Honda CR-V (2018 – 2023) Review

Honda CR-V (2018 – 2023) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Honda CR-V isn't the newest kid on the SUV block any more, but it's one that still holds plenty of appeal. With a roomy and well-built interior, a comfortable driving experience, an efficient hybrid engine and Honda's reliability reputation there's plenty to like, although dated technology lets it down somewhat.

+Effortless and efficient hybrid power. High quality and well-finished interior. Usefully large boot. Very comfortable ride.

-Infotainment system is frustrating and feels dated. One of the more expensive mainstream SUVs. No seven-seat hybrid available.

New prices start from £26,515, brokers can source from £40,828
Insurance Groups are between 23–24
On average it achieves 102% of the official MPG figure

The Honda CR-V is a hybrid SUV that arrived when there were only a handful of petrol-electric alternatives available. Now almost everyone will sell you a hybrid SUV, and many have more advanced technology and a flashier design. Despite that the big Honda still holds plenty of rational appeal, as our Honda CR-V review details. 

The Honda CR-V has always been one of our favourite no-nonsense SUVs - and an easy car to recommend to people. While the current model may not look massively different from before, there were actually some significant improvements that make this a big step up from its predecessor.

For starters, there's no diesel engine. Instead there's one petrol or a hybrid version (with the petrol being dropped entirely part-way through its life). Honda is of course no stranger to hybrid power, but this is the first time it has featured in the CR-V. And the results are hugely impressive. So much so that the CR-V Hybrid is one of the best family SUVs around, regardless of the engine type.

Honda has succeeded in making a practical and spacious SUV that has genuine performance yet is comfortable and decent to drive. And all that in a package that includes a hybrid system. Sounds too good to be true? Well it's not - the Honda CR-V Hybrid is an extremely competent SUV.

The downside is the cost. List prices for the CR-V now it's hybrid-only start at more than £32,000 and rise to over £40k - pricing it above a number of key competitors. There's also no seven-seat option with the Hybrid as there was with the short-lived petrol. But if you compare it with the also hybrid-only Toyota RAV4, it's competitively priced.

If you can't stretch to the Hybrid, then on the used market the 1.5 VTEC petrol is still a good choice with decent performance and the choice of manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. Claimed economy is reasonable in the two-wheel drive model but drops below 40mpg if you go for the 4WD.

Regardless of engine, the CR-V drives well with nicely weighted steering, little in the way of road noise and decent stability in corners, but it lacks the body control of a Mazda CX-5. Its forte is the ride quality which copes with rough and poor quality roads with ease.

It makes for a very comfortable and relaxing car, and with Honda's reputation for reliability, plus a practical and solidly put together interior, it's one we wouldn't hesitate recommending despite glitzier rivals on the scene. 

Perhaps its closest rival is the RAV4, but along with the CX-5 other alternatives include the Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage

Looking for a second opinion? Why not read heycar's Honda CR-V review.

Honda CR-V 1.5 VTEC Turbo 2018 Road Test

Honda CR-V Hybrid 2019 Road Test

Ask Honest John

Can I tow with a Honda CR-V hybrid?

"Can I have a tow bar fitted to a 2022 Honda CR-V hybrid? "
You can have a tow bar fitted to the Honda CR-V, but unfortunately the maximum unbraked towing capacity is only 750kg.
Answered by David Ross

Does a Honda CR-V need specific engine oil?

"I am thinking of buying a Honda CR-V 2018 petrol and keeping it for a long time. As such I would be getting the oil changed every six months or 5000 miles, however I have just been told that Honda engines require special Honda only oil and since any oil changes will be done at an independent garage or indeed a one man band I am concerned that they may skimp and use whatever cheap oil they can buy. Is my concern justified? "
The Honda CR-V does not need a specific Honda oil .The oil required for your intended car will be 0W -20 and should be fully synthetic. We would use a good recognised manufacturer i.e Castrol, Mobil etc. What you can do is to purchase the oil yourself (and the filter) and ask your local garage to change it for you.
Answered by Alan Ross

Can I use puncture-resistant tyres on my Honda?

"My car has no spare, nor room for one due the batteries, and I am reluctant to solely rely on the Tyre Slime to get me home. I have been looking to fit Pirelli All-Season XL Seal Inside tyres, however they are around £180 fitted each. Is this a sensible choice for my AWD Hybrid Honda CR-V? "
The tyres you suggest would suit your Honda well, as they are an XL reinforced tyre ideal for SUVs and would give an increased resistance to punctures. However, it is important to note that it is still possible for these tyres to be punctured and to deflate - Pirelli's own information suggests they are capable with dealing of 85% of possible pressure losses - so it would be worth ensuring you have a back-up plan, whether that is a tyre inflation kit or breakdown cover.
Answered by David Ross

My vehicle is being replaced after a non-fault write-off, but there a very few of this model available. Can I pay extra and upgrade?

"After a long disjointed process my car was written off. The policy in my insurance states if the vehicle is less than one year old it will be replaced with a new similar make and model. Due to the current Honda CR-V being replaced as we speak there are virtually no brand new stock left, despite the warning I gave to the insurance company who have passed this on to a vehicle replacement company. Can I request to pay the extra if I source an EX which is over 1k more over my original cars invoice price?"
Given that your vehicle can no longer be replaced like-for-like, we would expect the vehicle replacement company to source the closest thing to it in terms of specification and price. They may be able to accommodate a change in specification if you are prepared to make an additional payment, but this is something you would need to raise with them directly as soon as possible. There is also the possibility that their terms and conditions prohibit this, but it is worth enquiring to see if it is possible.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Honda CR-V (2018 – 2023) cost?

Buy new from £40,828(list price from £45,895)