2020 Honda CR-V review: Simply better

There is certainly nothing at all extravagant here, just healthful automotive goodness. Craig Cole/Roadshow Honda

2020 Honda CR-V Touring AWD

There is certainly nothing at all extravagant here, just healthful automotive goodness.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Honda only does it far better. No other mass-sector automaker builds as quite a few all-all over exceptional motor vehicles. With unnerving regularity, this company’s items are ordinarily nicer to generate, more gas-successful, spacious inside of and of increased top quality than products fielded by rivals. The CR-V crossover embodies that ethos of excellence. A sales leader in America for more than 20 yrs, this perennially common nameplate competes in the heart of the crossover sector, battling opponents like the Nissan Rogue, Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan.


  • Relaxed accommodations
  • Exceptional crash-take a look at scores
  • Cavernous cargo keep
  • High-top quality cabin

Don’t Like

  • Antiquated infotainment process
  • Weak CVT efficiency
  • Grumbly motor

To retain the CR-V fresh and support it fend off rivals that have been redesigned more recently, products like the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, Honda has made a amount of enhancements for 2020. A great deal of new technological innovation and options have been extra, but the price of a base LX design only creeps up by $600.

What is new for 2020?

Headline news for the latest design year is the inclusion of Honda Sensing, which is now typical across the CR-V’s design range. This is the automaker’s useful suite of advanced driver-guidance technological innovation. Between other factors, it involves lane-holding aid, ahead collision warning, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control.

Yet another crucial change was made underneath the CR-V’s hood, where the base, two.4-liter I4 motor has been dropped. A turbocharged, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder motor is now typical machines in each and every design, offering one hundred ninety horsepower and 179 pound-ft of torque. Maximizing that output is an unremarkable continuously variable transmission. Providing motorists with a good deal of decision, entrance- and all-wheel generate is made available on each and every design, from LX, EX and EX-L to the range-topping Touring trim.

2020 Honda CR-V Touring AWD

For 2020, the CR-V is made available with just one particular motor, a 1.5-liter turbo-4.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

For 2020, a few much less substantial alterations were also made. The CR-V is fitted with new headlights, the entrance and rear bumpers have been reworked, fresh wheel layouts are made available and 3 new exterior paint hues join the palette, which includes Aegean Blue. This shiny metallic hue is what my take a look at car or truck is slathered in and male, does it glance neat. Even on a depressingly overcast winter day in Detroit, this paint pops.

If it matches, it ships

Many thanks to clever engineering, Honda motor vehicles frequently supply more cargo place than rival products, and the CR-V is no exception. Behind its next-row seat, there’s more than 39 cubic ft of room. This cargo place is broader and deeper than you might count on, many thanks to its very low flooring. Fold the backrests down and that figure grows to just about 76 cubic ft. That’s more in both of those measures than you get in an Escape, Tiguan or RAV4 — not leaps and bounds more, but more all the exact same. 

For extra benefit, the sixty/40-split rear seat can both be dropped by pulling handles on one particular of the backrests or by means of a pair of levers in the cargo location. This is a thoughtful contact that makes residing with this car or truck just a tiny less difficult, and it really is an additional example of how Honda does it far better. 

Not only does the CR-V excel at transporting cargo, it really is adept at relocating people, too. The seats in my Touring-trim tester are covered in leather-based that’s far better top quality than you might count on in this car or truck section, however it is blacker than the Mariana Trench at midnight, which makes the cabin glance a tad on the significant aspect. Sad to say, this is the only hue made available with that “Aegean blue” paint, but a mild-grey inside theme is readily available with other exterior hues.

I am normally not a key enthusiast of Honda seats, but this vehicle’s entrance buckets are more relaxed than I expected. The back again bench has ample place for all but the lankiest of passengers, even if the base cushion is just a whisker too very low.

Cabin fever

Outpacing quite a few rivals, the CR-V’s inside is made of smartly grained plastics and the create top quality is unsurpassed. Every little thing matches alongside one another as it should really, and nothing at all is free or in any other case frail-emotion, aside from the mechanical shifter sprouting from the dashboard. It truly is fairly sloppy in its gate and unsatisfying to use.

A great deal of gentle plastics are utilized on common contact spots like the center armrest and the higher sections of the entrance doorway panels. Portions of this attractively textured product have bogus stitching molded in. I won’t be able to decide if this is flagrantly low-priced or a welcome enhance to the distinction-color stitching applied elsewhere. 

2020 Honda CR-V Touring AWD

High-top quality materials and an ergonomic layout are hallmarks of this Honda’s inside.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

1 matter I am not so divided on is the simulated wooden trim. As injection-molded timber goes, it really is quite convincing, resembling lumber harvested from an olive tree. Many thanks to its creamy-tan qualifications and contracting streaks, it assists brighten up the in any other case inky-black cabin.

