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2020 Honda CR-V Review

The 2020 Honda CR-V ranks among the leaders of the compact SUV class. Its passenger and cargo volumes eclipse those of most rivals, and its well-balanced ride and capable powertrain make it a great daily driver.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Great fuel economy
  • Handsome, roomy cabin
  • Cavernous cargo hold
  • Few standard tech features in base trim
  • Some frustrating infotainment controls

New for 2020

  • Honda Sensing safety suite now standard
  • 184-horsepower engine discontinued
  • Tweaked exterior styling

8.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.5
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

 Is the Honda CR-V a Good SUV?  

The Honda CR-V is a great compact SUV. It has a lot to offer prospective buyers, including great fuel economy and a handsome cabin with plenty of room for people and their things. We named the CR-V our 2020 Best Compact SUV for the Money because of its outstanding combination of quality and value.

Should I Buy the Honda CR-V?

If you want a small crossover SUV, the CR-V should be on your short list. Practical, comfortable, and fuel-efficient, it checks many of the marks for both a commuter and a small family vehicle. That said, there are plenty of outstanding choices in the class. The Mazda CX-5 provides a sporty, engaging ride, and the Toyota RAV4 has more standard tech features.

You might also consider the all-new Honda CR-V Hybrid, which we review separately.

Compare the CR-V, CX-5, and RAV-4 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Honda CR-V?

There's a lot to like about the 2020 Honda CR-V. For 2020, Honda tweaked the exterior styling and dropped the 184-horsepower base engine from the lineup, leaving the turbocharged engine as the sole power plant. The Honda Sensing suite of safety features, which includes adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, is now included with the base trim. It was previously only standard in upper trims.

Honda redesigned the CR-V for the 2017 model year, so a model older than 2017 is significantly different from the new model.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 CR-V, 2018 CR-V, and 2019 CR-V reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 CR-V »

We Did the Research for You: 35 Reviews Analyzed

By researching Honda CR-V reviews, our hope is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 35 reviews. This 2020 Honda CR-V review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2017.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Honda CR-V Cost?

The base 2020 CR-V LX has an MSRP of $25,050. That's slightly above average for a compact SUV.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

Honda CR-V Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4?

You can’t go wrong choosing between the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. Both vehicles have similar MSRPs, with the RAV4's starting price being about $800 higher. The Toyota comes with more standard equipment, including a touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. To get these features in the Honda, you need to jump up at least one trim level. The RAV4 also comes in an off-roading trim, with no comparable version in the CR-V lineup. On the other hand, the Honda has a nicer cabin with more room for passengers and cargo.

Which Is Better: Honda CR-V or Subaru Forester?

The Subaru Forester is another great compact SUV, but with its meager engine, the Subaru falls short of the Honda. In just about every other respect, however, the Subaru shines. It’s one of the few vehicles to rival the CR-V’s roomy rear seats and large cargo hold. Compared to the Honda, the Subaru has more standard tech features, an easier-to-use infotainment system, and good fuel economy estimates, which is impressive considering the Forester has standard all-wheel drive. Both SUVs offer excellent quality and value, but while the Forester was a finalist for our 2020 Best Compact SUV for the Money award, the CR-V took the top prize.

Compare the CR-V, RAV4, and Forester »

CR-V Interior

How Many People Does the CR-V Seat?

The CR-V seats five people in two rows on standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and heated front seats are available. You can also get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a heated steering wheel.

This vehicle stands out as one of the roomiest small crossovers. It has a generous amount of head- and legroom in both rows, and the seats are supportive.

CR-V and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats. The rear middle seat has a single tether and one lower anchor. An additional anchor can be borrowed from the driver’s side.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the CR-V's LATCH system the second highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. Though the lower anchors are easy to find, it requires considerable force to attach the car seat straps. Also, it's easy to confuse the tether anchors for other hardware on the back of the seats.

CR-V Interior Quality

This SUV has an upscale, classy cabin with quality materials, including faux wood accents in higher trims.

CR-V Cargo Space

The CR-V has 39.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats (37.6 in the Touring). Folding down the rear seats opens up an impressive 75.8 cubic feet behind the front seats. These are great figures for the compact SUV class.

CR-V Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

This Honda comes standard with a 5-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a four-speaker stereo. Several more features are available. These include a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a navigation system, wireless device charging, satellite radio, HD Radio, additional USB ports, a moonroof, and a stereo with six, eight, or nine speakers.

While there’s a volume knob, there aren’t any physical controls for on-screen infotainment settings, and the touch screen can be slow to respond to input. There are a few buttons on the steering wheel for some common functions, but that doesn't make the touch screen any easier to use.

Read more about interior »

CR-V Performance

CR-V Engine: Robust

For 2020, Honda dropped the CR-V's powertrain lineup from two engines to one. Now, a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard, and it's rated at 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is also standard.

