The Honda CR-V Seems to Always Get the Most Important Thing Right

The 2021 Honda CR-V isn’t the most exciting SUV on the market. However, it perfectly encapsulates what an affordable family vehicle should be.

Just how does the always-reliable CR-V separate itself from the pack? This compact SUV excels in arguably the most important aspect that buyers care about.

The 2021 Honda CR-V does this better than its rivals

A grey 2020-2021 Honda CR-V Touring driving down a residential street
The 2020 Honda CR-V in action | Honda

It’s not unreasonable to say that the CR-V delivers somewhat bland performance. This drawback could even lead some people to wonder if the SUV is overrated.

However, that’s not how it wins over its devoted fans. Instead, it goes the extra mile by providing unreal value.

Car shopping is always about finding the best bang for your buck. And few models have consistently delivered in this category the way the Honda CR-V has over the years.

In fact, the U.S. News & World Report named the 2021 CR-V the ‘Best Compact SUV for the Money.’ Even more impressively, this is the eighth time the model has won the award. 

It’s easy to see why the vast majority of 2021 Honda CR-V buyers felt they got their money’s worth. It all comes down to several significant attributes.

Honda loaded its compact SUV with upscale amenities

Is it possible to find a vehicle that’s affordable but doesn’t feel cheap? Honda proved it’s possible with the CR-V.

The base model isn’t much to write home about, but it’s about what you’d expect for its low starting MSRP of $25,350. Honda only equipped it with bare-bones features like a five-inch touchscreen and a manually adjustable driver’s seat.

However, you won’t have to pay much to get into a well-equipped version. The 2021 Honda CR-V EX starts at $27,860, and it feels like a much more expensive model.

This version comes with a moonroof, remote start, four USB ports, satellite radio, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Plus, the touchscreen is upgraded to seven inches, and its driver’s seat provides 12-way power adjustability.

Still, you won’t confuse any CR-V trim level for a luxury SUV. However, Honda did a fine job of giving the more expensive models a premium feel.

Car and Driver’s review of the 2021 CR-V pointed out the surprising level of quality in the Touring trim it test. The publication stated, “A tasteful balance of faux-wood accents, chromed plastic, and brushed-satin finishes looked particularly upscale.”

The 2021 Honda CR-V is a big deal

A blue 2020-2021 Honda CR-V and a grey 2020-2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid on display next to each other
A pair of 2020 Honda CR-Vs on display | Honda

You get a whole lot for your money when you purchase a CX-5. And we mean that quite literally, as its interior is enormous.

Other vehicles in its class can be quite tight on space. But you won’t ever feel like you have to leave a bag behind when traveling in the CR-V.

The 2021 Honda CR-V is only compact in name. In reality, it has the interior space nearly equivalent to that of some midsize SUVs. Its cargo hold provides 39.2 cubic feet of storage space, and it opens up to 75.8 cubic feet if you lower the second-row bench.

Comparatively, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 offers 31 cubic feet of traditional cargo space and 60 cubic feet behind the first row.

Two key characteristics certify the CR-V’s stellar value


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Safety and fuel efficiency are crucial aspects to consider when purchasing any vehicle. Unsurprisingly, the 2021 Honda CR-V excels in both areas.

Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine helps it achieve an EPA-estimated 30 MPG city/highway combined. Notably, adding the SUV’s available all-wheel-drive system drops this estimate by one MPG.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid is even more impressive, as it gets an EPA-estimated 38 MPG combined.

And parents need not worry. The CR-V is incredibly safe. Honda equipped the compact SUV with a suite of driver-assist technologies that come standard on all models. This package includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and more.

Upgrading to the EX trim provides you with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems. Rain-sensing windshield wipers and front/rear parking sensors are also available.