Honda’s face-lift for the 2010 CR-V may be mild, but in my mind, it helps clean up the front fascia of the car. Not only have designers reduced the use of the argent plastic cladding along the lower edge of the front bumper, but they’ve also stylized the grille by widening the upper openings and removing the chrome bars from the lower section.
Apart from the nip/tuck, the 2010 CR-V is not much different from the model that launched back in 2007. This EX-L model now comes standard with a USB audio input in the glove box, and since it is equipped with the optional navigation system, it also gains Bluetooth phone connectivity as an extra bonus.
Even if you forgo the leather seating, the CR-V has a nice interior — trim materials all feel nicely grained and solidly assembled, and there’s nary a squeak or rattle throughout the interior. Sadly, the cute-ute could use a little more refinement elsewhere — this 1.8-liter I-4 gains a little extra power for 2010, but it emits a hefty vibration, especially when idling while in gear.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer
This car had LESS power last year?! I didn’t initially believe Evan’s last sentence, but indeed, last year’s CR-V was even slower, to the tune of 14 fewer horsepower (166 hp vs. the 2010 model’s 180 hp). This is the first CR-V I’ve driven, and I was surprised with its lackadaisical attitude toward acceleration and the five-speed automatic’s hesitation to downshift, particularly given the fact that Honda offers only a single engine — this 2.4-liter in-line four — in this vehicle.
I also think that $30,500 is on the pricey side for a vehicle in this class, but this particular all-wheel-drive EX-L edition was nicely loaded with heated leather seats, nav, a sunroof, and XM satellite radio. There’s also tons of room in the back seats, which are highly adjustable (they move fore/aft and also recline). The cargo area isn’t gigantic with the rear seats in place, but it’s ample. The CR-V strikes me as a particularly good choice if you frequently haul people in the back seats, but not so much if you often haul both a lot of gear and people.
A CD changer in the center console … hmm, are we sure this isn’t a 2001 model instead of a 2010 vehicle?
If the CR-V didn’t have Honda’s impeccable reputation on its side, I’d say it’d be easily outgunned by its many rivals in this class, particularly when you consider the CR-V’s best fuel-economy rating of 21/28 mpg city/highway (versus, for instance, the new Chevy Equinox’s 22/32-mpg top rating).
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
I like the low cowl. It gives the CRV more of a car feeling than some of these crossover cavelike structures surrounding driver and front passenger. The exterior is much cleaner as well. You might think the stylish, sharp downslope at the trailing edge of the DLO would restrict rear visibility, but not that you’d notice.
The rear cargo area isn’t bad if you add in the fact that the cargo cover is actually a hard shelf that will hold up to 20 pounds, making a doubly useful double-decker area out of the hold.
Part of the price of this vehicle is undoubtedly the sumptuous leather. Great backseat room. The center console between the front seats opens and is angled in a way that gives rear passengers easy access to the extra power outlet and the MP3 jack. As usual, there is a bin or cubby in every single place there could possibly be one.
Jean Jennings, President & Editor-in-Chief
The CR-V is getting a bit dated when compared to some of the newer compact crossovers out there, but it would likely still get my vote if I were looking for something in the segment. Honda’s usual strengths, including the great visibility Jean mentioned as well as super-accurate steering, are present and much appreciated in a category that increasingly favors bulk and shoulder-high doorsills.
No doubt, the CR-V is dog slow, but I’ve yet to sample a single vehicle in this class that could be described as otherwise. Combine a four-cylinder engine with a reasonably high curb weight and truckish aerodynamics, and you’re going to end up with a sluggish vehicle – those are just the facts of life. At least the CR-V feels easy to maneuver around town and in parking lots.
My issues with the CR-V center more on its ride, which is surprisingly harsh, and its electronics, which feel dated. The latter issue is something I’ve noticed on many Hondas and Acuras I’ve driven lately.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
From the outside, this long-wheelbase CR-V looks far more proportional than its stubbier counterpart. And for such a compact footprint, it also offers an amazing amount of interior space for people while still leaving an adequate stowage area behind the rear seats. The hinged cargo cover seems like a great alternative to the annoying retractable covers used in most hatches. Unlike the often unwieldy retractable, the CR-V’s cover folds in half on top of itself and provides easy access to the load floor. Plus, it can be easily manipulated with one hand, a bonus when you’re loading the hatch unassisted. Too bad the CR-V doesn’t offer a hands-free, button-operated hatch.
The CR-V feels tightly screwed together and fit and finish are quite good. I especially love the angled, rubber-coated door pulls on the front doors. They are perfectly placed, just the right diameter, and the soft, grippy coating would no doubt make them easy to grab and hold onto even with gloved hands in the middle of winter.
Unfortunately, much of the driving experience is a little disappointing. The ride is too harsh, and the engine struggles to motivate the CR-V. If the CR-V continues to grow dimensionally, Honda should definitely consider offering a version of the Acura RDX’s spunky turbocharged four in place of the current normally aspirated four.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor
2010 Honda CR-V EX-L 4WD w/ navigation
Base price (with destination): $30,455M
Price as tested: $30,455
Dual-zone climate control
Leather steering wheel and gear shift knob
Heated front seats
10-way power driver seat
270-watt 7-speaker sound system
XM satellite radio
Auxiliary audio input
Front side airbags
Side curtain airbags
Tire pressure monitoring system
Daytime running lights
Options on this vehicle:
Key options not on vehicle:
Remote engine start – $509
Roof rack – $295
17-inch chrome look aluminum alloy wheels – $1708
Rear parking sensors – $509
Fog lights – $325
21 / 27 / 27 (city/hwy/combined)
Size: 2.4-liter DOHC I-4
Horsepower: 180 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque: 161 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
Weight: 3554 lb
17 x 6.5-inch aluminum alloy wheels
P225/65R-17 all-season tires