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2008 Honda CR-V Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Honda CR-V was new.

The CR-V's high ranking is based on its excellent combination of a practical interior and a reputation for safety and reliability in its class. Its major competitor, the Toyota RAV4, just can't quite match the CR-V's refinement.

9.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.2
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.2
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Award-winning compact SUV
  • Space and storage capabilities galore
  • Excellent safety scores and an IIHS "Top Safety Pick"
  • No optional third-row seat
  • Four-cylinder engine lacks power and no V6 is offered
  • No manual transmission option

2008 Honda CR-V Overview

Redesigned in 2007, the Honda CR-V is appreciated for providing a safe driving experience with ample storage space, now packaged in a sleeker design. All-around praise earns the 2008 CR-V a top spot in its large class. It also ranks very highly within the Affordable Crossover SUVs. Though it's closely matched with Toyota's RAV4, the CR-V beats the Toyota in all categories except exterior. "This is an excellent vehicle and a great value -- possibly the best compact SUV on the market today," says About.com. The SUV remains mostly unchanged for 2008, though the top-of-the-line EX-L trim level gains a few more standard features. The 2007 CR-V is a proven winner, racking up top honors including Motor Week's "Driver's Choice" for Best Small Utility and IntelliChoice's "Motorist Choice Award" for Mid-Size Crossover SUV.

The CR-V was among the fastest-selling SUVs in America through the first half of 2008.  Somewhat surprisingly, its middle-of-the-pack gas mileage doesn't seem to have slowed sales of Honda's smallest SUV, despite record high gas prices.

The CR-V comes in several trims -- the base LX, mid-level EX and luxurious EX-L -- in either front- or all-wheel drive.  

  • "Crossover vehicles are all the rage these days, and after a week behind the wheel of Honda's new offering we can say you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one." -- MarketWatch
  • "All-new in 2007, the CR-V remains a handy wee SUV with good driving manners and excellent build quality. It's less quirky than before, but the CR-V has remained true to its cheap-ute mission and hasn't gone up in weight and price as much as its old nemesis, the Toyota RAV4." -- Car and Driver
  • "Honda has taken the positive attributes that make the CR-V its perennial best-seller and added style, better handling, and a hint of cool." -- Motor Trend
  • "This little sport/utility vehicle-crossover thing won't do much for your enthusiast creds, but as agreeable, practical all-purpose transportation, it's hard to beat." -- AutoWeek
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