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2020 Honda CR-V Performance

U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Honda CR-V Performance Review


Performance: 8.1

The 2020 Honda CR-V provides a comfortable ride and composed handling. Its turbocharged engine feels sufficiently powerful, and the CR-V gets good fuel economy estimates.

  • "[All] trims get a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. … Fuel economy is better with the turbo as well, and unlike many of its rivals, this engine runs quite contentedly on regular unleaded gasoline. The standard CVT automatic features a Sport mode for added responsiveness, although the CR-V has no illusions of being sporty." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "If you're an owner of the previous-generation CR-V, this latest version is bound to feel more grown-up and sophisticated. It has a more comfortable and controlled ride, a quieter cabin and steering that needs fewer corrections when on the highway. Indeed, this observation doesn't just apply when comparing today's model to its predecessor, but to the entire compact SUV field as well (especially the popular Toyota RAV4)." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "Owners of previous CR-V models will feel right at home behind the wheel … as it drives in a familiar fun and responsive manner, reflective of how Honda isn't going to change a winning formula." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The CR-V has a 190-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This compact SUV is capable around town and holds its own at highway speeds. The CVT drones under hard acceleration, but it's smooth and mimics the shifts of a traditional automatic transmission.

Models with front-wheel drive get 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which is great for a nonhybrid compact SUV. Adding all-wheel drive lowers those figures to 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

  • "Honda did its homework planting its first turbocharged engine—a 1.5-liter unit that makes 190 horsepower—in a CR-V and pairing it with one of the best continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVTs) available—praise we don’t give lightly. While most compact crossovers have meager towing limits, the CR-V has one of the lowest at 1500 pounds. Any parent moonlighting as a street racer might be disappointed with the CR-V’s acceleration." -- Car and Driver
  • "As for the engine, that low-end power from the turbocharged engine makes the CR-V feel like a strong performer at more mundane, around-town speeds. Open it up and it starts to run out of steam, and you'll notice some droning from the CVT." -- Autoblog
  • "Small-displacement turbocharged engines often struggle in SUVs, but not the 1.5-liter engine in the CR-V. It's quicker than most rivals, providing good low-end oomph for scooting through city streets. You won't be nervous on a freeway onramp, and you won't need to slam on the gas to pass slowpokes." -- Edmunds (2018)

Handling and Braking

The CR-V strikes a good balance between comfort and sportiness. Few road flaws transfer to the cabin, and this Honda feels poised around turns, with minimal body lean. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "Today's CR-V drives with greater refinement and sophistication than past versions. … These observations largely apply in relation to most competitors as well, and indeed, the CR-V is one of the best compact crossovers to drive. In general, that's because the CR-V is well-rounded. Its steering is nicely weighted and imparts sufficient confidence, but doesn't make parking a chore. Its handling certainly isn't the most responsive or road hugging in the segment, but it inspires confidence while not taking away from the comfortable ride." -- Autoblog
  • "On the other hand, they… will appreciate its refined ride, enthusiastic steering, and strong brakes. The composed and compliant ride of the CR-V makes for pleasant commutes, long or short. Its responsive brake pedal means you receive the stopping power you want when you ask for it." -- Car and Driver
  • "On the road, the CR-V is an exceptional highway cruiser, with a soft ride and quiet cabin. In the curves, the CR-V’s steering, braking and body motions are acceptable, but nowhere near as precise as the Mazda CX-5. …" -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
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2020 Honda CR-V

MSRP: $25,050 - $34,750

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