2019 Honda CR-V | CarGurus Test Drive Review

Hi, I’m Chris Wardlaw for CarGurus, and
this is the 2019 Honda CR-V. This year’s CR-V is the same as last year’s CR-V, which was
the same as the redesigned CR-V that arrived for 2017. If history is any
indication, the 2020 CR-V will get a few updates. In the meantime this compact
crossover remains one of the best- selling vehicles in America and for very
good reason. In this review you’ll learn why the CR-V is so popular, we’ll touch on
the issues Honda’s been having with the CR-V’s turbocharged engine, and I’ll tell
you which version of this SUV I’d buy if I were spending my own money. So stick
around and let’s go for a drive to discuss all things CR-V. When you go shopping for a new CR-V, Honda makes your life easy. You pick a trim level, you decide whether or not you want
all-wheel-drive, and if you’re interested in optional upgrades, your local
dealership is happy to add them. The base trim is called LX, and prices start at a
reasonable $24,350. If you want all-wheel drive, you’re gonna spend an extra 1,400 bucks. From there
you can upgrade to EX trim for $27,250. If you want leather seats, you’ve got to get the EX-L, which runs $29,750. The top Touring trim level costs $32,750. That puts a loaded Honda CR-V right in the
same neighborhood as the average median price for a new car in America today. My
test vehicle is a CR-V Touring with all-wheel drive and Molten Lava paint. It
doesn’t have any dealer-installed accessories, so the price comes to $35,195, including a $1,045 destination charge. As much as I like my test car, the CR-V I’d get with
my own money is the EX. First, I like cloth seats, and the EX has them. Second, EX trim adds dark tinted window glass, bigger aluminum wheels, all of the key
safety technologies, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Third, the EX also has a more satisfying turbocharged engine. Fourth, with
all-wheel drive the EX comes in at less than 30 grand. Except for the front-end
styling, I like the way the CR-V looks. The wheels are a little psychedelic, but from
the side or the rear, the CR-V looks better than it has in like forever.
Inside the CR-V Touring looks like a scaled-down entry luxury SUV. Yes, the
wood trim is obviously fake, and there is plenty of hard plastic in here, but
nothing suggests shortcuts taken. I’m even a fan of the transmission shifter’s
location on the dashboard itself. It frees up space for storage on the center
console while at the same time remains a traditional design instead of buttons or
switches or knobs or, God forbid, some silly joystick that returns to center.
Starting at the EX trim level, the CR-V supplies a 12-way power-adjustable
driver’s seat including for lumbar support. The end result is an
exceptionally comfortable perch behind the steering wheel. Heated seats are also
standard, starting with the EX trim, and you can get a dealer-installed heated
steering wheel for $500. Over on the passenger side, Honda forgets to include
a seat-height adjuster. Now I can’t speak to how such an omission goes over at
your house, but at mine it can be a deal-breaker. Personally, I think the seat sits high enough off the floor, but my wife doesn’t.
In back rear air vents help keep passengers cool, and dual 2.5-amp USB
ports keep teenagers powered up. There’s plenty of room for two adults as well or
three kids. Cargo space is generous for the compact crossover SUV class. Honda
says there’s 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat, which
is just two cubes less than the bigger Honda Passport.
one of the nice things about the CR-V is that you can put four full-size
suitcases in there with the privacy cover drawn, and a compact folding
stroller still fits. Clearly a Honda CR-V works for a family
of four. Fold the back seats down and you’ve got 75.8 cubic feet at your
disposal. Again that’s almost as much as the
bigger and more expensive Passport. Except for the base LX trim level, all
versions of the CR-V include a touchscreen infotainment system with a
7-inch display screen. It’s got satellite radio, HondaLink connected services, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more. Upgrade to EX-L trim and you can get an
embedded navigation system. Navigation and a premium sound system are standard with Touring trim. I’m glad Honda provides a power and volume knob for the
system, but it could also use a tuning knob. I just went ahead and set all 12
radio station presets and used the steering-wheel controls to cycle through
my favorite SiriusXM stations. Voice control is available for numerous
functions, but the system forces you to use specific prompts, which if you can’t
remember them also forces you to reference the screen, which seems to
defeat the purpose. I think the CR-V’s voice-recognition
technology is basic and not extra. Unless you get the CR-V LX, Honda also makes all of its driver-assistance and collision- avoidance systems standard equipment.
Highlights include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring. They work
reasonably well if not quite in as refined a manner as you might prefer. If
you get into a wreck anyway, know that the CR-V is a Top Safety Pick according
to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Now when it comes to driving the
CR-V, I really like this SUV. Like every modern Honda, it possesses genuinely
enjoyable ride and handling characteristics honed to an impressive
state of perfection for the intended audience. By that I mean that the CR-V
always feels secure, connected, and capable, but never at the
expense of comfort. You feel the road, but imperfections aren’t amplified to the
point of irritation. The electrically assisted steering is a bit heavy but
never feels numb or loose. The brake pedal is calibrated for smooth but
effective operation regardless of the driving situation. When you upgrade from
the LX trim level you also get a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder
engine making 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. Now if you compare
those specs to the tried-and-true 2.4- liter 4-cylinder in the LX trim level,
you might wonder why Honda bothers. Well, with the turbocharged engine, peak
horsepower arrives sooner and torque is spread across a broad portion of the
rev range. The result is more satisfying acceleration from a stop and response
when you want to pass or drive up a mountain grade. The turbo was paired with a continuously variable transmission that most of the time doesn’t behave
like a CVT. Rarely did this transmission call attention to itself, and even when
it did, I wasn’t irritated. As far as fuel- economy goes, I averaged 27.7 miles per gallon on my testing loop. The EPA thinks I should have
gotten 29 miles per gallon in combined driving. There are a couple of things to address
with regard to the CR-V’s powertrain. First, under specific circumstances related to
very cold weather and repeated short driving distances, the turbocharged
engine in the 2017 and 2018 model year vehicles can reportedly misfire or lose
power because fuel mixes with the oil. Second, as you’ll see in the comments
section on the Honda CR-V page on the CarGurus website, people appear to be
having battery problems this year, and they’re receiving little in the way of
satisfaction from their local dealerships. Now I can’t speak to either
of those issues, because I haven’t experienced that myself, so I reached out
to Honda for comment and this is what a spokesperson told me: Number one, they’re aware of the battery issue, and they’re looking into it, and number two, in 21
states Honda is solving the fuel oil problem by giving people an oil change
and reprogramming the software. In almost every respect the Honda CR-V is
exactly what people want when they go shopping for a compact crossover SUV.
It’s refined and roomy, enjoyable to drive and efficient, safe and equipped
with the technology most people want without going overboard.
Clearly Honda has some work to do in terms of refining some of the technology
and in restoring confidence in the turbocharged engine and original
equipment battery, but otherwise the CR-V is just about perfect. Be sure to read my
full review of the Honda CR-V at CarGurus, and if you found this video helpful,
don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. For all of us here at CarGurus,
thank you very much for watching.

