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Both the SUV and crossover markets are some of the most competitive in the automotive industry. Sometimes, telling the two apart can be difficult. With the size, space, and features of the Honda CR-V, some people have trouble telling which class it belongs to. Although it resembles an SUV, that’s not the only feature that qualifies an SUV. Is the popular Honda CR-V an SUV?

The Honda CR-V is a crossover that does it all

Gray 2022 Honda CR-V posed, is it an SUV or crossover?
2022 Honda CR-V | Honda

The Honda CR-V didn’t become one of the most popular vehicles in America by accident. It’s safe, luxurious, affordable, and, most importantly, a crossover. Starting at $26,400, you’d be surprised by how much interior space the CR-V offers. Contrarily, size isn’t what decides whether or not a vehicle is an SUV. Technically speaking, a crossover is any model that uses a unibody frame instead of a body-on-frame setup. The platform on which it sits ensures that the smaller version of a utility vehicle drives like a car.

This is preferable to those who have a family needing to be hauled most of the time. That’s because, like a pickup truck, a body-on-frame SUV isn’t as smooth or easy to handle as its crossover competition. The Honda CR-V is one of the best options available in the crossover segment. It shares its platform with cars, not trucks.

Honda CR-V: Crossover with SUV space

A gray 2022 Honda CR-V small SUV is parked.
A gray 2022 Honda CR-V small SUV is parked | Honda

The 2022 Honda CR-V offers a surprising amount of space on the interior for a crossover. While rivals struggle to fit passengers and cargo inside, the CR-V excels in this category. Firstly, there are 75.8 cubic feet of space available for storage behind the front row of seats. In addition, 39.2 cubic feet sit behind the rear row of seats, meaning plenty of cargo can fit inside even when multiple passengers are seated.

Lastly, Honda’s offering contains a whopping 102.9 cubic feet of total passenger volume. Second-row passengers have 40.4 inches of legroom, 39.1 inches of headroom, and 55.6 inches of shoulder room. As for those sitting in the front seats, they’ll remain comfortable for an entire road trip as well. The front legroom in the Honda CR-V is 41.3 inches, headroom is 38 inches, and shoulder room is 57.9 inches.

Can the CR-V tow a lot of weight?


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While not much is expected of a compact crossover in terms of towing capacity, the CR-V is the worst of the bunch. According to Car and Driver, Honda’s crossover SUV is only capable of towing 1,500 pounds. That’s worse than just about every other vehicle in its class. Although the standard 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is peppy with 190 horsepower, it isn’t enough to give it towing power.

Suppose you’re looking for a vehicle that can tow, lean more toward standard SUVs than crossovers. Body-on-frame vehicles will almost always have more towing capability than their unibody competitors. For example, a body-on-frame SUV like the Jeep Wrangler, which isn’t a huge model, can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Should you buy a Honda CR-V crossover?

In conclusion, the Honda crossover is an excellent crossover option, but it isn’t an SUV. While it resembles the body of an SUV and even offers some similar utility, it doesn’t qualify under the official definition. However, it is an excellent alternative to an expensive SUV. The 2022 Honda CR-V is affordable, fuel-efficient, and has ample space inside for passengers and cargo alike. So to answer the question: Is the Honda CR-V an SUV? No, and it’s working in Honda’s favor.