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2021 Honda CR-V Performance Review


Performance: 7.9

The 2021 Honda CR-V has peppy acceleration, and it returns superb fuel economy. It also has a well-balanced ride and poised handling.

  • "Today's CR-V drives with greater refinement and sophistication than past versions. It's more comfortable, there's less wind and road noise, and the turbo engine's low-end power results in quieter, less strained noises when driven around town. … Indeed, the CR-V is one of the best compact crossovers to drive." -- Autoblog (2020)
  • "With capable acceleration, composed handling and confident highway manners, the turbocharged CR-V is a multidisciplined competitor." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Honda's … CR-V remains fun and responsive to drive, hallmark traits of the spry not-so-little crossover." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Engine: 190-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: continuously variable automatic (CVT)

The CR-V's turbocharged engine provides great acceleration, both from a stop and at higher speeds, and the transmission operates smoothly.

  • "The turbocharged 1.5-liter … is arguably the most competitive engine in the segment, boasting admirable fuel economy and power, and responsive power delivery." -- Autotrader
  • "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." -- Car and Driver
  • "Acceleration builds steadily, with the continuously variable transmissions (CVT) simulating stepped gear changes that mimic a traditional automatic. The engine pulls well, even when performing low-speed passing maneuvers. It’s a much more satisfying experience than you’ll get from behind the wheel of a Subaru Forester or Toyota RAV4." -- Kelley Blue Book

MPG Estimates

With standard front-wheel drive, the 2021 CR-V returns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. With all-wheel drive, it gets 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Those estimates are excellent for a compact SUV.

Handling and Braking

The CR-V delivers a comfortable ride with easy handling. Though it's not the most athletic SUV in the class, it drives with composure.

  • "It has a more comfortable and controlled ride, a quieter cabin and steering that needs fewer corrections on the highway." -- Autotrader
  • "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
  • "The CR-V’s steering is nicely assisted, with enough feedback to make it enjoyable when the road starts to wind. The ride is compliant, softer than most, but also less jarring." -- Kelley Blue Book
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2021 Honda CR-V

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