Whether you’re in the market for a new or used car, Honda has some options that might appeal to you. One of the automaker’s bestselling models is the Honda CR-V. Its reliability puts it among the top SUVs to buy.
However, not all model years are as reliable as others, and some have received quite a few complaints from owners. As with any other vehicle, there are good and bad models, and this guide shows you the best Honda CR-V years to consider and the ones to avoid.
The 2005 and 2006 Honda CR-V give you plenty of bang for your buck
Surprisingly, older Honda CR-V models appear to be more reliable than later ones, according to Consumer Reports. Surveys from owners show the 2005 and 2006 model years offer smooth engines, good fuel economy, and reliability. The handling isn’t bad either, and the 2005 and 2006 CR-V provides a relatively comfortable ride. Plus, cargo space and legroom are better than some of the other vehicles in the segment.
In addition, complaints about these models are minimal. The main one involves road noise, which some owners reported was so loud it frustrated them. Another problem is the rear hatch. The side swinging gate can be awkward to operate.
All in all, if you purchase a used 2005 or 2006 Honda CR-V, you’ll get the best bang for your buck if the previous owner took good care of it.
Consider the 2015 and 2016 Honda CR-V if you want a newer used model
If you’d rather avoid older vehicles, consider a 2015 or 2016 Honda CR-V. They have decent reliability, good handling, and roomy interiors. Honda dropped a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine into it with a continuously variable transmission. It helps the SUV get 26 mpg in the city despite having all-wheel drive. The automaker also added a backup camera and a power driver’s seat in the 2015 and 2016 CR-V’s EX trim.
As for complaints, the 2015 and 2016 models have seen a few. Though the handling earns good marks from owners, the ride doesn’t. It feels much stiffer than other model years, and the noise level, a common complaint across the board for CR-Vs, plagues these years too. Other owner-reported problems concern rough engine idling, acceleration hesitation, and powertrain vibrations.
Which model years are the worst?
The Honda CR-V years with the most complaints fall between 2007 and 2011. According to U.S. News, these models saw the most reports to the NHTSA for tires wearing unevenly, door lock problems, and failing A/C compressors. Owners also complained about road noise and limited cargo space and visibility because of the rounded rear styling.
Specifically, the 2010 and 2011 Honda CR-V have had drivers complaining of oil consumption problems that seem to come out of nowhere. Upon investigation, the culprit appeared to be the piston rings. Honda extended its warranty for these rings to cover eight years or 125,000 miles. Also, the 2010 model saw recalls for airbag issues, electrical system problems, and faulty transmission control modules.
The Honda CR-V had some excellent years with the 2005 and 2006 models. But if you’d rather buy a newer version, the 2015 and 2016 models have proven pretty reliable too. They have few complaints. However, to increase your chances of a good investment, avoid the 2007 to 2011 models because they have the most complaints.