In a word, the 2019 Honda CR-V is practical. It gets excellent marks for safety, is available for less than $30,000 and has a variety of powertrain and trim options. It may be a bit clunky to drive, and looks are also a bit square, but the ride is excellent, and except for the base model it has a good collection of active safety features to match the solid build. At the EX and EX-L trim levels, it has enhanced comfort and a bit of style inside, plus feature-laden electronics.
With 2020 a likely refresh year for the Honda CR-V, are there any key updates for 2019?
Actually, there do seem to be some tech and engineering updates worth mentioning though sadly they don't seem to be destined for the U.S. in 2019. Reports based on the European model introduced in Geneva in March indicate that the suspension and frame have gotten a rework. This means that the 2019 CR-V might be a bit more fun to drive, especially with the turbo engine. A third-row seating option was introduced, raising the CR-V seating capacity to seven. A two-motor hybrid power plant was also featured last spring, making reports of the Geneva show inspiration for the usual question: to wait and see what the new generation, the fifth, holds for U.S. customers, or buy now?
What drivetrain options does the 2019 CR-V offer?
Currently, the 2018 powertrain options are likely to carry over to 2019. These consist of a 2.4-liter 184-hp workhorse for the base model, the LX. A 1.5-liter turbo powers the others, and a CVT handles transmission duties for both engines and FWD or AWD traction. MPG estimates for city and highway are in the high 20s/low 30s. All eyes are on the hybrid option shown in Europe, but so far there's no news about availability in the U.S.
What active safety features does the 2019 CR-V have? Are there any which stand out from the competition?
The 2019 Honda CR-V has a fairly standard package of active safety features starting with automatic braking and adaptive cruise control for forward protection, assistance with staying in lane and mitigation of road departure. On the EX and up, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, and cross-traffic alerts are standard. In addition to Honda quality in the implementation of these features, the vehicle's overall high safety rating makes it stand out in this area.
Is the 2019 CR-V infotainment system up to date, or needing a refresh?
The base LX model which is generally limited in features has only a 5.0-inch infotainment system although it does have Bluetooth. The rest of the CR-V range has an up-to-date 7.0-inch touchscreen system with four USB ports, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and SiriusXM satellite radio. A digital traffic system is available, standard on the loaded Touring package. EX and EX-L have 180-watt audio; Touring has 330 watts.
How is the cargo capacity of the CR-V? Is the hybrid version any different?
One of the class-leading features of the CR-V is its ample, easily accessed cargo space which is 39.2 cubic feet with a lifting-friendly low threshold, expandable to 75.8 when the rear seat is moved out of the way. Hybrid models are likely to keep this valuable space, although the audio system for the Touring trim takes a little bit of room for a subwoofer.
What are the basic features of the current trim levels for the 2019 CR-V model?
The LX base model comes with a basic 2.4-liter engine, 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a USB port, LED daytime running lights and a rearview camera. EX trim adds a 1.5-liter turbo engine, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, heated front seats, a driver attention monitor, a quick-entry system, active safety features, and a 7.0-inch more advanced infotainment system. The Touring trim includes leather trim, hands-free power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights and a nine-speaker, higher-powered version of the infotainment system.
Is a new CR-V sport trim option a possibility for 2019?
Sport trim on the HR-V has raised speculation that the CR-V will receive similar treatment, but there is no definitive answer on this question to date.