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Hot off of its 2017 revamp and successful 2018 follow-up, the 2019 Honda CR-V is continuing this SUV's legacy as a vehicle that is focused on providing an all-around solid performance. From its zippy acceleration on the turbocharged engine to the inventively designed storage nooks and crannies placed strategically throughout the cabin and cargo space, the new CR-V gets many things right. The only downside seems to lie with Honda's technology, and even that can be mitigated in favor of the positive things that this vehicle has to offer.
What's New for 2019?
If it is not broken, don't fix it. There are no significant changes to report on the 2019 Honda CR-V since the company got so many things right on the 2017 model year's impressive overhaul. You still get the same 1.5-L inline-4 turbo engine on the trim levels above the base LX, the revamped suspension that has significantly reduced the CR-V's former issues with body roll, and the lengthy list of standard safety and infotainment features. Expect a mid-cycle refresh in 2020.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Honda CR-V – The Pros
1. A Spunky Turbocharged Engine
Although the base LX's engine does come at a more affordable price, the upgrade to the 1.5-L inline-4 turbocharged engine which is found on the CR-V's higher trim levels is well worth the cost. This engine garners 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a standard CVT automatic transmission. A bit surprisingly, these powertrain components work quite well together, giving the 2019 Honda CR-V the ability to appropriately accelerate on any roadway. Road manners are this powertrain's specialty, and many drivers will enjoy how composed the CR-V feels for a vehicle in its class.
2. A Comfortable Ride Quality
Speaking of the new CR-V's excellent manners, this vehicle offers an extremely comfortable ride quality. The 18-inch tires and suspension bushings work well together at absorbing shocks that get encountered in the road. The initial impact is all that you will ever feel, even when you hit larger and rougher bumps in the road. Smooth and sophisticated, the CR-V has no problem providing its occupants with a relaxing ride.
3. A Spacious Interior
Another aspect of the 2019 Honda CR-V that should be attractive to buyers is the generous amount of space you get inside of the cabin. Since Honda extended the wheelbase and widened the vehicle for the 2017 overhaul, the CR-V has been a best-in-class leader for spaciousness. You will be hard-pressed to find another SUV with as much rear seat space as the CR-V gives, and up front, there is certainly enough room to maneuver around.
4. Plenty of Cargo Space
It is not just the cabin that is spacious on the Honda CR-V; the cargo area is also one of the most cavernous in its class. With all seats in place, you can get between 37.6 and 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space. When you fold the rear seats down, this amount maxes out to a whopping 75.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Most compact SUVs struggle to come anywhere close to these measurements, so if cargo capacity is a determining factor for you, the CR-V might just be a top choice.
5. Steering That Feels Natural
Another enjoyable aspect of the driving performance on the 2019 Honda CR-V is its steering. Drivers will notice how natural the steering feels as they continuously maneuver the wheel in their hands. Overall, steering feels precise, and the wheel itself turns effortlessly in the driver's hands, never feeling too clunky and awkward. Again, the CR-V gets high marks and is one of the best in its class in terms of steering.
6. The Handling Inspires Confidence
Handling is superb as well with its extremely limited body roll and ability to take on mid-corner ruts and bumps with ease. In fact, any anomaly in the road surface is easily handled by the CR-V. Making it through twists and turns on long, winding back country roads is actually quite pleasant and not the least bit nauseating for passengers. Drivers should feel confident in the CR-V's ability to handle anything the road throws at it.
7. Easy Entry Into and Exiting From the Cabin
Unlike other vehicles in its class, getting into and out of the cabin of the 2019 Honda CR-V is relatively simple, even for children and those with mobility issues. All of the door openings are both tall and wide, and the fact that the narrow-silled doors are overlapping helps ease entry and exit. The vehicle sits at just the right height off of the ground for individuals of all shapes and sizes to be able to get in and out without bonking their heads or feeling too cramped for space.
