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  2. Honda CR-V 2021 Review
Bringing in the Classic Dynamism of Honda

Price From $26,575 – To $34,875

Source: www.honda.com

by | Feb 7, 2022

Overview

If you’re in the market for a dynamic and budget-friendly SUV, this Honda CR-V 2021 review is exactly what you’re looking for. In this article, we are going to weigh the pros, cons, and specifications of this new Honda vehicle, and help you decide whether it’s the right choice for you. 

Back in 1995, the CR-V was a casual SUV with no big aspirations, especially because it did not even belong to a regular market segment at the time. Nowadays, four generations later, it has become a major player among the highly competitive pack of compact SUVs. Honda has collected praise in several countries for the vehicle’s well-rounded nature and high fuel efficiency and it strives to make it even better with each update.

The current iteration shows the maturity acquired over all that time by not even pretending to be outdoorsy or track-oriented. It has become a family SUV and it proudly shows that. Rather than trying to be nimble or to venture into dirt, the CR-V focuses on sipping fuel as little as possible and on being roomy and comfortable for up to five occupants. It is not perfect, of course, but it surely manages to excel at both tasks.

Pros
Handsome design is a good interpretation of Honda’s current identity.
Surprisingly responsive steering and refined dynamic behavior.
Fuel-efficient powertrains even at the base trim level.
Roomy cabin for up to five passengers plus their baggage.
Cons
Definitely not suitable for drivers who enjoy sportiness.
Infotainment system is slow and difficult to operate.
On the hybrid, the battery takes up some cargo volume.
Towing capacity is lower than the average of its category.

Performance, Engine, and Comfort

(4.5/5)

Instead of bothering with off-road performance illusions, the CR-V focuses on catering to every actual need of a small family. The powertrain is simple and fuel-efficient, dynamic behavior is composed and responsive, safety items are abundant, and the cabin is roomy, beautiful, and modern. The infotainment system could be more intuitive, though.

Such features make the 2021 Honda CR-V an irresistible choice for rational buyers, who just want their SUV to help with their errands now and get a good resale value later on. While the base trim levels with the standard engine are already competent, you should really make the effort to upgrade for the upscale trims with a hybrid powertrain: there lies the best CR-V ever.

Engine & Performance

(4/5)

Before creating any expectations, keep in mind that this is a family automobile. Instead of sharp accelerations, the priority here is everyday agility and high fuel efficiency. Once you take that into account, the CR-V actually becomes impressive with its responsive steering and composed ride.

Engine and gear

The base engine is a turbocharged, 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit that makes 190 hp of power and 179 lb-ft of torque. If you prefer something more fuel-efficient, there is a hybrid setup with an Atkinson-cycle, 2.0-liter engine paired to two electric motors which generate a combined power of 181 hp and a combined torque of 232 lb-ft.

The only transmission available is a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a Sport mode, which gets some modifications in the hybrid version such as deceleration sensors.

Suspension

The vehicle has been widely praised for its overall refinement. There is no excessive smoothness or stiffness, which makes the 2021 Honda CR-V a pleasant option whether for short or long trips. This is rather interesting considering that this car has no sporty aspirations.

Handling & Ride

Even though the engines are not focused on speed, this model manages to impress for its handling. It ignores the typical size and weight of an SUV and provides responsive and engaging steering.

Noise & Vibration

The base engine has been considered one of the loudest and harshest of its category. Fortunately, the hybrid alternative has a smoother operation and is equipped with more sound-deadening material. The audio system does its part via the noise-cancellation function.

Safety & Reliability

(5/5)

Since this is a family SUV, Honda did the right thing when focusing it on rational characteristics. The 2021 CR-V brings an impressive equipment list in this topic, which includes the Honda Sensing array of electronic assists. This is definitely one of the best cars in its category when it comes to active and passive items.

Brakes

The 2021 Honda CR-V stands out in the category for its standard safety equipment. You will find ABS with electronic brake distribution and emergency activation.

Airbags

Front, side, and curtain airbags are offered as standard even at the cheapest trim level. The latter is equipped with a rollover sensor to only deploy when it is appropriate.

