The 2020 Honda CR-V looks like a smart purchase. It handles well, gets good gas mileage, and comes with plenty of tech and advanced safety features.
The 2020 Honda CR-V at a glance
Honda has a reputation for manufacturing well-rounded automobiles, and the 2020 CR-V is no different. It balances both controlled and jaunty ride handling equally well. And though it isn’t the quickest car, its 1.5-liter engine, producing 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque, is good enough to propel it a respectable 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. It also boasts a similarly decent fuel economy of 27 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway. These aren’t best-in-class numbers, but if you’re purchasing a Honda to transport your small family or escort your newly licensed teen, those may be the numbers you want.
Honda vehicles are also known for their affordability. Again, a new 2020 CR-V’s $25,350 starting MSRP doesn’t beat many of its competitors, like the 2020 Subaru Forester ($24,495) and 2020 Mazda CX-4 ($25,190). But it’s competitive on this front. For the CR-V’s price, you’ll get impressive legroom and substantial cargo space for a compact car. And higher trim levels provide a more upscale experience.
The base-trim Honda CR-V provides a 5.0-inch infotainment display — too small to really enjoy. But upgrading to another trim line brings a 7.0-inch color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio integration. And the top-trim CR-V Touring treats you to a capable navigation system, wireless charging pad, and nine-speaker sound system.
The 2020 Honda CR-V’s safety ratings
The 2020 Honda CR-V has earned good safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In fact, the IIHS gave the CR-V the maximum score in crashworthiness assessments and front crash prevention tests. It also landed a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Curiously, neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA noted challenges with the CR-V’s brakes.
However, the NHTSA has been flooded with complaints about the CR-V’s brakes, CarComplaints.com reports. Honda CR-V owners with vehicles that have logged around 1,000 miles have submitted complaints about not being able to engage their brakes. Others have complained about losing control of their brakes or their emergency braking system automatically engaging when there is no need.
Though the CR-V comes with advanced safety features such as lane-keep assist and automatic emergency braking, these features are useless if they don’t work properly.
Llook beyond the safety ratings
By most accounts, the 2020 Honda CR-V is a good compact crossover that puts up respectable performance numbers and offers desirable features.
However, serious braking issues on new cars is deeply concerning. They also undermine the real value in a Honda, which includes safety, reliability, and affordability. Plus, if you have to repair your brakes 1,000 miles in, a CR-V isn’t nearly as affordable, safe, or dependable as it may seem.
If you’re open to other models, the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, and Mazda CX-5 also offer great value. But some of these competitors also provide cautionary tales of why it’s not enough to rely on safety ratings only. The Mazda CX-5, retailing for a slightly lower price, also scored well on NHTSA and IIHS assessments. But the NHTSA‘s website also shows several complaints about that model’s brakes too.
If you already own or plan to purchase a 2020 Honda CR-V, be sure to take care when driving and schedule routine brake inspections to keep you and your passengers safe.