2018 Honda CR-V Review
Well-balanced everyday performance vaults the 2018 Honda CR-V toward the top of our rankings. It boasts good safety scores, a high-quality interior, and some of the most spacious passenger and cargo room in its class.
Is the Honda CR-V a Good SUV?
The 2018 CR-V is one year removed from a full redesign that Honda nailed. An optional turbocharged engine provides good power for all your daily needs, and a soft ride quality should hit the mark for comfort. Inside, the CR-V provides plenty of utility. The base model has few standard features, but there's ample seating space and class-leading cargo volume. The cabin is awash in quality materials, making every trip a pleasant one. Because the CR-V has the best combination of quality and value in its class, we named it our 2018 Best Compact SUV for the Money. We also named it our 2018 Best Compact SUV for Families thanks to its size-able cabin, host of safety features, and positive feedback from automotive writers.
Should I Buy the Honda CR-V?
If you're in the market for a small SUV, the 2018 CR-V should absolutely be on your list. Those looking for a family car will appreciate its roomy back seats, huge trunk, and good safety scores, while great fuel economy estimates boost the CR-V's appeal as a commuting partner.
The CR-V is an excellent compact SUV, but it's far from the cheapest buy in the class. Be prepared to spend at least $27,000 on the CR-V, unless you go with its spartan base model. Rivals like the Toyota RAV4 have comparable prices but offer more standard features. You could also consider the Ford Escape if performance is your main concern. Compare the CR-V, RAV4, and Escape
- We Did the Research for You: 19 Reviews Analyzed; For our 2018 Honda CR-V review, we researched 19 professional evaluations, along with safety scores, reliability ratings, and more, to help you make the best buying decision possible. The CR-V was fully redesigned for 2017 and carries over unchanged into 2018. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2017 and 2018 model years.
How Much Does the Honda CR-V 2018 Cost?
The 2018 Honda CR-V starts at $24,150, which is about average for a compact SUV and comparable to primary rivals like the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. The CR-V comes in a few higher trim levels that bump up its price by a couple thousand dollars. All-wheel drive is a $1,400 option for every trim. A fully loaded AWD CR-V Touring model with all-wheel drive is priced around $34,000.
Honda CR-V Versus the Competition
- Which Is Better: Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4? The Honda CR-V is a much better SUV than the Toyota RAV4. Passenger room and interior quality are better in the CR-V, and though the Toyota has good cargo space for the class, the Honda eclipses it. The Toyota comes with more standard features than the Honda – including a touch-screen infotainment system and a bunch of driver assistance features – but that's about the only area where the RAV4 is better than the CR-V.
- Which Is Better: Honda CR-V or Ford Escape? With two optional turbocharged engines and lithe, agile handling, the Ford Escape is one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in this class. The Escape is a well-rounded SUV, but the CR-V is slightly better. You'll get higher fuel economy ratings and marginally more cargo room with the CR-V. The main reason to go with an Escape is if you value performance, otherwise stick with the Honda.
- How Many People Does the CR-V Seat? The 2018 Honda CR-V seats five people on standard cloth seats. You can opt for more upscale accommodations like leather seats, heated front seats, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a heated steering wheel. The driver enjoys a commanding view of the road ahead, and the supportive front seats are all-day comfortable. Taller occupants should have enough room to stretch out wherever they sit, even in the back seat, which offers ample legroom. The rear doors open to almost 90 degrees, making it easy to get in and out.
- CR-V and Car Seats; The 2018 CR-V has two complete sets of LATCH connectors in the back seat. The middle seat has a top tether anchor (which can be hard to find) and one lower anchor. You can borrow an anchor from the rear driver's side seat to put a car seat in the middle. It’s easy to find the upper tether anchors on the outer rear seats, though they can be confused for other hardware. The lower anchors are easy to locate, but it takes a concerted effort to clip on the car-seat straps.
- CR-V Interior Quality; Fresh off a full redesign for 2017, the CR-V boasts one of the most upscale interiors in its class. Upper trims are especially elegant, but even the base model has plenty of soft-touch surfaces and premium materials. Everything ties together in a pleasing aesthetic.
- CR-V Cargo Space; The 2018 CR-V has the largest cargo capacity in its class, featuring 39.2 cubic feet behind its back seat and 75.8 cubic feet with the second row folded. That’s more space than many midsize SUVs offer. Rivals like the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 aren't far behind, though, with maximum capacities of 68 and 73.4 cubic feet, respectively. The CR-V’s utility stretches beyond just space. The rear bumper is low, making it easier to load heavy cargo. The adjustable trunk floor can be level with the folded-flat seats or lowered to accommodate taller items. The second row folds easily via a lever. You can opt for a power tailgate, and upgrade it to work in conjunction with hands-free entry via a proximity key. With the key fob on you, simply wave your foot under the bumper and the hatch opens.
