What Are The Best & Worst Years For The Honda CRV? [My Honest Review]

Learn what model year of Honda CR-Vs are good

It is no secret that the CRV is Honda’s top SUV. It has been in commercial use since 1997 and shows no signs of slowing down, currently in its fifth generation.

However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing during all this time.

If you are wondering what are the best and worst years for Honda CRV then read the below list:

Worst Years for Honda CRV

  1. 1997
  2. 2002
  3. 2003
  4. 2007
  5. 2009

Best Years for Honda CRV

  1. 2001
  2. 2006
  3. 2015
  4. 2016
  5. 2021

So, without further ado, let’s dive deep into the details of each year and discuss why each year is designated as the best or worst.

What Are The Worst Years For The Honda CR-V? Which Years To Avoid

Even though the Honda CRV has proven to be a reliable SUV that can last a family for a good enough time, there were some years when a model of this car was released, which just did not live up to the standard people expected of it.

Below are the 5 worst years of the Honda CRV, listed and explained why they are being accused of this title.

1. 1997 Honda CR-V

This may sound a bit harsh, considering this was the year the Honda CRV was released, but that is exactly why it is on the worst year list.

There were still major issues with certain parts of the engine. It was kind of like a beta test for the car, and thus it wasn’t a good move to buy this newly released car in its first year.

You might say that this year should get a pass, but that’s hard to do when there are major engine problems people are complaining about.

2. 2002 Honda CR-V

This was the only model in its generation to be released after redesigning. Its main issue lies with its Air Conditioning. People complained that the AC released hot air and debris on certain occasions.

Apart from that, the door actuator also failed quite a lot for a car of this standard, causing the doors to not be properly locked or unlocked.

3. 2003 Honda CR-V

This 2003 Honda CR-V year model carried over the problems from its previous version, meaning that the AC and door actuators were still not properly working.

However, a new problem arose in this model: the engine sometimes would overheat. And this engine overheated problem got progressively worse throughout the car’s lifetime.

This would affect the long drives of this car, resulting in families not taking it for their trips anymore, which goes against the purpose of why this car was created in the first place.

4. 2007 Honda CR-V

This was probably the worst year for the Honda CRV. It not only was a disastrous start to the 3rd generation of CRVs, but also it started the worst overall generation of the CRVs.

Honda majorly changed up the design of the car, mainly dropping the rear-mounted spare tire. This led to a major loss of drive appeal from the general public. Even families disliked it.

Furthermore, it was one of the least reliable cars out there. The door actuators continued to be a menace, even more so this time, as the doors would become harder to lock and unlock.

Alongside this was the airbag, which sometimes didn’t inflate properly due to the steering fluid’s leakage.

This, instead of saving people in the case of a car crash, still has a potential chance of killing them.

5. 2009 Honda CR-V

It carries the same general problems as any other 3rd generation Honda CRV. However, it particularly had the problem of prolonged and slowed acceleration.

Going from 0 to 60 mph took about 10 seconds, which is a pretty long time for car standards, especially for cars of this category.

This caused a real issue, especially when stopping at traffic lights.

In addition, the brake sometimes would cause the opposite effect of what it is desired to do and speed the car up.

This caused numerous accidents and was a hazardous fault of this particular model of the Honda CRV.

What Are The Best Years For The Honda CR-V? Which Years To Buy

This car has had multiple great years for itself. Given that this is one of the top SUV’s ever made, that is not and should not be too surprising.

In this section, I will detail the 5 best years have been for the Honda CRV.

1. 2001 Honda CR-V

As part of the 1st generation of Honda CRV, this 2001 year model automatically becomes responsible for setting the new standard for SUVs, especially family-oriented ones.

It had a B2OZ engine that could produce 144 horsepower worth of power. It also was able to add traction from the front to the rear wheel interactions.

This allowed the car to easily keep up with local traffic while providing the driver with one of the smoothest driving experiences they could have ever felt.

2. 2006 Honda CR-V

The 2nd generation cars were a great improvement over their predecessors, which were capped off with the last car in this generation in 2006.

This was an extremely fuel-efficient car, giving a mileage of up to 23 mph in the city and 29 mph on the highway.

For long trips, its spacious interior made this car perfect for long trips with family and friends.

It was also an overall better car in terms of handling noise, vibration, and hardness, leading to a better experience for the driver and passengers.