100 thoughts on “2019 Honda CR-V | CarGurus Test Drive Review

  1. Left brain loves it. Right brain hates it. On paper it makes sense, but vehicles like this will steal your soul. Also, nice review, Chris, as usual.

  2. I really love the features of our 2018 CRV-EXL but the oil dilution is a real issue that the "software fix" has NOT resolved. Honda knows the excessive oil dilution is not limited to cold regions and short drives (although that may make it worse) and that it has not been fixed. The reality is it may be a faulty engine design that can't be fixed. So if you really want a CRV – it might be best to lease it so you can hand the keys back to Honda in 2 to 3 years – before the engine needs major repairs due to premature wear.

  3. Yeah, the EX AWD trim is the best overall value if you don't need leather. Our 2017 EX still hasn't had any oil dilution issues, but the HU is kinda laggy, and the city MPGs are less than expected, but we're in heavy traffic often. It's peppy and handles really well compared to its direct competition – even against the mazda.

  4. If you have an EX or higher pull your dipstick & if you smell gasoline you have the 'oil dilution issue'. The "rumor" is this was fixed in 2019. I doubt it. Get an LX otherwise look elsewhere.

  5. Thanks I pass and take a RAV-4. It’ll last many years more and has no stupid turbo and CVT. Garbage CRV.

  6. Sometimes little things make a big difference in one's evaluation of a vehicle. In this case the fact that the CR-V offers rear seat AC vents while the RAV4 does not is mine. With a 14 y/o daughter who can take complaining to the level of high art and a big dog who insists on being comfortable in his second home I simply wouldn't do without rear seat vents. It prevented my purchase of a RAV4 in 2012 and it would be the same today.

    That doesn't mean, however, that I'd choose a CR-V for my family. I prefer one of the vehicles in the next larger category, a "tweener" larger than the typical compact SUV ( 188" to 191" long vs 180" or so in length). Most of those vehicles have standard or optional V6 engines and conventional geared transmissions.Most are two row vehicles but the KIA Sorento has a surprisingly accommodating third row that's very convenient for occasional use.

