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Are Honda CR-Vs Reliable? A Complete Breakdown

in Reliability
Black Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V by Alexander Migl — CC-BY-SA-4.0

Honda CR-Vs are some of the most popular compact SUVs out there. They’re maneuverable, comfortable, and have a lot of storage space packed into a vehicle of their size. CR-Vs might have changed styles and designs a few times over the years, but almost all Honda CR-Vs are reliable, at least by reputation. 

Of course, if you’re thinking about buying a Honda CR-V for yourself, you need to know a little more than just their reputation. Here’s what you need to know about Honda CR-V reliability before you decide if a CR-V should be your next vehicle. 

Is The Honda CR-V Reliable?

The Honda CR-V is generally considered one of the most reliable SUVs on the market. They’re usually rated in the top 5 of all compact SUVs sold for reliability and safety. That’s high praise considering how popular SUVs are and how many families are driving compact SUVs these days. 

There are a few different factors that contribute to Honda CR-V reliability. 

The first is that maintenance costs for a Honda CR-V are generally very low. Parts are affordable and common, so there isn’t a markup for repairs on a CR-V the way there can be for rarer models and foreign vehicles. 

Honda CR-Vs are also considered hard-wearing vehicles. CR-Vs rarely have parts fail and fail at a lower rate than other compact SUVs and well below the average for other vehicles. 

Let’s take a closer look at Honda CR-V reliability and why they get such good ratings from consumers and experts alike. 


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Strengths Of The Honda CR-V

One of the biggest strengths of the Honda CR-V is its affordability. A Japanese manufacturer, Honda does a good job of making sure their parts are available in the United States and elsewhere and use standard components and hardware as much as possible. 

That means that mechanics don’t need special tools or training to work on a Honda CR-V, which translates to lower costs and more affordable repairs. 

But the other big advantage is that the Honda CR-V is incredibly well optimized. They drive well, don’t tend to have any common failure points, and are put together in a way that increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the individual parts. 

However, one of the reasons we need to talk about how the vehicle functions as a whole is because there aren’t really standout components compared with other vehicles in the same class, particularly the Toyota RAV 4. 

There are a few reasons for that, but to understand them, we need to look at the weaknesses of the Honda CR-V, not just its strengths. 

Weaknesses Of The Honda CR-V

The strength of the Honda CR-V is most on display with the most recent model, which performs extraordinarily well and is a callback to the most effective and popular models earlier in the CR-V’s line. 

However, the 2017 model didn’t perform nearly as well. The 2017 model did so badly that the CR-V as a whole is considered less reliable than the RAV4 or the Mazda CX5. The most recent release is a significant improvement and performs better than its closest competitors so far, but with a model failure so recent in the CR-V’s history, it’s hard to say for sure that future releases will continue to be either as reliable or as popular as the current model. 

It’s also worth looking at the brand as a whole. Honda is known to be a relatively reliable brand and tends to perform better than other popular options like Chevy and Ford, but not as well as Toyota or their luxury brand, Lexus. 

In terms of performance weaknesses, while the CR-V doesn’t seem to have functional parts problems any more than you would expect in any compact SUV, it does seem to have some issues with the internal electronics. 

Again, the 2017 model, in particular, has this problem and doesn’t perform as well as you’d expect when it comes to electronics. Radio replacements are common, and you may need to replace door sensors and other components that normally last the lifetime of the vehicle.

How Long Should You Expect A Honda CR-V To Last? 

Depending on what model of CR-V you get, you should be able to get a long life out of the vehicle. The 2017 model, and a few of the older versions of the CR-V, are less reliable than most. The most recent model looks like it’s going to be the CR-Vs most reliable model yet. 

Even models from the early 2000s are still considered reliable, which should give you a good idea of the performance of this particular vehicle line. There are 20+-year-old CR-Vs that are not only still on the roads but still performing well and without the need for expensive parts replacements. 

An average Honda CR-V will last well past 200,000 miles. With good maintenance habits and safe driving, you can expect your Honda CR-V to make it to 300,000 miles and beyond.

What Reddit Says About the Honda CR-V’s Reliability:

Here at CoPilot, we love to highlight discussions of the automotive community about reliability. Below, we rounded up some opinions about the CR-V’s long-term reliability:

On how the CR-V offers both reliability and longevity:

byu/epictetusdouglas from discussion

A love letter to the Honda CR-V’s dependability:

byu/Entity417 from discussion

On how the CR-V compares to the venerable Toyota RAV4:

byu/Outrageousayin from discussion

On how people can buy high-mileage CR-Vs without worry:

byu/GasTricky3629 from discussion

Overall, a lot of owners appreciate the CR-V, not just for its utilitarian nature but long-term reliability as well.


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How Can You Increase A Honda CR-V’s Reliability?

Increasing a vehicle’s reliability depends on your driving habits and maintenance routine. For instance, it’s important to make sure you get regular oil changes to keep the engine in good condition and prevent overheating. 

It’s also important to make sure you’re rotating your tires, getting alignments, checking the fluid levels in your vehicle regularly, and performing all regular maintenance. 

CR-Vs aren’t maintenance-free, even though their maintenance is often significantly more affordable than other manufacturers.

Final Verdict: Are Honda CR-V Reliable? 

Yes! As long as you avoid the model years that are known to be a problem, Honda CR-Vs are known to be an incredibly reliable vehicle. The 2017 model is the only recent CR-V that has significant problems, but its problems are pronounced enough that we don’t recommend buying them used unless they have low mileage and a good maintenance record. 

But older models of CR-V are usually more reliable than the 2017 model, and the most recent release is one of the most reliable compact SUVs currently on the market. 

Whether you’re looking for a used vehicle or a new one, CR-Vs are a good option.


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