2013 Honda CR-V Expert Review

3.7 Overall Score
Performance 3.4 Comfort 3.8 Styling 3.3 Value 3.7

Editor's Overview

The 2013 Honda CR-V remains a perennial best seller due to its smart styling, clever use of space and excellent fuel economy. Honda's near bullet-proof reputation for quality and high resale are two more reasons so many people love this little SUV.

You'll Like The 2013 Honda CR-V If...

If you're looking for simple, dependable transportation in a vehicle that can handle snow and mud as efficiently as it does a day of cruising yard sales, the 2013 Honda CR-V is an excellent choice. Need more reasons? There's good fuel economy, a reasonable price and lots of standard equipment.

You May Not Like The 2013 Honda CR-V If...

Those needing the power of a V6 (for towing) or the convenience of a third-row seat won't be interested in the 2013 Honda CR-V. The Ford Escape and Hyundai Santa Fe offer more powerful engines with the same or better fuel economy as the CR-V.


What's New

No major changes for 2013.


Interior Features

We like the sophisticated overall look and feel inside the Honda CR-V, highlighted by a smartly-sculpted dash, large and bright gauges and elegant switchgear. Special attention is paid to driver comfort, with supportive front seats that flank an accommodating center console punctuated by two big cup holders. A large covered center stow bin houses USB and auxiliary inputs as well as a 12-volt power point. Although the 2013 CR-V's overall interior dimensions are largely unchanged from the previous two generations, its cargo area now offers a bit more space than before with the rear seat up, but marginally less when it's folded down.


Exterior Features

While the 2013 CR-V retains roughly the same dimensions as the last-generation CR-V, it looks substantially larger. With a bold, more aerodynamic look, the CR-V appears a bit more rugged, with swept-up rear quarter windows and edgy front and rear fascia treatments. A steeply-raked windshield and slightly lower roofline effectively complement the CR-V's high-profile grille and lamp treatments, while a large single-piece liftgate, coupled with a significantly lower lift-over height, eases loading and unloading chores. All LX models are fitted with 16-inch steel wheels and 215/70 all-season tires, while EX/EX-L versions have 225/65 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.


Driving Impressions

Building on the Honda CR-V's already-stellar reputation for being easy to drive and easy to live with, the latest iteration has raised those benchmarks in modest but genuinely meaningful ways. Extensive noise reduction efforts yield a quiet, well-isolated passenger compartment, and the rigid unit-body structure, coupled with taut suspension tuning, gives the 2013 Honda CR-V impressively capable handling characteristics. Honda equips the CR-V with its Motion-Adaptive electric power steering system that interfaces with the standard stability control to automatically encourage proper corrective inputs when it senses slippery or uneven road conditions during cornering or braking. For ultimate 4-season security, the 2013 CR-V is available with Honda's Real Time AWD (all-wheel drive) with Intelligent Control System. Smaller, lighter and quicker to respond than the previous Real Time setup, it smoothes out initial acceleration and can transfer up to 100 percent of torque to the rear wheels if necessary.


Pricing Notes

The 2013 Honda CR-V LX 2WD has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price starting around $23,500, the EX is about $25,500 and the EX-L starts just under $28,500; a fully-loaded model with navigation is around $31,000. Stepping up to all-wheel-drive will add about $1,250. To get your best deal, check the KBB Fair Purchase Price and find out what others in your area are paying for the CR-V. Historically, Honda's CR-V has done an outstanding job of holding onto its value over time, with only the Toyota RAV4 seriously challenging it in that critical area. In marked contrast to many other vehicles, the upline EX – and particularly the EX-L version – leads the CR-V's resale value index, with all-wheel-drive versions also besting front-drive models.

Notable Equipment

Honda's CR-V LX for 2013 boasts a full range of power assists, a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with USB/AUX inputs, Bluetooth HandsFree Link, Pandora Internet Radio interface, read-aloud SMS text messaging capability, air conditioning, an intelligent Multi-Information Display, multifunction steering wheel, multi-angle rearview camera, keyless entry, cruise control and a tilt/telescoping steering column. The EX adds various interior and exterior enhancements, a power moonroof, privacy glass, alloy wheels and a security system, while the EX-L gains leather upholstery, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, XM Radio and more.

