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MSRP: $24,250 - 34,150

8.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.7
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Honda CR-V Review

The 2018 Honda CR-V ranks near the top of its class. It has a quality interior, plenty of passenger and cargo space, great safety scores, and balanced performance for everyday needs.

Pros & Cons

  • Cavernous cargo area
  • High-quality cabin
  • Supple ride
  • Good crash test scores
  • Few standard features

Is the Honda CR-V a Good SUV?

The 2018 CR-V comes just one year after a full redesign for 2017, which Honda hit out of the park. The CR-V's supple ride quality makes everyday driving a pleasure, and the optional turbocharged engine delivers plenty of power. Inside, the CR-V balances utility and comfort, which is why it’s one of our highest-rated compact SUVs. It has ample seating space and class-leading cargo volume. Though the base model has few standard features, the cabin is awash in quality materials.

We named the CR-V our 2018 Best Compact SUV for the Money because it has the best combination of overall quality and value in its class. Thanks to its sizeable cabin, wealth of safety features, and positive feedback from automotive writers, we named the CR-V our 2018 Best Compact SUV for Families.

Should I Buy the Honda CR-V?

The 2018 CR-V should be one of the first vehicles you test drive if you're in the market for a small SUV. Families will appreciate its roomy rear seats, cavernous trunk, and excellent safety scores. Great fuel economy estimates and a comfortable interior further enhance the CR-V's appeal as a commuting partner.

While it’s an excellent SUV, the CR-V is far from being the lowest-priced in the class. You'll want to skip the spartan base model, so be prepared to spend at least $27,000 for a CR-V. Some rivals like the Toyota RAV4 offer more standard features for a comparable price. You could also consider the Ford Escape for more exciting performance.

Compare the CR-V, RAV4, and Escape »

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

After a full redesign for 2017, the CR-V carries over unchanged into 2018. Therefore, you could potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a nearly identical 2017 model. You can also look around in the previous generation if you want to increase your savings even more, but you won't get all the benefits of the SUV's redesign. 

These improvements include all-new interior and exterior styling, and a newly available 190-horsepower turbocharged engine. This power plant provides more punch and better fuel economy (28/34 mpg city/highway) than other CR-V engine choices. The suspension is upgraded for more ride comfort and better handling, and there's an extra 5 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. Features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay made their debut for 2017, while the much-maligned touch-screen volume control from the previous generation was replaced by a physical knob.

You can learn more by reading our reviews of the 2015 and 2016 Honda CR-V. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Honda CR-V »

We Did the Research for You: 30 Reviews Analyzed

For our 2018 Honda CR-V review, we researched 30 professional evaluations, along with safety scores, reliability ratings, and more, to help you make the best buying decision possible. This 2018 Honda CR-V review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2017 and 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept incentives or expensive gifts from car companies, and an outside team handles the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Honda CR-V Cost?

The 2018 Honda CR-V starts at $24,250. That’s a little above average for a compact SUV, but within a few hundred dollars of rivals like the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. The CR-V comes in a few higher trim levels that can bump up its price by several thousand dollars. All-wheel drive is a $1,400 option for every trim. A fully loaded AWD CR-V Touring model is priced at around $34,000.

For more information about the Honda CR-V's standard and optional features, check out the “Which Honda CR-V Model Is Right for Me?” section below.

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?

Overall, the Honda CR-V is a much better SUV than the Toyota RAV4. The CR-V gives you a higher-quality interior with more passenger and cargo room. The Toyota has more standard features, which is a main reason to consider it over the Honda. The RAV4 comes with a touch-screen infotainment system and a host of driver assistance features. You'll have to upgrade the CR-V to get these amenities.

Which Is Better: Honda CR-V or Ford Escape?

The Ford Escape is one of the most fun-to-drive compact SUVs available, thanks to its sporty handling and two optional turbocharged engines. It also gets a top-notch predicted reliability rating. Still, the CR-V is a bit more well-rounded. It has better fuel economy and slightly more cargo room than the Escape.

