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The Honda CR-V is a very successful model. While compact crossover SUVs are all the rage now, the CR-V helped pioneer the segment when it debuted nearly three decades ago. The popular crossover SUV has been around for a long time, but many people don’t know the meaning behind its name. So, what does the “CR-V” acronym stand for in the Honda CR-V?

What does the ‘CR-V’ name in the Honda CR-V mean?

Front angle view of gray 2023 Honda CR-V, highlighting what the “CR-V” acronym stands for in its name
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

The “CR-V” name in the Honda CR-V stands for two different things, according to KBB. Honda states that the acronym means “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle.” Also, a British automotive review article used the term “Compact Recreational Vehicle,” which Honda later republished. 

Most automotive companies and consumers commonly refer to vehicles such as the CR-V as crossover SUVs. With this in mind, some people think that CR-V means “Crossover SUV.” However, while the crossover SUV term is ubiquitous today, it wasn’t widely used in the mid-1990s when the CR-V made its debut. 

At this time, the crossover SUV segment was still in its infancy stage. Automakers such as Honda were likely trying to figure out what to call these types of vehicles — hence the awkward “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle” name for the CR-V.

Other meanings for the Honda CR-V name

Rear angle view of blue 2023 Honda CR-V, highlighting what the “CR-V” acronym stands for in its name
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

Other people made up their own acronyms for the Honda CR-V. One is “Civic Recreational Vehicle,” since it uses the same platform as the Honda Civic compact sedan. 

Initially, Honda was hesitant to make the CR-V and wasn’t sure if it would be a success. The automaker thought it might not be as good an entry-level SUV as the already available Passport. However, the underpinnings of the top-selling Civic gave the CR-V an edge. Plus, the popularity of the Toyota RAV4 compact crossover SUV in the United States helped pave the way for the CR-V.

As detailed by It Still Runs, other alternative meanings behind the CR-V acronym that people adopted include “Crossover Recreational Vehicle,” “Cross Road Vehicle,” and “Car-like Recreational Vehicle.” There’s also “Cute Recreational Vehicle.”

Redesign for the 2023 CR-V

Back in the mid-1990s, few could have imagined how popular the Honda CR-V would become. And with a thorough redesign for the 2023 model year, the crossover SUV looks to continue its successful run. The all-new 2023 CR-V features a stylish new exterior that nicely fuses ruggedness with sophistication. Standout design features include a large upright grille, a long hood, a sleek roofline, and signature vertical LED taillights. 

Additionally, the 2023 CR-V is larger than the outgoing model, resulting in more passenger and cargo space. The cabin of the crossover SUV is also more modern and upscale. 

On the performance front, the redesigned CR-V offers a new hybrid system, which gets a fuel-sipping estimated gas mileage of up to 43 city/36 highway mpg. It also offers a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Furthermore, the CR-V has improved driving dynamics and a more refined ride. Other new features include a Snow driving mode, a new airbag setup, and Hill Descent Control.

Whatever name the Honda CR-V stands for — whether you say “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle” or “Compact Recreational Vehicle,” it’s a highly successful model. After nearly three decades on the road, the CR-V continues to be one of the most popular crossover SUVs.


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