  7. Wouldn't touch this thing until Honda's proposed software fix for the engine is proven to actually fix the problem. Call me skeptical

  8. Honda has been sold hundreds thousand of CRV with turbo engine from in the US, how many of them (let say about %) have oil dilution issue (for 2017-2019)? Anyone has any idea?

  9. Please do a video on the CRV oil dilution issue? Has this issue been fixed? Honda is still selling a lot of CRVs. I’m trying to decide between the 2019 CRV and the 2019 Toyota RAV4. I was leaning towards the CRV but I don’t want to deal with this issue with a new car.

  10. I have a 2018 Honda Accord. It uses the same 1.5T engine, but it's tuned differently. Tuned as in software. The CRV runs at a higher pressure especially when cold. Update software to run at a lower pressure when cold and problem solved. I haven't read of any Accords having the excessive dilution problem.

    By the way, EVERY internal combustion engine has oil dilution. It's inherent to the design because of the use of piston rings. There will always be the need for a slight gap. If the rings sealed perfectly, the piston wouldn't move due to too much friction or fuel economy would be horrendous due to engines friction. Oil is formulated to deal with it and vehicle engineers take this into consideration when determining oil change interval. Worse case, change the oil more often. Oil is cheap.

  11. I have a 2018 Touring with that exact same color and love it. Fun to drive, dependable and I think a sharp vehicle! Also, fortunately, no issues with my turbo engine or battery. Great video!

  12. 1.5 turbo is there biggest mistake. Gas mixing into the motor is still happening with the 2019… stay away if you want your vehicle to last

  13. Any turbo needs a Caught can, to caught any moisture in the air cooler, which causes the miss fire.. reprogram with a free oil change won't do anything, but a small hole in the intercooler and the Caught can is what needs done..

  14. I drove both the EX and the LX model. I agree the EX is a great value per feature content. Now for reality, I would rather purchase an LX with AWD with All Weather Mats. Reason being the 2.4 naturally aspirated engine is very well tried and true and the engine definitely sounds smoother than the 1.5. Also power is not a whole lot of difference.

  15. we have a 2019….we’re in Canada…ours had the battery issue and is going in for a software update which is supposed to correct the problem…we’ll see what happens…

  16. I have a 2009 CR-V, and love the look of this new one! I too would get the EX because of the standard safety tech. But I thought the power seat was only on the EX-L and up?

  17. Keep your fuel injectors clean and you wont have any oil dilution. Clean fuel injectors will improve combustion, which can easily be done by using top tier fuel. I have the 2018 EX and have no issues with oil dilution

  18. you didnt touch on road noise in the cabin which is a massive problem for me in the 2016 CRV. I could hear it in your video. the new one appears loud too!

  19. I bought a new EXl. Just love it. Getting 29 mpg local. Smooth, comfortable, spacious and economical. Hey its a Honda.

  20. I bought my EXL 1 month ago and no issues so far. My highest GPA on one trip averaged 36.3 Mpg and always above 32 Mpg on my one hour drives to work.

  21. I switch to CRV from a Subaru Outback in 2015. The Subaru rides smooth like a much larger car. I will probably go back to Subaru or maybe Toyota.

  22. You get a lot more luxury features on the turbo CX-5 models. Where’s the Ventilated seats? 360 Camera? Memory seats? Real wood? and that CVT? Yech

  23. Can someone explain to me how with all the room in the engine compartment with the 1.5 engine that Honda engineers
    could not design a flat passenger side floor honda kills me

  24. "In a memo sent to dealers, Honda’s manager of auto campaigns and recalls, Brad Ortloff, said oil in these engines could be diluted because of software settings or potential hardware failures. Some vehicles could experience “lack of power,” leading to cylinder misfires or engine noise." Consumer Reports 

    "But if the vehicles are stalling, as some owners have reported, this is a safety issue and Honda should conduct an official recall, which doesn’t expire.” Consumer Reports

  25. Nice review. I am hearing of this oil dilution issue. What does that mean? Hasn’t Honda been selling the CRV for 20+ years? Isn’t this a best selling suv with 100,000’s of this model sold?

  26. I will be in the market for a new smaller SUV in the next 24 months. Honda: 1) oil dilution 2) battery problems 3) CVT..three strikes and Honda is out. The new Ford Escape has a three cylinder turbo?…NOPE! I think the new RAV4 will be the winner. Non turbo and non CVT

  27. Had a 2018 had to jump start it at 4000 miles, totaled it at 7000 miles air bags never deployed , i like it but it will be a long road to recovery for me.

