Best Years for Honda CR-V & The Years You Must Avoid

The top-performing Honda CR-V model years include 1998, 2001, 2009, 2013, 2016, and 2020-2022, while it’s advisable to avoid the 2002, 2007-2008, 2011, 2014-2015, and 2017-2019 models. This conclusion is based on reviews, NHTSA data, issue reports, and customer opinions.


Debuting in 1995, the Honda CR-V reached the US market in 1997, quickly winning hearts. Initially, only the base model LX was available. Surprising the Japanese government with its width, the original CR-V became a high-end model. For over 20 years, it’s been Honda’s best-seller and America’s favorite CUV, facing tough competition from the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. Notably, many are unaware that CR-V stands for Comfortable Runabout Vehicle, according to Honda.

What is the best Year for Honda CR-V?

With the CR-V’s extensive history, Honda has crafted numerous outstanding models. The 2022 Honda CR-V, highly praised by experts, is recognized as a top-notch crossover SUV offering quality at a reasonable price. The best CR-V years are determined by minimal customer complaints, few serious issues, and notable standard or optional features.

#1 Honda CR-V 2022

Honda CR-V 2022

The 2022 model retains similarities with the previous year but stands out as the latest option in the renowned car line, featuring cutting-edge technology. Continuing the tradition, the 2022 CR-V provides ample storage and two fuel-efficient powertrain options.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews:

  • Edmunds: 4.7/5.0
    “Offers great comfort, a driver-friendly cockpit, smooth ride, spacious cabin, excellent gas mileage, and responsive power from the turbo 4cyl.”
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1/5.0
    “Boasts excellent fuel economy and a delightful driving experience with comfort, speed, and spaciousness. Equipped with modern technology like wireless charging and a rear camera.”
  • JD Power: 81/100

#2 Honda CR-V 2020

Honda CR-V 2020

The 2020 model, crowned Best Car of 2020 by AutoTrader and Best 2020 Green SUV by Green Car Journal, is a formidable candidate. It excels in providing a top-notch interior, impressive performance, and good fuel economy. With a redesigned body, hybrid engine option, and one of the market’s best continuously variable automatic gearboxes (CVTs), the 2020 CR-V stands out.

Ease of entry is facilitated by spacious front and rear door apertures, and safety features include traction control, airbags, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and rearview cameras with multiple viewing angles.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews:

  • Edmunds: 4.1/5.0
    “Owned the CR-V for a month, satisfied with the switch from a Sienna due to less space and lower gas consumption. Adjusting to a smaller vehicle, but still ample room for the family.”
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1/5.0
    “Adore my new car, built to endure. Will definitely purchase another Honda CRV in the future.”
  • JD Power: 80/100

#3 Honda CR-V 2016

Honda CR-V 2016

For an affordable yet reliable option, consider the popular 2016 Honda CR-V. It provides modern technology and features at a reasonable price when purchased used.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews:

  • Edmunds: 4.1/5.0
    Waited for the 2016 release due to vibration concerns with the 2015. Confirming that my car does not have substantial vibration. Good MPG—32 on the interstate and 26–28 elsewhere. Handles well, accelerates sufficiently.”
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1/5.0
    “No issues, handles well, appealing style and color. Maintenance and cleaning are a breeze.”
  • JD Power: 81/100
    The 2016 Honda CR-V has fewer general complaints and engine problems compared to other years. Despite some ongoing engine issues, this model year is worth considering.

#4 Honda CR-V 2013

Honda CR-V 2013

The 2013 model excels in electrical and entertainment features, including a six-speaker audio system, optional moonroof, and available fog lights. For the safest choice among the 2012, 2013, and 2014 models, the 2013 version stands out with notably fewer complaints.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews:

  • Edmunds: 3.9/5.0
    “Love the car. Drove from Chicago to Virginia, averaging 41 mpg according to the onboard computer. Manual calculation: 40.2 mpg. Amazing for an SUV.”
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1/5.0
    “Bought from my mother-in-law at 130k, now has 212,000, still runs like new. No broken buttons or other issues. Dependable if you change only the tires and oil. One of Honda’s best cars is the CR-V.”
  • JD Power: 83/100

#5 Honda CR-V 2009

Honda CR-V 2009

When it debuted in 2009, this vehicle was among the least expensive Crossover SUVs, usually signaling potential issues. However, it stood out by achieving its goals without many mechanical problems. Praised for styling and fuel economy, it maintains high reliability ratings today. Key characteristics of this model year include dependability, fuel efficiency, and durability.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews:

  • Edmunds: 4.6/5.0
    “If you want a highly functioning and dependable car at an amazing price, this is the automobile for you. Purchased in 2012 with 19,000 miles, approaching 100,000, and no problems. The CR-V has exceeded my expectations in every aspect, still attractive in styling.”
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5/5.0
    “The best little SUV for your money. Period! You won’t regret it, so go out and find one!”
  • JD Power: 83/100

