Everyone knows Honda is one of the most dependable car brands in the history of driving, and the Honda CR-V is one of the classics. As one of the automaker’s top-selling vehicles, Honda usually takes a more conservative approach to adjustments to not mess with a winning formula.
Well, except for a revision this year, which ultimately keeps the CR-V on top. What changed helped solve a major gripe in so many SUVs. Namely, it relates to keeping cabin noise to a minimum due to wind noise.
How did Honda manage to get this mostly right? It made adjustments to the mirrors, which makes a huge difference from an engineering standpoint.
Tweaking the exterior of the Honda CR-V
A review for the 2020 edition by U.S. News mentioned Honda re-tweaked the CR-V’s exterior styling. As Honda says, the point of redesigning the exterior power side mirrors was to help adjust the possibility of wind noise being a recurring problem.
This was part of an overall redesign of the mirrors, including allowing drivers to adjust the mirror position from the inside. Drivers can also manually flatten the mirrors from the outside.
Best yet, the mirrors are now heated to help prevent ice and snow from building up when driving in wintry weather. These mirrors also have better-integrated turn indicators on EX models.
Bringing aerodynamic qualities to the mirrors, though, was the major engineering wonder here. The question is, how quiet is it, really, when driving the CR-V? Some reviewers say it depends on whether you get the hybrid version or the non-hybrid.
Does the hybrid engine cause too much noise?
According to Consumer Reports‘ review of the new Honda CR-V, cabin noise depends on whether one has the hybrid model. Their review says the cabin is still quiet for the most part until the hybrid engine revs up. They say it causes a “boisterous growl” when this happens.
For most people, this probably would not be a deal-breaker but maybe so for others based on the retail price. The final conclusion by Consumer Reports is that if you want complete quiet, the non-hybrid version is the better bet.
Overall, their review has the new aerodynamic mirrors doing a good job on keeping things quiet. For many riders, this is going to make a big difference when wanting to travel in rugged territory while still wanting to easily converse.
Not everyone agrees the CR-V is any quieter compared to other luxury SUVs on the market. Some reviews say other SUVs from Mazda have an advantage.
Is the cabin noise reduction in the Honda CR-V overrated?
When seeing reviews on sources like Wap Car, the consensus seems to be the cabin noise is really not as quiet as advertised. In their review, they say they love the fuel economy and practicality more than anything, yet knock slightly louder cabin noise than expected.
The Mazda CX-5 is listed as being quieter overall in the cabin, which might surprise those seeing the above-lauded Honda improvements.
As with many luxury SUVs, it usually comes down to sacrificing one thing in favor of something else. Acceleration and power on the CR-V are still incredible based on the U.S. News review mentioned above. Plus, it still offers a comfortable ride, something that’s likely a bigger sell over potential noise on the inside.
For traveling, the Honda CR-V is still on top. Along with a cavernous cargo hold, fantastic fuel economy, and plenty of room to move around, it is a worthy buy at its base price of $25,050. Any reduction of cabin noise is ultimately a strong sell.