Best & Worst Honda CR-V Years [Years To Avoid]

For every generation of Honda CR-V, we’ve ranked the models so you can choose the best Honda CR-V for you.

You can find the best and worst model years for all Honda CR-V generations in this ultimate guide.

Our comprehensive guide breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of each generation based on reliability surveys, consumer ratings, recall histories, and owner reviews.

When considering a Honda CR-V, our guide covers everything from technological advancements to common issues.

Let’s get started with Honda CR-V’s different generations, without further ado.

Honda CR-V Generations

In the 1990s, Honda introduced the CR-V, one of the pioneering models in the compact SUV market. With its combination of utility, efficiency, and reliability, it quickly became a popular choice.

Listed below are the CR-V generations from 2002 onwards to help you better understand them:

GenerationsYears
2nd generation (RD4-RD9)2002-2006
3rd generation (RE1-RE5, RE7)2007-2011
4th generation (RM1-RM4, RE5-RE6)2012-2016
5th generation (RW1-RW8, RT5-RT6)2017-2022
6th generation (RS)2023-Present

As each generation signifies unique features, design, and technology, understanding these generations is essential. In making a purchase decision, a potential buyer’s generation can play a significant role.

Honda CR-V Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

The Honda CR-V model years are categorized and ranked based on a variety of factors. The following are included:

  • (Surveys) based on owner reports
  • Costs of annual maintenance
  • Ratings related to safety
  • Scores of Consumer Reports on reliability
  • Scores of owner satisfaction from Consumer Reports
  • The NHTSA investigates, recalls, and receives complaints
  • Ratings by Edmunds owners
  • Ratings of JD Power owners
  • Owner ratings in Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB)
  • Ratings from VehicleHistory owners
  • Ratings of cars on Cars.com

A comprehensive graph will be presented shortly, giving you an overview of each year’s performance based on the combined ratings from the sources above.

To help you make an informed decision when considering a Honda CR-V, we have included a table summarizing our classifications for the Best & Worst Honda CR-V Years.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
2nd generation (RD4-RD9)20052006N/A200220032004
3rd generation (RE1-RE5, RE7)20092010201120072008
4th generation (RM1-RM4, RE5-RE6)20132016201220142015
5th generation (RW1-RW8, RT5-RT6)202220192020201720182021

“Neutral Years” are years when the Honda CR-V didn’t particularly shine, but didn’t have any major flaws, either. Undecided investors can find them safe bets due to their balanced performance.

Car ratings are negatively impacted by some factors, such as NHTSA recalls. There are more complaints and recalls, which means the score is lower.

As a result of setting the context, let’s examine the specifications, features, and issues of the best, neutral, and worst years of the Honda CR-V.

Why Buy a Used CR-V?

Used Honda CR-Vs offer incredible value with Honda’s rock-solid reliability while retaining all the benefits of a new Honda CR-V.

  • Value: Used cars often have lower sticker prices than new cars because steep depreciation isn’t a factor – as well as lower registration fees, lower insurance rates, and so on.
  • Longevity: Used models have been around for a longer period of time. The information you’ll have about recalls, faulty components, and more will go back years.

You can also read Honda A17 Service

Honda CR-V 6th Generation (2023-Present)

Honda CR-V 6th Generation

Continuing the legacy of its predecessors, the 2023 Honda CR-V embraces new technological advances. An improved Honda Sensing suite, as well as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, made this model a very safe vehicle.

The car is also equipped with a hybrid system that improves fuel economy without compromising on power. With a more spacious interior, a digital dashboard, and enhanced connectivity options with infotainment, the interior has been significantly redesigned.

With the 2024 model, safety and technological advances were further refined over last year’s model. Among the notable additions was a pedestrian detection system designed for urban driving.

The 2024 CR-V also features an e-AWD system, making it more capable of going off-road and providing better traction in adverse conditions. The vehicle’s overall aesthetic appeal was enhanced by redesigned headlights and a sharper grille.

Although relatively new, both models represent Honda’s commitment to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction. In time, more real-world data will emerge about any potential issues or notable highlights of these vehicles.

Best & Worst Years for Honda CR-V 5th Generation (2017-2022)

Best & Worst Honda CR-V Years

The fifth generation of the Honda CR-V, which launched in 2017, offered a fresh take on the company’s flagship SUV. Despite fierce competition in SUV segments, the brand’s edgier design, modernized technology suite, and evolved performance dynamics demonstrated its intent to stay ahead.

The Best Years: 2022

The Honda CR-V of 2022 represents the culmination of feedback and improvements from previous generations.

With a balance between reliability, performance, and technological integration, the 2022 model addressed past concerns while also introducing new features.

Many SUV enthusiasts chose it because of its favorable reception and few reported issues.

The Neutral Years: 2019, 2020

A number of the concerns from the previous model have been addressed with the 2019 Honda CR-V.

Even though engine performance and safety measures improved, the model could not match the excellence of the later 2022 model.

