different trims with LX being the base trim, followed by EX, EX-L with leather seats, EX-L Navigation, and EX-L Rear Entertainment System, which also includes the navigation feature on the infotainment system.

Honda made an incremental improvement on the fourth generation CR-V for the 2015 model year. First, it improved the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder gas engine’s performance by replacing the 5-speed automatic transmission with a continuous variable transmission (CVT). Rather than have set gear speeds, the CVT continuously adjusts the engine timing to best fit the driving conditions, increasing overall engine performance and efficiency. This can be seen in the 2015 models providing 185 hp and an increase to 181 lb-ft of torque.

This improvement is also reflected in better fuel economy for front-wheel drive models of 27 MPG in the city, 33 MPG on the highway, and 29 MPG combined, while all-wheel drive models provide 26 MPG in the city, 32 MPG on the highway, and 28 MPG combined.* Honda also discontinued the EX-L Navigation and EX-L Rear Entertainment System trims, replacing them with the Touring trim as the top-of-the-line CR-V.

The Current CR-V

The fifth generation of the CR-V, introduced for the 2017 model year, signaled a bold departure from the CR-V’s previous versions. Honda made a radical redesign of its successful crossover, giving it a bold look that matched the aerodynamic lines of its big sister, the Honda Pilot. It also got an entirely new engine, one that is smaller yet more powerful than any previous one thanks to the addition of a turbocharger.

The 1.5L in-line 4-cylinder gas engine with a turbocharger is combined with a CVT transmission to produce 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque, making the fifth generation of CR-V capable of towing up to 1,500 pounds of trailer. Also, this engine is even more fuel-efficient than any of the previous ones featured on the CR-V. For front-wheel drive models, drivers can get up to 28 MPG in the city, 34 MPG on the highway, and 30 MPG combined, while those with all-wheel drive models can expect 27 MPG in the city, 32 MPG on the highway, and 29 MPG combined.**

Honda carried over the same trim levels from the previous generation with LX as the base model, followed by EX, EX-L, and Touring. You should note that fifth generation CR-V LX models are equipped with the prior generation’s 2.4-liter 4-cylinder gas engine. Honda upgraded the engine on the CR-V LX to the 1.5T 4-cylinder one for the 2020 model year. In addition, Honda introduced a hybrid model of the CR-V for 2020, showing its commitment to always being ready to adapt to meet its customers’ demands.

A dark red 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring is driving on a dirt road.

Incomparable Roominess

One thing you are sure to notice about the Honda CR-V is just how roomy the passenger compartment is on this compact SUV. While it may look compact from the outside, looks can be deceiving. There is a full 102.9 cu.ft. of passenger space on most current CR-V models, plenty of room for you and up to four other passengers. One of the most amazing things is the amount of legroom, a full 41.3 inches in the front row, and 40.4 inches in the rear. Few other crossovers can offer anything even close to that.

The other thing that stands out about the CR-V is the amount of trunk space. The third-generation CR-V features a 35.7 cu.ft. trunk that expands to 73 cu.ft. of cargo space with the rear row of seats folded down. The Honda engineers increased the trunk on the fourth generation to 37.2 cu.ft. without taking away from the passenger compartment. Not to be outdone, the current Honda CR-V offers an astounding 39.2 cu.ft. of trunk space that expands to an incomparable 75.8 cu.ft. That is plenty of room for even the largest cargo load.

An Industry Leader: The Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V has been and continues to be the industry leader for crossovers and compact SUVs. With its various generations, engines, and capacities to choose from, there is a Honda CR-V out there for everyone. So if you are in the Duluth, GA area, stop in today and see why buying a new, used, or certified pre-owned Honda CR-V will give you the best value for your money and a compact SUV that is sure to meet all your needs and exceed all your expectations. We are ready to help you find the perfect Honda to drive home in.

*Fuel economy rating will vary depending on the year, condition of the vehicle, engine, and driving conditions.
**28 city/34 highway/ 30 combined mpg rating for 2WD trims. 27 city/32 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD trims. Based on 2020 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purpose only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.
Posted in Used Honda CR-V