The compact sports utility vehicle segment was started with the Toyota RAV4 in 1994 and has grown to become one of the top volume segments in the US and globally. The success of the RAV4 led to the introduction of the Honda CRV in 1997. The CRV acronym stands for Compact Recreational Vehicle, and Honda and Toyota have dominated this segment for the past 25 years.
The quality, reliability, and good resale value make the Honda CRV an excellent choice in the used car market. The best value is in the fifth generation introduced in 2017 and now selling in a price range of $15,000 to $30,000 depending on model year and specification levels.
Due to the popularity of the Honda CRV, there is a good supply of used cars coming into the market. The Honda CRV has been tied with the Toyota RAV4 for the past two decades as the top seller in the compact SUV segment. Let’s look at some reasons why buying a used Honda CRV is a good call.
What Is The Quality And Reliability Of The Honda CRV?
The JD Power Verified Consumer Ratings for the Honda CRV has consistently placed this model in the top five in the compact SUV segment. Since the launch of the fifth-generation Honda CRV in 2017, the JD Power ratings have placed the model at:
2022 – 3rd behind Buick Envision and Kia Sportage
2021 – 3rd behind Buick Envision, Nissan Rogue, and Kia Sportage
2020 – 5th behind Buick Envision, Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Forrester, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Nissan Rogue
2019 – Tied 2nd behind Buick Envision, Chevrolet Equinox, and Nissan Rogue
2018 – 4th behind Buick Envision, Chevrolet Equinox, and Toyota RAV4
2017 – 5th behind Buick Envision, Chevrolet Equinox, Nissan Rogue, GMC Terrain, and Toyota RAV4
The competition between the US, Japanese and Korean brands in this segment has created excellent value and choice for new and used compact SUVs. The 2020 Honda CRV currently represents the best value-for-money model year to buy. After a loss of only 22% value from a new purchase, the Honda CRV retains value best after years one to four of its used car life.
After year five, the Honda CRV has a steeper value decline but remains a good value for money buy even for seven and eight-year-old models. With the current demand for used and new cars exceeding supply, you should look at delaying your purchase until the situation has normalized.
You have a lot of great models in this segment to choose from, and you should invest the time while the market is overheated to do your homework and also look at the Toyota RAV4 and Buick Envision as alternative options. Try to find private sellers advertising online or in auto trade magazines.
Don’t be pressured by the current market hype to buy now. Have the willpower to delay your purchase and rather invest the time in doing your research. Look for motivated sellers that are under pressure with making car payments or no longer need a car as they will be working from home.
Finding a well-maintained one-year-old Honda CRV with low mileage and a full-service record at the right price would be an excellent purchase. The vehicle will still have some warranty coverage left and will retain its used value well for three years.
Honda CRV – The Model Years and Problems To Look Out For?
As the best value for money on Honda CRVs are in the fifth-generation model launched in 2017, we will look at the issues that customers complained about the most and the cost of the repair. It is normal for models to have the most technical issues in the first year of market introduction.
In the Honda CRV 2017 model year, 328 customer complaints were recorded on carcomplaints.com. Since then, the Honda CRV has received far fewer complaints with each subsequent model year. The main problems reported on the 2017 model year were the heater not working, high oil level and smell of gasoline, and the battery running dead.
The lack of heating in cold weather was the most common complaint and persisted in the 2018 and 2019 models. The problem was poorly managed by Honda dealers and by Honda themselves. Make sure to check out that the heater works when you test drive a potential purchase.
Complaints about fuel contamination of the engine oil resulting in the oil level indicator showing above normal level and giving off a smell of gasoline were reported in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 models after only 5,000km. The response from Honda was that this was normal, and they extended the engine warranty from five to six years.
The last major complaint on the fifth-generation Honda CRV relates to the battery running flat on 2017, 2018, and 2019 models. Honda replaced the batteries under warranty, but the dealers and Honda were reluctant to assist initially. Make sure that the battery in the used Honda CRV is still healthy and covered by a warranty.
All these problems are well documented on the internet, and you should use this information to arm yourself during the inspection, test drive, and price negotiations for your used Honda CRV. Look at the service manual for the full history of services and repairs.
CARFAX reports can be obtained for $35 per vehicle identification number (VIN), providing a full history of accidents, manufacturer recalls, previous owners, and full-service history. The right Honda CRV with a clean bill of health at the right price will serve you for many years to come.
The Honda brand is one of the top three brands in the US known for offering the best value for money and reliable used cars. The Honda CVR has been a top-selling contender in the compact SUV segment for the past two decades and, along with the Toyota RAV4, is highly sought after in the used car market.
The compact SUV segment is a big volume segment with many excellent brands from the leading Japanese, South Korean, and American brands. Do your research before buying a used Honda CRV and arm yourself with the knowledge of the known problems and resale values.
Get pre-approved finance arranged through your bank and make your offer in writing to the seller. Offer a lower price than what you are willing to pay, and remember that they want to sell. You don’t have to buy. Please don’t fall for their hype and make your offer conditional upon the Honda CRV passing a comprehensive inspection by a third party of your choosing.
You may find the following posts helpful:
Should I buy a used Toyota RAV4 hybrid?
Should I buy a used Subaru Outback?
Should I buy a used Mazda CX5?
Should I buy a used Subaru Forester?
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.