2020 Honda CR-V Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
Just when you thought Honda could not outdo themselves, they've gone and done it. And this time, it is with the well-loved CR-V. So, just what can you expect to find on the 2020 Honda CR-V that makes it such an excellent purchase? Well, there are quite a few things. However, the one thing that should reel you in right away is the fact that the 1.5-L turbocharged engine is now standard across the line-up. It was a smart move on Honda's part to do this since drivers with slightly older CR-V models absolutely love this engine.
What's New for 2020?Of course, the big change for the 2020 Honda CR-V is the standardization of the 1.5-L turbo engine across the entire line-up. It was a change that needed to happen since the old 2.4-L 4-cylinder (which only mustered up 184 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque) was not a crowd-pleaser.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Honda CR-V – The Pros
1. The Turbocharged 1.5-L Engine Now Comes Standard
The old 2.4-L engine had to go. It was the standard engine on the base LX trim level, but the others all got the 1.5-L turbocharged engine. The 2020 Honda Accord now has only the 1.5-L in its line-up, and that is a good thing. This engine gets 190 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque - a vast improvement over the 2.4-L. Honda probably should've kicked the 2.4-L to the curb a few years ago when they entered the line's current generation, but better late than never.
2. A Cavernous Cabin
One of the other big selling points for the new CR-V is its massive amount of cabin space. Although front leg and head room are slightly smaller than what you might find in other vehicles in this segment, everything else is above average. And when it comes to rear seat space, you cannot find anything bigger than this within the class. Every inch of space is smartly designed, which just serves to enhance the overall effect.
3. An Abundance of Cargo Space
Speaking of spaciousness, the 2020 Honda CR-V has a large cargo area. There are 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats left in place. If you need more than that, fold the rear seats down, and you will get an astounding 75.8 cubes. This makes for one of the biggest cargo areas in the segment. The rear seats fold with ease, and the cargo floor is adjustable by height, which allows you to create more space is needed. It is cleverly designed and super helpful when you have bulky items to load.
4. A Comfortable Ride Quality
Another positive to the new CR-V is that its ride quality is quite comfy. Take it over almost any type of road surface, and you will feel hardly any of the road's imperfections make their way into the cabin. All you will likely feel is the initial bump; after that, it should be smooth sailing. The tires are especially handy here since they have a lot of sidewall that can absorb those impacts.
5. Spirited Handling Capabilities
The 2020 Honda CR-V has a remarkably spunky character thanks to its impeccable handling capabilities. It can round through turns with ease, and any bumps that happen do not pose much of a problem. Mountainous roads are no problem, and you can take the curvy backroads to get to a location without causing anyone in the cabin to feel violently ill. Even on a straight city street, the CR-V has a spirited feeling that is going to be hard to find in its competitors.
6. Versatile Storage Spaces
As we already hinted at with the height-adjustable cargo floor, the CR-V has a lot of versatile storage spaces. The center console can be reconfigured; the bin goes deep down, and there is a rubberized tray that helps organize items. It also works as a way to cover up your valuables. Additionally, the doors have big, deep pockets, and there are cupholders galore.
7. Superb Steering
Steering does not get much better than what you will find on the 2020 Honda Accord. In fact, the steering on this vehicle is close to perfection. The more you turn the CR-V's wheel, the more natural the feeling becomes. You will always get a clear sense of where true center is as the wheel returns to center with ease. At all times, the vehicle remains stable and tracks straight on. You will never have any doubt as to what the steering system is doing.
8. Cozy Seats
While having a safe and spirited vehicle is great, it gets even better when that vehicle is packed with comfort. The CR-V's seats are absolutely divine. On the EX trim level and above, the driver gets an 8-way power-adjustable seat, which lets you maximize your comfort. There is also four-way power-adjustable lumbar support, which helps to make long drives all the more relaxing. Even those with spinal pain will enjoy sitting in these seats.
9. Plenty of Outward Visibility
Being able to see out of the front, rear, and sides of the vehicle is important. It can help you stay safe while on the road and keeps those in other vehicles safe too. The 2020 Honda Accord has slender roof pillars that allow for good outward visibility. You will have no problem sensing where the front bumper is, and the standard rearview camera helps with backing out of tight parking spaces. Also, although the blind spots are pretty small, the blind spot monitoring system gives you a good visual clue as to what is in them.
10. Smartphone Integration is Standard
Having smartphone app integration can make the driving experience all the better for people who do not want to deal with the vehicle's built-in apps. While the voice control features built into the vehicle are not totally wonky, a lot of drivers will probably prefer to sync up their smartphones and use Google Voice or Siri. All you have to do is hold down the button for a few extra seconds. Not all of the CR-V's competitors have standard smartphone app integration, so the fact that it is included speaks to Honda's drive to please consumers.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Honda CR-V – The Cons
1. It Isn't Meant For Off-Roading
This should not be a major problem for most people, but the 2020 Honda CR-V is not one of those SUVs that you can do serious off-roading in. It has 7.8 inches (on the front-wheel drive models) or 8.2 inches (on the all-wheel drive variants) of ground clearance, so some light off-roading is just fine. But anything more than that will not be terribly pleasant. You cannot get hill descent control on any trim level, so that holds the vehicle back even further.
2. Some Noise Seeps In
There is not a ton of noise that makes its way into the cabin, but you will hear some external sounds in certain circumstances. Some wind noise will make its way into the cabin when going at highway speeds, as will a bit of tire noise. You will have to press down hard on the gas in order to hear the engine making a slight fuss. Otherwise, it is pretty quiet.
3. Some Buttons Are Touchy
One of the positives to the Honda CR-V's infotainment set-up is that the volume control is a physical knob. However, the touchscreen has menus with buttons that come off as being clunky and difficult to navigate. They can be a bit touchy, which will likely be aggravating for some drivers. They can also be kind of distracting while you are driving.
4. Voice Control Can Be Laggy
As already mentioned, the 2020 Honda CR-V has a built-in voice control system that is not exactly flawless. The system is laggy at times, which can be really frustrating. Of course, you do have the option of using your smartphone instead, which is a much better idea. Stick with your smartphone and you will have fewer issues.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2020 Honda CR-V vs. 2020 Nissan Rogue
With a starting MSRP of a few thousand dollars above the 2020 Honda CR-V, the 2020 Nissan Rogue should ideally offer more. However, its acceleration is absolutely poor, and the interior design matches this lackluster driving performance. Everything about the interior feels inexpensive and a bit dated, including the touchscreen display. Also, outward visibility is chronically limited. The comfy seats and number of standard features just cannot make up for all of its downfalls.
2020 Honda CR-V vs. 2020 Subaru Forester
The 2020 Honda CR-V does get some stiff competition from the 2020 Subaru Forester. Subarus are just about as well-loved and highly regarded as Hondas. The Forester is a pretty strong vehicle, although its engine is a bit underpowered. It also does not have the best tow ratings. The standard all-wheel drive is a definite lure for anyone living somewhere that gets a lot of inclement weather. Also, the Forester is a more capable off-roader than the CR-V. So, if you are looking for off-roading adventures, go for the Forester. If not, the CR-V is a solid choice.
The 2020 Honda CR-V is a strong competitor in its class, continuing the CR-V's trend of taking the number one spot on "best SUV" lists. It might not have the most flawless controls, but there have been enough positive changes in the past few years that make up for the few pitfalls the vehicle has. The standardization of the turbo engine was a smart move on Honda's part, and it is one of many reasons to invest in the new CR-V.
• Why buy a 2019 Honda CR-V? w/ pros vs cons