Buying a family-friendly car can feel like a pretty daunting task. Parents, whether new or seasoned, are often overwhelmed by the number of factors and characteristics to consider. On top of that, nearly every auto manufacturer has a car rated for family-friendliness, so there are plenty of options out there to choose from. That said, if you check out lists of the best family cars, it is likely that some iteration of the Honda CR-V will be near the top. The Honda CR-V has been in production since 1996, and since then, has continued to provide an overwhelmingly safe and comfy driving experience year after year. Today, we are going to unpack the details of the 2020 Honda CR-V and give you an up-close-and-personal look at an SUV that woos parents with solid safety equipment, great gas mileage, and a roomy interior.
The First Impression
One of the most critical factors in purchasing a new vehicle is cost. Fortunately, the Honda CR-V gives a good first impression, offering drivers entry into a baseline model for as low as $25,050 MSRP. And the Honda CR-V isn’t your typical mini-van-like car. While this Honda SUV may have mini-van features, like the rounded body, there is an edge to the Honda CR-V that your typical van simply doesn’t have.
On top of that, the Honda CR-V comes in a number of configurations, which include the LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, as well as a slew of hybrid alternatives. As a result, the Honda CR-V manages to provide drivers with several different options so that they can almost wholly customize their driving experience. And even high-end models like the Honda CR-V Touring start at a reasonable price of $33,250 MSRP. While price, style, and trim options all play a massive role in the success of the Honda CR-V, it is the performance that deserves a particular highlight.
Lifting the Hood
Performance in the Honda CR-V is snappy and responsive, regardless of what model you choose. That said, this isn’t the kind of SUV that you’ll take off-roading, as the 7.8 inches of ground clearance just won’t cut it for bounding off of the pavement. Instead, the Honda CR-V is better for on the road driving, and some models even come prepared with equipment adequate to handle some pretty poor road conditions.
Before we get into the higher trims and configuration options, let’s return to the basics. For that relatively low entry price of $25,050 MSRP, drivers will get put in control of a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that manages to be both fuel efficient and powerful. This base model engine is responsible for 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque and uses a CVT to make it all happen. Although, if you want to take advantage of that rough road condition performance, an all-wheel drivetrain is also available.
Fuel economy is also pretty solid even for all-wheel models. The front-wheel standard model manages to provide 28 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway, and the all-wheel version is responsible for 29 MPG combined. In terms of wheel sizing, the Honda CR-V can be fitted with either 18- or 19-inch wheels, but regardless of which you choose, you’re in for a rather smooth experience behind the wheel. And yes, the Honda CR-V is capable of towing, but it isn’t a heavy lifter, as tow capacity reaches a limit of 1,500 pounds.
Although, if you’re looking for an SUV with some pretty remarkable fuel economy, there is also a 2020 CR-V Hybrid worth checking out. Using a 2.0-liter inline-4 gas engine, a lithium-ion battery, and an electric motor, the hybrid Honda CR-V manages to punch forward at a rate of 212 hp. And, of course, the hybrid powertrain contributes significantly to fuel economy, as these models are able to garner 39 MPG combined.
So, yes, the performance of the Honda CR-V is undoubtedly family-worthy. While it may not be nearly as robust as some competitor models, what’s here ought to satisfy anyone looking for a family car with an edge.
Inside, the Honda CR-V is something to behold. It has an ample amount of room for cargo, which can be important as a family vehicle. The standard model offers 39.2 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the second row of seats. Although, if you really need to haul some things, cargo storage can expand up to 75.8 cu.ft. if you fold down the rear seats. The Hybrid model shrinks the amount of cargo space you can enjoy though, topping out at 68.7 cu.ft. Generally, though, both of these models provide enough room for camping gear, sporting equipment, and luggage.
Even beyond the space being offered, the CR-V’s interior is something special. Of course, central to any excellent car interior is the infotainment system, and while the Honda CR-V starts small, things improve drastically once you upgrade. The base model LX trim, for instance, uses an infotainment screen that is 5 inches and uses analog controls. That said, this infotainment system is Bluetooth connective and offers a single USB charging port for your convenience.
Upgrade the Honda CR-V, and you’ll find a larger infotainment display at 7 inches that is touch-controlled. The software packed into the display is also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, meaning you can enjoy a seamless connection with your favorite smartphone applications. Other features accompanying higher trims include keyless ignition, power-adjustable driver seat (which is heated), faster USB charging ports, and an upgraded audio system. These features can play a significant role in the family staying entertained during long rides, which, if you are a parent, you know, is important.
And if you want to get a near-luxury experience, the Honda CR-V provides it in the Touring trim. Interior features of this top-tier model include leather-wrapped seating, a wireless smartphone charger, and a premium audio system. There are many options to upgrade and customize the Honda CR-V so that you can get the interior you want, at the price you can afford.
Inherent to any great family car is a robust set of active safety and driver assistance gear. And fortunately, the Honda CR-V comes packed with an array of features to take advantage of, even at base models. Step into an entry-level model of the Honda CR-V, and you’ll find features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and a comprehensive collision mitigation braking system. And when you upgrade your model, you can also take full advantage of blind-spot monitors, which can truly enhance your driving experience. So, no matter which model you buy, expect to find a package filled with next-level safety features that are proactive in keeping you safe at the wheel.
Is the 2020 Honda CR-V Family Worthy?
Between the incredible performance, fuel economy, interior space and features, and the safety equipment, the Honda CR-V is undoubtedly one of our top picks for family-friendly vehicles. Although, you shouldn’t just take our word for it, as there are plenty of Honda dealers that will gladly take you on a full-fledged test drive of this remarkable SUV. From the LX all the way up to the Touring, the Honda CR-V provides a driving experience that is bound to work for families anywhere and everywhere.