2018 Honda CR V Rating Breakdown
2018 honda cr-v
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Starting at
$28,450
Engine
1.5L Turbo
Power
190 hp

Starting at

$28,450

Engine

1.5L Turbo

Power

190 hp

City/Hwy

27/33

Seats

5


The Car Connection Expert Review
Andrew Ganz

Andrew Ganz

DISLIKES
  • Odd styling
  • LX lacks important features
  • Hardly fun to drive
  • No high-performance version, if that matters

We’re impressed with the 2018 Honda CR-V’s clean, organized interior, but its exterior is a little too quirky.

If there’s one place where the 2018 Honda CR-V misses the mark, it’s in its exterior styling. It’s quirky, but certainly not striking; rivals from Mazda and Kia have proven that family-oriented compact crossovers don’t have to be dull.

On the other hand, the 2018 CR-V’s interior is a home run with well-organized controls and a look that’s upscale at every level. That’s worth a point to us, so the CR-V earns a 6 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

All CR-V trim levels look about the same outside, aside from the upsized alloy wheels that come on EX and higher trim levels. Up front, the CR-V’s bumper juts out like an underbite not yet tamed by an orthodontist. The grille above is split between chrome and black plastic, with the former flanked by wrap-around headlights. The CR-V’s side profile is more cohesive and we like the way the beltline sweeps upward to create a little more visual heft. At the rear, the high-mounted taillights continue a Honda tradition and aid safety. A chrome eyebrow runs between the two sides for a more upscale feel, but the overall look is more pint-size minivan than rugged four-wheeler.

The CR-V’s interior is what scores this crossover a point above average. Honda mounted all controls up high, including the stubby gear lever. LX trims have a fairly basic audio system, while EX and higher trim levels feature a 7.0-inch touchscreen with a proper volume knob (something the last CR-V lacked).

Cubbyholes are scattered about, particularly in the highly configurable center console.

We’re impressed with the 2018 Honda CR-V’s clean, organized interior, but its exterior is a little too quirky.

The 2018 Honda CR-V has a good ride and a willing turbo-4 engine option.

The 2018 Honda CR-V is a strong-performing crossover, even if it lacks a high-performance engine option like several of its rivals. We like its smooth ride and thus rate it a 6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The entry-level CR-V LX is the only model in the lineup with a 2.4-liter inline-4 rated at 184 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated exclusively to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and is offered with both front- and all-wheel drive. The base inline-4 is strong enough, but power comes on only at higher engine speeds. Translation: You’ll need to dig deep into the throttle to motivate the CR-V for much more than stoplight-to-stoplight driving. It’s a little grumbly compared to the 1.5-liter turbo-4 standard elsewhere in the CR-V lineup.

That pint-size turbo engine is rated at 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. It’s not much faster than the base CR-V, but power is ample just off of idle, which makes the 1.5-liter much more usable in any kind of driving. Moreover, the turbo-4 is much smoother and seems to work better with the CVT.

The CR-V’s optional all-wheel-drive system mostly channels power forward unless slip is detected. It’s definitely not an off-roading system, but it works well on slippery terrain and should make a commute home on snow-covered road a cinch.

Though the CR-V has a thick-rimmed steering wheel and a commanding view out, it’s not a sports car by any stretch. The steering is quick and precise, but not communicative. So too is the ride, which is geared more toward comfort than for sharp corner-carving. Still, the 2018 CR-V is pleasant to drive and fairly quiet inside on the highway. Around town, the light steering makes parking easy and it feels even more nimble than its fairly trim proportions would suggest.

The 2018 Honda CR-V has a good ride and a willing turbo-4 engine option.

The 2018 Honda CR-V is brilliantly packaged inside with far more room than you might expect available for passengers and their gear.

The 2018 Honda CR-V serves as a reminder that its maker is a master of interior packaging. It may be a compact crossover on paper, but the CR-V feels more like a mid-sizer from inside. We’ve given it points above average for its good front and rear seats and for its numerous cargo storage options ready to tuck away everything from juice boxes to mountain bikes.

The 2018 CR-V rates an 8 out of 10 here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

CR-V EX and higher trim levels include a 12-way power driver’s seat that offers lots of adjustment and long-distance comfort. The standard fabric upholstery feels classy, while the optional leather is surprisingly dressy for this price point. CR-Vs we’ve driven have had a tight, well-assembled feel and interior materials are generally above average for the price point.

The second row has good leg and hip room for adults at the outboard seats. The middle seat is a bit tight, but still good enough for three adults to ride in reasonable comfort.

