Overview

Overview

The 2013 Honda CR-V is a five-passenger, compact crossover SUV that is an established competitor in the segment. Originally debuting in 1997, the CR-V remains a dominant player. The CR-V is available with front- or all-wheel drive and only comes with a four-cylinder engine.

What Experts Think

With its spacious interior, good handling and fuel economy, along with impressive standard technology features and strong safety scores, the automotive press finds a lot to like in the 2013 Honda CR-V compact crossover. Interspersed among the accolades, however, are a few nitpicks by auto critics.

"However unexciting it may be, the compact Honda CR-V crossover has been a huge success with consumers. Redesigned for 2012 and unchanged for 2013, the CR-V is as harmless and capable as ever, with proven reliability, resale value, and user-friendliness among its strong suits." (Car and Driver)

"CR-V continues to excel for its ‘just-right' blend of comfort, refinement, passenger room, and cargo versatility. It's competitively priced too. It just seems expensive given that there are no factory options and in order to get features such as satellite radio, you have to purchase a loaded model." (Consumer Guide)

"However, new rivals, such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape, offer better audio and infotainment systems, more features and, in some cases, more horsepower and better fuel economy. Still, it's hard to argue with the CR-V's excellent repair history and it continues to lead the pack in terms of long-term resale values." (Kelley Blue Book)

"Roomy, fuel-efficient and loaded with family-friendly amenities, the 2013 Honda CR-V is one of our favorite compact crossover SUVs." (Edmunds)

What Owners Say

Looking at what owners of the 2013 Honda CR-V have to say about their compact crossover is quite revealing. Comments from owners on such sites as Yahoo Autos, AOL Autos, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Cars.com show that they're not afraid to voice their opinion on the CR-V.

On the plus side, consumers hail the CR-V's handling, styling, dependability, fit and finish inside and out, and its overall value. Some pointed out that the arm rests in the front and easily accessible center storage bin are nice features. The rear doors open at a 90 degree angle, wrote one owner, "which makes getting the grand kids in and out of their seats easier."

In Kelley Blue Book consumer postings (a total of 53 ratings for the 2012-2013 Honda CR-V), the compact crossover garnered an 8.0 (out of 10) rating. Comments ranged from great safety and gas mileage to "crazy (good) resale," to "almost perfect" to "would like a little more pick up on take-off and a power hatch."

On the minus side, more than one owner commented that the audio system is disappointing for the EX-L. Other gripes include the cruise control being "squirrelly," the back seat isn't great, driver's seat styling, cheap and thin plastic interior, and can't quite figure out hands-free link.

Out of 19 total reviews on Edmunds, the consensus is an overall four and one-half stars. One owner, while praising the CR-V as a "great vehicle," had some complaints about the width of the seats and the fact that the steering wheel doesn't telescope or move down enough towards the driver. To be fair, this owner is 5'10" and weighs 220 pounds. Another said this is perhaps the best car owned in 60 years. Another wrote that this is the first Honda in 35 years, but not the last.

Model/Trim Lineup

The model lineup for the 2013 Honda CR-V includes the base LX, the EX volume leader, and the top-of-the-line EX-L. Comments from many automotive reviewers include mention of the fact that Honda's mono-trim availability means pretty much you get what's listed and if you want more, you need to go to a higher trim level.

Standard equipment on the base LX is similar to what other compact SUVs offer. In the CR-V, that includes automatic headlights, full power accessories, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, steering wheel audio controls, 60/40=split rear seats and a Bluetooth wireless cellphone link. When a smartphone that is supported by the system is connected, the user can stream Pandora Internet radio and have the system read incoming SMS text messages. A rearview camera is also standard - unusual in the compact crossover category.

Stepping up to the EX means the addition of 17-inch wheels (a bump up from standard 16-inchers), fog lights, cargo cover, six speakers for the sound system and a sunroof.

Going all-out to the EX-L means the inclusion of dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver's seat, heated exterior mirrors, an upgraded sound system and satellite radio.

CR-Vs can be ordered with optional navigation system and Honda lists those models separately. There is also an EX-L with a DVD entertainment system, although navigation and DVD cannot be ordered together.