#6 Honda CR-V 2001

Honda CR-V 2001

The 2001 CR-V, the first in its second generation, is one of the least problematic models to date, featuring a complete redesign with improved exterior and interior, offering multiple trim levels.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews:

  • Edmunds: 4.5/5.0
    “Purchased my 2001 Honda CR-V SE in 2006 with 60,000 miles, drove it until 2011 with 185,000 miles. Never had any mechanical issues, only normal wear & tear and upkeep.”
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7/5.0
    “The best vehicle I’ve ever owned is my 2001 CRV. Still operating after 21 years. Minor issues like fixing the power window on the driver’s side and minor corrosion on the back wheels. Interior looks almost brand new. A Honda dealer once said, ‘You can not kill this car.’ The mechanic who serviced my brakes advised me not to sell it, suggesting I might have a few more years with it.”

#7 Honda CR-V 1998

Honda CR-V 1998

This original generation Honda CR-V remains beloved and timeless. Neither the engine nor transmission has faced serious complaints, and the interior and paint typically stay in excellent condition. With regular maintenance and proper use, these cars show no significant issues, leading many to still be in use today, most in good condition.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews:

  • Edmunds: 4.5/5.0
    “Superb motor and interior durability make this one of the best-built Hondas. Our 1998, used daily for 17 years, still looks almost brand new, unlike the 2009 model with fabric interior that quickly shreds and stains.”
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7/5.0
    “Purchased the 1998 CRV in the UK with 130,000 kilometers, used it for over ten years without any issues. Moved it to Africa, where it serves as a reliable second vehicle on unpaved roads. A great buy—this Honda CRV 4X4 is immortal!”

What are the Years to avoid for Honda CR-V?

Following are the Honda CR-V models that you must avoid:

#1 Honda CR-V 2019

Honda CR-V 2019

The 2019 CR-V faced 703 issues at CarProblemZoo and 90 complaints at CarComplaints.

Common issues include:

  1. Weak factory-installed battery struggles with the CRV’s complex system.
  2. Infotainment system occasionally locks in excessive brightness.
  3. Wiring harness coated with soy-based material may attract rodents.
  4. The emergency braking system is a significant challenge for the 2019 Honda CRV.

#2 Honda CR-V 2018

Honda CR-V 2018

The notorious oil dilution problem affected the 2018 Honda CR-V, along with similar issues as its predecessor. The 2018 CR-V had a total of 236 complaints on CarComplaints and 1,542 on CarProblemZoo.

Common issues include:

  1. Engine oil contaminated with gas.
  2. Bugs in the infotainment system.
  3. Unburned petrol smell inside and outside the car.
    Moreover, the car had a tendency to abruptly deploy its brake system, posing a serious safety risk and causing fear. There were instances of sudden shutdowns, unexpected acceleration while braking, and power loss while driving.

#3 Honda CR-V 2017

 Honda CR-V 2017

Consumers reported numerous issues, prompting an early recall of 24,000 vehicles. Data indicates that the 2017 Honda CR-V has the most problems within the CR-V lineup, particularly impacted by the “engine oil dilution by gas,” resulting in severe engine problems.

Common problems include:

  1. Ineffective heating.
  2. Elevated oil levels and gas in the oil.
  3. Persistent gas smell during car use.
  4. Battery drainage issues.
  5. Serious problems with electrical components, internal accessories, and heater or air conditioner malfunctions.

#4 Honda CR-V 2015

Honda CR-V 2015

While not as severe or frequent as the 2017 and 2018 models, the 2015 CR-V gained notoriety for numerous engine failures. There were a total of 410 complaints at CarComplaints and 856 at CarProblemZoo.

Common problems include:

  1. Intense vibrations.
  2. Low engine idling speed.
  3. Unexpected engine shutdowns.

#5 Honda CR-V 2014

Honda CR-V 2014

The 2014 Honda CR-V faced significant problems, with owners frequently reporting engine noise and startup failures. There were a total of 324 complaints at CarComplaints and 685 incidents at CarProblemZoo.

Common problems include:

  1. Engine squeaks during cold starts.
  2. Sluggish and hesitant acceleration.
  3. Startup accompanied by a grinding sound.

#6 Honda CR-V 2011

Honda CR-V 2011

In the third generation of CR-V models, the 2011 CR-V stands out as the worst. Totaling 147 complaints on CarComplaints and 544 on CarProblemZoo, it earned the “Beware of the Clunker” emblem from Car Complaints.

