How Reliable Is the Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is one of Honda’s leading SUVs. Like many of Honda’s vehicles, the CR-V is a very capable and well-equipped car. It has a lot going for it, but its reliability isn’t its strongest suit. Here’s how reliable the 2020 Honda CR-V is.

A spotty history 

The 2017 Honda CR-V on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show
2017 Honda CR-V | Abdulselam Durdak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Although Consumer Reports says that the 2020 Honda CR-V has better reliability compared to its older model years, it’s still important to pay attention to the issues that its older siblings had. Many vehicle models, such as the Jeep Wrangler, suffered from problems that seemed to keep popping up every model year no matter what changes the automaker made. As a result, it’s entirely possible that these issues pop up again with the latest CR-Vs.

For example, as recently as the 2017 model year, Consumer Reports said that the CR-V had some severe issues with its interior electronics systems. The screens would sometimes simply black out or stop working. The electronics in this model year of the CR-V were so bad that Consumer Reports gave it the worst reliability rating possible.

That said, since then, Honda has fixed those issues, though they may pop up again. For instance, in the 2019 model year of the CR-V, Consumer Reports gave its electronics a four-out-of-five rating. This is an improvement from the 2017 model year, but it’s not the perfect five-out-of-five score that almost every other area of the CR-V gets. 

Not every area of the CR-V gets a perfect score though. The body integrity and the brakes of the CR-V had a lot of mediocre reliability scores not that long ago. Other parts of the CR-V got good scores, but not perfect scores in some model years. As a result, Consumer Reports gave the 2020 CR-V a reliability rating of only three-out-of-five.

How does the CR-V compare to others?

Consumer Reports mentioned that when the last three model years of the Honda CR-V are averaged together, its overall reliability score is only 51%. The 2017 model year’s issues really brought the average down for the CR-V. As a result, the CR-V is significantly less reliable than its competitors, such as the Mazda CX-5 or the Toyota RAV4.

These scores aren’t surprising, as other car review sites such as U.S. News, gave the 2020 CR-V a similar reliability rating. U.S. News gave the CR-V a 3.5-out-of-5 rating for reliability. That was the lowest score that the CR-V got in any category, and because of that, it brought its overall score down. 

Despite this, Consumer Reports gave the CR-V an overall score of 77 out of 100. Consumer Reports says that the CR-V is the fourth-best compact SUV available right now. This good overall grade shows that Honda is dedicated to making a good SUV, though reliability may not be the most important thing in Honda’s mind.

How reliable is a Honda?

AutoList made a list of the most reliable car brands, and Honda did make the list. However, Honda was far from the top, as brands such as Toyota and Lexus were considered to be more reliable than Honda was. 

Overall, AutoList says that Honda was the 15th-most reliable car brand. This doesn’t seem great, but it does mean that Honda beats American brands like Ford and Chevy when it comes to reliability. With that said, Honda does have some significant reliability issues. For example, although the Honda CR-V has its own issues, according to AutoList, the Honda Odyssey was the least reliable car overall in 2018.

So, while Honda generally does make reliable cars, as AutoList, Consumer Reports, and U.S. News said, the CR-V isn’t the most reliable car from Honda, but it also isn’t the least reliable car from Honda.