3. 2015 Honda CR-V

The 2015 Honda CRV year model gained 3 mpg because Honda put Accord’s direct-injected “Earth Dreams” in it with a continuously variable transmission.

It had and used the new engine at the time: 3.4L four-cylinder engine. Apart from this, some major design improvements were done like heated front seats, a seven-speaker sound system, etc.

4. 2016 Honda CR-V

Like the previous version, this car also had design improvements. However, that was not all.

It not only had an improved 2.4L four-cylinder engine, but it had smoother brakes that were much more responsive and snappier, making driving a much safer experience.

Lastly, don’t get fooled by its smaller size, as it can pack a lot of cargo.

5. 2021 Honda CR-V

The latest Honda CR-V is the most expensive of the bunch. However, it is worth every penny it is billed at.

It is said to be the best SUV a family can buy, and considering the main objective of the CRV was to make a family-friendly SUV. I would say this model has been a success.

It has numerous cool features like a 7-inch large screen, hands-free tailgate, sunroof, power driver, and passenger seat.

The list goes on. Four trims are offered: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. It also has Honda Sensing, which brings with it the auto brake.

That is applied in the case of an emergency if the driver fails to apply the brakes in time. Considering all the features and upgrades, the price is reasonable as well.

How Reliable Is A Honda CR-V?

The Honda CRVs are considered one of the most reliable cars ever, especially in SUVs.

Over the years, Honda has made major improvements to the CRV, and we can see that the latest designs are all considered top of the line.

Even the bad models were not that bad, except for a few, especially in that 3rd generation from 2007 to 2011. Even years into their usage, the best models are at their top peak performance.

If you are looking to buy an SUV that will serve the needs of your entire family, then it does not get any better and more reliable than this, as this car is sure to be of service to your family at any time for a long time.

How Long Do Honda CR-Vs Last?

The Honda CRV is not only reliable but also durable. As mentioned previously, it is not uncommon for these cars to be in peak performance years after they are put on the road.

Of course, this depends on how the owners maintain the car and how the car is driven.

Some people do not take as good care of their vehicles as others, leading to the breaking down of said vehicles way earlier than their actual lifetime.

However, if you manage to keep your CRV in a good enough condition, it can last you for up to 200,000 to 300,000 miles.

This is around a 16-to-20-year life expectancy, which is top-notch for any car.

Thus if proper care is taken of this car; (with some tips on how to do that explained in the next part), it will be able to last its owner(s) potentially a lifetime.

What To Do To Lengthen The Life Of Your Honda CR-V

No matter how good a vehicle is, it will break down if proper steps are not taken. That is why maintenance is so important, especially for cars.

For a Honda CRV, there are a few tips and tricks to improve and increase its lifetime usage, which need to be implemented to ensure that your car stays in near-perfect condition.

  • Changing Engine Oil Regularly: Depending on how much the car is driven, its oil must be changed after it has traveled a certain distance.
  • Replacing Air Filters: Changing and replacing the air filters at least once a year is a good way to get dust and debris from getting into the engine and hampering its performance.
  • Flushing The Transmission: Like oil changes, old automatic transmission fluid occasionally must be removed and replaced with fresh fluid. This is essential to maintain the car’s transmission system and should ideally be done at least once every two years.
  • Tire Changing: The tires of every car need to be changed. They are made of rubber, so the friction causes them to wear out. Replacing them after some time is important to keep the car for as long as possible.

These are just some of the standard things you can- and should- do to maximize the quality time the Honda CRV (or any vehicle for that matter) spends with you and your family.

Things That Shorten The Lifespan Of Your Honda CR-V

People have numerous bad habits when it comes to the maintenance of their cars.

Just like there are steps we can take to increase the lifespan of vehicles, the opposite can also happen, in that people can do certain things that decrease the car’s lifespan.

