2018 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD Long-Term Review Part 2 – The First Six Months

By Steve & Tamami Laser

Our “fleet” of long-term test vehicles includes our latest acquisition, a 2018 Honda CR-V that we leased earlier this year, and a 2016 Subaru Outback that we leased nearly three years ago. This story is a quick review of the first six months with our CR-V.

As we mentioned in Part 1 of this series, we’ve been admiring the CR-V for a long time. We think the fifth generation is the best yet. So we decided to lease the CR-V of our dreams for three years and report on the experience. Ocean Honda in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., located the CR-V we were searching for, an EX-L AWD model in “Molten Lava Pearl.”

Here’s our video report highlighting the first six months in our new Honda CR-V. Some of our favorite features include the turbocharged engine, comfortable seats, power tailgate, and touchscreen Display Audio system. (video © CarNichiWa.com)

The CR-V is the first car that we’ve owned or leased that we didn’t have to take back to the dealer during the first six months for any reason. Credit the folks at Honda who designed and engineered the vehicle; Honda of Canada Manufacturing for excellent build quality, and the team at Ocean Honda for conducting a thorough pre-delivery inspection.

Driving on steep, twisty roads like the one above is easy thanks to the CR-V’s turbocharged powerplant. And with Real Time All-Wheel Drive, we feel secure driving on this road in any weather – sunny and dry, cool and foggy, or cold and raining.

At the six-month mark, the Maintenance Minder in the CR-V’s instrument cluster shows that our factory break-in oil has 40 percent of its service life remaining. That means we can keep driving until it alerts us that an oil change is due.

The CR-V’s 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has been running great. We check the oil level regularly and haven’t had to add a drop in six months. Likewise, we also check other operating fluids, and the air pressure in the tires.

We’ve been driving in daily stop-and-go traffic with longer journeys on the weekends. Our fuel economy has been good (see above). Since we live in a hilly area, we haven’t used the “Econ” button because vehicle response in that mode tends to slow things down a bit.

As we’ve said before, the CR-V has extremely comfortable front bucket seats. After six months of driving, they continue to provide excellent support. The tan leather trim still looks like new and we’ve only used the heated seat function once.

The 60/40-split rear seat really comes in handy when we need to carry longer items inside the car. Since our EX-L doesn’t have roof rails, whatever cargo we transport has to ride inside. Of course, we could always add accessory roof rails, crossbars, and other items if needed.

We did invest in a comfortable rear-seat environment for our dogs. The doggie bed (above) rests on a “hammock” that protects the seat. We can use it whether the second-row is in the upright position or folded down. We also installed a cargo net to help organize smaller items. (These features are aftermarket accessories.)

The keys to happy travels with our pets include a nice cozy bed, a good supply of water and snacks, and a change of wardrobe when it’s cold outside. Our little girl in the photo above is wearing a hoodie, while her brother is dressed with a harness and shoes.

We’re planning to cover a list of our favorite features in a future story following one year of ownership. One of our favorites is the 7-inch Display Audio. This system is easy to use and offers the choice of touchscreen selection, steering-wheel-mounted buttons, voice control, and a retro-style volume knob.

Thanks to Apple CarPlay™, we can plug-in our iPhone and use a variety of apps and additional features. For example, we asked Siri to “Find Coffee Shop” and she provided the selections shown in the above photo.

The first six months with our CR-V has been a very pleasant experience. We’ve only needed to add gas and go. No out-of-pocket expenses for maintenance, nothing has broken, and there have been no recalls to date.

Perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that we have nothing to complain about. The seats are comfortable, the ride quality is smooth and sporty, the engine is responsive, and there have been no surprises. We’re looking forward to the next two-and-a-half years of driving.

Click or tap on the following link for our first CR-V long-term review story:

2018 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD – Our Long-Term Review Starts with a 3-Year Lease

The 2018 CR-V test car in this story is privately leased by the editorial staff of CarNichiWa.com

Story, photos and video © 2018 CarNichiWa.com