Flash Drive: 2009 Honda CR-V
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2007 to 2011.
By Staff of MSN Autos
There's a reason the Honda CR-V is the best-selling compact SUV in America: It offers plenty of passenger room and useful cargo space in a relatively small package and at a relatively reasonable price. As with other car-based utility vehicles, the CR-V is easy to drive, with a comfortable ride and decent handling. While the engine is not what I would call powerful, it feels quick off the line while providing impressive fuel economy for such a large machine. In the comfort zone, two rear-seat passengers fit with room to spare, but a third would be cramped. Rear seats fold down easily to create a large, flat cargo floor; a hard, adjustable shelf adds to the cargo area's versatility. Front seats are supportive and controls are easy to negotiate. If you're looking for versatile, economical, all-wheel-drive transportation, you should definitely consider this car. – Perry Stern
The new Honda CR-V is a top-notch small SUV. From the compact SUV body to the deceptively spacious interior, the CR-V meets many needs. The car we tested was outfitted with luxurious leather seats, an easy-to-use navigation system, a nice stereo system and a moonroof. Driving the CR-V is carefree, in part due to the well-lit dashboard that provides digital status information along with bright, easy-to-read analog dials. On the road, the economical 4-cylinder engine provides low 20s in fuel economy during city driving. With the split fold-down rear seats, there is plenty of room for, say, a child seat and lots of grocery bags. If you desire one automobile that can accommodate all your needs, the Honda CR-V may be for you. – Joe Chulick
The Honda CR-V offers spacious accommodations in a compact mini-SUV body. Two full-size adults fit easily in the front seats, and the rear seats can comfortably accommodate three teenagers. Those rear seats can also fold forward to enlarge the flat storage area if you need space for stuff instead of people. The engine in the CR-V was underwhelming to me, returning only 19 mpg where I usually exceed the EPA fuel rating for most vehicles. Perhaps it is because there isn't much horsepower under the hood; efficient design and minimalist drivetrain components can do only so much to reduce the weight of an SUV, no matter how small it is. The excessive wind noise in the CR-V was another disappointing surprise. In spite of these reservations, the Honda CR-V is a tempting and frugal way for a family to enjoy the flexibility of a sport ute while still fitting everyone into a single car. – Paul Hagger