8. Excellent Visibility
There is barely any guesswork involved when it comes to seeing what is around the Honda CR-V. Forward visibility is almost completely perfect, and you can see down the nose of the vehicle far enough to successfully gauge its distance to other objects. Having slender roof pillars is a huge bonus. Seeing out of the rear window is pretty easy despite the rear headrests being situated as they are. Also, even though blind-spot monitoring comes standard on all trims above the LX, it is not terribly necessary to use since there are not too many blind-spots to speak of.
9. Interior Materials Are High-quality
For being a moderately-priced vehicle, you might expect to see a little bit of diminished quality in craftsmanship. That just is not the case in the 2019 Honda CR-V. Paneling throughout the cabin is gap-free, and the well-stitched leather upholstery that comes on the two highest trims is nicely paired with beautiful trim. These little hints of luxury remind you that Honda cares a lot about the quality of their vehicles.
10. Numerous Standard Safety and Infotainment Features
Last, but certainly not least, drivers should appreciate the lengthy list of standard safety and infotainment features that come on the new Honda CR-V. Since Honda has historically placed a significant focus on safety, there is little wonder that the EX trim and above are riddled with driver aids. Included on that list of features is blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with built-in automatic braking. Infotainment features include USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and smartphone app integration comes on the EX trim and above.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Honda CR-V – The Cons
1. A Finicky Touchscreen Infotainment System
Unfortunately, the biggest drawback on the 2019 Honda CR-V is that the touchscreen interface can be rather finicky and, therefore, not very user-friendly. Some of the controls are clunky despite the fact that Honda has made a few improvements in the past few years, including giving the vehicle a physical knob instead of the former volume slider.
2. An Unreliable Navigation System
The optional navigation system on the new Honda CR-V is not terribly reliable when it comes to giving proper directions. Those who buy the CR-V and get the navigation system will quickly find themselves switching over to using their smartphones for navigational assistance.
3. The Base Trim's Engine
While the higher trim levels have that stellar turbocharged engine, the base LX trim is still stuck with an underwhelming 2.4-L 4-cylinder engine that gets 184 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. This is just not sufficient for powering the 2019 Honda CR-V, and the overall driving performance that you get on the base engine lacks the refinement of the upgraded engine.
4. Minor Noise Interference
The smallest gripe on this list is that there is some minor noise interference from the tires and wind and a barely-noticeable amount from the engine until you get it up to full-throttle on the highway. Still, the noise levels you encounter are not enough to interrupt music or conversations; they're really only evident when the cabin is otherwise quiet.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2019 Toyota RAV4
A major competitor for the 2019 Honda CR-V is, without a doubt, the 2019 Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 is a massive vehicle for one in this segment, so space is guaranteed. It also provides a pretty smooth ride quality and has a decent-sized list of standard features. However, its overall driving performance is somewhat bland compared to the CR-V, and the sole engine option does not have the same get-up-and-go power that the CR-V's 1.5-L inline-4 puts out. The RAV4's interior is also a bit dull in comparison to the CR-V's.
2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2019 Subaru Outback
The 2019 Subaru Outback is another rival that is bound to sell this year. Due to its construction, loading and unloading the Outback is incredibly simple. There is plenty of space to maneuver about in the cabin and cargo area. Also, with all-wheel drive slapped onto every trim and excellent ground clearance, the Outback is basically built for off-roading adventures. On the downside, the Outback does not accelerate as smoothly as the CR-V, and its 4-cylinder engine is made awkward by how both the brake and gas pedals function.
The 2019 Honda CR-V continues a legacy of powerful performance. There is no shortage of features to be found on the CR-V, and Honda has gone above and beyond to make sure that the vehicle fits the diverse needs of a wide array of drivers. The amount of space you get is magnificent, and the level of comfort you will experience makes the CR-V all the more attractive to buy.
• Why buy a 2018 Honda CR-V? w/ pros vs cons