Skip to main content

The 2021 Honda CR-V is one of the best, most popular compact SUVs on the market. It’s a safe, reliable family hauler with lots of features and technology. It even comes at an affordable price in its lower trims. However, there are a few reasons not to buy the 2021 Honda CR-V.

Reasons not to buy the 2021 Honda CR-V: Can’t tow as much as rivals

A white Honda CR-V is on display. There are 3 reasons not to buy the 2021 Honda CR-V
A white Honda CR-V is on display | Sjoerd van der Wal via Getty Images

Although towing isn’t the top priority of compact SUVs, it can be substantial. Some people need to pull a small trailer or whatever the case. In those situations, it’s nice when a compact SUV can pull enough weight to handle the load. For instance, the Ford EcoSport is rated to tow 2,000 pounds, and the Hyundai Tucson can manage the same. However, according to Car and Driver, the 2021 Honda CR-V can only muster a mere 1,500 pounds.

For example, the average jetski weighs between 400 and 1200 pounds, the higher end including a trailer. Many people use two jet skis, which would increase the weight by quite a bit. The 2021 Honda CR-V won’t handle a trailer with two jet skis, and a single machine is pushing the limits of the compact SUV. For anything bigger or heavier than that, the CR-V would be useless.

The CR-V hybrid battery reduces cargo volume

Modern Steel Metallic 2022 Honda CR-V There are 3 reasons not to buy the 2021 Honda CR-V compact SUV
Modern Steel Metallic 2022 Honda CR-V | Honda

After all, the battery has to go somewhere, but Honda may have chosen poorly. Since the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid battery is in the back of the vehicle, the compact SUV loses precious cargo space. While it might not seem significant, cargo space is few and far between for small SUVs as it is, so any amount is a bonus. Losing it to the battery is detrimental to the CR-V, despite making up for it with improved fuel economy.

A standard Honda CR-V offers 33.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row. That’s not a lot compared to the Nissan Rogue and its 36.3 cubic feet or the Toyota RAV4’s impressive 37.6 cubic feet. Those few extra cubic feet of space could be the difference between fitting your cargo or not. Every little inch of space matters, and the CR-V falls a bit short compared to rivals.

2021 CR-V: touchscreen isn’t the best, lacks a tuning knob

Despite the trend of gigantic touchscreens taking over vehicles, people love having physical knobs. These make it easier to quickly change the temperature, radio station, or volume to another setting. Especially while driving, it can be very inconvenient and distracting to use the touchscreen. That’s what Honda CR-V owners must do, as there aren’t many physical controls, Edmunds noted.

Additionally, the reviewer called the 2021 Honda CR-V touchscreen “finicky.” Specifically, some on-screen buttons are small and difficult to locate and press while driving. Again a touchscreen is distracting enough without the controls being difficult to use or find. Lastly, the digital temperature and fuel gauges with the speedometer are often washed out by sunlight. Even more inconvenience, as looking at these items at a glance while driving is imperative.

Is the 2021 Honda CR-V a good compact SUV?

Overall, yes, the 2021 Honda CR-V is an excellent compact SUV. Despite some of its shortcomings, it still received primarily high ratings, even above most competition. The worst things about it are the lack of towing capacity, reduced cargo volume in its hybrid form, and a weak touchscreen interface. The 2021 Honda CR-V might be an excellent compact SUV option if these things don’t bother you.


Is the 2021 Honda CR-V EX-L Worth $2,600 Over the CR-V EX?