The Honda CR-V is one of the best-selling SUVs in the entire world and you don’t have to spend too long with one to understand why. It’s not the most polarizing or revolutionary vehicle in today’s market, and to a great extent, that’s the whole point of the CR-V and a big part of the reason for its ongoing commercial success.
The CR-V knows what it is and what it’s supposed to be, but it also knows what it isn’t. Most people who buy SUVs never go off-road, so the CR-V is designed to cater for this majority of the market. The CR-V is stylish, comfortable, reliable, great value for money and it drives great in the kind of conditions most people want a vehicle like this for.
Buyers have four versions of the 2021 Honda CR-V to choose between, which are the entry-level LX, the EX, EX-L and the top-of-the-range Touring. Those are just the gas-powered versions, however, as three of the trim levels are also available as a CR-V Hybrid.
The entry-level LX trim is only available with the standard gas engine, but the EX, EX-L and Touring versions of the Honda compact crossover can be had in either gas-only or hybrid versions. You might consider the CR-V Hybrid to be a separate model in its own right, but Honda and others are now considering hybrid variants to be part of their standard ranges these days as we move towards electrified powertrains becoming the norm.
A thoroughly contemporary SUV demands a thoroughly contemporary powertrain and there are two of them available in the 2021 CR-V family. The standard powertrain is a 1.5-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder gas engine that drives the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This punchy little unit develops 190 horsepower and 179 lb.-ft. of torque, and the CVT works extremely well with the turbocharger to develop power when and where you need it and also to deliver some useful fuel economy figures.
The alternative powertrain is a hybrid system that’s comprised of a 2.0-liter inline-four gas engine that works with electric motors and a battery pack to develop a combined 212 horsepower. Most of the time the gas engine works as a generator producing electricity for the battery to drive the electric motors, although it does help out a little more at highway speeds.
Front-wheel-drive is standard for all versions of the CR-V equipped with the 1.5-liter turbo-four gas engine, but all-wheel-drive is available and it’s a standard features of the CR-V Hybrid.
One of the first features of the CR-V you’ll notice is the sheer space there is inside the cabin. Although the CR-V lands firmly in the compact SUV segment, there’s more room inside the cabin than most people would think possible looking from the outside. Honda makes exceptional use of the available space inside the CR-V, and once you go above the entry-model you’ll find the Honda positively bursting with standard equipment.
Base versions of the CR-V are still pretty well equipped, but just one step above the entry-level starts to look and feel a lot like a luxury model. If you’re okay with a 5.0-inch display for the audio system and rearview camera and no touchscreen then the CR-V LX is well worth considering. However, most buyers are likely to want the 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system instead that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility that’s standard in the EX and higher.
EX models also come with blind-spot monitors, 18-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, dual-zone climate control, keyless start, a power driver seat, rear privacy glass, LED fog lights, heated front seats and plenty more. The L in EX-L means that model gets you leather upholstery, but the EX-L’s standard power tailgate might be another reason for tempting you.
The 2021 Honda CR-V isn’t one of the world’s best-selling SUVs year-in, year-out for nothing. The CR-V gets better and more refined all the time and it’s a model that gives buyers exactly what they want and nothing they don’t want.
If you want to know why the CR-V is such a massive success here and everywhere else, come and visit Nelson Honda today for a test drive and experience the CR-V for yourself at our friendly dealership located at 2500 Greensboro Road, Martinsville, VA.