Although the engine drones under heavy acceleration, the CVT is smoother than what you'll find in rivals. The CR-V's turbo-four engine delivers ample power and helps this crossover accelerate swiftly enough for most needs.

CR-V Gas Mileage: Phenomenal

This vehicle gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Models with all-wheel drive get 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Those figures are fantastic for a nonhybrid compact SUV.

CR-V Ride and Handling: Smooth and Comfortable

The CR-V may not handle with the same agility as the Ford Escape or Mazda CX-5, but it provides a balanced ride with minimal body lean and responsive steering. It’s comfortable too, thanks to a suspension that does a good job of soaking up most road flaws. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Read more about performance »

CR-V Reliability

Is the Honda CR-V Reliable?

The 2020 Honda CR-V has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Honda CR-V Warranty

Honda covers the CR-V with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Honda CR-V?

The cost of insuring a Honda CR-V will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

CR-V Safety

CR-V Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 CR-V an overall rating of five out of five stars.  It also earned five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

The 2020 CR-V performed well in tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The IIHS gave this SUV the highest score of Good in six crash tests, and models equipped with the standard driver assistance features received the highest mark of Superior for how well they prevent a forward collision. The CR-V's headlights received the second-lowest rating of Marginal when it comes to forward visibility.

CR-V Safety Features

Standard safety features include a rearview camera, automatic high-beam headlights, and Honda Sensing, which bundles together a collision mitigation braking system, road departure warning, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Read more about safety »

CR-V Dimensions and Weight

The CR-V is about 15.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,337 to 3,576 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Honda CR-V Built?

Honda builds the 2020 CR-V in Indiana, Ohio, and Canada.

Which Honda CR-V Model Is Right for Me?

Honda offers the 2020 CR-V in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. All models come equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The base trim has plenty of standard safety features, but it’s a bit bare-bones when it comes to tech. To get a touch screen or smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you’ll have to move up to the EX trim or higher.

Honda also has an all-new CR-V Hybrid, which we review separately.

Front and rear parking sensors are available throughout the lineup for $514, and all-wheel drive costs $1,500

Honda CR-V LX

The entry-level CR-V LX has an MSRP of $25,050. Its list of standard equipment includes a 5-inch infotainment screen, a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, automatic climate control, automatic high-beam headlights, a rearview camera, and the Honda Sensing suite of safety features.

Honda CR-V EX

The CR-V EX starts at $27,560. It gains a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, HD Radio, a six-speaker stereo, two second-row USB ports, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, larger alloy wheels, and a moonroof.

A heated steering wheel is available for $500.

 Honda CR-V EX-L

The EX-L trim has a base MSRP of $30,050. It has a power liftgate, leather-trimmed seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable front seats, and an eight-speaker stereo.

A hands-free liftgate can be added for $390. The heated steering wheel remains available.

 Honda CR-V Touring

The range-topping Touring trim costs $33,250. It comes with a satellite-linked navigation system, wireless device charging, a nine-speaker stereo, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and all the EX-L trim's options.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

See 2020 Honda CR-V specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Honda CR-V is far and away one of the best compact SUVs you can buy. A tremendous amount of cargo space, roomy seats, and an upscale cabin contribute to its appeal. On the road, it strikes a good balance between comfort and agility, and it accelerates quickly enough for most needs. Some of its infotainment controls can be tricky, but that’s not enough to diminish this vehicle’s charm.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "It's not hard to see why the 2020 Honda CR-V is one of the brand's top-selling products: It's refined, practical, and well-designed. Aside from offering one of the largest cargo bays in its segment, the CR-V also offers two fuel-efficient powertrains—including a hybrid—to help it go head-to-head with its main rival, the Toyota RAV4. All CR-Vs come well-equipped with creature comforts and technology features that SUV buyers want, plus it has earned excellent crash-test ratings, which will appeal to families. Our complaints are few—and mostly centered around the CR-V's mediocre acceleration performance—but it's unlikely that average buyers will find the same faults." -- Car and Driver
  • "If you're looking for a small crossover, and especially if you'll have a family in tow, the 2020 Honda CR-V should be considered a must-drive. Though not especially characterful and certainly not the most rugged sort, the CR-V nevertheless impresses by being impeccably well-rounded. Name a practical attribute, and it almost certainly does it as well or better than its competitors. Space, fuel economy, performance, safety, quality and value are all prime reasons to consider it, while one can't ignore Honda's sterling reputation for reliability." -- Autoblog
  • "If you're searching for a compact SUV, the 2018 Honda CR-V quite simply needs to be on your test-drive list." -- Autotrader (2018)   

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: February 6, 2020

Strong Sales: The CR-V was one of the top-selling compact SUVs last year, second only to the dominant Toyota RAV4. Honda dealerships sold about the same number of CR-Vs last year compared to 2018. Beyond the compact SUV segment, the CR-V was among some of the best selling vehicles in the North American market in 2019.

Research more buying advice »
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