Class-leading passenger and cargo space; efficient engines; refined driving experience; clever storage; widely available safety tech
No higher-performance engine option available
After being completely redesigned last year, the CR-V is unchanged for 2018.
To read more about what changed last year, read 2016 vs. 2017 Honda CR-V: What's the Difference?
The base CR-V really doesn't make much sense unless you simply want the car with the lowest price tag. For less than $3,000 extra, the EX trim delivers a massive increase in desirable feature content along with better fuel economy. As the volume-selling trim level, you should also be able to easily find one in the right color and at the right price.
The 2018 CR-V comes in a single 5-passenger configuration and is offered with four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. All can be equipped with front- or all-wheel drive.
The LX ($24,200) comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED running/accent lights, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, two USB ports and a 4-speaker sound system.
The EX ($27,000) is the trim most people end up with, which isn't surprising given its dramatic uptick in equipment. It adds the turbocharged engine described above plus 18-in wheels, fog lights, keyless start, remote ignition, rear privacy glass, a sunroof, a cargo cover, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, a pair of second-row USB charging ports, a 7-in touchscreen, a 6-speaker sound system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also included is a package of accident avoidance tech consisting of blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic, lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems, plus automatic emergency braking, lane-departure prevention, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control with traffic-friendly slow-speed follow capability.
The EX-L ($29,500) adds a power liftgate, leather upholstery, driver memory settings, a 4-way power passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, HD radio and an 8-speaker sound system. A navigation system can be added to the existing touchscreen.
The Touring ($32,700) steps things up with roof rails, LED headlights, automatic wipers, a hands-free power liftgate, a sound system subwoofer and the navigation system.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2018 Mazda CX-5 -- The CX-5 was also fully redesigned last year and, like the CR-V, builds upon its successful predecessor. It's a more responsive vehicle to drive than the CR-V and arguably more visually appealing, but can't match Honda's utility.
2018 Ford Escape -- The Escape's updates last year weren't quite as substantial, but they nevertheless improved its technology and interior versatility. The Escape continues to be sharper to drive than the CR-V and offers a more powerful engine option. Read 2017 Honda CR-V vs. 2017 Ford Escape: Which is Better?
2018 Subaru Forester -- The Forester is the most utilitarian in its segment, boasting an abundance of interior space, simple controls, standard all-wheel drive and a highly efficient base engine. Its available turbo engine does provide best-in-class power, though.
Used Toyota Highlander -- If the CR-V still doesn't have the family-friendly utility you need, a bigger SUV is probably in order. Since that may require going used, we'd recommend a Toyota Highlander from 2014 or later. It was a stronger vehicle than the pre-2016 Honda Pilot at the time, but offers similar reliability.