With the 2020 Honda CR-V, a transitional model, Honda aimed for a balance. It was Honda’s commitment to sustainable mobility that led to the introduction of a hybrid variant.

The Worst Years: 2017, 2018, 2021

2017 Model: As the first generation of the CR-V, the 2017 model faced multiple challenges, primarily associated with the electrical system, engine, and powertrain. The engine stalling has caused safety and reliability concerns for a significant number of owners.

The dashboard lights were also unpredictable, which contributed to the overall dissatisfaction.

Aside from some of the issues that plagued the 2017 CR-V, the 2018 CR-V introduced a new issue: problems with the service brakes. This model year’s brakes have engaged unexpectedly in several instances, adding to safety concerns.

However, the 2021 CR-V had a few setbacks despite being a later model. According to VehicleHistory.com, owners rated the vehicle 1.9 out of 5, emphasizing persistent problems, especially with the brakes.

Best & Worst Years for Honda CR-V 4th Generation (2012-2016)

Best & Worst Honda CR-V Years

Between 2012 and 2016, Honda modernized its beloved SUV with the fourth generation Honda CR-V. With its refined design, innovative technology, and emphasis on safety and fuel efficiency, the CR-V was a standout among its competitors.

The Best Years: 2013, 2016

2013 Honda CR-V owners praise the vehicle’s dependability and fewer mechanical problems. With its smooth drive and comfort, combined with new technological features and safety features, it became a favorite among many consumers.

The 2016 model corrected many of the pitfalls of its predecessor, contrary to 2015. It was significantly less common to complain about engine-related problems.

In addition, the infotainment system was improved, along with the addition of safety features, making it a solid choice for consumers.

The Neutral Year: 2012

As the introductory year for the fourth generation, the 2012 CR-V set the standard.

In terms of performance and reliability, it didn’t quite reach the heights of the 2013 and 2016 models, despite introducing the new aesthetics and features.

As a middle-of-the-road option, it also didn’t suffer from the more severe issues of 2014 and 2015.

The Worst Years: 2014, 2015

There were still problems with the lock actuators in the 2014 model year, which are similar to those in the previous generation. The VTC actuator is also making an audible grinding noise, which has led to new complaints about faulty tire pressure sensors. While these concerns can be addressed, they were points of contention among owners.

There is no doubt that the 2015 CR-V was one of the most problematic years of the fourth generation. Among the most prevalent issues were engine-related issues like stalling and loud engine noises.

In particular, the vehicle shuddered when idling. Only some of these issues were resolved by updating the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and installing a tailgate damper lift kit recommended by Honda.

The soy-based wiring was also damaged by rodents, and the heaters malfunctioned as a result.

Best & Worst Years for Honda CR-V 3rd Generation (2007-2011)

Best & Worst Honda CR-V Years

The Honda CR-V’s third generation, which spanned from 2007 to 2011, set a new standard for design and features. There was also an improvement in fuel efficiency and interior space with this generation.

The Best Year: 2009

Compared to its siblings from the same generation, the 2009 Honda CR-V was relatively trouble-free. Comfort, reliability, and practicality were all carried over from its predecessors.

Compared with other years of this generation, the 2009 model did not have the same number of complaints regarding airbags and electrical issues.

The Neutral Years: 2010, 2011

Even though there were fewer major issues with the 2010 and 2011 models than the 2007 and 2008 models, some owners still had concerns. In most cases, these concerns were continuations from 2007 and 2008:

  • There was a persisting problem with rear differential fluid, which was carried over from the second generation.
  • There have been reports of faulty AC compressors from some owners.
  • Leaks of steering fluid were also reported from time to time.

The Worst Years: 2007, 2008

Several complaints accompanied the launch of the third generation in 2007. Airbags and electrical problems involving doors, locks, and linkages accounted for most of the complaints. Some owners reported that while driving, the lock actuator would fail, causing doors to lock and unlock.

The airbag complaints continued into 2008, and the problems persisted. It has been reported that airbags have failed to deploy in some cases. CR-V models manufactured between 2007 and 2011 were recalled in 2019 due to improperly installed airbag inflators.

The unwanted acceleration problem with the third-generation CR-V was a significant and alarming issue. As the driver pressed the brake, the engine revved up, causing the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally. An accident such as this could result in a hefty repair bill of up to $5,000 and could end in disaster.

There was also a safety risk associated with underinflated airbags, which could result in concussions if an occupant collides with hard surfaces.

Best & Worst Years for Honda CR-V 2nd Generation (2002-2006)

Best & Worst Honda CR-V Years

From 2002 to 2006, the Honda CR-V’s second generation incorporated several technological and design changes. There were enhanced powertrain options and a more rugged design in this generation.

However, certain model years were plagued by a series of issues as a result of these changes.

The Best Years: 2005, 2006

In comparison to its predecessors, the Honda CR-V 2005 and 2006 displayed improvements. It appears that earlier models had fewer engine problems by 2005.

