A red 2023 Honda CR-V is shown driving on a highway after searching for a used Honda CR-V for sale.

Six Factors That Have Defined the CR-V’s Popularity

The Honda CR-V made its grand debut on American roadways in 1997, and throughout the past 26 years, it has become one of the bestselling compact SUVs in the industry. There are a few reasons for this, mainly the fact that the CR-V is known as an extremely versatile travel companion, appreciated by drivers from all walks of life with all types of travel demands. It’s one of the few vehicles that drivers are confident in, even when buying used, and when you notice a used Honda CR-V for sale, you can bet that it won’t stay on the dealership lot for long. It’s not just the level of versatility that you’ll find in the CR-V that makes it such an exceptional everyday traveler, other factors at play have made this compact SUV what it is today: an absolute superstar.

Factor #1: Car-Like Handling

Unlike the original slew of SUVs, which boasted rugged builds, intense off-road capabilities, and utilitarian features, Honda wanted the CR-V to go in a different direction. It was one of the first crossover vehicles, built on a car platform, which appealed to a different selection of drivers. From everyday errand runners to city commuters, having a vehicle like the CR-V added extreme value to their travels in ways the world hadn’t seen before at the time. Its small stature allowed those who were more familiar with sedans to have confidence in handling a larger vehicle while enjoying the spoils of owning an SUV, which included more space and capabilities during their travels. Suddenly, taking advantage of more legroom while sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, while also being able to zip through said traffic with precision was a possibility for drivers, making compact crossovers exponentially more popular with many people as the years went on.

Factor #2: Supreme Practicality

Another reason why the CR-V has become such a popular option for drivers is the fact that it’s just so practical, and after all, isn’t that what most of us are interested in on the road these days? It’s spacious enough to provide a relaxing oasis for all on board, especially those who are traveling with workmates or children. Ample legroom, plus comfortable seats provide the perfect backdrop to a successful ride, and with plenty of trim levels to choose from, drivers can choose the level of comfortability they require, all for a price that suits their budget. Its practicality extends to its overall performance as well, with available all-wheel drive to help drivers expertly manage bad weather, rough road conditions, and other difficult terrains with enhanced peace of mind. Ride quality is excellent, effortlessly navigating any road with agility, armed with precise steering, firm braking, and handling that allows any driver to feel confident behind the wheel, no matter where they’re heading.

Factor #3: Expert Flexibility

Many drivers are drawn to SUVs because they need more space than a traditional sedan can provide, and this is made possible by the CR-V’s flexible interior. Although the CR-V may drive like a car and it may share many of its design elements with sedans, where it differs is with how it chooses to accommodate its cargo. Its rear seats fold completely flat to create a load floor that can handle more gear, which is perfect for a wide range of drivers: from weekend adventurers to families, commuters, and others. There are also many dedicated storage solutions inside to provide a space for everything that’s joining the passengers for a ride, making it easy to stay organized on the road. It showcases one of the largest cargo holds in its class, which further amplifies its appeal to its loyal following, plus a sprawling interior cabin that promotes maximum comfort.

A blue 2023 Honda CR-V is shown parked on the sand near a lake.

Factor #4: Superior Fuel-Efficiency

Smaller vehicles have always been inherently more efficient than their larger counterparts, which is why many drivers gravitate toward sedans if this is a top priority. The compact CR-V revolutionized the way travelers view efficiency and capability in their ride; after all, with the CR-V, they can now have both without compromise. This has made the CR-V a popular option for frequent commuters across the country who regularly have to engage in stop-and-go traffic on their way to and from work, as well as families who would often find themselves making multiple trips around town for their kiddos. The CR-V took this a step further with the launch of its hybrid model in 2020, which enhanced its performance and efficiency on the road like never before. Now, drivers have the option of choosing which powertrain works for them, making the CR-V even more accommodating and versatile than ever.

Factor #5: Standard Safety Features

Being popular in the automotive industry means offering features to drivers that help them travel better. For most, safety reigns supreme, and unfortunately, many options on the road don’t offer too many safety features as standard equipment; you often have to pay extra for them. Fortunately for the CR-V, Honda outfitted it with standard safety equipment through Honda Sensing to make it more appealing to drivers who prioritize safety…and don’t we all prioritize safety on the road? We should. From standard Pedestrian Detection and Lane Departure Alerts to Adaptive Cruise Control and more, the features that drivers can take advantage of in the CR-V at no additional cost to them, are what sets the CR-V apart from other models like it.

Factor #6: Reputation of Reliability

The Honda CR-V has repeatedly been one of Car and Driver’s 10 Best, a Kelley Blue Book Best Buy, and it has one of the best resale values in the industry. This is no accident, and looking at all the ways it appeals to drivers, it’s no wonder why it’s so highly regarded on the road. The reason why it has earned these accolades from some of the top authorities in the auto industry is that it’s undoubtedly reliable. Drivers have come to depend on it to take them anywhere they need to go safely, comfortably, and enjoyably, and with true Honda engineering at its core, it stands up to the test of time, maintaining its quality and excellence as the years go by. No driver ever wants to doubt their vehicle, whether they’re tackling their morning commute or hauling their kids around town, and when the Honda CR-V is in the picture, any doubts are replaced by ultimate peace of mind.

A blue 2022 Honda CR-V is shown driving on a road through a tunnel.

Undeniable Popularity at Every Turn

Many drivers wonder why a seemingly unassuming vehicle, like the CR-V, is such a top pick in the industry, and now you can see why it’s so appealing to drivers everywhere. Families can trust its standard suite of safety features and all-wheel drive capabilities to keep them safe on the road ahead, while commuters can enjoy the moments they’re stuck in traffic in a comfortable and accommodating cabin space. Even those who crave adventure can benefit from the CR-V with its durable stance, ample ground clearance, and innovative cargo solutions that make it easy to load up and venture off on their next journey.

The Honda CR-V is the total package, which is exactly what drivers need when it comes to their faithful travel companion. It’s not overly flashy or attention-seeking. Instead, it commands respect through all of the features that are designed with today’s drivers in mind. Easy to drive, spacious, practical, efficient, and safe, it doesn’t get much better than the compact CR-V. It’s exactly what drivers have been looking for all along, and no matter which generation of the CR-V you see passing by you on the street, you know that it’s offering its occupants one of the best rides around.