The Honda CR-V has been around for five generations now, and it's improved tremendously over the span of over two decades. What was once a humble and basic crossover has become one of the best selling vehicles in the industry, loaded with features and style more expensive crossovers would kill for. The current CR-V is a veritable masterpiece when it comes to ticking all the boxes shoppers are looking for. In fact, it's so well-loved and highly rated that Honda will build a three-row version, as well as a hybrid. Here are five reasons why you should consider it for your next vehicle purchase. 

1. It's Honda's Best-Looking Vehicle

2018 honda crv red front 34
The CR-V is better proportioned and styled than any of its current stablemates. 

We actually think out of the four earlier generations, the first CR-V was the best looking because it didn't try so hard. It was cleanly styled and simple. Since then, it's gotten a bit complicated and overstyled, but all that has finally changed with the new one. Honda nailed it. It looks both civilized and rugged with the right proportions, and the creases and curves aren't overly dramatic.

The exterior remains tasteful while delivering an adventurous spirit. With this generation, it departs from some of the cheapness in the exterior styling that the previous three generations had. The CR-V even outdoes the new Accord and the current Civic in terms of overall attractiveness. Both of those vehicles seem as if they're trying too hard to be edgy, whereas the CR-V tastefully executes good styling.

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2. The Interior is Superb

2018 and 2016 honda CR-V interiors
Look at how much more refined the 2018 interior is (top) compared to the previous generation (bottom).

Take one look a the CR-V's interior, and you'd think it went through a time warp that skipped a couple of decades. No more confusing dual screens, and the center A/C vents have been moved from the sides of the display screen to the top. The dash also loses its bulkiness, and the cabin feels more airy as a result. The four-spoke steering wheel loses its heft and comes across as more race-inspired. It's also the recipient of upgraded optional tech, including adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beams, and a driver-attention monitor. Moreover, it's roomier than ever before.

3. It's Positively Huge Inside

2018 honda crv blue couple loading sofa
You may not need to move big furniture, but it's nice to know you can.

Honda packed this thing with serious capacity amounting to 75.8 cubic feet with the seats folded flat. That's almost 5 more cubic feet than the previous generation CR-V.  And the current CR-V has just 8.1 cubic feet less than the positively huge bigger brother, the Honda Pilot. The second row folds flat, and the space is also wide and usable without any awkward intrusions. If you're looking for a crossover that feels huge inside without looking bloated on the outside, take a serious look at the very utilitarian cabin of the new CR-V.

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4. The Engine is Potent and Efficient

2018 honda crv engine
Honda gave the new CR-V its very first turbocharged engine, and it's a good one.

Honda gave the new CR-V its first turbocharged engine, and the payoff is great in more than one way. Available on the EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels, the 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four makes 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. It may be the same mill that drives the Civic, but this time it's been tweaked to deliver more power in the CR-V and it’s shared with the Honda Civic, but it’s been tuned to make more power. 

5. It's Supremely Safe

2017 honda crv crash test iihs
The CR-V is at the top of the heap when it comes to crash safety. It nails all the tests (image: IIHS).

You'd be hard-pressed to find a safer crossover on the road. The new CR-V attained top marks in crash testing by both the IIHS (Top Safety Pick +) and the NHTSA (5 Stars), so owners can take comfort in the fact that the CR-V will do a spectacular job of protecting them and their loved ones. EX, EX-L, or Touring trim levels get Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, a Collision Mitigation Braking System, and a Road Departure Mitigation System, all designed to keep you from getting into a fender bender, or worse.

So, the CR-V just happens to be one of the best vehicles on the market because it does so many things so well. It's evolved over time to be at the front of the pack for good reason. Shoppers can take confidence in what Honda has engineered with the fifth-generation crossover because it really is the best it's ever been, and it's always been pretty damned good.

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