2021 Honda CR-V — if It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

The class-leading 2021 Honda CR-V consistently rates among the top compact SUVs on the market today. Its responsive handling, composed performance, and ample cargo space make a winning formula for the reliable crossover. While rivals try to compete, the Honda CR-V steadfastly retains its number-one spot in the segment with unsurpassed functionality and dependability.

The Honda CR-V has a winning formula for compact SUVs

The black and woodgrain dashboard, center console, and steering wheel of a 2021 Honda CR-V Touring compact SUV
2021 Honda CR-V Touring | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The 2021 Honda CR-V is equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. This compact SUV can go from 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 7.8 seconds.

A vast torque range of 2,000 rpm to 5,000 rpm allows for quick shift-free acceleration and steady performance. Honda has attained a perfect match with a continuously variable transmission providing responsive handling and reputable fuel economy. The all-wheel-drive model gets 27 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

Kelley Blue Book handed the 2021 Honda CR-V the Best Buy Award and called it “one of the best compact SUVs you can buy.” KBB added, “Ingredients for the CR-V’s recipe for success include a decades-long history of reliability and high resale value, easy and efficient driving manners, practicality, and among the roomiest interiors in its class. And it all comes at a price tag that’s digestible to everyday buyers.”

The 2021 Honda CR-V is a top pick in its segment

The interior of the 2021 Honda CR-V is equally impressive, with a digital instrument cluster and functional dashboard. There are plenty of spots to charge a phone with ample storage holders. The cabin design affords ease of operation for both the driver and passengers.

However, MotorTrend found the “silly-looking” wood trim on the CR-V Touring model to be “awkward and out of place, as if it was used to fulfill some sort of corporate mandate.” MT also found the intractable infotainment system “unnecessarily complex and difficult to navigate.” The voice-recognition system was not up to par with comparable models in its class, and the menu structure was frustratingly complex. Despite these minor complaints, MotorTrend found the 2021 Honda CR-V offers a “good balance of power and economy.”

In addition, the CR-V’s generous cargo area stands out amid the competition. Foldable seatbacks extend the amount of space in the loading bay even further. And the optional power liftgate offers a lower opening height ideal for low-clearance enclosures. The taillights are also a nice design feature adding to this SUV’s allure.

A ride like no other

Aside from all of the other perks, ride quality is a major part of what makes the 2021 Honda CR-V a top pick in the segment. It boasts a composed performance that’s surprisingly competent for an SUV.

The 2021 Honda CR-V also offers impeccable steering capabilities with tires that grip the road, allowing the driver to feel in control at all times, even on difficult-to-maneuver terrain. Though this SUV admittedly has a slight bounce when taking corners, its composure is never sacrificed. And around town, the CR-V is second to none.

The CR-V’s longtime rivals include the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, and Subaru Forester. And the 2022 Hyundai Tucson could soon become a class-leading contender with its roomy back seat and generous cargo space. Though these other SUVs are noteworthy competitors, the 2021 Honda CR-V has remained a top pick.

After test-driving the SUV, MotorTrend’s reviewers said that “driving experience is competent and unfailingly pleasant.” They added, “If you didn’t know any better, you’d think Honda had been building CR-Vs for a quarter-century and had the formula pretty well worked out.”

Rating it best in its class, MotorTrend said that overall, the 2021 Honda CR-V “comes across as humble and unassuming, but it is also unfailingly capable — reasonably powerful and efficient, outstandingly practical, and surprisingly rewarding to drive. That’s what makes it number one.”

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