- CR-V Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation; The few features that come standard in the 2018 CR-V include a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a 5-inch audio display screen. Optional features include dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, remote start, a moonroof, a six-speaker stereo, an eight-speaker stereo, a nine-speaker premium audio system, four USB ports, satellite radio, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation. The touch-screen infotainment system (standard in all but the base trim) turns the CR-V into a modern and connected daily driver. Unlike previous versions of this interface, there are physical buttons and knobs to control some infotainment functions, like volume. The system can be a little slow to respond to touches and process commands. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow you to integrate your smartphone to the car and access your favorite apps, contacts, media, and more.
- CR-V Engine: Trust the Turbo; The base 2018 Honda CR-V features a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 184 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. All higher trims come with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. Both inline fours come paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is a type of automatic. On paper, the two engines’ power figures are similar, but the difference between the two is more notable on the road. The standard engine is fine for scooting around town, but go with the turbocharged power plant for more authoritative driving. Its presence in most trims means you’ll find more of them on dealer lots too. The turbo engine delivers strong and linear acceleration, whether you’re taking off from a stop or passing at high speeds on the freeway. However, you might notice a little turbo lag if you really jam on the gas. The CVT pairs nicely with each engine and doesn’t exhibit the loud droning noise common to other CVTs.
- CR-V Gas Mileage: Among the Best; The front-wheel-drive 2018 CR-V earns an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with its standard engine. Those estimates are decent for the class, but it gets better from there. The optional turbo engine earns 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which is higher than nearly every other nonhybrid in the class. All-wheel drive lowers mpg estimates by 1 across the board.
- CR-V Ride and Handling: Comfy and Composed; The CR-V delivers a soft and comfortable ride quality, which is what most shoppers want in a crossover. The cabin isolates most road and wind noise, while the suspension easily disposes of bumps, potholes, and rough pavement. You won't get thrilling handling from the CR-V, but its steering is composed enough to ensure confidence when cornering and during everyday driving maneuvers.
- Is the Honda CR-V Reliable? The 2018 CR-V doesn't have a reliability rating yet, but the nearly identical 2017 model earned an above-average predicted reliability score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. Three is considered average.
- Honda CR-V Warranty; A new Honda CR-V comes with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile power-train warranty. Most compact SUVs offer identical coverage terms.
- CR-V Crash Test Results; The 2018 Honda CR-V earns a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received five out of five stars in both the frontal and side crash tests, and four stars in the rollover test. The Ford Escape earned identical marks from the NHTSA, while the Toyota RAV4 received four stars in the frontal crash test.
- CR-V Safety Features; A rear-view camera is the only driver assistance feature that comes standard in the 2018 CR-V. Move above the base trim for the Honda Sensing suite of technologies, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. All but the base CR-V also come with automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. However, if you want something as simple as rear parking sensors, you'll have to buy it as an option, regardless of trim level.
Which Honda CR-V Model Is Right for Me?
The 2018 Honda CR-V comes in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The base LX model comes with a 2.4-liter engine, while all other models feature a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional for $1,400.
For the best combination of features and value, go with the CR-V EX. In addition to the turbocharged engine, the EX comes with a healthy list of conveniences such as heated front seats, a moonroof, satellite radio, and a touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You'll also get a good number of driver assistance and advanced safety features. The main reason to step up to the EX-L trim is the leather seats, but it will cost you another $3,000 or so. The EX-L is also the lowest trim to offer navigation (as an option), but you can just as easily use the navigation on your phone via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
- Honda CR-V LX; The 2018 Honda CR-V starts at $24,150. Standard features include cloth seats, a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, a 5-inch audio display screen, and a rearview camera. Rear parking sensors are available (as they are in every trim) for $528.
- Honda CR-V EX; The CR-V EX retails for $26,950. It adds dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, remote start, a moonroof, heated front seats, a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a six-speaker stereo, four USB ports, satellite radio, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. A heated steering wheel is optional for $500.
- Honda CR-V EX-L; Move up to the EX-L trim for $29,450 and you'll get leather seats, a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an eight-speaker stereo, and a power liftgate. In addition to the heated steering wheel option, you can spring for hands-free power liftgate access ($355) and navigation ($1,000).
- Honda CR-V Touring; The top-of-the-line CR-V Touring costs $32,650 and comes with navigation, a nine-speaker premium audio system, and LED headlights.