Crossover & Midsize

This Is the Best Used Honda CR-V Model Year to Look For

Whether you’re in the market for a new or a used vehicle, Honda has some options that might appeal to you. The vehicle that offers more reliability than other cars is the Honda CR-V. Its popularity brings it to the top of the list for the best SUVs to look for.

However, not all model years are as reliable, and some have received quite a few complaints from drivers. As with any other vehicle, there are good models and bad models, and this guide will point you to what’s been good and what years to avoid. When searching for a used Honda CR-V, the best choice starts with the 2005 to 2006 years, according to Car Complaints’ list.

2005-2006 Honda CR-V vehicles

A Honda CR-V at the Geneva International Motor Show
The Honda CR-V | Sergei FadeichevTASS via Getty Images

Surprisingly, the older versions seem to be more reliable than the newer ones. The 2005 to 2006 model years pleased drivers with its smooth engine, good fuel economy, and reliability. The handling wasn’t too bad either, and the CR-V had a relatively comfortable ride. Cargo space and legroom were decent, making it roomier than some of the other vehicles in the same class.

Complaints about these models were pretty minimal. The main one dealt with the noise. Every time you drove the CR-V, road noise would be so loud that it frustrated some of the drivers. The other problem was with the rear hatch. The side swinging gate was just too awkward to work with.

All in all, if you purchase these models used, they’ll get you the best bang for your buck, provided the previous owner took good care of it.

The 2015 to 2016 Honda CR-V models

If older vehicles aren’t what you looking for, consider one of the 2015 to 2016 models. These had decent reports for reliability, good handling, and roomy interior space. Honda dropped a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine in it with a CVT, or continuously variable transmission. This helped the SUV get 26 MPG in the city despite it being an all-wheel-drive vehicle. They also added a standard backup camera and a power driver’s seat for the CR-V’s EX trim level.

As far as complaints are concerned, the CR-V still had a few with the 2015 and 2016 versions. While the handling earned good marks, the ride didn’t. It felt a lot stiffer than other model years, and the noise level, which was a common complaint across the board for all CR-Vs, plagued these years as well. Other problems reported by some dealt with the engine idling rough, acceleration hesitation, and vibrations in the powertrain.

Which years should you avoid?

The model years that have 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 a failing A/C compressor. The rounded styling feature on the rear, limited cargo space and visibility, and road noise was loud and tiresome.

The 2010 and 2011 model years, specifically, have had drivers complaining of oil consumption problems that seem to come out of nowhere. Upon investigation, the culprit seemed to be the piston rings. Honda extended their warranty for these rings to cover eight years or 125,000 miles. Also, 2010 saw some recalls for airbag issues, electrical system problems, and faulty transmission control modules.

The Honda CR-V had some good years with the 2005 and 2006 models. If you would rather go for a newer version, the 2015 and 2016 models have proven to be pretty reliable as well. They have little-to-no complaints under their belt. But, to increase your chances of a good investment, avoid the 2007 to 2011 models, since they have the most complaints.