There was no doubt that the CR-V was known for its comfort, space, and reliability. These years stand out as the best among the second generation due to the improvements made in 2005 and 2006.

The Worst Years: 2002, 2003, 2004

There were problems with the airbags and air conditioner in the 2002 model, as well as some engine problems. This year’s model suffered from the “Black Death,” in which the AC compressor failed and contaminated the whole system, leading to a $1,600 repair bill.

With a recall concerning shift cable linkage, the 2003 model continued the problems of the 2002 model. An excessive amount of corrosion on the shift cable linkage could prevent the driver from shifting the automatic transmission into park on certain SUVs equipped with automatic transmissions.

The problem has been exacerbated by prolonged exposure to high temperatures and humidity, which can cause propellant degradation in the frontal airbag inflators, as Honda recalled certain CR-Vs from 2002 to 2006.

Additionally, the Honda CR-V’s second generation has more recalls than subsequent generations. It is highly recommended to check the VIN of any model from this generation for recalls or issues.

Honda CR-V Problems

Honda CR-V Problems

The Honda CRV is generally regarded as a reliable vehicle, despite its numerous challenges. While they have their benefits, they are not without their drawbacks, from handling issues to comfortability issues to equipment failures. The following are some of the most common Honda CRV problems.

Engine Problems

  • Potential harm can be caused by unwanted acceleration, particularly during braking.
  • Every 1000 miles, owners must top off their oil.
  • Overheating of the engine is caused by cooling system failures.
  • The car vibrates abnormally and is often abrasive.
  • The 1.5-liter Earth Dreams engines have a terrible issue with oil dilution.
  • Often cracks occur in fuel pump impellers, reducing fuel delivery.

Electrical Problems

  • Soy-based coating on wires attracts rats and damages them.
  • Faulty TPMS programming results in “Check TPMS” warning light.
  • Defective accident sensors cause seatbelt pretensioners and airbags to malfunction.
  • Stops while in motion caused by Honda Sensing problems.

Interior Problems

  • When driving for a long period of time, uncomfortable seats cause backaches, leg pains, and neck exhaustion.
  • Fuel supply from the oil pan is overflowing, causing gasoline odors in the cabin.
  • Broken door locks caused by faulty door lock actuators.
  • Due to excessive strain from window frames, CRV windshields crack.
  • “Honda Black Death” is caused by a defective AC compressor that releases hot air and metal shavings.

Consumers have expressed significant dissatisfaction with the 2007 Honda CR-V as a result of these issues. Maintaining Honda’s reputation requires addressing these concerns. To get a comprehensive understanding of the Honda CR-V’s performance and potential issues, check Kelley Blue Book, consumer reports, and other reviews. Preventing or addressing these problems can be achieved through regular maintenance and prompt attention to warning lights, such as the “check engine light.”

You can also read Honda A13 Service

What is Honda CR-V Resale Value?

Best & Worst Honda CR-V Years

An overview of the Honda CR-V’s average resale values over a specified period can be found in the following graph.

In understanding the resale trajectory of the Jeep Wrangler, one of the market’s leading SUVs, you can gain insight into the vehicle’s durability, demand, and overall perceived value.

Read: Best & Worst Toyota RAV4 Years

FAQs

What year Honda CR-V is the most reliable?

The best year for used CR-Vs is 2005-2006. These SUVs perform like a dream – even 15 years after they arrived on New Fairfield roads.

What is the best used Honda CR-V to buy?

Certified used Honda CR-V models made in the last five years are the best ones to buy if you’re looking for a used Honda CR-V. The best years to buy are 2020, 2021, or 2022, but other models from 2017 are also extremely good. EX or Touring trims are particularly good options, so try either one.

Are old Honda CRVS good cars?

An affordable second-generation Honda CR-V may be the ideal choice if you’re looking for a used vehicle. In particular, Honda CR-V models from 2005 and 2006 have excellent reliability ratings. As well as being highly reliable, they have great fuel economy and strong engine performance.

What is Honda CR-V average Lifespan?

Maintenance and frequency of usage heavily influence the average lifespan of a Honda CR-V. With premium components and excellent craftsmanship, CRVs can last more than 200,000 kilometers, and can be extended over 400,000 kilometers with extra care. To achieve this longevity, it is important to change the oil and filter regularly.

Which is the Most Reliable Engine in Honda CR-V?

There is a new engine in the latest generation of Honda CR-V, 1.5L I4 turbo, which has been highly praised. Combined with a CVT, this engine produces 179 pounds per foot of torque and 190 horsepower, achieving two more miles per gallon. The reliability and performance of this product have been praised.

Conclusion

To make informed purchasing decisions, it is vital to understand the history and issues of each Honda CR-V model year.

Have you had the best experience with a specific generation of Honda CR-V?

If you would like to share your experiences and insights below, we would appreciate it.

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