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The Honda CR-V is one the most popular choices and a stalwart in the compact SUV class, where it competes with a litany of rivals, including the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5. The CR-V is now even more appealing following the latest generation’s introduction for the 2023 model year. So, which trim level of the 2024 Honda CR-V is best? Here’s a look at the one trim most favored by consumers and which model experts suggest.  

The 2024 Honda CR-V offers a choice of powertrains and 6 trims  

Shoppers can choose from six available trims for the 2024 Honda CR-V, with traditional and hybrid powertrains available, depending on your selection.

The base LX, EX, and EX-L are all powered exclusively by gasoline and a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder developing 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. The engine pairs with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and comes standard with front-wheel drive with all-wheel drive (AWD) available. Gas-only models are rated for either 29 or 30 combined mpg by the EPA.

The Sport Hybrid, Sport-L Hybrid, and Sport Touring Hybrid are, as their names suggest, hybrid models motivated by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors developing a total of 204 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. Sport and Sport-L models are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive, while the range-topping Sport Touring exclusively sends power to all four wheels. Front-wheel drive models have an EPA-estimated 40 combined mpg, while AWD models are limited to 37 combined mpg.

As standard, the 2024 Honda CR-V LX ($29,500) is fitted with a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, and several driver’s aids, including automatic forward emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. The EX model ($32,010) adds creature comforts like a sunroof, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control. The EX-L is the top trim among gas-only models. It features a power liftgate, leather upholstery, a 9-inch touchscreen, wireless charging, driver’s seat memory, and other features with a $34,660 MSRP starting price.

The $33,350 Sport Hybrid is the base hybridized model and is equipped similarly to the EX trim but includes a dark exterior trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel, roof rails, and dual USB ports for rear passengers. The Sport-L ($36,350), which is a new trim for 2024, wears 18-inch wheels and is equipped similarly to the EX-L model.

The top-tier Sport Touring ($39,500) includes all the aforementioned equipment, except it rides on 19-inch wheels, with added features like ambient interior lighting, navigation, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free liftgate, a Bose audio system, and blind spot alert with rear cross-traffic warning.

A CR-V Hybrid trim is the most popular among consumers

According to Edmunds, most 2024 Honda CR-V shoppers are gravitating toward the Sport-L Hybrid trim, the second-most expensive model. Though the Sport-L Hybrid is pricier than other trims, it strikes an overall balance for value.

Buyers are undoubtedly drawn to the Sport-L Hybrid’s strong fuel economy of up to 40 combined mpg, and it includes plenty of desirable features like leather seating, a larger touchscreen, and a respectable list of driver’s aids.

Critics disagree on which 2024 CR-V trim is the best

Although the Sport-L is proving most popular among 2024 Honda CR-V buyers, not all experts agree about which trim is best.

Based on its test of the 2023 model, Edmunds suggests the top gas-only trim, the EX-L, for its sizeable feature list and that the non-hybrid model is “better to drive and nearly as efficient as the hybrid.”

Car and Driver believes the Sport Hybrid is the best trim for its hybrid powertrain, efficiency, and respectable list of features.

MotorTrend agrees with Edmunds and that shoppers looking for a gas-only model should opt for the EX-L, while it suggests hybrid buyers choose the Sport-L Hybrid.

U.S. News recommends non-hybrid CR-V shoppers spring for the EX trim. The publication states the base LX model has a “commendable” list of features, but the EX’s add-ons, like blind-spot monitoring, larger wheels, moonroof, and heated front seats are worth the added price. The publication hasn’t yet outlined its choice for 2024 CR-V hybrid models, but it suggested the base Sport model for 2023 (with the Sport-L not available for the 2023 model year).

With no consensus among experts, buyers interested in the 2024 CR-V should likely check out the entire lineup and find the model that best fits their personal needs.

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