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The 2021 Honda CR-V Doesn’t Try to Fix What’s Not Broken

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The 2021 Honda CR-V pushes the limits of what a compact SUV can accomplish with class-leading cargo room and 40 mpg in the city with its hybrid powertrain.

What’s New for the 2021 Honda CR-V?

Overall, the CR-V has been one of the best compact SUVs on the market in America, and for good reason. For 2021, Honda hasn’t needed to make dramatic improvements, because it’s already on par, if not better, than other options for the most part. If there are any changes for the 2021 Honda CR-V, we couldn’t find them and Honda isn’t talking about them. But there are a few very minimal price bumps between the 2020 and 2021 models with the hybrid option bumping the price up an additional $2,700.

2021 Honda CR-V Touring - hondanews.com

2021 Honda CR-V Touring – hondanews.com |  Shop 2021 Honda CR-V on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $26,470

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD or AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

28 City / 34 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Trim levels for every lifestyle

Honda reliability

Unbeatable cargo room

Best in class fuel mileage

Base model has fewer features than a bicycle

No off-road or even soft-roading capability

More technology inside would be welcome

We’d like better complimentary maintenance

2021 MODEL Specs

Trims & Pricing

LX - $26,470
EX - $28,980
EX-L - $31,570
Touring - $34,770

2021 Honda CR-V Powertrain

2021 Honda CR-V 1.5L I4 - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda CR-V 1.5L I4 - carsforsale.com

Every gas-only powered CR-V comes with a 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 190 horsepower. For any of you thinking of turning up the boost after purchase, keep in mind that the small snail is already creating 18.5psi, near the maximum of its efficiency surely. The hybrid powertrain leverages a naturally aspirated 2.0L 4-cylinder along with 2 electric motors to produce a total of 212 horsepower.

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid - hondanews.com
2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid - hondanews.com

All CR-Vs use a CVT to route power to the wheels. While others have described the CR-V as spry, that’s not the word we’d use. It’s adequate at best. Truthfully, nobody is buying this thing to take to a track day, so adequate is perfect since any extra resources could be spent making the SUV better for its purpose, everyday driving.

2021 Honda CR-V Fuel Economy & MPG

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid - hondanews.com
2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid - hondanews.com

The CR-V is incredibly consistent when it comes to MPGs across the entire lineup. Each drivetrain maintains its ratings despite changes to trim level. The gas-powered front-wheel-drive CR-V gets 28 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway for a combined rating of 30 mpg. When opting for the all-wheel-drive system mileage takes a small hit and is bumped down to 27 in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 29 combined. The real story is the hybrid powertrain though that still uses all-wheel-drive, but scores an outstanding 40 mpg in the city, 35 on the highway, and 38 mpg in combined driving. If you’re a city driver, you can see why we think the hybrid powertrain is the way to go here. It’s a small price to pay for all those fuel stations you’ll get to pass.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

Of all the vehicles in its segment, the CR-V might have the most comfortable seats of the bunch. There’s room both back and front and even the base model feels supportive and sturdy. The controls are fresh and easy to navigate. There’s no confusion about where anything is and the thing we liked the most was that no matter what we had to touch or use, it just felt good. The CR-V doesn’t feel cheap and plasticky like so many other brands in this price range.

Cargo space is fantastic, in fact, it’s the best in the segment. Over 39 cubic feet are available to you with the back seats in their upright position. That’s more than enough for a few large bags with room to spare. Put those seats down and this thing turns into something rivaling the Tardis with nearly 76 cubic feet of space.

Entertainment & Technology

2021 Honda CR-V - hondanews.com
2021 Honda CR-V - hondanews.com

For everything that Honda gets right, infotainment is an area of opportunity, to say the least. The only accurate way I can describe this infotainment system is clunky. It almost makes you appreciate the simplicity of the 5-inch color radio screen in the base LX model.

Nevertheless, the 7-inch touchscreen is compatible with SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Navigation is an optional extra. The premium sound system is a big improvement over the base model. However, the mid-level system is only a single speaker short and costs less, so perhaps that’s the better deal. No matter which you pick, you’ll never find an AUX port in the CR-V and that’s just odd.

2021 Honda CR-V - hondanews.com
2021 Honda CR-V - hondanews.com

Proximity keyless entry, a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, and ambient interior lighting are all optional and add a thick layer of luxury to the vehicle that it certainly benefits from.

Safety Features

For 2021, the Honda CR-V is once again an IIHS top safety pick. It also achieved a 5-star crash rating from the NHTSA. Combine that with the bevy of safety features that Honda has installed in every single trim level and it’s easy to see why we like it so much. Standard adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automated emergency braking all add layers of safety for drivers that can’t be ignored.