Enhancing the CR-V’s flexibility, its middle console was also redesigned for 2020. With a sliding and flipping divider, it can have a wider array of products than ahead of. Yet another helpful contact is the array of roof-mounted get handles this car or truck is fitted with. There is certainly one particular for just about every outboard seat.

This Honda’s inside is easy to like, but one particular matter could be improved and it really is proper in entrance of the driver. The CR-V’s instrument cluster seems to be strange, an odd mixture of analog gauges and a digital display screen. Of course, it exhibits a good deal of data and, no, it really is not tough to examine, but the layout and hues applied are just unattractive. 

Technology and options

Building Honda Sensing typical machines for 2020 is a enormous reward to buyers. Apart from this assemblage of driver aids, the CR-V offers a good deal of other technological innovation.  

All CR-Vs but the most standard design come with a 7-inch touchscreen entrance and middle on the dashboard. This display screen is a tiny lesser than I might like to see, but it really is easy to arrive at, staying mounted up higher, in addition there’s a volume knob, which was not often the scenario with Hondas in modern design yrs. Sad to say, a tuning dial is nowhere to be identified, if you continue to use that kind of matter. 

2020 Honda CR-V Touring AWD

There is certainly no scarcity of place in the CR-V’s next-row seat.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

That display screen is house to an egregiously outdated infotainment process. On the in addition aspect, its efficiency is satisfactory, but the user interface is a mess and there’s sufficient gloss and color gradient on its numerous menus to make it truly feel like you just time-traveled back again to 2005. The good news is, Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are both of those supported, in addition Touring products come with an embedded navigation process.

My major-shelf tester is also dressed up with factors like remote motor get started, rain-sensing wipers, twin-zone local weather control, an digital parking brake and heated entrance seats. Making sure everyone’s cell devices are absolutely juiced, it even arrives with 4 USB kind-A ports and a wireless charging pad. Keyless entry with drive-button get started is integrated as effectively.

Sprightly efficiency

Even with immediate gas injection and a turbocharger pumping more air into its quartet of cylinders, the CR-V’s little-displacement motor only provides one hundred ninety hp. On paper, that’s a instead unimpressive figure, but in apply there’s nothing at all to fear about. This crossover’s efficiency is more than satisfactory, with a good deal of squirt for tackling freeway on-ramps, overtaking slower-relocating site visitors or just plain outrunning the male one particular lane in excess of. The CR-V handles effectively, it has a mild, almost tossable truly feel to it and the meaty steering wheel makes it easy to generate. 

This vehicle’s continuously variable transmission makes the most of that steady of ponies, but I won’t be able to support but truly feel its efficiency could be even far better. During mild acceleration, that stepless gearbox would seem to reduce the motor from revving as freely as it should really, seeking to keep it all over two,000 rpm. It truly is easy to dig a tiny deeper and drive previous this wall, but in regular driving the transmission is just not a notably inclined lover. Potentially it really is trying to restrict inside noise. Even underneath moderate loads, that 1.5-liter motor is about as enjoyable-sounding as a perturbed toddler two rows driving you on transcontinental flight. I do not remember it ever sounding so disagreeable in the Accord or Civic. 

2020 Honda CR-V Touring AWD

Apart from a grumbling motor, this crossover is mostly enjoyable to generate.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

At the very least this powerplant is gas-successful. With all-wheel generate onboard, my CR-V tester is rated at 27 miles for each gallon town and 32 freeway. These figures result in a blended score of 29 mpg. You guessed it, Honda is far better than most at performing more with much less.

It truly is nothing at all new, but one particular matter I love is the automatic brake-keep element this Honda offers. It truly is typical on each and every design. A great deal of other luxurious and even mainstream motor vehicles have this, but I often welcome it. In essence, it makes ready in site visitors a tiny less difficult mainly because the car or truck can keep itself stationary devoid of you putting any stress on the brake pedal. When the mild turns environmentally friendly or site visitors forward clears, just roll on the throttle and absent you go. Best of all, if you do not like this useful driver support, just depart it off.  

Excellence at an cost-effective price

There is certainly a good deal to like about the Honda CR-V, from its spacious, effectively-developed inside to the amazing gas overall economy it returns. Pricing is an additional laudable attribute of this crossover. Which includes $1,a hundred and twenty in location rates, you can generate house in a base LX design for $26,one hundred seventy.

2020 Honda CR-V Touring AWD

There is certainly not substantially to gripe about with the 2020 Honda CR-V.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

By natural means, my loaded Touring design charges substantially more than that, but it really is continue to incredibly reasonable. Recall, we dwell in an age where you can very easily choice a pickup truck previous the $75,000 mark. With more fixings than a Thanksgiving desk, my tester checked out for just $35,845. In this scenario, pricing is just an additional matter Honda does far better.