Compare the CR-V, RAV4 and Escape »

CR-V Interior

How Many People Does the CR-V Seat?

The 2018 Honda CR-V seats five people on standard cloth seats. You can opt for more upscale accommodations like leather seats, heated front seats, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a heated steering wheel. The driver enjoys a commanding view of the road ahead, and the supportive front seats are all-day comfortable. Taller occupants should have enough room to stretch out wherever they sit, even in the back seat, which offers ample legroom. The rear doors open to almost 90 degrees, making it easy to get in and out.

CR-V and Car Seats

The 2018 CR-V has two complete sets of LATCH connectors in the back seat. The middle seat has a top tether anchor (which can be hard to find) and one lower anchor. You can borrow an anchor from the rear driver's side seat to put a car seat in the middle. It’s easy to find the upper tether anchors on the outer rear seats, though they can be confused for other hardware. The lower anchors are easy to locate, but it takes a concerted effort to clip on the car-seat straps.

CR-V Interior Quality

Fresh off a full redesign for 2017, the CR-V boasts one of the most upscale interiors in its class. Upper trims are especially elegant, but even the base model has plenty of soft-touch surfaces and premium materials. Everything ties together in a pleasing aesthetic.

CR-V Cargo Space

The 2018 CR-V has the largest cargo capacity in its class, featuring 39.2 cubic feet behind its back seat and 75.8 cubic feet with the second row folded. That’s more space than many midsize SUVs offer. Rivals like the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 aren't far behind, though, with maximum capacities of 68 and 73.4 cubic feet, respectively.

The CR-V’s utility stretches beyond just space. The rear bumper is low, making it easier to load heavy cargo. The adjustable trunk floor can be level with the folded-flat seats or lowered to accommodate taller items. The second row folds easily via a lever. You can opt for a power tailgate, and upgrade it to work in conjunction with hands-free entry via a proximity key. With the key fob on you, simply wave your foot under the bumper and the hatch opens.

CR-V Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The few features that come standard in the 2018 CR-V include a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a 5-inch audio display screen. Optional features include dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, remote start, a moonroof, a six-speaker stereo, an eight-speaker stereo, a nine-speaker premium audio system, four USB ports, satellite radio, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation.

The touch-screen infotainment system (standard in all but the base trim) turns the CR-V into a modern and connected daily driver. Unlike previous versions of this interface, there are physical buttons and knobs to control some infotainment functions, like volume. The system can be a little slow to respond to touches and process commands. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow you to integrate your smartphone to the car and access your favorite apps, contacts, media, and more.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

CR-V Performance

CR-V Engine: Trust the Turbo

The base 2018 Honda CR-V features a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 184 horsepower. All higher trims come with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 190 horsepower. Both inline fours come paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is a type of automatic.

On paper, the two engines’ power figures are similar, but the difference between the two is more notable on the road. The standard engine is fine for scooting around town, but go with the turbocharged power plant for more authoritative driving. Its presence in most trims means you’ll find more of them on dealer lots too. The turbo engine delivers strong and linear acceleration, whether you’re taking off from a stop or passing at high speeds on the freeway. However, you might notice a little turbo lag if you really jam on the gas. The CVT pairs nicely with each engine and doesn’t exhibit the loud droning noise common to other CVTs.

CR-V Gas Mileage: Among the Best

The front-wheel-drive 2018 CR-V earns an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with its standard engine. Those estimates are decent for the class, but it gets better from there. The optional turbo engine earns 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which is higher than nearly every other nonhybrid in the class. All-wheel drive lowers mpg estimates by 1 across the board.

CR-V Ride and Handling: Comfy and Composed

The CR-V delivers a soft and comfortable ride quality, which is what most shoppers want in a crossover. The cabin isolates most road and wind noise, while the suspension easily disposes of bumps, potholes, and rough pavement. You won't get thrilling handling from the CR-V, but its steering is composed enough to ensure confidence when cornering and during everyday driving maneuvers.