  28. There seems to be a lot of debate re: oil dilution issue– both about possible causes (owners reporting this do not solely live in cold climates) and how it might be remedied. This review (conveniently for Honda) appears to minimize/gloss over the issue.

  29. I purchased a new 2018 CRV last year. We loved the car except for one major flaw that I don’t hear anyone talking about. From stop there is a major time lag in power till you get up to speed. I know the CVT trans has a bit of a delay. But between the under powered 1.5 turbo and the drawn out CVT trans we got ride of the Honda. Sad to see it go but acceleration safety was a concern.

  30. Honda Cuck. This review hides the seriousness of the Honda CRV oil dilution which can cause cancer over time. Honda said the excessive oil levels could result in an engine misfire. This is a bad review.

  31. My wife has a 2013 crv (bought new); battery died within a few months. My father bought a new 2015 crv; battery died few months later in the middle of summer. KNOWN ISSUE for many years. 👎🏼👎🏼 for that honda. otherwise great vehicles with non-turbo engines.

  32. I have a 2017 CRV and love it but did have a battery that couldn't handle all things electric being ON more or less at once. Ended up with dead battery on a lot in the middle of a snow storm. Not pleasant. But I took it to a dealer and got a better battery for free as my battery was still under the 2-year warranty. Don't know why Honda hasn't solved this problem. The car is otherwise perfect.

  33. I have that same car accept my daughter is trying to get my car to snap out of the oil change from Tampa Honda its alot of work.

  34. Completely glosses over the oil dilution issue and even misstates that it only happens in cold climate states. Totally wrong. Experienced in a multitude of southern states. Check out car complaints or consumer reports. Also incorrect as drivers are beginning to report it on 2019 models. Conveniently also forgets to mention that Honda is acknowledging the issue and has extended the warranty to 6 years due to the problem. Get your facts straight and quit being a pawn for car companies.

  35. Since this was published Honda has acknowledged the oil dilution issue and extended the engine component warranty to 6 years, unlimited miles for all 50 states for the EX and above. Honda has also extended the "fix" for the 1.5 turbo motor to all 50 states, but it's up to the dealer whether they will apply it or not. I asked for it (in Florida), and it was performed with a free oil change.
    Oil dilution is real. My oil reeks of gasoline all the time, but worse after short trips. The oil level goes up and down, but the car is driven enough that it never gets dangerously high and has not caused drivability problems. No, I haven't had the oil professionally tested, but I've changed my own oil since 1983 and know what used oil smells like – and it ain't gasoline. This is an issue for all direct-injected engines, but Honda's implementation with the turbo has made it worse. I can only hope the synthetic oil and the engine design protect the motor long-term.
    The upside of the turbo, direct injection and CVT is excellent fuel economy. For an EX 2 wheel drive I am seeing 31-33 mpg regularly.
    I haven't driven the LX, but it uses the legacy, non-turbo larger 4-cylinder.

  36. Turbo… Everyone selling turbo today, but it is Honda problem is very unusual. !!!, I was looking at 2017 to purchase CRV here in Canada(we do not have option to get regular 2.4 L engine here), only turbo, but decide to go with Rav 4,.. Rear and back sonars are very important for me.( reality of today small parking spots) Honda had only dealer option install rear parking on new car.. Why not to add from factory as they did for Passport ? Why take the radio knobs and add back only volume??? It is a car to drive and park and less destruction for driver it is the best..The best is for Honda is switch to 2.4 l regular engine as Hyndai did with Tuscon model. I can advise about Civic( i,m SUV person).Good Luck

  37. Impressive SUV, except the 1.5 turbo engine is a time bomb. You think a tiny 1.5 liter engine will last 200K miles, give me a break !! In addition, the oil dilution problem can't be solved by software fix. There are 3 factors contribute to the problem, all of them are design issues : 1) turbo charged means high compression ratio 2) direct fuel injection into the cylinder chamber 3) use of 0w20 oil, which is as thin as water.

  38. Fuel mixing with oil is "not a big deal". hahaha. Way to go Honda. Another Transmission style scandal about to erupt? I'll stick with Toyota, Subaru and Mazda thank you. Nice Honda butt kissing buddy (hey let's adress the elephant in the room at 7 minutes in for 8 seconds!). Hey folks, gasoline all inside your engine is okay 🙂

  39. What about the heater and defroster problems I have seen comments about with the CRV. No heat at idle and no heat in very cold weather

  40. I have had Honda last 3 cars. But 2008 cry had raesrenf troubles Honda wouldn’t admit. Dealership said I was hearing things. Nope u lied. But other than that I loved everything about crab performance but not comfortable. Then was hit by illegal driver my airbags didn’t go off on side but that’s neither here not there. Honda Civic best little car I ever had still give up comfort in driver seat. But my mechanic bills was so good I like it. Honda has had good and bad. But I think I am going with another brand this time around. Don’t know yet. Oh biggest complaint I had with my civic was touch radio knobs I think they are just crazy bad. Hazardous. . .

