2020 Honda CR-V Touring new car reviews

The CR-V has been a standard of the SUV segment in the United States since 1997. Now in its fifth generation, the CR-V can be had in hybrid and non-hybrid versions across four trims: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. All-wheel-drive is available on all trims as well.

Since we were recently given the keys to a non-hybrid all-wheel-drive Touring model, we beg the question: Does the most recent CR-V still hold up in a market saturated with crossovers and SUVs?

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J.G. Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

It says a lot about the market competitiveness of a certain class of vehicles that the Honda CR-V is a fantastic small crossover and it’s still perhaps generously only the third-best vehicle in its class.

While the current CR-V was a new model as recently as 2017, and while it was facelifted just last year, lots of its features feel dated, or like afterthoughts compared to vehicles like the Hyundai Tucson or Toyota RAV4. Again, not that the CR-V is in any way objectively bad, just that those other cars set such a high bar that anything that’s not you’re a+ game stands out.

Driving dynamics are good, but you’ll never confuse the CR-V for a sports car, and the Mazda CX-5 proved a year ago that “fun to drive” and “small crossover” weren’t exclusive concepts. The CVT is mostly unobtrusive, but our AWD-equipped test car also averaged under 30mpg during our week with it. Again, not bad numbers, just no longer impressive in a world where a RAV4 Hybrid easily tops 40 mpg.

Still, the CR-V is feature-rich, user friendly, and Honda reliable, so you’re still getting a lot for your $35,000. We’d probably opt out of the $1500 AWD system, which is likely a big contributor to the less-than-stellar fuel economy under the “anywhere you need AWD to get to in a CR-V you probably don’t belong in the first place” clause, and save a few bucks that could go toward a second set of winter wheels and tires should our geography dictate such a need.

Honda had long been the standard in several categories by which several other car companies were measured, but they’re playing catch-up with the current CR-V it seems. Ultimately, that’s good news for prospective buyers because even if you buy our third favorite small crossover, you’re still getting a heck of a car.

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