Discover The Best CRV and Most Reliable Old and New Models

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

The Honda CR-V consistently comes on top when searching for a reliable and efficient compact SUV.

With over 20 years on the market, the CR-V has established a reputation for exceptional performance and longevity. It has remained the Honda’s bestselling vehicle to date.

In this article, we’ll explore the best CRV years reported by Honda CRV owners and reputable firms like the JD Power and Kelley Book so you can make an informed decision when considering one for your next vehicle purchase.

And if you’re curious to know the worst Honda CR-V models, go here to see various complaints and concern reports, including transmission issues for different Honda CRV years.

Honda CRV best

The Best Years For Honda CRV – By Generations

First Generation – 1997-2001 Honda

The first generation of the Honda CR-V was introduced in 1997, and it quickly became one of the best years for Honda CRV and the most popular choices among compact Honda SUV buyers, especially the CR V years 1998, 2001, and 2009.

In a few years, it was recorded as Honda’s bestselling vehicle. As the base model LX, this Honda CRV generation has a simple yet functional design with CVT – Continuously variable automatic.

The early models may lack some modern features and CRV owners’ complaints, but they offer a reliable and comfortable ride for a reasonable price.

Second Generation – 2002-2006 Honda

In 2002, the second generation Honda CR-V was released with a redesigned exterior and improved interior features.

Although some Honda CRV model years, like the 2002 CR-V, experienced more problems like transmission than others, the 2005 and 2006 models provided a smooth engine, good fuel economy, and dependable performance and are generally regarded as two of the best years for Honda CR V models.

According to Consumer Reports and JD Power, these CRV years are particularly well-regarded, with very few complaints, and as reliable as Honda Accord cars.

Third Generation – 2007-2011 Honda

The third-generation Honda CR-Vs (2007-2011) continued to impress with their versatility and fuel efficiency. And, like the previous gen, they came with CTV – Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission and introduced the Five-speed automatic transmission.

According to Kelley Blue Book, some model years, like 2007, 2011 Honda, and 2008 Honda, have been noted for having more issues and driver complaints, including transmission problems, compared to others in this CR-V generation.

Regardless, the CR-V remained a strong competitor in the compact SUV market through these years.

Fourth Generation – 2012-2016 Honda

Entering its fourth generation in 2012, the Honda CR-V continued to evolve and adapt to the market’s growing demands, as they’re also mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Though some concerns arose with the 2014 Honda and 2015 Honda CRV models, the 2016 Honda CR-V received positive reviews for its improved energy-saving, outstanding performance, and much improved automatic climate control.

By this generation, the CR-V had become a solid choice for families and individuals, with even fewer complaints.

Fifth Generation – 2017-2021 Honda

The most recent generation of the Honda CR-V (2017-2021) model year has been met with mixed reviews.

While some years, like 2017, 2018 Honda, and 2019 Honda, have struggled with reported problems and unique complaints, the 2020 Honda CR-V has shown much improvement and better automatic climate control features.

This model year boasts an impressive fuel economy of 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, with the potential to sprint over 300,000 miles.

Throughout its generations, the Honda CR-V has proven to be a popular choice for a compact SUV.

As you consider your Honda CRV options, remember the best Honda CRV years and generations and find the perfect Honda CR-V for your needs.

What Is The Most Reliable Year For A Used Honda CR-V?

When finding the most reliable year for a used Honda CR-V, a standout option is the 2005 or 2006 models.

However, remember that past maintenance and care taken by previous CR-V owners play a significant role in the car’s actual condition.

These particular CR-V years are excellent choices for their combination of features, reliability, and affordability. You can expect to enjoy a comfortable ride, ample storage space, and a reputation for trouble-free operation.

If you prefer a newer model but still want a reliable and affordable option, consider the 2015 or 2016 Honda CR-V.

These CR-V models continue the tradition of high quality and reliable performance that Honda is known for while offering more modern features and styling.

are honda crvs reliable

List of Honda CRV Reliability by Year and Worst Years

As you look into purchasing a Honda CR-V, you must know the best and worst years that generated the most severe complaints and issues for this popular compact SUV.

Knowing the best and worst years, information can help you make an informed decision and get the most value for your money.

List of Best Years

According to various sources and market surveys, the best years for the Honda CR-V are:

  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2013 Honda
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2018 Honda
  • 2019 Honda
  • 2020
  • 2021 Honda
  • 2022 Honda

Kelley Blue Book and JD Power highly rate these CR-V models for their trustworthiness, gas efficiency, and overall driving experience.

List of Worst Periods and Complaints

On the other hand, some years have been reported to have more issues, common problems, complaints, and lower customer satisfaction due to a myriad of negative like transmission concerns, premature tire wear, and few power door locks issues.

The worst years for the Honda CR-V include:

  • 2001 Honda
  • 2002 Honda
  • 2004
  • 2007 Honda
  • 2011 Honda
  • 2012
  • 2014 Honda
  • 2017 Honda

These CR-Vs have faced problems such as engine troubles, some uneven tire wear, other mechanical and transmission issues, and common documented complaints.


Which Honda CR-V Engine Is Better?

In recent years, Honda has offered two main engines: a 1.5-liter turbocharged I4 and a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated I4.

Each engine has its advantages and trade-offs, which we’ll explore below.

1.5-liter turbocharged I4 

The 1.5-liter turbocharged I4 engine is known for its fuel efficiency and peppy performance. It provides the CR-V with quick acceleration and responsive driving dynamics, making it a joy to drive around town and on the highway.

The turbocharger helps give the CR-V engine extra power, which can be felt when you step on the gas pedal.

