San Antonio.- Back many moons ago when my wife and myself were youngsters with small children, we went looking for a reasonably priced SUV, which was mechanically solid, economical to operate and has some solid safety features. We found all of that in a Honda Wagon and bought it.
For six years we ran the heck out of it and NEVER had a single issue with it. We sold it after putting over 130,000 miles on it for a reasonable price and left the experience feeling good about our purchase.
Here I am 20 years later and I am given a Honda CR-V to test drive. I must admit I was curious to know if Honda was still building solid, economical to operate vehicles. In a nutshell, they are and then some.
According to US News and World report, The 2013 Honda CR-V ranks five out of 20 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on their analysis of 29 published reviews and testdrives of the Honda CR-V, and their analysis of reliability and safety data.
The 2013 Honda CR-V easily seats five and has standard frontwheel drive. Power comes from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission as standard features on all models. All-wheel drive is optional. With an EPA that is estimated at 23/31 mpg city/highway, the CR-V is quite fuel efficient and does better that most of the SUVs in its class.
I found the CR-V’s handling, to be almost car like with plenty of control both at high speeds and in low speed quick maneuvering. The CR-V comes in three flavors: LX, EX and EX-L. The CR-V was redesigned in 2012 and enters the 2013 model years with very little changes.
Most of my fellow reviewers said the 2013 Honda CR-V’s styling is modern and attractive, especially when compared to the previous generation. I would tend to argue that the wagon has had straight forward good looks for some time, just only in the last few years has it picked up some additional curves that give it a more stealthy look.
The Honda CR-V’s standard features include a backup camera, not often found in this level of SUV, a USB port and Bluetooth phone connection. If you wanted to spend a few more dollars you could add optional features like a moon roof, navigation, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
For me you get an SUV because you want room to carry your family and all your stuff. Well the CR-V has lots of room and makes it easy to access. The hardest thing is to get either the kids or your groceries in the back, right? Well open one of the back doors, and with one arm and a simple pull of a strap, in a very easy almost effortless motion the lower cushion tumbles forward into the foot well, the headrest moves forward, and the rear seatback flips forward, all tucking nearly behind the front seat, to a completely flat position giving you a continuous cargo floor that’s 61.4 inches long.
In a second you have tons of room and a flat surface to put all your stuff into without any obstruction… it’s impressive. The seating is generally a bit softer on the backside and I found to be soft and yet supportive compared to most SUV’s in this price range.
Pricing is the bottom line, you start at around $22,000 for a two wheel drive LX version all the way up to $30,000 for an EX-L with four wheel drive. For me, your money will be well invested in a solid SUV that is going to give you years of value and reliability.