Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A grey 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid is shown from the side on a city street.

Is a Used Honda CR-V a Good Purchase?

One of the best-selling SUVs in the world right now––and one of Honda’s most beloved vehicles ever––is the Honda CR-V. It happens to be a real force to be reckoned with, as each new model year moves tons of units off lots by enticing all manner of shoppers looking to buy a new SUV. But that doesn’t apply to everyone looking to purchase an SUV. Just because a vehicle is popular when new doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a quality option when bought second-hand. Of course, this raises the question: is a used Honda CR-V a good purchase?

If you were asking yourself that question, it could definitely be said that, yes, a used Honda CR-V is a good purchase. Of course, a simple sentence saying, “this is a good vehicle,” doesn’t really address the “why” of the situation. So let’s dive into why people consider the Honda CR-V a good compact crossover and why you might consider making one your next SUV purchase.

Why Is the Honda CR-V So Popular?

The short answer is that it’s an affordable and reliable compact SUV. Of course, this is the standard answer you would probably expect from just about any vehicle considered “good.” There has to be more, right? Well, there is…a lot more. Some of the most significant positive factors that owners love about the CR-V are the roomy interior and comfortable riding experience.

It really goes a long way having a vehicle that you consider safe, easy to drive, and reliable. This feeds back into many other general questions people have about wanting to purchase a used Honda CR-V. If current owners like the CR-V, it’s for obvious reasons, and many of these reasons apply to people who have not purchased a CR-V but are looking to buy one used. Knowing that the majority of owners like the CR-V for its roomy cabin that can seat up to five people across two rows, its great fuel economy, and its safe design helps explain its appeal on the market and why the CR-V continues to be a best-seller among its competitors.

A close up of the steering wheel on a 2022 Honda CR-V is shown.

Is a Used Honda CR-V Safe to Drive?

Safety is an important issue for almost every type of car shopper except for those buying sports cars and ot her niche vehicles. When it comes to an all-around vehicle, such as the Honda CR-V, safety is an extremely important factor. This is doubly so when buying used.

Why is safety so much more important when buying used? Well, because safety features are improving every year, many used vehicles do not have features we now take for granted. This is not the case with the CR-V. The Honda Sensing suite has come standard on the EX trim and above every year since the 2017 redesign and was made standard across the board for 2020. This means many used models already have all the basic passive and active safety and driver-assist features built in. So long as the sensors are working, you have access to the safety tech present in the CR-V.

What’s more is that for years, the Honda CR-V has scored top ratings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Whether you opt to purchase a newer model CR-V or an older used example, you can have some peace of mind knowing that this compact SUV is safe all the way around, new or old. This is one of the reasons that the CR-V remains popular on the used market and why so many people consider it a good overall purchase.

How Reliable Is a Used Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V has some of the best reliability ratings in its segment. This means you’ll pay less in maintenance fees each year you own a CR-V compared to some of its competitors. Honda’s SUV also has some of the least expensive regular service requirements compared to many of its peers. Additionally, mechanical failures, on average, don’t happen often. All of these are excellent signs if you opt to buy a used Honda CR-V.

However, it should be noted that the frequency, severity, and costs of maintaining a used CR-V are going to be based on how many miles are on it. A CR-V with 100,000 miles or more will likely be prone to requiring more serious work compared to a used CR-V that only has 50,000 miles on it. It’s certainly something you will have to take into consideration.

Still, if you’re buying a used Honda CR-V with a lot of miles on it, this doesn’t mean that it’s automatically going to be a problematic vehicle. In fact, if the previous owner maintained the SUV well enough and had it serviced according to schedule, even with more than 100,000 miles on it, you could still end up with a well-running compact SUV with a lot of life left in it. It all depends on what you go with and how many miles you’re willing to consider when it comes to buying used.

A blue 2021 Honda CR-V is shown parked near a lake.

Is a Used Honda CR-V a Good Purchase if I’m on a Strict Budget?

This is one of the more important aspects of making a purchase. If you’re shopping on a strict budget, then buying a more modern iteration of the Honda CR-V probably isn’t the best decision. While newer models have reasonable enough prices, if you are looking to spend less than $20,000, you will have to settle for an older CR-V.

Of course, even if you have a financial situation where buying something newer is possible, you can still opt for an older model CR-V and come away with a reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle. In fact, a used Honda CR-V hybrid might be a great option if you really want to save money at the fuel pump. However, you will have to take into account that you would need to put more money into upfront costs with the hybrid option, and it may require additional maintenance.

In either case, if you’re car shopping with a strict budget, there are a number of older model years available for a very low price that are still considered good compact SUVs by today’s standards. You will have to take into account, however, that older models will have fewer modern features come standard. Going back to something as old as the 2014 model year might work well for your budget, but you won’t get the more refined handling, suspension upgrades, or Honda Sensing driver-assist features that come with the newer model year CR-Vs. There’s always going to be that give and take when it comes to buying used and managing your budget.

You’re in Good Hands With a CR-V

Overall, you’re always in good hands with a used Honda CR-V. This model is a very reliable bet when buying a compact SUV, which is a large reason why it continues to be one of the best-selling vehicles on the market and one of the most celebrated and trusted SUVs in its segment. Simply put, if you want a good vehicle to drive with great safety features, cost-effective fuel economy, a spacious interior, and the latest in infotainment and tech, the Honda CR-V is an excellent option.