Common problems include:

  1. Undesirable acceleration during braking.
  2. Excessive oil consumption.
  3. Rapid tire wear.
  4. Malfunctioning door actuators.
  5. Steering problems.
  6. Airbag failure.
  7. Power transmission issues.
  8. Back seat discomfort.

#7 Honda CR-V 2008

Honda CR-V 2008

Honda aimed to regain its audience and restore its reputation after the problematic start of the third generation. However, the 2008 CR-V repeated its predecessor’s missteps, turning out to be worse than the 2007 model.

The 2008 CR-V faced 183 complaints on CarComplaints and 1,079 problems on CarProblemZoo, including paint flaking, rapid tire wear, airbag issues, and excruciatingly uncomfortable backseats.

#8 Honda CR-V 2007

Honda CR-V 2007

The 2007 Honda CR-V earned the “clunker” distinction due to transmission and powertrain problems. It accumulated 1,000 complaints on CarComplaints and 1,002 issues on CarProblemZoo.

Common problems include:

  1. Rapid tire wear.
  2. AC compressor malfunction.
  3. Transmission errors.
  4. Faulty power door locks.

#9 Honda CR-V 2002

Honda CR-V 2002

This model faced three to four recalls, damaging consumer relations. Steering pumps and wheel bearings were prone to failure, requiring replacement. The air conditioner could blow hot air, dust, and metal shavings into the cabin.

Common issues included:

  1. Air conditioning system failure.
  2. Fading paint.
  3. Takata recall.
  4. Throttle body replacement.

The 2002 CR-V accumulated 773 complaints on CarComplaints and 643 issues on CarProblemZoo.

Honda CR-V problems

Despite facing numerous challenges, Honda CRVs generally prove to be reliable vehicles. However, like any car, they are not without their issues, ranging from fundamental handling concerns to comfortability issues and equipment failures. Here are some of the most common problems associated with Honda CRVs.

Engine Problems:

  1. Unwanted acceleration, especially during braking, causing potential harm.
  2. Oil consumption requiring owners to top off oil every 1000 miles.
  3. Cooling system failures leading to occasional engine overheating.
  4. Abnormal and often abrasive vibrations in the car.
  5. Terrible oil dilution issues, particularly affecting 1.5-liter Earth Dreams engines, leading to potential engine damage.
  6. Fuel pump impellers prone to cracking, reducing fuel delivery to the engine.

Electrical Problems:

  1. Wiring coated with a soy-based material, attracting rats that can damage the wires.
  2. “Check TPMS” warning light despite no actual tire pressure issues due to faulty TPMS programming.
  3. Malfunctions in seatbelt pre-tensioners and airbags caused by faulty accident sensors.
  4. Erratic stops while in motion due to issues with Honda Sensing driver assistance features.

Interior Problems:

  1. Uncomfortable seats causing backaches, leg pain, and neck exhaustion during extended drives.
  2. Gasoline odor from the cabin due to overflowing fuel supply from the oil pan.
  3. Faulty door lock actuators leading to broken door locks.
  4. Windshield cracks on CRVs due to excessive strain from window frames.
  5. Defective AC compressor releasing hot air and metal shavings, occasionally resulting in the “Honda Black Death.

These issues have impacted the 2007 Honda CR-V, leading to significant consumer dissatisfaction. It is crucial for Honda to address these concerns to maintain its reputation. If you’re considering a Honda CR-V, be sure to check Kelley Blue Book, consumer reports, and other reviews for a comprehensive understanding of the model’s performance and potential issues. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any warning lights, such as the “check engine light,” can help prevent or address these problems.


What is Honda CR-V average Lifespan?
The average lifespan of a Honda CR-V largely depends on maintenance and usage frequency. Built with premium components and exceptional craftsmanship, CRVs can last over 200,000 kilometers, and with extra care, extend beyond 400,000 kilometers, equivalent to over 20 years. Regular oil and filter changes significantly contribute to achieving this longevity.

What is Honda CR-V Resale Value?
The Honda CRV boasts excellent resale value, competing with Toyota for one of the lowest depreciation rates in the sector. On average, a Honda CRV depreciates by approximately 39% in 5 years, translating to less than 8% per year, depending on the model and purchase year. This highlights the CRV’s worthiness as a purchase, coupled with affordable auto maintenance.

Which is the Most Reliable Engine in Honda CR-V?
The latest Honda CR-V generation features a highly praised new engine, the 1.5L I4 turbo. Generating 179 pounds per foot of torque and 190 horsepower, this engine, when paired with a CVT, achieves two more miles per gallon. It has garnered positive reviews for reliability and performance.


Honda’s family-oriented approach shines in the SUV market with the CRV class, consistently offering reliability surpassing rivals. Providing excellent value, CR-Vs can be resold for up to 82% of their value. Consumer Reports rates the Honda CR-V with a commendable 4 out of 5 points for customer satisfaction.

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