2008 Honda CR-V Review – the fun little crossover that could!

Expert Reviews Honda

Honda satellite-linked navigation system

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics:

The good:
The leather interior is surprisingly nice. The driver’s seat has a huge range for adjustments, which would probably make this car suitable for pretty much anyone. Unfortunately, the passenger seat is significantly less adjustable. But it’s all about me, right?

The steering wheel has the little thumb nubs (is this becoming a trend?), and little flat spots on the backside of the steering wheel, which my fingers sat comfortably on.

Loved all of the cubby holes and cup holders! There are EIGHT cup-holders, that’s 4 for the front seats, 4 for the rear. And I’m always in need of at least one more cup holder in my cars for that extra bottle of water. Cubby holes everywhere for cell-phone, change, sunglasses, etc.

Honda CR-V - front cockpit Honda CR-V - front seats Honda CR-V - 5-speed automatic

The cargo space is huge! I folded the rear seats forward, anchored them with the handy strap which loops over a hook on the B pillar behind the front seats. I was then able to put my road bike, my teammate’s road bike (the handlebars hooked onto the folded up seats nicely), the two fronts bike wheels, two small coolers, floor pump, 2 helmets, shoes, my full-sized backpack, a stationary bike trainer and my teammate’s large exploding bag of clothing. And there was room to spare!

The voice recognition system was good when I could get it to work right. “Show gas stations” works good. “How long to destination” worked good. See also “the bad”.

2008 Honda CR-V interior

The bad:
The volume control for stereo is in a non-intuitive location (at the top left corner of the navigation screen). Where it would ordinarily be located is actually the temperature control knob, so every time I tried to turn the stereo up, I was turning up the cabin temperature.

I did have some trouble with the visors, in that when the sun is low on the horizon, they aren’t adequate for blocking it out. Perhaps if my seat were higher, they’d work better.

Voice recognition quirks: “Show closest restaurant” told me the time. Umm, no. Sometimes I got no response to my “question”. Sometimes it would just ask me to repeat. It got frustrating!

Honda CR-V - Navigation System Honda CR-V - family watch mirror Honda CR-V - LCD display is not a shelf

The ugly:
I think the instrument panel is a mess. There are too many gauges, dials, readouts, numbers, etc. I found that it was really distracting to try to find out how much gas I had remaining at a quick glance, how many miles I’d driven, etc. A toggle switch which allows you to see what you want, WHEN you want is much better. I like “less is more”, not “more is more”.

I drove this crossover SUV for a lot of miles, over several days. I drove it in heavy (and sketchy) traffic, into the sunset, over bridges, through toll lanes, basically over the valley and through the dell. The longer I drove the CR-V, the more I became used to it and fond of its zippiness, ability to handle corners at speed, and its ability to stop immediately. I drove it down my favorite, dark, curvy road and the CR-V did not disappoint. I would characterize its handling as: nimble.


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  • Derek says:

    @Jim – America used to have cheap gas and never really caught on to the benefits of diesel powered cars. Plus, the government heavily taxes diesel such that the cost of a gallon is the near the same or slightly higher than premium gasoline. Even though more MPG can be had from a gallon of diesel compared to a gallon gas due to its high burn rate, diesel power cars just can’t win the popularity contest.

  • Nisa says:

    I love this car…I have one and so far I enjoy driving it very much…it is safe and easy to handle…and a really good car for women….

  • Graham says:

    The jolting, choppy, harsh ride, ruins everything nice about this vehicle, and also ruins all of the fun of going anywhere.

  • Dave Arnholt says:

    I have a CRV and a Civic both 2008 both with 25K on them

    Neither is most comfortable seats but OK, and ride is a little stiff, both get great Gas Mileage 24-28 All Wheel Drive CRV 36 Civic (got 39 before Corn Gas) Both have “quick” steering, but both seem to pull on uneven roads

    I bought them because both My GM’s a Saturn Vue and a Chevy Metro, died with less than 100K miles. Im hopeing both of these honda’s last to 200k.

    The CRV I would call adequate for acceleration. Compared to the civic its slow.

    My Tranie shifts smooth as silk either way, Much better than my civic which has the clunking on downshifting

    For the Price, Looks, Gas Mileage and Honda’s rep about long lasting
    I couldnt find any other SUV I would buy

  • Jim Mustin says:

    I wish Honda would offer the Diesel version. Why does Europe get it and we don’t?

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