Honda CR-V (2012 – 2018) Review

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Honda CR-V (2012 – 2018) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The Honda CR-V is one of the best family SUVs you can buy. It might lack a premium badge, but it punches above its weight in terms of space, efficiency and reliability.

+1.6 i-DTEC is punchy and efficient, massive boot and a spacious cabin for five adults, superb build quality edges the CR-V into premium territory.

-Petrol versions are best avoided, higher trim levels are too expensive when new, no seven-seat option.

Insurance Groups are between 22–28
On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure

Launched in 2012, and facelifted in 2015, the CR-V’s chief rival is the Toyota RAV4, but there are countless other SUVs vying for your attention. It’s important to choose the right engine and trim. The 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel is the star of the show, while even the basic S trim offers a generous level of standard equipment.

Looking for a Honda CR-V (2012 - 2018)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

The Honda CR-V is one of the best all-rounders in the crowded family SUV market. It’s not the most exciting car in its class, but if you’re after practicality, reliability and low running costs, it’s arguably the best choice.

The boot is huge, offering a generous 589 litres of luggage space. This extends to as much as 1,669 litres with the rear seats folded down, so you’re unlikely to require more space. It gets better, because the CR-V offers seating for five adults, with even the middle rear seat offering more space than many of its rivals.

It’s not the most exciting car to sit in, but the quality is excellent, even if the CR-V lacks the soft-touch plastics and premium materials of some of the premium SUVs. Crucially, everything is hard-wearing and robust, so the CR-V will feel as good after 150,000 miles as it did when it left the showroom. Thanks to Honda’s reputation for reliability, you stand a good chance of reaching 150k miles and beyond.

All versions get a generous level of equipment, with the S trim boasting 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, one-motion folding rear seats, city emergency braking, cruise control, front and rear electric windows, steering wheel audio controls and DAB digital radio. We could make a strong case for the S trim offering everything you could possibly need.

However, it’s probably worth upgrading to a higher trim level for the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera and leather-trimmed steering wheel. You also get a wider choice of engines and the option of four-wheel-drive as you climb the trim ladder. Be warned: the Honda CR-V gets expensive once you hit the flagship model.

Not that this is a major problem when buying used. Prices range from £6,000 for a 2012/2013 model, rising to £22,500 for a 2018 CR-V. We’d recommend a CR-V built after the facelift in 2015, as these models are nicer to drive and come with enhanced specification.

The CR-V is a car that majors on ride comfort, which, when combined with the excellent visibility and a high driving position, make this a superb motorway car. Opt for the excellent 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine and you’ll be a stranger at your local filling station. The old 2.2-litre diesel and 2.0-litre petrol engines are best avoided.

A CR-V with the 1.6-litre engine and four-wheel-drive is an excellent tow car, with a maximum towing capacity of 2000kg. All versions come with trailer stability assist as standard.

Overall, the Honda CR-V is a brilliant family SUV. We’d recommend it for its cavernous boot, spacious cabin, excellent level of equipment and strong reliability record. The 1.6-litre is punchy and efficient, making it our choice of the engines.

Rather than view the CR-V as one of the best mainstream SUVs, we’d argue that it’s good enough to be considered an alternative to the premium players. It’s that good.

Ask Honest John

Is the petrol Honda CR-V a good SUV?
"Is the 2016 Honda CR-V 2.0 petrol model a good car? What alternatives would you suggest with a budget of £15,000?"
The Honda CR-V is a very good car. It's easy to drive, comfortable and backed by a solid reputation for reliability. I would also add the Toyota RAV4 to your shortlist. It is equally practical and reliable.
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best £20k SUV for fuel economy?
"I have a 15-plate Honda CR-V 1.6 diesel. I still want a diesel and like the elevated driving position but need something that will deliver mid 50's+ real mpg. The budget is £20k. What would you recommend?"
We'd recommend a Peugeot 3008. It's a really good crossover SUV with a high driving position. The 1.6 BlueHDi engine officially returns up to 70.6mpg, which means mid-50s should be achievable in the real world. Also consider a Kia Sportage – the 1.7-litre diesel engine officially returns 61.4mpg.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I need a small but family friendly car for £11,000 - what do you recommend?
"My wife currently has a 2015 Honda CR-V 1.6 diesel. I have recently purchased a Volkswagen Kombi van which we now use for all family trips, meaning the CR-V is a bit large and costly for just doing the commute and occasional school run. As such we are thinking it's best to sell the CR-V and get a smaller runabout which will save us money and be better for the environment. What would you recommend? The budget is around £11000 and ideally, it needs to have five doors and a boot large enough for a couple of kids scooters and a football."
I would recommend the SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI 95PS. It has one of the largest boots in its class and the 1.0 TSI petrol engine is quiet and efficient. The Ibiza is based on the Volkswagen Polo but is more affordable on the used market, which means £11,000 should get you a two-year-old car in a decent spec. I ran one for six months and was very impressed with its comfort and practicality: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/our-cars/seat-ibiza/
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you help me decide what reliable, used crossover to buy?
"I would like to buy a used crossover. My budget is £14,000. I'm likely to keep it for the next 10 years, so reliability is important. My annual mileage is 12,000: a mixture of local trips and longer motorway journeys. I have no preference as to make or model. My only requirements are that the vehicle must have a raised driving position, enough legroom to seat 4 adults comfortably, a CD player and a handbrake. I look forward to your thoughts on what would suit me best. Many thanks for your help."
We'd recommend a Kia Sportage. It's a very comfortable and practical crossover SUV that meets most of your requirements – apart from a CD player! It does have Bluetooth connectivity as well as Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, so streaming music from your phone will be very easy. Look for one with the punchy 1.6 T-GDi petrol engine. If the CD player is a sticking point, take a look at the Honda CR-V. You'll get a slightly older example for your money but it's an extremely reliable and versatile SUV that's available with a CD player and a traditional handbrake.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Honda CR-V (2012 – 2018) cost?