The small-size crossover SUV market is flooded with a variety of attractive choices, but the Honda CR-V does a great job separating itself from its brethren. The CR-V was redesigned in 2012, and what worked last year continues to remain effective in 2013. Working the CR-V’s favor is Honda’s history of reliability and performance, and the willingness of Honda to listen to consumers. The result is a small compact SUV ideally suited for families with sufficient cargo space and a comfortable ride.
The CR-V is powered by a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 163 foot-pound of torque. Unfortunately, this is the biggest drawback to the 2013 model. However, the single engine choice is reliable, and gets an economical 23 MPG/city and 31 MPG/hwy (on front wheel drive models), but the lack of a six-cylinder engine is problematic for those seeking a bit more quickness. Front-wheel drive is standard, and the powertrain is monitored by a five-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional, and definitely a worthy choice of an upgrade.
Inside, the CR-V is designed with aesthetics and usefulness in mind. The controls are lain out in an appealing (and logical) manner, and the full font console laced with storage compartments is a welcome addition. Legroom is ample, and a spring-loaded rear seat folds nearly flat – creating a generous amount of cargo space (just over 70 cubic feet).
The Honda CR-V is less exciting to drive than many of its four-cylinder competitors. It lacks quickness and low-end power, but more than makes up for this in the fuel economy department. Handling is smooth and quiet, and the steering is crisp. While the CR-V won’t win any awards for sportiness, it does the job with reliability and safety.
The CR-V is available in three trim levels, the LX, EX, and EX-L. Each is available as front-wheel driver with all-wheel drive an optional upgrade.
The variety of options, trim levels, and performance exhibited by the CR-V make it a resounding success in the face of stiff competition. While the CR-V might be lacking in engine power, it does stand up as a fantastic choice for drivers more interested in reliability, safety, and those in search of a dependable small-sized SUV for their family.
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