Electronics

Honda always boasts about the fact that its Sensing system is a standard offering on the CR-V. That includes several electronic assists to detect adverse situations from any presence on the car’s blind spots to unsafe behavior on the road such as accidental lane departure.

Lights

The biggest highlight about the 2021 Honda CR-V in this topic is that its headlights are equipped with automatic high-beam functions.

Traction control

Part of the CR-V’s standard safety equipment is Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist, an electronic system that includes traction control.

Fuel Economy

(5/5)

One of the most expressive ways in which not being emotional pays off. The 2021 Honda CR-V is often considered by the specialized press to be one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs of its category even at its base engine, which only uses gasoline. Switch to the hybrid setup and things get even better.

Engine size

The base option uses a gasoline-powered 1.5-liter engine. The hybrid setup uses an Atkinson-cycle, 2.0-liter engine paired to two electric motors.

Gas per mileage consumption

The base CR-V is already impressive, with EPA ratings of 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway – adding all-wheel drive lowers the latter by 2 mpg. The hybrid model becomes even better, rated at 40 mpg and 35 mpg, on city and highway respectively.

Interior

(4/5)

Considering that this is a compact SUV of a generalist brand, the CR-V turns out to be excellent. There is plenty of room for all five occupants, the materials used inside look and feel good – even more so at the upscale Touring trim – and the baggage room is class-leading. However, you may need some time to learn how to use the infotainment system.

Driving seat

CR-V drivers will find a modern cabin with a stylish appearance especially at the Touring trim level, which combines several different types of materials in a tasteful way.

Dashboard

Even though the dashboard looks very good, the infotainment system is a disappointment. Not for its functions, which include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio, but for slow responses and convoluted operation. Fortunately, Honda has brought back a rotary knob to make everything slightly easier to use.

Passenger seats and extras

All passengers enjoy anatomic seats, whose design makes them comfortable and supportive even during long trips. Besides that, everyone has plenty of space without sacrificing the trunk – the CR-V is one of the best in its market segment.

Overall height and space

With an overall height of 66.5 inches, the Honda CR-V has a total volume of 103 cubic feet available to its five passengers, which are seated in two rows. The specialized press has classified it as one of the best whether with the rear seats up or folded.

Trunk space

The 2021 Honda CR-V offers 33 cubic feet of cargo volume. The specialized press has reported that its trunk space is very good with the seats up and becomes even better in case you have to fold the rear seat row.

Price and Extras

(4.5/5)

We can see the typical arrangement of generalist automakers here. The 2021 Honda CR-V offers a long list of trim levels: the LX exists to lower the car’s base price, the EX is usually considered the best value, and the Touring showcases all the new technologies brought to the car with the current generation.

Market Price

The Honda CR-V 2021 is available in the following options:

VersionStarting price
LXUS$ 26,575
Special EditionUS$ 27,775
EXUS$ 29,085
EX-LUS$ 31,675
TouringUS$ 34,875

The 2021 Honda CR-V may have the hybrid powertrain on the EX, EX-L, and Touring versions for an extra cost of US$ 2,700. 

All models are equipped with standard 7-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, apart from the LX trim which has a not-so-flattering 5-inch screen. The EX Hybrid variant stands out as the best among the lot both in terms of prices and offerings. With standard blind spot monitoring and power-adjustable driver’s seat, this one is truly a great choice. For the Touring edition, you will notice a visible difference in the interior– it looks more sophisticated than ever, thanks to the use of premium quality materials.

AWD/FWD

The LX and Special Edition trims have front-wheel drive as standard and optional all-wheel drive. On the EX and EX-L, AWD comes standard in case you opt for the hybrid powertrain. Finally, AWD is standard in all Touring options.

Warranty

Honda’s coverage is only worse than Hyundai and Kia. It offers a limited warranty for three years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty for five years or 60,000 miles, with no complimentary maintenance programs.

Awards

The 2021 Honda CR-V has been distinguished with the Car and Driver’s Editor’s Choice Award.

Verdict

This is a typical recommendation for people who want the best but do not understand about cars. The 2021 Honda CR-V offers pretty much everything a small family may want while being on a budget, such as a spacious cabin, fuel-efficient powertrain, and great safety equipment, but stands out in the crowd for its impressive dynamic behavior and handsome looks.