Car Buyer Labs

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A blue 2022 Honda CR-V is shown from the front at an angle.

If You’re Shopping For A Used Honda CR-V, Get A 2015 Or Newer. Here’s Why.

For many drivers today, safety is a primary concern, especially when purchasing a used vehicle. Buying used can gain you access to some great deals. However, if you travel too far back in time in a vehicle’s history, you could miss out on some of the newer safety features, each of which could mean fewer incidents on the road, or hopefully none at all. That meansa safer experience on the road, as well as savings (accidents are expensive, in case nobody mentioned it). If you’re looking into purchasing a used Honda CR-V for sale, the great news is that this compact SUV has one of the most applauded suites of driver assist features on the market today.

The Honda Sensing suite of driver assist features has won many awards, and Honda just keeps making it sharper, faster and more intuitive. If you want to enjoy the best that this suite of features has to offer, go for one of the more recent used Honda CR-Vs. Honda first introduced Honda Sensing in 2015, so models from that year and onward will have these great safety features. Today, Honda Sensing is available on all new Honda models, and it’s just gotten better and better. It has many of the features you expect from top manufacturers today, such as forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist. However, there are some specific features and characteristics that we think are worth taking a closer look at.

Driver Attention Monitor

The driver attention monitor senses when you are struggling to stay alert, or have even lost control of the vehicle. It uses sensors to analyze your steering wheel corrections, and if it detects that you’re becoming tired, which it knows if you’re overcorrecting, it initiates a series of warnings to get your attention.
It starts with a message on selected screens that looks like a small coffee cup, advising you to take a break. If you do not adjust your driving behaviors or pull over at that time, it moves onto visual and audio warnings, as well as a steering wheel vibration to grab your attention. If you have to drive long hours and fatigue is a concern, this could be a life saving feature.

When this system is activated, there will always be a little bar graph on your driver information screen showing you your current level of alertness. When you are fully alert, four bars will be illuminated. As attention levels drop, so does the number of illuminated bars. When the number drops to two, the system will begin to warn you to take a break.

This is also a critical feature for anyone with a medical condition that could affect their alertness at any given time. If you’ve ever been sleepy on the road, you know that it’s scary, so you know that this feature is a major bonus.

A silver 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is shown from the front at an angle after leaving a dealer that has a used Honda CR-V for sale.

Traffic Sign Recognition

If you’ve faced more traffic tickets than you care to admit, you might need a little extra help noticing traffic signs in advance. That’s where the traffic sign recognition feature is a major help. It uses a forward-facing camera to recognize upcoming traffic signs, like posted speed limits, and will show icons on your driver information interface to notify you of what’s coming. It will even start blinking if you exceed the speed limit to encourage good driving behaviors. This is also a great feature to have if you live in a snowy or foggy climate, where it’s sometimes hard to spot signs with the human eye.

Customizable Lane Departure Mitigation

The Honda Sensing Suite also has lane departure mitigation, which essentially detects dots, markers, and lines that denote the sides of your lane. If the vehicle detects that you’re accidentally leaving your lane, it will give you a visual warning. If you don’t respond, it will even take over steering to put you back in your lane. You might already be familiar with features like this one, but what’s cool about it in the CR-V is that you can customize exactly how it works.

You can choose between four modes: normal mode, wide mode, narrow mode and warn-only mode. In normal mode, you’ll get notifications and assistance at the same time. As your steering wheel vibrates and audible warnings go off, the system will also correct your steering. In wide mode, steering wheel vibrations and the audible warning go off first. Then, if you don’t respond, the steering wheel assist kicks in. This can be a good choice for drivers who find it alarming when the car takes over your steering. Wide mode gives you the chance to take over before that happens. Narrow mode immediately activates that steering assist if you’re drifting, meaning it leaves no room for mistakes. Warn-only mode activates only the audible warning and steering wheel vibration. It will never take over steering control from you.

Depending on the roads you typically travel, you’ll know which one of these modes is right for you. Drivers who live in snowy climates, where powder often conceals lane markers, may prefer narrow mode, the most aggressive of the options. Meanwhile, those who find steering wheel assist to be jarring will prefer warn only mode.

Low-Speed Follow

Cruising at the speed limit doesn’t require as many frequent adjustments as slow driving in traffic, where speeds vary randomly with no notice. That’s why the CR-V’s low-speed follow feature can be helpful, especially for anyone who regularly sits in stop-and-go traffic.

When activated, this feature automatically decelerates if the car ahead of you does so. It will even come to a full stop if the car ahead of you does, and also accelerates when it senses the car ahead of you moving along. If a car merges in front of you, the system adapts to make space for this new vehicle.
When you’re driving slowly, your defenses are down, and it’s easier to slip up. This feature can help you stay on your toes when traffic is moving slow.

The white interior of a 2020 Honda CR-V is shown from the passenger side.

Safety First

Sometimes drivers overlook the importance of driver assist features, especially when they result in an increased price tag on a vehicle. If you are shopping for a used car, there’s a chance you’re already looking for a great deal, but you shouldn’t skimp on driver assist features. If you are going to shop for a used Honda CR-V, it’s a good idea to stick to 2015 and newer models, since they will have the Honda Sensing suite of safety features.

Even if getting these features means paying a bit more, think of how much you could spend in the event of a major accident. The Honda Sensing suite is rich with features that combat some of the biggest predictors of accidents, like fatigue, lane drifting, and stop-and-go traffic. Even when you aren’t at risk of a collision, a traffic ticket is a major expense. Luckily, the traffic sign recognition technology will alert you to upcoming traffic signs, so you can be a better driver.

The Honda CR-V is an excellent compact SUV. It’s affordable, stylish, and fun to drive. The best way to enjoy it for extended years is to avoid accidents, and the best way to do that is to get the Honda Sensing suite.