The Honda CR-V is the best-selling SUV in America and it's easy to see why. It may not be the largest or the most powerful compact SUV, but the 2008 CR-V is an extremely well-rounded runabout that should be high on your test-drive list.
The 2008 Honda CR-V is underpowered, sort of weird looking, doesn't have a third-row seat and no longer has a picnic table built into its cargo bay. These are all criticisms that can be lobbed at the CR-V, but none seem to matter much to American consumers. In 2007, Honda's fully redesigned compact SUV was the runaway best-selling sport-utility on the market, beating out nameplates like the RAV4, Escape and Tahoe by tens of thousands. While sales are often a poor meter of a vehicle's worth, in the CR-V's case, the American public has picked a winner. It's an extremely well-rounded machine that successfully manages to be just what its name suggests -- a Comfortable Runabout Vehicle.
With high gas prices and growing environmental concerns, Americans are turning to compact SUVs in record numbers for their ability to provide safe, family-friendly utility while getting better gas mileage than larger models. The CR-V is one of the best at accomplishing this mission. While lacking in power (particularly on the highway), the CR-V's 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine delivers very good fuel efficiency. This Honda is also quite safe, with top scores from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The CR-V's interior is its best attribute, offering an impressively large and versatile cargo hold that tops out at 73 cubic feet of space. Additionally, there are plenty of bins, cubbies and cupholders to stash things. The reclining rear seat is spacious and comfortable, and it slides fore and aft to maximize rear legroom or to get problematic kiddies closer to mom and dad. To more easily spot childhood calamities, Honda has thoughtfully provided a "conversation" mirror (spy mirror may be more appropriate) built into the overhead console's sunglasses holder.
The CR-V was a pioneer more than 10 years ago when it helped create the compact SUV segment. Today, this segment is one of the most competitive and popular, with at least 16 models competing for Americans' hearts, minds and checkbooks. The CR-V's competitors include impressive vehicles like the Nissan Rogue, Mitsubishi Outlander, Saturn Vue and Toyota RAV4, the latter of which won an Edmunds.com comparison test of compact SUVs that included the CR-V. All are deserving of a good long look, but the 2008 Honda CR-V is an excellent choice that does a great many things very well. The American public has made a few iffy decisions in the past (Richard Nixon, Taylor Hicks), but picking the CR-V as their favorite SUV isn't one of them.