I will be going over some such habits below:

  • Driving Roughly: Screeching the tires, applying the brakes too fast, accelerating too quickly and suddenly, etc., are all things people do while driving that can reduce the lifespan of the CRV.
  • Bad Road Conditions: If the car is constantly being driven in areas with roads that are not in the best of conditions, it will get worn down.
    The same is the case with CRV tires. They will get worn out quicker if they are constantly exposed to bumpy roads with poorly maintained potholes.
  • Improper Tire Alignment: Inappropriate tire alignment can lead to very disastrous results like a car crash.
    Even if it does not come to that, the strain on the tires will not only cause them to become worn out quicker, but also it will cause more fuel consumption, which, as we know in this economy the, gas prices is something that you should be keen to avoid.
  • Not Properly Servicing Your Car: People can tend to have poor servicing standards. This can, over time, lead to the car being broken down early in its life.
    Timely repairs and servicing of the car are pertinent, and without such, you are risking shortening the lifespan of the CRV by a great deal.

If proper care is not taken and the necessary steps avoided, you can be looking at your CRV as a broken-down car even as quickly as in five years, whereas you should be looking to keep it for a maximum of its entire lifetime at least 15 years.

3 Most Honda CR-V Common Problems You Should Know

Honda’s CRV may have many qualities, but it is not perfect. Over the years, many issues have plagued this car, with some haunting it to this day.

In this section, I will be listing and explaining some of the common problems the CRV faces.

1. Actuator

This problem has been with the Honda CR-V since 2003. Even though the situation has improved and the severity of the problem has decreased, it persists.

An actuator is a device that converts energy into a physical force. The actuators used for locking and unlocking the door are the ones that give some trouble.

2. Engine Overheating

The engine is the most important piece of a vehicle.

Since it works by making numerous pistons and motors and drives the energy around the car, it produces heat. This heat is cooled by the engine itself too.

However, in the Honda CRV, that cooling process is not always effective. Sometimes the engine overheats, especially if it has been used continuously for long periods.

3. Airbag Inflation

Sometimes the airbag fails to open properly in case of a crash. This happens because sometimes the steering fluid leaks.

So, in the event of a crash, there is not enough fluid for the airbag to inflate properly.

This was more common in the 3rd generation of CRV models, which were made from 2007 to 2011, and since then, the problem has decreased a lot, but it still lingers on even in some of the later models produced.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is Honda CR-V A Good Car?

The Honda CRV is a great car that is family-friendly to use. It has many models and variety in design and shape, with them becoming more exquisite over the years.

Apart from that, the CRV has great engine output, power, reliability, and durability. It is very spacious and is a great vehicle of choice for going on trips with friends and family.

Q2: Do Honda CR-Vs Hold Their Value?

Yes, indeed it does. The Honda CR-V retains its value even after some time. It retains 82% of its value even after five years.

That is awesome for an SUV and should give you confidence in the resale value of this car.

Q3: How Many Honda CR-Vs Have Been Sold?

Honda’s CRV is one of the most popular SUVs of all time and has thus one of the highest sales figures in that category.

As of 2020, nearly 5.4 million units have been sold worldwide. Sales have mostly gone up since its release, and one can confidently predict that that same trend will continue in the future.

Q4: Which Honda CR-V Engine Is The Most Reliable?

People have favored the new engine in the latest generation of Honda CR-Vs. It is the 1.5L I4 turbo-engine.

This engine gives 190 horsepower and produces 179 pounds per foot of torque. It is a four-cylinder engine that gains an extra two mpg when combined with a CVT.

Q5: Is Honda CR-V Expensive To Maintain?

No, not at all. In fact, the maintenance of a Honda CRV costs less than that of the average compact SUV.

It costs an average of $407 to maintain a Honda CRV per year, while the same equivalent cost for other compact SUVs is $521.

So not only can you buy such a dream car for a fairly reasonable price, but you can also sell it for a good price too, and it will not cost you much to keep around in top condition.

Conclusion

Honda CR-V is one of the best, if not the best, compact SUVs out there. It has almost everything that such a car could have that a family could want.

It provides great value for its price and is easy to resell for up to 82% of its value. However, that does not mean it has always been smooth sailing.

As I have discussed the 5 best and worst years for Honda CRV, there have been some failures along the way.

But that only helped make this car the best compact family-oriented SUV ever in the long run.

References:
https://caredge.com/honda/cr-v/depreciation
https://enginepatrol.com/honda-crv-facts-statistics/

Written by Yusuke Kohara

Hi there! My name is Yusuke. I write about automotive topics for Car Proper. I love cars and have a passion for writing helpful articles on tools, car accessories, and how-to to help my readers solve their problems. In my spare time, I'm either working out, reading the book, or spending time with my family. I also work for a digital consulting agency.

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