$8,908 - $12,076

2011 Honda CR-V Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Honda CR-V was new.


Performance: 8.0

Test drivers praise the 2011 CR-V for its car-like driving dynamics. However, they note it lacks power and has a bumpy ride.

  • "In stop-and-go city driving, the CR-V moves away from lights well, and its steering is precise. Overall, it makes you comfortable, and a comfortable driver is a confident driver." -- Cars.com
  • "Nevertheless, the CR-V sets itself apart with remarkably nimble handling thanks to a relatively firm suspension and sharp steering. Even braking is quite good, which is unusual for a Honda." -- Edmunds
  • "If you're looking to venture off-road, the CR-V's part-time 4WD system is no match for the Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system found in the more capable Subaru Forester." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The upgraded engine sounded somewhat coarse. And Honda might have better served U.S. drivers by boosting the torque for better scoot in traffic instead of, or in addition to, the horsepower. That may be easier to advertise, and good for merging and passing, but torque is more relevant to slog-about U.S. driving." -- USA TODAY

Acceleration and Power

With a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 180 horsepower and 161 pound feet of torque, the 2011 Honda CR-V isn’t the most powerful compact SUV on the market. Reviewers say acceleration is sluggish, which makes it easy for the competition to beat the CR-V. Want something faster? Try the Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-7, Subaru Forester or Toyota RAV4.

As for fuel economy, the EPA says the CR-V averages 21/28 mpg city/highway with two-wheel drive and 21/27 mpg city/highway with four-wheel drive. These aren’t the worst fuel economy ratings in the class, but there are compacts that do better -- like the GMC Terrain, Hyundai Tucson and Chevrolet Equinox.

  • "No doubt, the CR-V is dog slow, but I've yet to sample a single vehicle in this class that could be described as otherwise. Combine a four-cylinder engine with a reasonably high curb weight and truckish aerodynamics, and you're going to end up with a sluggish vehicle -- those are just the facts of life." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The CR-V's biggest flaw is its performance when passing on the highway. In most small crossovers with automatic transmissions, passing around 50 mph means flooring the gas pedal, waiting for the transmission to kick down a gear, then getting enough acceleration to make your move. The CR-V is no different - it's just that you don't get a lot of acceleration. In short, it's light on guts." -- Cars.com
  • "CR-V felt peppier, as you'd hope with a more powerful engine. But it took a heavy foot to appreciate, which is when the transmission's bad manners got noticed." -- USA TODAY
  • "The engine even made a nice growl when given the spurs, easily getting up to highway speeds and smoothly summoning velocity for passing at will." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

The CR-V is well-liked for its handling. Test drivers report that handling is stable and predictable, and there’s body roll, but not too much.

  • "Compact-car maneuverable. Body lean during fast turns is kept in check. Brakes provide good stopping control and adequate pedal feel. One test 2WD model coped poorly with 3 inches of fresh snow." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The ride is slightly busier than the norm and road noise can be excessive…" -- Edmunds
  • "It even does well in the turns, with very little of that roly-poly feeling so common with SUVs, and braking was surprisingly sharp. I know. I sound giddy. But I said the CR-V makes me feel young, right?" -- Cars.com
  • "The CR-V has a cushioned ride that belies its size and handling is stable and predictable." -- Kelley Blue Book

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