Performance

A single 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is the only one offered in the 2013 Honda CR-V, a fact mentioned by many in the motoring press. The 2.4-liter engine manages to produce 180 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a five-speed automatic transmission which also comes in for some criticism from the press because it lacks manual mode.

Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway/26 mpg combined for front-wheel drive models, and 22/30/25 mpg for all-wheel drive versions. Auto critics note that these fuel economy ratings make the CR-V one of the most fuel-efficient choices in the compact crossover segment.

Interior

Automotive reviewers tend to spend considerable time inside various test vehicles. That gives them ample opportunity to note the vehicle's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to such considerations as roominess, comfort, style, functionality and usable space.

In most of these areas, the 2013 Honda CR-V comes out a winner, according to the auto critics. Testers note that the CR-V has a sleek and attractive cabin design. The interior is both spacious and comfortable and the cargo area is considered "useful." All this combines to make the CR-V one of the "most accommodating" small SUVs in its class.

Where almost all reviewers agree that the CR-V could use some improvement, however, is in the area of interior materials, which could be "nicer." Some call them examples of "cheap plastic," while others are a bit more general in their criticism.

The layout of the cabin is logical and controls are easy to find. In addition, the overall look is deemed "pleasing to the eye."  Gone is the open space between the front seats that characterized the previous generation, replaced by a full front console in all 2013 CR-Vs that adds to utility with more compartments for storage. The front console also houses the USB and auxiliary outlets as well as a 12-volt power outlet.

Similarly, the sliding rear seats are also a thing of the past, replace by a spring-loaded auto-fold feature that permits almost flat folding of the rear seats by pulling on a lever.

Another plus noted by many reviewers is the overall relative quietness of the CR-V. This helps add to its feeling of refinement.

As for how much it can hold, the CR-V has 37.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats in place and a impressive 70.9 cubic feet of space with them folded down.

Safety & Reliability

Most auto critics agree that the 2013 Honda CR-V excels in the safety arena. Top safety scores and standard safety equipment bear this out.

In government crash testing, the 2013 Honda CR-V received five stars for overall crash protection from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Within that overall five-star rating is five stars for the CR-V's overall frontal protection, and five stars for overall side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2013 CR-V its top score of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Standard safety equipment on the 2013 Honda CR-V includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, and front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is included as standard equipment, as with all Honda models.

As for reliability, the 2013 Honda CR-V earns a four and one-half Power Circle rating from the J.D. Power Predicted Reliability rating. This means that the CR-V is between "Among the Best" and "Better than Most" (five and four Power Circle ratings, respectively).

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - AWD
LX LX AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 24045
EX EX AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 26145
EX-L EX-L AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 28795
EX-L EX-L AWD with RES 4 Cylinder AWD 29495
EX-L EX-L AWD with Navigation 4 Cylinder AWD 30295
SUV - FWD
LX LX 2WD 4 Cylinder FWD 22795
EX EX 2WD 4 Cylinder FWD 24895
EX-L EX-L 2WD 4 Cylinder FWD 27545
EX-L EX-L 2WD with RES 4 Cylinder FWD 28245
EX-L EX-L 2WD with Navigation 4 Cylinder FWD 29045

Comparison of 2013 Honda CR-V with Similar Cars

2013 Honda CR-V MSRP Invoice
2013 Honda CR-V $22,795 $21,413
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2013 Ford Escape $22,470 $21,178 2013 Honda CR-V VS 2013 Ford Escape
2013 Chevrolet Equinox $24,225 $23,014 2013 Honda CR-V VS 2013 Chevrolet Equinox
2013 Toyota RAV4 $23,300 $21,786 2013 Honda CR-V VS 2013 Toyota RAV4
2013 Kia Sorento $23,150 $22,370 2013 Honda CR-V VS 2013 Kia Sorento
2013 Jeep Wrangler $22,295 $21,715 2013 Honda CR-V VS 2013 Jeep Wrangler

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2013 Honda CR-V ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Honda CR-V rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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