  41. A great review. I had the original and the mark two. I’ve had two RAV4s also. The Hondas were in a different class, altogether, much better. I’d love to get this latest one, one day. I have a Honda Accord Euro and it’s the most accomplished sedan/ saloon I’ve ever had, too bad you can’t get them in the UK anymore.

  42. I just picked up a CRV EX 2 weeks ago. I know it's early in the game, but man, do I ever love it. Rides beautifully and gets great gas mileage. I'm 6'2" and I have a ton of room. Absolutely LOVE IT!!!

  43. I test drove the Toyota Rav4 recently. It didn't have the smooth ride like the CR-V. The Toyota had a lot of friction and pull while driving and the car felt less secure. The Honda is a better choice. Honda company claim they corrected the problem with the oil/fuel dilution, and not just in the 26 states. They said it was a cold weather related issue, but drivers with this car also had the same problem in warm climates. We'll see…

  44. Can you show us if the front seat can fold 180 degrees back? The front seat is very important to me. I like to sleep and lay back in my car. Thanks!

  45. I have the 2017 and would NOT recommend because there are too many issues with it. I got my recall work done, even though i was not experiencing the oil dilution problem but now my radio screen started to glitch out on it's own without even touching the screen. I saw videos on Youtube with plenty of other people with the same problem. Seems like one thing gets "fixed" then another issue pops up. Stay away from this CR-V, from 2017-2019. I don't know what the 2020 will bring but I would not hold my breath. Better to get a Toyota or a Subaru perhaps. It's a shame because it is a decent ride otherwise.

  46. I have doubts about both Honda and Toyota. Transmissions are problematic for both and since I keep my cars for 200000 miles I wont buy a turbo.

  47. Do not get a Honda vehicle with the "Earth Dreams" engine technology. The Earth Dreams/GDI engine has the oil dilution problem, regardless if the vehicle has a turbo charged engine or not, which has yet to be fixed by Honda.


  49. I have the basic LX AWD and it makes it want/need to Upgrade automatically. For a 2019 brand new vehicle is unacceptable Way too simple/basic. Now, mechanically, compared to my traded 2017 Accord Sport the CR-V is WAY BETTER 😩😩😒😊👋🏼

  50. This car is CVT only. I will own no car from any company that has a CVT. Do not drink the Koolaid.. CVT does not hold up as long on average and costs twice as much to fix. A 120k mile CVT failure with a $7000 repair cost equals worthless car.

  51. A "software update" won't fix the oil dilution problem, it just heats the motor up a little faster to promote more complete gas combustion. Dealers are going nuts trying to talk their way out of this issue, some even telling customers it's NORMAL, or offering silly "solutions" like a free oil change – just one. Fact is, this engine has been a total engineering disaster, and Honda is flailing wildly trying to find a way out of it. After all, they can't redesign and replace half a million CR-V engines. Some very experienced mechanics have told me they wouldn't have a turbocharged engine in any case. It's silly to make a tiny little 1.5 liter engine and force it to do the work of a big engine, just by adding a turbocharger. All you're going to do is work it to death.

  52. Once you go above the EXL trim the price is 30k for sure!
    At that point why not look at other brands; specially with all the problems the turbo engine has had since 2017. Which by the way Honda has not resolved the issues, instead they have extended warranties to cover for the poor design of the turbo engine.

  53. I own a 2016 EXL with the 2.4 engine and i have owned turbo in the past with the Mazda CX-7 and i can assure you the turbos never have a long life. Engines are unreliable and they burn a lot of oil.

  54. Why does Honda put safety 2nd instead of making it their first priority? Makes no sense that you have to get the EX before you can have the safety features, as a consumer that does not sit well with me.

  55. I have the 2017 CRV ex-l with nav and guess what? My battery lasted 14 months, the shortest of my 52 years of driving. Also you failed to mention the shift knob breaking off as mine did in my hand while backing out. My car is the same color as yours because in the sunlight it POPS.LOL I have had my car back to the dealer more than any car I have ever owned. OH its a 17 with 11563 miles today…..

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