On the other hand, some drivers have complained about fuel vapors seeping into the engine, which could cause issues down the line.

The 2.4-liter

In contrast, the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated I4 engine offers a more traditional driving experience. While it might not be as powerful or fuel-efficient as the 1.5-liter turbo, it’s still a reliable and robust engine.

This engine has been used in many Honda models and has proven durable and long-lasting.

Moreover, the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option. It offers even better fuel economy than the non-hybrid models, which is advantageous if you’re conscious of your carbon footprint.

What Is High Mileage For A Good Honda CR-V?

Generally, a Honda CR-V with over 150,000 miles is considered to have high mileage. However, it’s not uncommon for well-maintained CR-Vs to surpass 200,000 miles and still perform reliably.

Maintenance plays a crucial role in extending the life of your CR-V. Regularly following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule can keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently for years to come and avoid some complaints others have reported.

Paying attention to tire rotations, oil changes, and other routine service tasks will go a long way in preserving the condition of your CR-V.

Don’t be deterred by higher mileage numbers alone when shopping for a used Honda CR-V. Instead, focus on the vehicle’s maintenance history and overall condition.

A well-cared-for CR-V with higher mileage could be a better investment than one with lower mileage that needs to be addressed.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Honda CR-V

Reliability and Problematic Period

Consider models like the 2005-2006 CR-Vs, known for their strong engine performance and trustworthiness. However, be cautious with specific years where engine problems, tire wear, electrical issues, and sometimes, infotainment systems were more common.

Safety Features

Your safety should always be a top priority when choosing a Honda CR-V. Look for models with advanced safety features such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning systems.

These systems are essential to keep you safe while driving a CR-V and can be instrumental in preventing accidents. Always check the NHTSA safety ratings to help you make an informed decision.

Comfort and Inside

A comfortable interior is crucial for your overall driving experience. Examine the design, available features, and materials used in various model years.

Note how well the vehicle caters to your preferences, like spaciousness, seat quality, and road noise reduction.

Performance and Handling

When choosing the right Honda CR-V year, consider the vehicle’s performance, including acceleration, handling, and steering responsiveness. Test drive multiple models to ensure you find a CR-V that meets your expectations for performance and delivers a smooth, enjoyable ride.

Fuel Economy

Lastly, be mindful of the CR-V’s energy-saving, especially if you do a lot of city driving or want to save on gas expenses.

Evaluate the annual MPG (miles per gallon) ratings to find the most fuel-efficient option. By prioritizing fuel efficiency, you will save money and reduce your vehicle’s environmental impact.

How Many Years Should a Honda CR-V Last?

A well-maintained Honda CR-V can last you a long time. It’s not uncommon for these dependable compact SUVs to easily reach 250,000 to 300,000 miles, equivalent to around 17 to 20-plus years of use!

To ensure that your Honda CR-V reaches this impressive milestone, you should be diligent about regular maintenance.

Follow the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual, like engine oil changes, tire rotations, and inspections.

Attention to warning signs, like dashboard indicator lights or unusual noises, can help you catch issues early and prevent costly repairs later.

When looking for a Honda CR-V that is expected to have a long lifespan, it’s helpful to consider the best years for this model, including 2022 Honda, 2021 Honda CRV, 2020 Honda, 2016, 2013, 2001 Honda, 1998 Honda, and 2009 Honda.

FAQ about CRV

Explain Honda CR-V 2.0 reliability.

The Honda CR-V 2.0 is generally known for its dependability across various model years. These compact SUVs are built with durable and high-quality materials, contributing to their reputation for being reliable cars.

Honda CR-V 2.0 is one SUV model type known to perform well and last long with proper maintenance.

How does the performance of various Honda CR-Vs compare?

The performance of Honda CR-V models may vary slightly over the years due to design, features, and engine technology changes.

However, they have maintained a reputation for being reliable and providing a comfortable ride for most years. Some years, like the 2005-2006 CR-Vs, are mainly known for vital fuel savings and engine performance, a reputation comparable with Honda Odyssey cars.

Which model years should I avoid when looking at used Honda CR-V models?

Several years are considered less desirable for a used Honda CR-V purchase. They include 2011, 2007 Honda, 2015 Honda, 2010, 2009 Honda, 2008 Honda, 2002 Honda, and 2003.

These years have experienced more owner complaints, nagging issues, or lesser performance than other model years.

What are the best Honda CR-V models in terms of fuel efficiency?

Fuel usage may vary slightly according to the specific model year and engine. The later model years are more fuel-efficient as technology and design improvements have been made.

The 2020 Honda CR-V is one of the best options for energy-saving among the Honda CR-Vs, as it absorbs less engine oil.

Which Honda CR-V models have the least known problems, such as transmission issues?

The least known problems, transmission and engine problems, are commonly found in older Honda CR-Vs, such as the 2005-2006 models. These vehicles’ reliability, fuel economy, and strong engine performance are praised.

While 2005 or 2006 is one to be considered, the truth is that every used vehicle, even the highly reliable Honda Civic, may have unique issues, so always thoroughly inspect any used car before purchase.

Are there any significant differences in Honda CR-V engines across the years?

Yes, there have been some differences in Honda CR-V engines over the years due to improvements in technology and design.

However, Honda is one great company that consistently provides reliable and efficient engines for its CR-V lineup. It’s essential to research specific model years to ensure you choose a CR-V with a machine that suits your needs.

What period did the Honda CR-V get bigger?

The Honda CR-V received a significant size increase with its fifth-generation release in 2017 Honda. This change brought a larger and more spacious interior, providing greater comfort and versatility for passengers and cargo.


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