2021 Honda CR-V Trims & Pricing

Here’s some information on the Honda CR-V for 2021! The starting price is $26,470, but there’s a lot more to this car than the base model. Here’s some available trims and their prices!

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2021 Honda CR-V LX - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda CR-V LX - carsforsale.com

LX – $26,470

The base model of the 2021 Honda CR-V features a truly utilitarian interior. It offers everything you need and nothing you don’t. Still, it offers all the practicality and reliability that Honda has built its brand on for decades. It’s sparse but it’s functional and provides the cargo room, comfort, and features you’d expect at this price point and nothing more. For example, the sound system features just 4 speakers in total.

2021 Honda CR-V EX - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda CR-V EX - carsforsale.com

EX – $28,980

Once you bump up to the EX level and above, the interior improves dramatically. The EX model uses the same general interior, but gets heated and powered front seats and a bevy of additional tech including remote start. A 7-inch touchscreen is added, 18-inch wheels, 3 individual drive modes, and more features become standard.

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid EX - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid EX - carsforsale.com

Hybrid EX – $31,680

The Hybrid EX might be the best of the bunch thanks to a well-appointed interior and exceptional efficiency without the added cost that higher trim levels request. It benefits from the hybrid powertrain’s quieter operation and all-wheel-drive performance too.

2021 Honda CR-V EX-L - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda CR-V EX-L - carsforsale.com

EX-L – $31,570

EX-L adds a leather interior, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink, and a mid-level sound system. You’ll also get a power tailgate and a 180 watt 8-speaker sound system. Overall this is a nice bump in tech over the EX, but there are some concerns we have with how well this slots into the lineup. Still, some will feel like these features are imperative and surely many EX-Ls will be snatched up.

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid EX-L - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid EX-L - carsforsale.com

Hybrid EX-L – $34,270

Adding the hybrid powertrain to the EX-L does make it a better overall vehicle on two accounts. Not only is it dramatically more efficient, but all-wheel-drive is a key factor for many when it comes to buying a vehicle. The downside of the Hybrid EX-L is that it’s so close in price to the Touring model and misses out on so much of the luxury found there. It’s also dramatically more expensive than the Hybrid EX which provides much of the same features with the same MPG rating.

2021 Honda CR-V Touring - hondanews.com
2021 Honda CR-V Touring - hondanews.com

Touring – $34,770

The Touring package is for those who simply want the best the CR-V has to offer. Wireless charging becomes standard, 19-inch wheels are fitted, and a premium audio system is installed with 9 speakers throughout the small SUV. The Touring model is the nicest of the bunch by a mile. The experience in and out of the cabin is wholly improved from seating to the technology, to the premium wheels.

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring - carsforsale.com

Hybrid Touring – $37,470

This is clearly the most advanced CR-V of the bunch. All the benefits of the regular CR-V Touring plus unbeatable efficiency. At nearly $40,000 this is certainly a high price to pay for a CR-V, but Honda has a proven track record of reliability and maintaining value well after new. So, surely many of these 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring models will sell.

Warranties

Honda is on par with the large majority of the auto world when it comes to warranty coverage. The CR-V has a powertrain that’s covered for 60,000 miles or 5 years while it has a limited warranty that remains with the vehicle for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles. Unlike its rival the Toyota Rav4, the CR-V has no complimentary maintenance package included.

What We Think

2021 Honda CR-V Touring - hondanews.com

2021 Honda CR-V Touring – hondanews.com |  Shop 2021 Honda CR-V on Carsforsale.com

Overall, the CR-V has been one of the best compact SUVs on the market in America, and for a good reason. In 2021, Honda hasn’t needed to make dramatic improvements, because it’s already on par, if not better, than other options for the most part. When comparing the 2021 Honda CR-V to vehicles like the Toyota Rav4 or Chevy Blazer, the Honda just comes away seemingly like the most familiar and comfortable. The mileage and cargo space also demonstrate that Honda understands its customers. While it would be great to see a bit more technology, a more advanced interior, and some complimentary service, the CR-V is a sure bet if you’re in the market for this type of vehicle.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion. In his free time, he’s usually at a hockey rink, walking his dogs, or on a road bike. His automotive tastes lean towards cars that oftentimes seem to take a pound of flesh for the ethereal pleasure they provide: things like the Lamborghini Diablo, TVR Cerbera, and a C4 Corvette turned into a street-legal go-kart. He drives his Bugeye Subaru WRX in Autocross, Rallycross, and track day competitions throughout the year and daily drives a twin-turbo BMW 535i.

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