2021 Honda CR-V vs. 2021 Honda Civic: You Can’t Go Wrong

The Honda CR-V and the Honda Civic consistently rank among the top of their respective classes for obvious reasons. Both Hondas boast agility and offer diverse performance options. You may have a hard time deciding on which to get, but you can’t miss with either one.

How does driving the Honda CR-V compare to driving the Honda Civic?

2021 Honda CR-V Touring
2021 Honda CR-V | Honda

Honda kept things simple for the 2021 CR-V and the 2021 Civic. Neither model has significant changes compared to the outgoing model year. Still, these Hondas offer enough qualities to be excited about. 

The CR-V pleases with its quick acceleration and well-balanced handling. This compact SUV features a turbocharged 190-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The CR-V also comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission that resembles a traditional automatic, as Kelley Blue Book highlights. KBB says the CR-V’s powertrain makes it more satisfying than the Subaru Forester or the Toyota RAV4. The CR-V is available front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, too. 

Silver 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring | Honda

You’ll also appreciate the CR-V for its efficiency. Regular models have an EPA rating of up to 30 mpg overall. Additionally, there’s a hybridized version of the CR-V with a 38 mpg overall rating. On the other hand, new Civics are no longer available as a hybrid, but they are still an excellent choice for fuel-efficiency.

Like the CR-V, the Civic is a poised ride. However, the Civic’s lighter curb weight makes it a little faster and more fun to drive. The Civic has four peppy engine options. Base models come with a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder and can return a combined 32 mpg. There are two slightly more powerful and efficient turbo-fours available on the higher trims. For the most potency, consider the Civic Type R, which has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 306-hp. 

Comparing car cabins

2020 Honda Civic Touring interior
Honda Civic Touring interior | Honda

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The CR-V and the Civic exhibit Honda’s attention to detail. Even the base models have an upscale feel. Consider the models’ top-tier Touring trims for the most luxurious amenities, including leather surfaces and heated seats. Both Hondas can accommodate five, but naturally, the CR-V offers more room for passengers to stretch out. 

Honda CR-V Interior with the back row seats folded down.
Honda CR-V interior | Honda

The CR-V is also a better choice for cargo storage. Still, the Civic’s trunk area is commendable. It’s among one of the largest in the compact car class. Plus, the Civic Hatchback version will give you even more room.

Safety is a major highlight of the Civic and the CR-V. They come standard with the Honda Sensing driver-assistive technology suite that includes forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. However, Honda could make these vehicles better regarding infotainment. The CR-V and the Civic’s standard infotainment features include a 5-inch display and Bluetooth. You have to upgrade to get the 7-inch touchscreen plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Should you get the compact crossover or the compact car?

A close up image of the Honda logo.
Honda Logo | Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

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The 2021 CR-V begins at $25,350, while the 2021 Civic starts at $21,050. You may lean toward the Civic for its lower starting price and family-friendliness in a smaller package. But if you need more space and plan on handling lightweight duties, the CR-V is the better choice for you.