Honda CR-V: These Model Years Are Among the Safest and Cheapest Small SUVs

A newly licensed teen driver is a nerve-wracking prospect for any parent. Beyond the inexperience of driving, there is also the issue of choosing the right vehicle. For most teenagers, their main concern is looking cool for their friends. However, for parents, the main concern is safety and affordability, which brings us to the Honda CR-V.

The Honda CR-V has long been a staple for parents of newly-licensed teenagers for a few years now and with good reason. Let’s take a look at what makes this vehicle popular among parents and teens alike. 

The IIHS list of safe vehicles for teens

The 2020 Honda CR-V Touring in blue driving across a bridge
The 2020 Honda CR-V Touring | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda CR-V comes fourth among small SUVs behind the Mazda CX-5, the Nissan Rogue, and the Subaru Forester. The criteria used to pick these vehicles include vehicles that have earned good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. They also have a good or acceptable rating in the driver-side small overlap front test.

Models rated by the NHTSA earn 4 or 5 stars overall or 4 or 5 stars in the front and side tests under the old rating scheme. They have above-average reliability scores from Consumer Reports for most model years listed and for emergency handling scores of 3 out of 5 or higher. They also have dry braking distances from 60 to 0 mph in 145 feet or less. Any vehicles with higher than average claim frequency under medical payment or personal injury protection coverage are excluded from this list.

Why the 2015 Honda CR-V is so safe

Priced around $14,800 for the 2015 model, the Honda CR-V is an affordable option. Some notable safety features are daytime running lights and optional lane departure warnings. What sets the 2015 model apart from earlier models is the changes made to the front end and occupant compartment structure and restraint system to improve occupant protection in small overlapping frontal crashes.

What Consumer Reports has to say about the Honda CR-V

Consumer Reports also gave the Honda CR-V high marks when it comes to affordability and functionality. Its small stature affords the SUV good maneuverability, which also translates to safety. Even though it is compact, it also has impressive cargo space for a vehicle its size. 

However, even the safest vehicles can have their problems. There have been two recalls on the 2015 version of the Honda CR-V. One recall was issued on May 4, 2017. The recall affects 2015-2016 Honda CR-V vehicles that recently received a replacement engine. The replacement engine may have been built with the wrong pistons, potentially affecting the engine’s performance. This could, in turn, affect the safety of the vehicle by causing it to stall.

Another recall was issued on March 2, 2015. Vehicle affected by the recall may have been assembled with improperly torqued connecting rod bolts, which can cause the engine to lose power or leak oil. This could cause the engine to stall and create unsafe driving conditions.

Despite having a few recalls, the Honda CR-V is still a great option for teen parents. The vehicle is small enough to handle, yet it has ample cargo space to haul around sports equipment, friends, and family, making it an attractive option for youngsters. Its excellent safety rating will also make it a little cheaper regarding insurance rates, which can skyrocket when adding an inexperienced teen driver. 

The outstanding options that make the Honda CR-V attractive to parents and teenagers make it an excellent choice for newly licensed children. Even though you can’t put them in a bubble, you can at least send them out into the world with a safe option that you and your teen can feel good about.

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