2018 Honda CR-V Long-Term Review – Our Top 5 “Likes” After 1 Year of Driving

By Steve & Tamami Laser

Time flies when we’re having fun. And we’ve been having lots of fun during the past year with our long-term Honda CR-V. We’ve visited some pretty cool places, like Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point (below) and Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. This story highlights our top five “likes” after one year of driving.

Just to recap, while this is our first CR-V, we’ve owned several Honda Accords over the years. And while we liked our last Accord, we simply needed more room. The CR-V offers spacious seating for five plus ample cargo room without the need (for us) to move up to a larger crossover.

We also like the feeling of sitting up higher than in a sedan for a better view of the road. And our CR-V is equipped with all-wheel dive for enhanced traction on slippery surfaces plus the ability to go places off-road that our Accord would fear to tread.

When shopping for a CR-V, we visited Ocean Honda in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and made a deal on a three-year lease. They didn’t have the exact unit that we wanted in stock (an EX-L AWD in “Molten Lava Pearl”) yet one was in transit. And so it wasn’t long before we were behind the wheel of our new CR-V.

Join our editor in this video from the CarNichiWa.com YouTube channel as he highlights the first year of driving and wraps it up by stating (spoiler alert), “So far we love our CR-V.”

We’ve used the CR-V for running errands, going shopping, heading to our favorite trails for hikes, and taking our dogs to the park for walks. We racked up more than 5,000 miles driving around Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Our 3-year lease has a cap of 12,000 miles per year, so we have room to spare. We’re also in the midst of another long-term test with our 2019 Subaru Forester (that happens to be a CR-V competitor).

So let’s take a look at our top 5 likes, starting under the hood of our CR-V EX-L.

CR-V Like Number 1 – Turbocharged Engine

While we’ve driven lots of turbocharged vehicles over the years, the CR-V is the first that we’ve owned. Unlike some of the others, there’s virtually no turbo “lag” (hesitation) during hard acceleration. The 1.5-liter 4-cylinder turbo with direct injection and 190 horsepower delivers satisfying performance around town, driving up steep hills, and cruising on the freeway.

Our fuel economy has been pretty consistent, averaging in the low- to mid-20 mpg range in daily stop-and-go traffic. During a longer journey to San Diego on the freeway, we were happy to see 34.1 mpg (above). While there’s an “Econ” button to help improve fuel economy, we haven’t used it much since throttle response becomes a bit too sluggish for our liking.

CR-V Like Number 2 – All-Wheel Drive

Southern California has a really nice climate with mild weather. We hung up our skis years ago and rarely drive in the mountains during winter. So why do we want the extra cost of all-wheel drive? Because it provides an added sense of security with improved traction on wet or completely dry roads.

With Honda’s Real Time AWD, our CR-V can transfer up to 40 parent of torque to the rear wheels when needed. We can monitor torque transfer using the multi-information display in the instrument cluster (above). While the CR-V isn’t built to go boulder hopping (like a Jeep Wrangler), it delivers a smooth and sporty ride on the road that we really like.

CR-V Like Number 3 – Comfortable Seats

Our CR-V’s front seats are super comfortable and provide excellent support whether we’re running daily chores or wrapping up a 200-mile road trip. A handy feature that we really like is the integrated memory system that memorizes seating positions for two drivers. The only thing missing is a power height adjustment for the front passenger’s seat.

The CR-V’s rear seat offers generous space two or three passengers with ample head and leg room. And the flexible 60/40-split design allows us to carry long items inside the car, like a surfboard, while still leaving space for passengers.

CR-V Like Number 4 – Pet Friendly

Our dogs have made the rear seat of the CR-V their home away from home. They enjoy riding in the bed that we bought for them and we also invested in a “hammock” that helps to protect the seat (these are aftermarket items).

Of course, after a long ride in the CR-V, what they really want to do is get out and play…and have some treats…and play some more…and then come back tomorrow and do it all over again.

CR-V Like Number 5 – Reliable

We’ve owned lots of new vehicles over the years and some have been more reliable than others. So far, the CR-V is the most reliable vehicle that we’ve ever owned. During the first year, we’re happy to report that nothing broke, no parts fell off (that actually happened with another car that wasn’t a Honda), and there were no recalls or other surprises.

All we did was add gas, check the oil level, take it to the car wash, and make one trip to our dealer for an oil change, tire rotation, and regular vehicle inspection. So after the first year, our total cost for maintenance was $81.39.

After One Year of Driving – We Love Our CR-V

We knew that we were going to like our CR-V after the first few weeks of driving. And now that a year has passed, we’re happy to report that we actually love it. In addition to the five likes that we mentioned above, there are many more things we can talk about. However, those will have to wait for the next story. We’ve loaded up the CR-V with gear and we’re ready to head to the beach for our next adventure.


Click or tap on the following links for our additional CR-V long-term review stories:

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

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

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

Story, photos and video © 2019 CarNichiWa.com