Crossover & Midsize

Honda CR-V: Why You Shouldn’t Be Too Afraid to Buy a New Model

Conventional wisdom tells us that it’s smarter to buy a used car rather than a new one. Although there’s nothing as exciting as driving a new car, the downside is that it might cost you quite a bit more to drive it off the lot. What’s more, it may not be much improved over last year’s model. But what if the new model you wanted cost only slightly more than used recent models? And what if there were some great new features thrown for good measure? The vehicle in question is the 2020 Honda CR-V.

Let’s talk about why you shouldn’t be too nervous about buying a new model instead of a used one.

A small price between used and new Honda CR-Vs

A Honda CR-V is seen during the Vienna Car Show press preview at Messe Wien
The 2020 Honda CR-V | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

Used Honda models tend to hold much of their value over time, and the Honda CR-V is no different. For example, the resale price range for the 2018 CR-V runs between $21,495 and $30,748, according to Edmunds.com. And a used 2019 model is priced between $24,450 and $34,250.

By comparison, the 2020 Honda CR-V‘s MSRP range starts at $25,050 and tops out at $34,750. So, spending maybe$500-$1,000 will get you this year’s model instead of a secondhand model. But what does this year’s model offer as compared to previous models? The reviewers at Car and Driver provide details.

New styling and safety features

All 2020 Honda CR-V models sport new styling refinements such as a more defined grille and dark grey chrome trim. Other enhancements are reshaped foglights and darkened taillights. Higher trim levels have sleeker bumpers and new headlights. New colors such as Sonic Gray Pearl, Aegean Blue Metallic, and Radiant Red Metallic are also available.

Inside the new model, the main change is the roomier center console for trim levels above the LX. The extra space is configurable and better accommodates the front-seat occupants’ smartphones.

Honda equipped this year’s LX with the same suite of standard advanced safety features that the upper trim levels had for 2019. Forward collision warning is an important safety update for the LX. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist with lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go are all included. 

New powertrains for the Honda CR-V

Another big upgrade this year is the Honda CR-V’s standard powertrain. The base LX now gets the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that only the upper-level trims were equipped with previously. It produces 190 hp and is matched with a continuously variable automatic transmission.

The new engine offers improved acceleration compared to last year’s slightly sluggish standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a CVT. Its fuel economy has improved slightly as well from 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway for the 2019 model to 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for 2020’s CR-V.

Also new this year is a hybrid version of the CR-V, which has a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. The combined engine and motors make 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque, providing a livelier driving experience than the nonhybrid version.

EPA ratings for the new CR-V Hybrid are quite good at 40 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, which puts it close to mileage ratings for the hybrid versions of the Toyota RAV4 and the Ford Escape. The starting price for the base model LX Hybrid is slightly higher than the non-hybrid version at $28,870.

With only a $600 increase for the LX from 2019 to 2020 when purchased new, this year’s base model CR-V has much to offer. And, compared to used recent models, its new features and powertrains are a quantum leap forward. If you’re willing to pay a little more, you can feel confident about getting excellent value from the 2020 Honda CR-V.