Where the CR-V really excels, however, is in its ability to store everything else. Numerous bins and pockets in the doors and center console provide plenty of spaces to lose things. Out back, a low liftover height makes loading big items easy. If you need more space—or want to hide things—the carpeted cargo area floor can be removed or it can function as a shelf. The CR-V’s low floor means it can easily store a couple of mountain bikes upright with their front wheels removed.

The 2018 Honda CR-V is brilliantly packaged inside with far more room than you might expect available for passengers and their gear.

The 2018 Honda CR-V offers lots of advanced safety tech and has done well in crash-testing.

The 2018 Honda CR-V has aced most crash tests and almost all versions come standard with some desirable advanced safety tech. We’ve scored it an 8 out of 10 accordingly. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

All 2018 CR-Vs include six airbags, stability control, and anti-lock brakes. EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels come with the automaker’s Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment: automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and a road departure mitigation system that nudges the CR-V back onto the tarmac if its driver begins to drift. None of the Honda Sensing equipment is available on the CR-V LX, unfortunately.

The IIHS says that CR-Vs equipped with LED headlights and Honda Sensing are Top Safety Pick award-winners. Unfortunately, those headlights, rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, are only on Touring trims. The halogen units on LX, EX, and EX-L are rated “Marginal.” However, all versions of the CR-V performed well in the agency’s battery of crash tests and the crossover’s automatic emergency braking equipment is highly rated.

Federal testers award the CR-V five stars overall, including five for side-impact and frontal crash-testing. The CR-V, like most crossovers, scores four out of five stars in the calculated rollover test.

The 2018 Honda CR-V offers lots of advanced safety tech and has done well in crash-testing.


NHTSA 5-Star Safety Rating

2018 Honda CR V Models

Overall Rating

5/5

Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating: (5/5)
Overall Side Crash Rating: (5/5)
Overall Side Barrier Rating: Not Rated
NHTSA Roll-over Resistance Rating: (4/5)



Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Ratings

2018 Honda CR V Models

Side Impact Test Not Tested
Roof Strength Test Not Tested
Rear Crash Protection/Head Restraint Not Tested
IIHS Small Overlap Front Test Results Not Tested
IIHS Moderate Overlap Front Test Results Not Tested

The sweet spot here is the well-equipped 2018 Honda CR-V EX; add leather if you want.

The 2018 Honda CR-V comes in four basic flavors, each with a choice of sunny state front-wheel drive or snow-ready all-wheel drive.

Base CR-Vs are well-equipped for the money and this crossover’s infotainment system has a large, clear screen, so we’ve awarded it with 7 out of 10 points. It narrowly misses out on an eighth because although the CR-V Touring is well-equipped, there’s not much customization available here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Honda CR-V LX serves as the entry to the lineup and it’s outfitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and a fairly basic four-speaker audio system. The LX is the only CR-V to come with the 2.4-liter inline-4, while other variants include a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-4.

The CR-V EX includes heated front seats, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless ignition, a 12-way power driver’s seat, a power moonroof, an extra USB input, and the automaker’s full suite of collision-avoidance tech (which it brands Honda Sensing). At around $2,500, that’s a heck of a lot of stuff.

Next up is the CR-V EX-L, which adds leather upholstery, a power liftgate, power for the passenger’s seat, a garage door opener, satellite radio, and premium audio. Navigation is optional on the EX-L.

Topping the line is the CR-V Touring, which builds on the EX-L trim with unique wheels, automatic windshield wipers, a hands-free tailgate, and an uprated audio system with a subwoofer.

All-wheel drive runs an extra $1,300 across the line.

The infotainment system fitted to EX and higher trim levels is fast and boasts a crystal clear screen, but we’re not enamored with its graphics and it can sometimes be a little too menu-intensive. Easy CarPlay and Android compatibility is a plus, though, and one you won’t find on many of CR-V’s direct rivals.

The sweet spot here is the well-equipped 2018 Honda CR-V EX; add leather if you want.

You’ll find good fuel economy at every level with the 2018 Honda CR-V.

Best case, the front-wheel-drive CR-V with the 1.5-liter engine is rated at 28 mpg city, 34 highway, 30 combined. All-wheel drive drops those figures to 27/33/29 mpg, which is still pretty good. It earns a 7 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Only the CR-V LX includes the 2.4-liter inline-4, which isn’t as thrifty as the engine standard otherwise. Stick with front-wheel drive, and the CR-V LX is rated at 26/32/28 mpg; the all-wheel drive version comes in at a still-decent 25/31/27 mpg.

All versions of the CR-V run on regular unleaded gasoline.

You’ll find good fuel economy at every level with the 2018 Honda CR-V.


Fuel Economy Information

Ratings Based on 4 cyl, 1.5 L, CVT

29

Combined

3.4 gals/100 miles

27

City


33

Highway

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