The 2004 Honda CR-V Is the Best SUV Priced Under $8,000

If you’re looking for a used SUV and are on a strict budget, then the 2004 Honda CR-V could be one of your best options. With comfortable seating for five, handy storage solutions, and some basic tech, this vintage of Honda’s best-selling SUV provides reliable transportation for very little money.

The second-generation Honda CR-V had rave reviews

2005 Honda CR-V SE
2005 Honda CR-V SE | Honda

The 2004 Honda CR-V falls into the second-generation of the model, which was in production from 2002 to 2006. If you end up searching for a CR-V from that year range, then they will all be mostly the same aside from a few trim updates and differences, which we’ll go over later. One main highlight to note is that the second-generation CR-V did get a lot of great reviews when it was in the market.

2005 Honda CR-V SE rear shot
2005 Honda CR-V SE | Honda

MotorTrend praised the CR-V for its “communicative steering” and “relatively smooth ride” while noting that the car’s driving dynamics are what make it a class-leading vehicle. Consumer Reports echoed these praises by saying that the CR-V has a great steering feel, good brakes, and was easy to park. They also noted that the engine is “delivers responsive performance,” the automatic transmission shifts smoothly, and the all-wheel-drive system kicked in when it needed to.

What does the second-generation CR-V come with?

For the CR-V’s second generation, Honda updated it with a more powerful 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produced 160 hp and was mated initially to a four-speed automatic transmission, but a five-speed automatic transmission was introduced on the 2005 to 2006 model. A five-speed manual transmission was also available.

Other notable features included some convenient storage solutions like a box in the center console tray for phone and other stuff, which could be easily folded away when not in use, or if you wanted to be able to access the rear seat area like you can in a minivan. There is also a storage area above the glovebox and every CR-V even came with a folded picnic table underneath the cargo area.

2005 Honda CR-V
2005 Honda CR-V | Honda

Magic rear seat

Way before Honda came up with the “Magic Seat” in the Fit, which debuted in 2007, the second-generation CR-V had something similar. While the rear-seat bottom didn’t fold up to reveal more storage room like in the Fit, it could instead be completely folded forward and pushed up to the front seats in order to reveal 72 cubic feet of cavernous storage space.

But for daily duties, the 33.5 cubic-feet of space with the seats up, along with the handy hooks for shopping bags, should do the trick just fine. Additionally, the rear seatback could also be reclined for maximum comfort, something you won’t find on the current CR-V model.

2005 Honda CR-V | Honda

Honda CR-V trim levels

The second-generation CR-V was available in three different trim levels: LX, EX, and SE. The top-trim SE was available on the 2005 and 2006 models and it was upgraded with more luxurious touches including a leather interior included a wrapped steering wheel, heated side mirrors, and body-colored rocker panels and bumpers for a more uniform look.

The lower trims still had the black plastic side panels bumpers, which made the car look unfinished, however, they are great for hiding small dings and dents without the need for repainting. The EX trim level received some of the same upgrades as the SE (sans leather) including a moonroof, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and a six-disc CD changer. And lastly, the LX was outfitted with some of the basic necessities including an AM/FM/CD audio system with four speakers, air conditioning, and all of the power amenities.

2005 Honda CR-V
2005 Honda CR-V | Honda

Is The Honda CR-V Hybrid Worth Buying?

How much are they selling for?

A nationwide search on Car Gurus reveals that you can find a second-generation CR-V priced anywhere from $2000 to around $7,000 if you were to opt for a 2006 model in the SE trim. Considering all of the features that you get with it, including a smooth ride, a bevy of useful features, and undeniable reliability, the CR-V is a small SUV that could check all of the boxes for your everyday life.