Do-it-all crossover for the masses. Following its 2017 redesign, the Honda CR-V carried on basically unchanged in 2018 and 2019. The 2019 Honda CR-V is a do-it-all crossover that casts a wide net to pull in as many buyers as possible by combining a roomy passenger area, massive cargo area, loads of optional tech, and plenty of advanced safety equipment.
The only limitation to its draw is its odd styling that may scare away some buyers. Looks aside, the CR-V is a crossover aimed squarely at the masses.
Seriously roomy cabin. Crossovers like the Honda CR-V must hit the sweet spot between SUV and sedan by delivering great driveability and plenty of room. The latter is no issue in the CR-V with its rear seat offering up to 40.4 inches of leg room. Its competitors cannot match up, as the Mazda CX-5 only offers 39.6 inches, the Kia Sportage 38.2 inches, and the Ford Escape 37.3 inches.
Passengers aren’t all that rides comfortably in the CR-V. Cargo also gets first-class treatment with up to 39.2 cubic feet with the seats in place and 75.8 cubes with the rear seats lowered. The competition can’t even get close to the CR-V’s cargo space, with the CX-5 offering just 30.9 cubic feet with the seats upright and 59.6 cubes with the seats folded. The Sportage and Escape aren’t much better at 30.7 cubes with the seats up and 60.1 cubic feet with the seats folded, and 34 cubic feet with the seats upright and 68 cubes with them folded, respectively.
Plenty of great options. The CR-V has tons of options at fair prices, building plenty of value for customers looking for more upscale and tech-heavy features. Moving into the $28,295 (destination fees included) EX trim, which is just the second level, adds a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 18-inch wheels, a moonroof, and more.
That said, its base LX trim lacks many of the features younger buyers desire. Its features include a five-inch touchscreen, power windows, power locks, and alloy wheels. A big draw for the younger crowd is Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and they're not even an option in the base trim. The Sportage offers these cellphone integrations as a package on its base trim, while the Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox, and GMC Terrain offer them standard.
Safe and comfortable cabin. While rear-seat roominess is one thing, the rest of the CR-V’s cabin finishes the job of creating one of the most comfortable spaces in the segment. Up front, the seats are in the perfect position for great outward visibility, and thin A-pillars enhance this. These seats also have plenty of support and padding for the long haul.
Being comfortable is one thing, but being safe is a whole different story. The CR-V delivers here too with its Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. It received “Good” crash test scores across the board and a “Superior” rating in front-crash prevention thanks to its standard automatic emergency braking in EX and higher trims. The only thing keeping it from Top Safety Pick Plus territory is a “Marginal” rating in the headlight test.
Final thoughts. The 2019 Honda CR-V is the perfect crossover for buyers who want to get a vehicle as close to a sedan as possible without actually buying a low-riding one. Plus, the added versatility inside minimizes the compromises buyers must make when deciding between a crossover and a larger SUV.
The CR-V isn't for everyone, though. Those looking for something that can tackle heavier off-road driving will prefer the Subaru Forester or the RAV4 Adventure. Want maximum fuel economy? Look to the Kia Niro Hybrid or the upcoming RAV4 Hybrid. And buyers looking for more pep will find what they need from 2.0-liter turbocharged engines in the Sportage and Escape.