$17,667 - $25,669

2016 Honda CR-V Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Honda CR-V was new.


Performance: 7.2

The 2016 Honda CR-V is a capable performer with precise steering, according to critics. They point out that it lacks the athleticism of some class rivals, but most agree that it delivers a smooth, quiet ride, decent acceleration and satisfactory power for day-to-day driving.

  • "The driving experience in a CR-V feels very car-like, with a smooth ride, precise handling and a cabin that isolates wind and road noise with surprising efficiency." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “Compared to the 2014 model, this new CR-V feels less flimsy than before -- screwed down, tightened up, and well-put together -- what Honda does best." -- Autoweek (2015)
  • "Sure, it lacks the agility of the CX-5, or cabin refinement of a Ford Escape; but the engine, chassis and suspension are dialed in to velvet-smooth satisfaction." -- Yahoo Autos (2015)
  • “[M]ost drivers won't complain about the CR-V's abilities. Its acceleration is adequate and its handling is typically Honda - benign and easy to manage. Steering weight is relatively light but presents predictable and intuitive feedback." -- Edmunds (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 CR-V features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 185 horsepower and is mated to a continuously variable transmission, which acts like an automatic. It gets an EPA-estimated 26/33 mpg city/highway, which is among the best fuel economy ratings in the class.

Test drivers say that in the city the CR-V displays decent acceleration from its four-cylinder engine, even with a full complement of passengers. Still, they note that its power won’t wow anyone. Most critics praise the CVT, saying that it is reactive and smooth. Others note, however, that the automatic transmissions in some competitors get more out of their engines.

  • "At the heart of the CR-V is a 2.4-liter engine with 185 horsepower on tap. With the help of a very capable CVT automatic, the CR-V can accelerate briskly, even with four people on board. Good fuel economy is also along for the ride, as is available Real Time AWD." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In years past, the engine was mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, but the crossover is singing a new tune with the introduction of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is lighter and more compact than the automatic gearbox it replaces. [In] addition to offering unsurpassed smoothness, it has a 33-percent wider overall ratio spread than the outgoing five-speed to improve efficiency and drivability." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "Anyone looking for maximum engine entertainment in a small SUV should probably look elsewhere: The competition's multispeed automatics-they range from six to nine forward ratios-are a better choice. Few owners are likely to keep the CR-V's gas pedal floored for long, though. Driven gently as it usually will be, the CR-V snaps forward in stop-and-go and around-town traffic slightly better than last year-credit the newfound torque." -- Car and Driver (2015)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard on the 2016 CR-V, and all-wheel drive is available. Test drivers report that the CR-V has responsive steering and poised handling, though they say that class rivals like the Mazda CX-5 offer a sportier experience. Some reviewers think the ride quality could be better, but most agree that it handles both smooth and rough road conditions competently.

  • "Over smooth surfaces, the CR-V naturally feels calm and controlled, but even when the road gets dicey, Honda's little people-mover remains unflappable. In corners, the CR-V exhibits minimal lean, and the steering's excellent feedback allows for confident high-speed maneuvers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “The CR-V goes down the road with much more poise than before, thanks to its significantly quieter interior, tighter and more responsive steering, and composed body motions that provide a confidence-inspiring feel from behind the wheel." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
  • "[A]lthough the ride quality is generally OK, it could be better." -- Autotrader (2015)
  • "Handling is secure and predictable. The CR-V doesn't drive as sportily as the Mazda CX-5, but it comports itself with a carlike and mature manner." -- Car and Driver (2015)

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