Discover Honda CR-V Best and Worst Years to Avoid and Engine Reliability by Year!

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Many young families love having compact SUV in their garage and Honda CRV  is one of the top choices due to its fuel efficiency, family oriented design spacious interiors and reliable performance.

Now you’re already to buy a used Honda CR-V, but worry which year models is free of common problems that need costly repair and maintenance and which models without or little common problems worth your time, hope and money?

This article contain major facts to help you explore used Honda CRV market, to discover the Best Years for Honda CR-V, that is Honda CR V reliability by year, exact problems and complaints and the worst years to be avoided, so you’re fully guided to make best decision!

Now we to to be your compass to direct you to nail down the fantastic features and reliability that Honda CRV is reputed for, and avoid the drawbacks that come with bad model years.

What are The Honda CR-V Years to Avoid?

This popular compact crossover SUV has long history of customer satisfaction, but some model years generation have reports by owners experiencing some common problems.

First Generation: 1997-2001

The first-generation Honda CR-V generally had a good reputation. However, there were some reports of excessive oil consumption and transmission issues for these older models.

Since these vehicles have been on the road for a long time, potential buyers should be cautious about the age-related wear and tear on these vehicles, particularly if the previous owner did not maintain the vehicle properly.

Second Generation: 2002-2006

Avoid the 2002 and 2004 Honda CR-V model years, as they had several reported engine problems.

Drivers reported issues with excessive idling vibrations and transmission issues. Additionally, the cargo space in these models may not be as generous as in newer CR-V generations.

Third Generation: 2007-2011

According to CarComplaints, the 2011 CR-V is the worst Honda CRV model year, earning a “Beware of the Clunker” badge.

These vehicles frequently suffer from electrical problems, malfunctioning door locks, and premature tire wear. It’s best to steer clear of the 2011 and opt for a different model year within the third generation.

Fourth Generation: 2012-2016

In this generation, the 2012 and 2014 models are best avoided, as they have had issues with the fuel injection system and uncomfortable rear seats.

The continuously variable transmission (CVT) introduced in the 2015 Honda CR-V was also associated with unwanted acceleration and juddering. The 2013 and 2016 models tend to be more reliable in this generation.

Fifth Generation: 2017-Present

For the fifth generation, the 2017 model year had a higher number of reports for mechanical problems, electrical issues, and air conditioning problems compared with other years in this generation.

From 2018 onwards, many of these issues were resolved, with Honda consistently making improvements to the CR-V.

Picking the right model year based on this information will give you a better chance of enjoying the many positive aspects of the Honda CR-V without the hassles of common issues found in certain years.

Comparing Honda CR-V and Competitors

Let’s showcase Honda CRV direct competitive models including Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan, Nissan Rogue, and Mazda CX-5.

Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 has been a long-standing competitor of the Honda CR-V. Both vehicles offer similar space and fuel efficiency, making them popular choices in the compact SUV segment.

However, the RAV4 edges out the CR-V in off-road capability and offers a hybrid powertrain option, while the CR-V has a more refined and comfortable interior.

Do RAV4 has some negative years not worth buying? Yes, read our comprehensive RAV4 years to avoid tips and why they must be avoided.

Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is similar in size and overall design to the Honda CR-V, but offers different powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid model.

The Escape SUV provides a sportier driving experience compared to the CR-V, but may fall short in terms of interior quality and overall reliability.

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai’s Tucson also competes in the compact SUV segment, offering a stylish exterior design and a well-equipped cabin.

It provides a comfortable ride with slightly lower fuel economy than the Honda CR-V, but makes up for it with an attractive and value-packed features list.

Volkswagen Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan is larger than the CR-V, offering a third-row seating option on some trim levels. The VW Tiguan cores well on safety and has a premium interior feel, but its higher price point and lower fuel efficiency may deter some buyers.

Nissan Rogue

Nissan’s Rogue finds itself in direct competition with the CR-V, providing a similar driving experience and good fuel efficiency. see our list of Rogue’s best models and unique benefits.

The Rogue, however, suffers from a somewhat dated infotainment system and a more cramped rear-seat area compared to the CR-V.  Read details about Nissan Rogue years to avoid and what to purchase!

Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 stands out for its sporty handling and upscale interior. While it may not offer as much cargo space as the CR-V, the CX-5 has a more engaging driving experience and is a great choice for those seeking a stylish and fun-to-drive compact SUV.