Read more about performance »

CR-V Reliability

Is the Honda CR-V Reliable?

The 2018 CR-V has a predicted reliability score of three out of five from J.D. Power. That mark is considered average for all new cars.

Honda CR-V Warranty

A new Honda CR-V comes with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Most compact SUVs offer identical coverage terms.

Read more about reliability »

CR-V Safety

CR-V Crash Test Results

The 2018 Honda CR-V earns a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It receives five out of five stars in both the frontal and side crash tests, and four stars in the rollover test. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CR-V aces all six individual crash tests and is a 2018 IIHS Top Safety Pick. The CR-V also earns a Superior for its front crash prevention features and Acceptable for headlight performance.

CR-V Safety Features

A rearview camera is the only driver assistance feature that comes standard in the 2018 CR-V. Move above the base trim for the Honda Sensing suite of technologies, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. All but the base CR-V also come with automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. However, if you want something as simple as rear parking sensors, you'll have to buy it as an option, regardless of trim level.

Read more about safety »

Which Honda CR-V Model Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Honda CR-V comes in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The base LX model comes with a 2.4-liter engine, while all other models feature a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional for $1,400.

For the best combination of features and value, go with the CR-V EX. In addition to the turbocharged engine, the EX comes with a healthy list of conveniences such as heated front seats, a moonroof, satellite radio, and a touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You'll also get a good number of driver assistance and advanced safety features.

The main reason to step up to the EX-L trim from the EX is for the leather seats, but it will cost you another $2,500 or so. The EX-L is also the lowest trim to offer navigation (as an option), but you can just as easily use the navigation on your phone via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

Honda CR-V LX

The 2018 Honda CR-V starts at $24,250. Standard features include cloth seats, a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, a 5-inch audio display screen, and a rearview camera. Rear parking sensors are available (as they are in every trim) for $528.

Honda CR-V EX

The CR-V EX retails for $27,050. It adds dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, remote start, a moonroof, heated front seats, a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a six-speaker stereo, four USB ports, satellite radio, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. A heated steering wheel is optional for $500.

Honda CR-V EX-L

Move up to the EX-L trim for $29,550, and you'll get leather seats, a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an eight-speaker stereo, and a power liftgate. In addition to the heated steering wheel option, you can spring for hands-free power liftgate access ($355) and navigation ($1,000).

Honda CR-V Touring

The top-of-the-line CR-V Touring costs $32,750 and comes with navigation, a nine-speaker premium audio system, and LED headlights.

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 2018 Honda CR-V specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Honda CR-V is one of the best compact SUVs you can buy. With an abundance of cargo room and passenger space and a quality interior, the CR-V is a great choice for both a daily driver and a utility vehicle.

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

  • "Fresh from its complete overhaul last year, the 2018 Honda CR-V compact-crossover SUV continues to offer the size, features, fuel economy and excellent reliability buyers have come to expect from Honda. … It has more interior room than a Toyota RAV4, more power than the Nissan Rogue and better resale value than a Ford Escape." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "For many small families, the new CR-Vs class-leading practicality and comfort are the most-important reasons to put one in their garage." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "From a bang-for-the-buck perspective, it's not easy to find another crossover in this segment that checks off as many boxes with such a polished, refined and respected product. From well-engineered driving dynamics to innovative engine technology and class-leading safety equipment (Honda expects top crash-test ratings), this family-oriented vehicle seems to offer it all." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: November 9, 2018

Strong Sales: It should come as no surprise that the Honda CR-V is one of the top-selling compact SUVs in 2018. Not only is it a top seller in its segment, but it is also the best-selling vehicle across the Honda lineup. Sales this year are consistent with figures from 2017.

Research more buying advice »
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