Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips and Reviews

A red 2020 Honda CR-V Touring is driving through a tunnel after leaving a Honda dealer.

Our Full Review of the 2020 Honda CR-V

SUVs are a dime a dozen nowadays, filling the showrooms and lots of dealerships across the automaking spectrum. That said, of all the SUV brands out there today, Honda dealers have certainly enjoyed some pretty lucrative business considering they’ve boasted one of the highest-rated SUVs for several years now, the Honda CR-V. While the Honda CR-V has never been a particularly groundbreaking or game-changing vehicle, it is has succeeded so well thanks to how well-rounded it is. Take into account a decent engine build, a pretty fleshed out package of safety features, and an interior cabin space that is roomy for both passengers and cargo, there is a reason why the Honda CR-V has received continued praise. That said, the 2020 model year has seen some pretty tremendous shifts in design from other automakers, and who’s to say that the Honda CR-V continues to hold its place in the sun.

A Well-Designed Package

While highly-rated, the 2020 Honda CR-V isn’t necessarily for everyone. This isn’t a vehicle that will excel at off-road driving or will provide a tremendous powertrain to take advantage of. The rounded styling alone promises an SUV that is more minivan than SUV, to begin with. That said, these factors are hardly a bad thing; for some drivers, this is exactly what they’re looking for. An SUV that is safe, well-sized, and conscious about fuel consumption.

The 2020 Honda CR-V is certainly a safe pick for parents looking for a vehicle that is not just safe, but affordable as well. Visit any Honda dealership, and chances are you’ll be able to purchase the 2020 Honda CR-V in one of four different trim options the LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The starting LX model comes in at a decent price of $25,050 MSRP, which is a huge bonus point considering what you’re getting at that entry-level sticker price.

For the most part, not many changes have been made to the Honda CR-V from 2019 to 2020, and while this may be a bad thing in other SUV models, it actually works out in Honda’s favor. Sure, we wish we would have seen a hybrid Honda CR-V, but considering other competitors are also dragging their feet to releasing a hybrid powertrain, we won’t knock Honda for waiting another year.

A man is loading a plant into the back of his silver 2020 Honda CR-V.

Safe Performance for a Safe SUV

There is a growing trend amongst the automaking world of choosing smaller engines for greater fuel economy. In some instances, this can be a huge drawback for performance, resulting in a well-sized SUV that isn’t able to pull its own weight. While the engine build of the 2020 Honda CR-V isn’t robust, it still uses a good-sized four-cylinder to make for a degree of performance that is consistent, but not overpowering.

Beneath the hood of the 2020 Honda CR-V is a 1.5-liter turbo-4 engine that puts out a good but not great 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. Accompanying that turbo-4 engine is a CVT and the option of either a front-wheel or all-wheel drivetrain. While we’ve certainly seen many much more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains, the one offered across the Honda CR-V lineup isn’t half bad. Sure, you’ll only get to tow a maximum of 1,500 pounds when behind the wheel of the best-built model, but as we said before, the 2020 Honda CR-V isn’t pretending to be something it isn’t.

That’s not to say that the 2020 Honda CR-V is incapable of a little bit of rough riding. All models of the Honda CR-V come with 7.8-inches of ground clearance, and with an all-wheel drivetrain available, the SUV can handle itself pretty well when faced with rain or snow. And that’s also not to say that the 2020 Honda CR-V is sluggish, this Honda flagship is rather light on its feet, and offers a smooth ride on both its 18- or 19-inch wheels.

Still, though, it is difficult to separate the 2020 Honda CR-V from that single lane of being a decent family-oriented car. While there is certainly plenty to like here, in no scenario will the 2020 Honda CR-V attract the rugged adventurer or the avid off-roader. Instead, the performance of the 2020 Honda CR-V makes it a more practical vehicle, adept at street-driving, and fuel conservation, with its 30 MPG average when you drive the front-wheel powered model.

The Inside is What Counts

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

So the 2020 Honda CR-V isn’t a top performer, and that’s totally okay in our book. Where this SUV excels is in the interior. The 2020 Honda CR-V is spacious, plain and simple, where other automakers would’ve shoved in a third row, Honda remains consistent opting for giving fewer passengers more room to move around. The Honda five-seater sports 75.8 cubic feet of total cargo space when the rear seats are folded down. And when you’re transporting rear passengers, they’ll get the pleasure of a seriously roomy 40 inches of leg space.

The interior build materials of the 2020 Honda CR-V are decent enough as well, using soft-touch plastics, and the option of high-quality leathers should you pay for the upgrade. Speaking of near-luxury upgrades, the Honda CR-V has plenty. While base models are modest, with a non-touch interactive 5.0-inch infotainment screen, a single USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity. Although, if you decide to pay a little more upfront, you can enjoy some pretty phenomenal add-ons like keyless ignition, a 7.0-inch infotainment screen that, yes, is touch activated and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. At the highest trim, you’ll find features that put even luxury-grade models to shame, with features like heated seats, an upgraded audio system, and a wireless smartphone charger.

Technology is another major plus for the 2020 Honda CR-V. Where other competitor SUVs fail to provide even the most basic kind of modern active safety features, Honda dishes it out in spades. Even base models of the 2020 Honda CR-V come with lane departure warnings, forward collision warnings, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane-keeping assist. That is quite a spread, and if you were to purchase the same features in a similar competitor SUV model, you’d likely have to pay a far higher sticker price. The amount of tech packed into every model of the 2020 Honda CR-V certainly makes up for the lack of performance, so much so that it’s already won the hearts of many drivers and auto experts.

Our Verdict of the 2020 Honda CR-V

Not every SUV needs to be some off-road juggernaut or utility-only machine, there are plenty of those. The 2020 Honda CR-V shows us that sometimes it’s good to appeal to a certain lane of drivers and to give them exactly what they want. From active safety features and an interior cabin that is sprawling enough for the whole family, the 2020 Honda CR-V leans into what it is and excels with flying colors. While there are certainly plenty of other SUVs out there that offer more pizazz and more in the way of powertrains and performance, we won’t count against the Honda CR-V for leaning into exactly what it is, an SUV meant for the everyday driver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *