Is the 2021 Honda CR-V Touring Worth $3,200 Over the CR-V EX-L?

The 2021 Honda CR-V is one of the most popular compact SUVs. Among the best-selling vehicles in the United States, the spacious CR-V offers great value. Its quick acceleration provides reliable performance for commuters looking for a practical car with good fuel economy. And the comfortable interior appeals to families and drivers looking for luxurious touches in a mainstream crossover.

The 2021 Honda CR-V comes in four trim levels, each offering varying features and amenities. The two highest trims — the EX-L and Touring — differ by about $3,200. So, is the top-level trim worth the extra expense?

The 2021 Honda CR-V

U.S. News offers high praise for the new Honda CR-V, naming it the 2021 Best Compact SUV for the Money and the number-one compact crossover SUV. It’s also the publication’s selection for the best SUV with two rows. Giving it an overall score of 8.7 out of 10, U.S. News says the Honda CR-V offers “the best combination of quality and value in its class.”

The five-seat SUV offers versatility and impressive fuel economy. The spacious interior exudes comfort and provides plenty of storage space. It comes with myriad advanced safety features and offers the latest in tech amenities. Car and Driver calls the 2021 Honda CR-V “one of the best compact SUVs for small families.”

The 1.5-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine in the gas-powered Honda CR-V produces 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 28/34/30 mpg. The all-wheel-drive configuration gets 27/32/39, and the hybrid variant boasts 40/35/38 mpg. The upper trim levels also offer a three-mode drive system.

Four Honda CR-V trims to choose from

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The entry-level 2021 Honda CR-V LX starts at $25,350. The next step up is the EX trim, with an MSRP of $27,860. Jumping to the EX-L model carries a sticker price of $30,450. 

The 2021 Honda CR-V EX-L and top-of-the-line Touring edition accommodate five passengers and share many features. Both have power-adjustable front heated seating with two-position memory settings. The back boasts easily foldable 60/40 split seating.

The two upper trim levels‘ connectivity features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12-volt power outlet, and second-row USB charging ports. The Touring trim adds wireless phone charging. Both trims have a push-button start and remote entry system.

Active noise cancellation, adaptive cruise control, and dual-zone automatic climate control in both models allow for a quiet and enjoyable ride. A power moonroof, tilt and telescopic steering column, multi-functional center console, and retractable cargo area cover are generous additions to the class-leading SUV.

Is the Touring trim worth the extra money?

The 2021 Honda CR-V Touring edition starts at $33,650. Though both of the upper-level trims share similar features, the Touring model offers much more than the EX-L.

For starters, the Honda satellite-linked voice-recognition navigation system and 330-watt premium sound system in the Touring edition are impressive and alone worth the price jump over the EX-L. But there’s more.

A hands-free power tailgate is exclusive to the Touring trim. It also comes with a wrapped heated steering wheel, rain-sensing intermittent windshield wipers, and rear seat heater ducts. Exterior upgrades include automatic LED headlights, roof rails, and dual chrome exhaust finishers. Advanced safety features include blind-spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors.

All of those upgraded features with the Touring trim offer the best value and are definitely worth the extra $3,200 over the EX-L.