Notable Options

In keeping with its longstanding practice of offering vehicles largely in "mono-spec" trim levels, options for the 2013 Honda CR-V are extremely limited. The LX, EX and EX-L can be fitted with the new Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System, while CR-V EX-L buyers can opt to add either the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with a 6.5-inch dash-mounted touch-screen or a DVD-based Rear Seat Entertainment system that features a single 7.0-inch hi-resolution LCD screen that flips down from the headliner.


Favorite Features

INTELLIGENT MULTI-INFORMATION DISPLAY (I-MID)

All 2013 Honda CR-V models come with a new, 5.0-inch LCD color screen in the center of the dash that allows the driver to access and control a range of functions using buttons on the steering wheel.


EASY FOLD REAR SEATS

The backs on the 2013 Honda CR-V's new 60/40-split rear bench seat now flop forward with the pulls of levers conveniently located on either side of the cargo bay to create a near-flat load floor that's over five inches longer than the one in the current CR-V.


Under the Hood

The sole powertrain combination in all 2013 Honda CR-V models is the familiar 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine matched with the equally-familiar 5-speed automatic transmission. Rated at 185 horsepower, the CR-V has fuel economy ratings of 23/31 for front drive models and 22/30 with 4WD. To help in the mileage-maxing cause, all 2013 CR-Vs feature an energy-efficient multistage alternator and come with Honda's Eco Assist system that includes the green "ECON" button on the dash that can modify throttle mapping as well as operation of the air conditioning and cruise control. The maximum tow rating also remains unchanged, at 1,500 pounds.


2.4-liter inline-4

185 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm

163 lb-ft of torque @4,300 rpm

EPA City/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg (front-wheel drive), 22/30 mpg (AWD)

Editors' Notes

Fresh from its complete makeover last year, the 2013 Honda CR-V compact SUV carries on largely unchanged. The 5-passenger CR-V remains modestly-sized on the outside, but is extremely roomy inside, with a rear seat that accommodates adults and a proper-sized cargo area. Available in LX, EX and the leather-appointed EX-L, the CR-X for 2013 offers varying levels of features and equipment packed into each trim level. However, new rivals, such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape, offer better audio and infotainment systems, more features and, in some cases, more horsepower and better fuel economy. Still, it's hard to argue with the CR-V's excellent repair history and it continues to lead the pack in terms of long-term resale values.


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Owner Reviews

4.57

506 Reviews

64% 29% 5% 1% 1 star 0%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

Why the Honda CR-V is the best car in town.

I really love my Honda CR-V. It has great visibility from the driver's seat. The controls are easy to understand and use. I like the safety features that tell me when I need to put air in my tire or when I am hydroplaning etc. It is very comfortable to ride in for long road trips. My car gets great gas mileage and runs very smoothly. I like the flexibility in the trunk, with a plastic board that I can use or take out. I can create a second layer in the back if I need to stack a lot of things, which is really helpful. I love the radio feature, and I like how the buttons light up whenever my lights are on, making it much easier to see at dusk/night time. Honda has always been a reliable brand and so far I have had no trouble with my car. With regular upkeep the Honda CR-V is a fantastic car.

- Abby M

The backup camera, navigation system and fold down seats are wonderful.

The Honda CR-V gets good gas mileage, it is very easy to drive, and is comfortable on long trips or in town. There is a storage cover for the back that keeps people from seeing what you may have in the back. The back seats fold down so that larger items will fit. You can fold the seats down individually if you would like to. The back up camera makes it easy to parallel park and back up. With the navigation system you will not have the adventure of getting lost. If you make a wrong turn it will recalculate and get you back on track. No more getting lost. The one drawback is the road noise. It can get a little loud and make it hard to hear the person in the back seat especially if you have any kind of a hearing disability.

- Julie S

I absolutely love my car!

I absolutely love my car. I previously owned a Mazda tribute and absolutely hated that car. I knew that I wanted a Honda and when I test drive the CR-V there was absolutely no doubt. It rides incredibly smooth, is spacious - so a great family car and is great on gas. I drive a long distance for work and fill up about once every week and a half. It is great in inclement weather. I have heated seats in mine, which I love! The driver's seat has so many options for making the seat most comfortable for you. It is also really easy to install and remove a car seat, which was super important for us. I would recommend this vehicle to anyone. I love it so much I convinced my best friend to buy one and she did!

- Heather M