Feature Honda CR-V Toyota RAV4 Ford Escape Hyundai Tucson Volkswagen Tiguan
Base Price (USD) $26,525 $26,150 $25,555 $24,950 $26,440
Fuel Economy (mpg) 28/34 27/35 28/34 23/29 23/29
Engine Options 1.5L 2.5L 1.5L 2.0L 2.0L
Horsepower 190 hp 203 hp 181 hp 164 hp 184 hp
Cargo Space (cu. ft.) 75.8 69.8 65.4 73.0 73.5
Standard Safety Tech Honda Sensing Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 Ford Co-Pilot360 Hyundai SmartSense VW Car-Net
Infotainment System 7.0-inch or 8.0-inch touchscreen 7.0-inch or 8.0-inch touchscreen 8.0-inch touchscreen 8.0-inch touchscreen 6.5-inch or 8.0-inch touchscreen
Android Auto/Apple CarPlay Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
All-Wheel Drive Option Available Available Available Available Available


Honda CR-V Features and Technology

It was designed with a suite of several advanced features and technologies to enhance the driving experience for its owners.

We shall discuss Apple CarPlay, Adaptive Cruise Control and the Comfortable Runabout Vehicle (CR-V) concept.

  • Apple CarPlay

Modern drivers often rely on staying connected to their smartphones while on the road. The Honda CR-V integrates seamlessly with Apple CarPlay, making it easy to access essential functions right from the car’s infotainment system.

Music, phone calls, text messages, and navigation can all be controlled through the CR-V’s touchscreen or by using voice commands.

This connectivity ensures that drivers stay focused on the road ahead, while still being able to enjoy their preferred apps and services.

  • Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is a useful feature that adds convenience and safety to everyday driving. ACC allows the CR-V to maintain a safe distance from the car in front by automatically adjusting its speed.

This tech feature is so helpful during long highway trips, as it alleviates some of the stress related to keeping a consistent distance from the traffic ahead.

Honda’s system is known for being smooth and reliable, providing drivers with an added level of confidence on the road.

  • Comfortable Runabout Vehicle

Honda CR-V’s name stands for “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle,” and this concept is evident in the design and features of the car.

The CR-V offers a comfortable cabin with adequate space for passengers and cargo, making it a practical choice for families and commuters alike. Some of the key comfort attributes include:

  • Spacious seating, with ample legroom for both front and rear passengers.
  • An adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and available heating functions.
  • A quiet cabin, thanks to effective noise insulation and a well-tuned suspension.
  • User-friendly controls and ergonomics, making it easy to access and operate various features of the car.

By combining these impressive features with a reputation for reliability and safety, the Honda CR-V has earned its place as one of the best cars in its segment.

Honda CR-V Engine and Performance

As earlier revealed, this SUV brand is known for being a reliable and efficient, offering a smooth driving experience, however engine oil problems and fuel efficiency issues will be discusses in more detailed, below:

Fuel Efficiency

Older CRV models, such as the 2011 and 2012, may have lower fuel efficiency rates compared to the newer models. However, 2016 and 2013 CR-V models have shown improvements in this area.

  • 2011 CR-V: 21 city/28 highway MPG
  • 2012 CR-V: 23 city/31 highway MPG
  • 2013 CR-V: 23 city/31 highway MPG
  • 2016 CR-V: 26 city/33 highway MPG

Bear in mind that these values can vary depending on multiple factors, such as driving habits and vehicle maintenance.

Engine Oil

Engine oil dilution has been a known issue in some Honda CR-V years, particularly in the 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017 models.

Oil dilution can cause several issues such as decreased engine performance, increased fuel consumption, and potential engine damage.

It is worth noting that other model years, like the 2016 and 2013 CR-Vs, have proven to be more reliable regarding engine oil maintenance. Regular oil changes and paying attention to your vehicle’s oil levels can help mitigate the risks associated with oil dilution in those affected years.

Honda CR-V Safety and Reliability

We won’t be tired of informing you about the functionality, reliability and practicality of Honda CRV.

However tellimg you more about few key safety and reliability tips culled from evaluations done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will surely place you on pedestal.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

The IIHS evaluates vehicles based on a range of safety criteria, including crash worthiness, crash avoidance, and other safety features.

Honda CR-V models have generally performed well in IIHS evaluations, earning high marks and awards in many years. However, some model years with issues include 2002, 2007, 2008, and 2011-2017, with the exception of the 2013 model.

It’s important to note that more recent years, such as 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019, have demonstrated improved performance and reliability.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) scrutinizes vehicles on a couple of safety measures, such as front and side collision testing, rollover resistance, and an all-inclusive safety evaluation.

The 2021 edition has attained a safety rating of five stars from the NHTSA, signifying that it is one of the most superior model years thus far and a prime option for prospective buyers seeking a dependable vehicle, however the 2016 CR-V stands as a stable choice with regards to dependability and reliability.

Remember that prudent research of particular model years and recognition of any known issues before procurement is crucial. By following this procedure, you will guarantee that the CR-V that you select fulfills your requisites and prospects in the most optimal manner.


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