Which Honda CR-V Trim is the Best Value?

Looking for a small SUV? You might be thinking about the Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, and the Toyota RAV4, but the Honda CR-V is also a great option to consider. It has four available trims – which one is the best value?

Consumer Reports’ recommendation

Consumer Reports is one source of well-rounded information ranging from reviews to safety assessments. Consumer Reports has a number of positive things to share about the 2020 CR-V, saying it has plenty of space inside, gets good fuel economy, and has lots of standard safety features.

The CR-V comes with a 190-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and good handling. All the trim levels come with the same standard Honda Sensing safety features, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assistance. Blind-spot warning is available on higher trims.

Honda CR-V trim options

The 2020 CR-V’s four trim options are the LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. All the starting prices are under $34,000, with the LX starting at $25,050, the EX starting at $27,560, the EX-L starting at $30,050, and the Touring starting at $33,250.

The base LX trim does have some of the same safety features as the higher trims, but buyers need to step up to the EX to get more technology and driver-assist features. The LX trim has a 5-inch infotainment system that’s easy to use but doesn’t have as many features as the higher trims and doesn’t provide smartphone integration. In the EX, EX-L, and Touring trims, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The EX-L and Touring trims offer additional luxury features. The EX-L has a power tailgate, which can be upgraded to hands-free. It has leather-trimmed seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable front seats, plus an eight-speaker stereo. It comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and the option for a heated steering wheel. The Touring adds a navigation system, wireless charging, a nine-speaker stereo, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and LED headlights with auto-on/off.

Consumer Reports picks the EX trim as their recommendation because it says the EX has “the ideal balance of affordability and amenities.”

Features buyers get in the EX trim

Consumer Reports suggests the EX trim as its trim level choice since many of the CR-V’s best features come standard. The EX has a larger infotainment system with a touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also has both satellite radio and HD radio plus a six-speaker stereo. Consumer Reports did wish the infotainment system included more buttons and knobs and was a bit easier to use.

The interior cabin gets upgrades that start in the EX trim as well. It has matte wood trim, which doesn’t appear on the LX. While the LX does have automatic climate control, the EX and higher trims have dual-zone climate control. A little perk that starts with the EX trim is the lighted vanity mirrors in the sun visors.

Other standard features on the EX include two USB ports for the rear seats, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, remote engine start, a moonroof, and a cargo cover. Driver-assist features include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. A heated steering wheel is also available.

Reviews of the 2020 Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V Hybrid compact crossover SUV on display at Brussels Expo
The Honda CR-V | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

While Consumer Reports liked the CR-V and the EX trim in particular, the 2020 CR-V received a number of positive reviews. U.S. News and World Report ranked the 2020 CR-V as its No. 1 compact SUV, giving it an overall rating of 8.6 out of 10. It also chose the CR-V as the 2020 Best Compact SUV for the Money. In addition, Car and Driver gave the 2020 CR-V an excellent review, calling it “refined, practical, and well-designed.” Edmunds added that “no other small SUV offers a better overall combination of utility, fuel efficiency, comfort, and performance.”

Of the four trims available for the 2020 Honda CR-V, Consumer Reports recommends the EX as the trim level with the best value. This trim is the lowest one that includes most of the features buyers can get on the CR-V.