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2021 Honda CR-V Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2021 Honda CR-V Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: LX vs EX vs EX-L & Touring

What 2021 Honda CR-V Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Since the 1990s, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have gained increasing popularity in the US market. They are versatile vehicles that are an attractive choice for those with large families, to those who need more cargo space because of active lifestyles. Crossover SUVs are very popular because they combine the best design elements and features that both cars and SUVs have to offer. Whatever your reason for wanting to purchase a SUV, the 2021 Honda CR-V should be at the top of your list.

The 2021 Honda CR-V has a long and proven track record of being a reliable and high performing vehicle, and it is part of the fifth generation of CR-Vs that was introduced in 2017. It consistently performs at the top of its class, and last year's version was designated as a 'Best Buy' by both Kelly Blue Book and US News and World Report. There have not been any significant changes to this year's version, and it boasts excellent fuel economy, a classy and upscale interior, expanded cargo capacity, the latest safety features, and cutting-edge technology.

The 2021 Honda CR-V gives drivers a smooth and pleasant driving experience, and the exterior is stylish and updated. There are 4 trim levels to choose from, and three of them include a hybrid option.


Compare the 2021 Honda CR-V LX vs EX Trims. What is the difference?

Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies come standard in the LX, as well as the three other trim levels. This includes Vehicle Stability Assist™ with traction control, an anti-lock braking system, a forward collision warning system, and a lane departure warning system. In addition, it includes collision and road departure mitigation systems. Other standard features across all trim levels are hill start assist, active noise cancellation, and a direct ignition system with immobilizer.

The interior cabin has 2 rows for seating, including an easy fold down 60/40 split rear seat back, and has the capacity for 5 passengers. The LX comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, and the EPA fuel estimates for the standard CVT transmission with 2WD are 28 MPG in the city, 30 MPG on the highway, and 30 MPG combined. The 2021 CR-V with the optional Real Time All Wheel Drive with Intelligent Control System has estimates of 27 MPG in the city, 32 MPG on the highway, and 29 MPG overall. The Eco Assist™ System, which maximizes fuel efficiency, is also standard on the LX.

There are quite a few other features that come standard in the LX and make for a pleasurable and convenient driving experience. They include a 160-watt audio system with 4 speakers, a 5-inch color LCD screen, Bluetooth streaming audio, and Pandora compatibility. There is also speed-sensitive volume compensation, power side mirrors, and remote entry.

The LX comes with a 1.5L in-Line 4-Cylinder engine with turbocharge, which is paired with one of the best continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVTs) in the industry. It has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds across all trim levels, which is on the low end when compared with other vehicles in its class. While some may take issue with this, it is likely not a deal breaker for most drivers.

The LX has a multi-angle rearview camera which allows the driver to choose from three different view points. Honda has also taken a further step to improve fuel economy by making their Idle Stop system available across all trim levels. With this feature, your vehicle's engine will automatically turn off during brief stops like traffic lights.

The EX builds upon the already extensive list of standard features found in the LX. There are upgraded heated front seats, as well as a moon roof. Regarding connectivity, Apple CarPlay® Integration* / Android Auto™ Integration comes standard, as does a 7-Inch high-resolution touch screen display that is customizable. The EX also introduces drivers to HondaLink® as a standard feature, which is a smartphone app that allows drivers to control their vehicle from wherever they are. The EX offers access to SiriusXM®, HD Radio, and an SMS text messaging function. This version of the 2021 CR-V has an upgraded 180-watt audio system with 6 speakers.

While all of the seats in the LX have manual adjustment, the drivers seat in the EX has 12-way power adjustment, and 4-way power lumbar support. The remote engine starter that comes standard on the EX will prove to be indispensable on both cold and hot days, and it also comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, and the same fuel economy estimates as the LX. A blind spot information system (BSI) with cross traffic monitoring, rear privacy glass, and a security system also come as standard features beginning with the EX. As with the LX, all wheel drive is available, but front wheel drive comes standard.

The EX also has a multi-angle rearview camera, but it comes with upgraded capabilities that allow the lines guiding you while reversing to adjust to the direction the tires are pointing. This is a driver assistance feature that will make parking and reverse maneuvering much easier.

