$12,289 - $15,608

2013 Honda CR-V Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Honda CR-V was new.


Performance: 7.6

The 2013 Honda CR-V pleases test drivers with great handling and a car-like ride. However, some reviewers say that a more powerful engine could help the CR-V compete with rival affordable compact SUVs.

  • "CR-V is compact-car maneuverable and reasonably fun to drive, punctuated by accurate steering and merely modest body lean in fast turns." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "CR-V drives exactly as you'd expect it to drive - confidently, securely and without surprises. It doesn't have enough snap or pizazz to make it fun to drive exactly - the vehicle kind of disappears in the equation. It just goes, which is just fine for the family and grocery hauler that it is." -- Forbes (2012)
  • "Despite working through one fewer forward gear than many of its competitors, the four-banger's broad torque curve makes the car quick enough to squirt through traffic, and it returns top-of-the-class fuel-economy numbers." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
  • "A turbo or V-6 would be torquier and provide for more than the CR-V's apologetic 1500 lb. tow rating, but inevitably the fuel mileage or purchase price would suffer. For its primary goal of people- moving, the CR-V strikes a heroic balance between need and want." -- Road and Track (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Honda CR-V features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 185 horsepower. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, which is paired with front- or all-wheel drive. The EPA reports that the CR-V gets up to 23/31 mpg city/highway, which is good compared with most affordable compact SUVs. However, rivals like the Mazda CX-5 get slightly better fuel economy estimates. 

While reviewers generally agree that the CR-V offers adequate power, they also note that the CR-V isn’t as powerful as some other SUVs in the class. They say that rivals like the Ford Escape have engine options that provide more power and offer similar fuel economy. Additionally, one test driver writes that the CR-V’s engine is noisy on the highway and during acceleration.

  • "Here's where CR-V falters a bit against its rivals. The 4-cylinder engine buzzes loudly while accelerating and never fully goes away at cruising speeds." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The Ford Escape and Hyundai Santa Fe offer more powerful engines with the same or better fuel economy as the CR-V." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "And while acceleration is adequate, it's not quite as brisk as some four-cylinder competitors." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "There's also no need for anything larger or more powerful than the CR-V's revvy 4-banger. It goes about its work with a pleasant mechanical zing that reminds us Honda is a classic engine-oriented carmaker." -- Road and Track (2012)

Handling and Braking

Most test drivers say that the 2013 CR-V excels with a car-like ride, precise handling and a tight turning radius. One reviewer writes that the CR-V’s ride is firmer than some competing SUVs, but he says that it’s still comfortable and composed.

  • "Per Honda tradition, CR-V's ride errs on the firm side of the spectrum. It's never uncomfortable, and bump absorption is surprisingly good." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Extensive noise reduction efforts yield a quiet, well-isolated passenger compartment, and the rigid unit-body structure, coupled with taut suspension tuning, gives the 2013 Honda CR-V impressively capable handling characteristics." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "On the plus side, the crossover distinguishes itself by offering steering and handling that are sharper and more rewarding than most of the competition's." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "A tight turning circle eases the hustle of parking lots and city traffic, while on more open roads the new electrically-assisted power steering gives pleasantly direct feedback." -- Road and Track (2012)

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