This trim level also makes a hybrid option available with the Hybrid EX. In addition to all of the features and amenities already listed for the EX, it adds a 2-position memory drivers seat, a 180-Watt audio system with 8 speakers, and heated power side mirrors with integrated indicators. The real time all wheel drive with an Intelligent Control System™ is no longer just an option with the Hybrid EX because it also comes standard.

The Hybrid EX operates on a lithium-ion battery, along with an in-line 4-cylinder hybrid engine. There is a 3-mode drive system, as well as an AC electric motor. Fuel economy estimates increase significantly with the Hybrid EX, at 40 MPG in the city, 35 MPG on the highway, and 38 MPG combined. It also comes with a tire repair kit that includes 24-hour assistance, but one thing to keep in mind about this hybrid version is that it has a decreased cargo capacity compared to the EX. This reduction in cargo capacity is due to the vehicles hybrid battery. With this trim level, there are two 2.5 charging ports in the second row of seating, which is another convenience feature that you may not think of initially, but comes in handy while actually riding in the vehicle.

With this comparison, the Hybrid EX is the best choice. For only a modest increase in price, you will get more sophisticated features and an environmentally friendly vehicle, not to mention the outstanding fuel economy that the hybrid engine provides.

Compare the 2021 Honda CR-V EX vs. EX-L Trims. What is the difference?

Leather trimmed seats, a leather wrapped steering wheel, and a power tailgate with adjustable height capabilities are just a few of the standard features that come along with the next trim level, the EX-L. It also comes with an automatic dimming rearview mirror,

Whereas the 8 speaker 180-watt audio system only comes standard with the Hybrid EX, it comes standard with the EX-L. All wheel drive is optional, and it maintains the same type of engine, fuel economy, and tow capacity as the previous trim levels. The 2-position memory power seats are an additional upgrade that was only available with the Hybrid EX, and the front passenger seat is also upgraded with a 4-way power adjustment.

As with the previous trim level, there is also a hybrid option with the Hybrid EX-L. It has all of the same standard features as the previous trim levels, along with the same type of transmission, engine, great fuel economy, and reduced cargo space as the Hybrid EX. One feature that differentiates this hybrid from the previous one is the addition of ambient lighting as a standard feature.

When comparing the EX to the EX-L, the Hybrid-EX still wins out. With all that it has to offer, it's a definite attention grabber, and neither the EX-L or the Hybrid EX-L offer enough extras to make someone shift their focus.

Compare the 2021 Honda CR-V EX-L vs Touring Trim Levels? What is the difference?

The top trim level is the Touring, and one of its most exciting standard features is the power tailgate with hands-free access. For anyone who knows what it is like to try and open your tailgate while carrying groceries or an armful of other items, this feature is an absolute lifesaver. The Hybrid Touring also offers a wireless phone charger in the cabin, 19-inch alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, and rain sensing windshield wipers.

With the Touring, Honda's Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ comes standard, and it includes voice recognition and turn-by-turn directions. It offers the same MPG ratings as previous trim levels, as well as the fully upgraded 330-Watt premium audio system with 9 Speakers, including a subwoofer. Music enthusiasts will find this feature hard to pass up.

The Hybrid Touring adds an additional standard feature, which is parking sensors. As with the previous level, it comes with all wheel drive and the same type of hybrid engine and electric motor.


Which Trim to Choose?

After comparing all of the 2021 Honda CR-V's trim levels, with all that they have to offer, the two best choices are the Hybrid EX and the Hybrid Touring. The list of standard features on the base level LX are impressive, but all of the benefits that come with upgrading to the next level and opting for the hybrid version make the Hybrid EX an extremely good value.

On the other hand, the Hybrid Touring has some convenience features, like the hands-free power tailgate and the navigation system, that are hard to pass up. For most drivers, this decision will come down to cost. Yes, both hybrid versions are slightly more expensive than their original versions, but the savings in fuel costs alone justify the modest price increase. If you are content with the already impressive technology and the extra convenience is not that important to you, then go for the Hybrid EX. If you are intent on having a vehicle with those types of features and you can afford to be flexible, then the Hybrid Touring should be your ultimate choice.

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Previous Honda CR-V Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2020 Honda CR-V Trim Levels