The Honda CR-V has been around for years - 26 in fact - and in that time it has become a very popular family SUV, and Honda’s best-selling car in Australia. So how does this latest generation stack up against the stiff competition - such as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?
Today we will take a look at the new addition to the range - the top-spec Honda CR-V RS e:HEV; with the most luxurious features, and the new Hybrid powertrain to see how it fares against rivals in this ever-growing SUV segment.
How much does the 2024 Honda CR-V cost?
The 2024 Honda CR-V is available in the following models, with 5-seat and 7-seat options available:
2024 Honda CR-V VTi X (5-seat): $44,500 incl. on-roads
2024 Honda CR-V VTi X (7-seat): $46,800 incl. on-roads
2024 Honda CR-V VTi L (5-seat): $48,800 incl. on-roads
2024 Honda CR-V VTi L AWD (5-seat): $51,300 incl. on-roads
Starting off the range at $44,500 driveaway for the VTi X trim brings it in line with the base model Toyota RAV4 at $44,000 - and slightly more expensive than the Nissan X-Trail at $41,350.
The RS e:HEV Hybrid model we are testing today is very similar in price to the top-of-the-line Nissan X-Trail Ti e-Power, which is $59,500 driveaway, though it is dearer than the Toyota RAV4 Cruiser 2WD Hybrid which is $56,500 driveaway.
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What do we think of the exterior looks of the 2024 Honda CR-V?
After recently reviewing the Honda ZR-V, the slightly smaller and weirder version of the CR-V, we can happily say that this new-generation Honda CR-V looks a lot more like a Honda - but tastefully refreshed.
Starting at the front, you get new, sleeker headlights with a slim daytime running lights and sequential indicators - fancy!
In fact, the front end of the new CR-V is a complete departure from the previous version, and we like it much more! This is also the first time you can get the sporty RS trim on a Honda CR-V, which will give you a sportier front bumper and splitter.
The grille is also updated, it has joined the 2020s with a substantial increase in size, as well as being blacked out.
The Honda badge also grew - our e:HEV version being detailed in blue, very reminiscent of hybrid Toyotas.
On the side, the theme continues with blacked-out sporty 19-inch alloys.
Surprisingly, this top-of-the-range Honda CR-V doesn’t come with any surround camera system, which you would expect at this price point. Thankfully you do get some roof rails, as well as privacy glass for the rear occupants.
The rear end is the most similar in appearance to the old version - which is a choice that we approve of. Honda have kept the same tall tail light design which wraps around the the side slightly.
Above the lights you get - you guessed it - a blacked-out spoiler.
The height of the boot is also notable, and we’ll come back to that later, but Honda have made some changes to improve the spaciousness of their flagship SUV.
Funnily you also get some fake exhaust tips, with the left side completely blocked up, but hey, no one would know any better right?
What’s the interior and connectivity like of the 2024 Honda CR-V?
If you are familiar with the Honda family of products at this point in time, the CR-V’s interior will strike as very familiar - which is not a bad thing. The layout is almost identical to the Honda ZR-V, as are many of the materials.
You get soft-touch materials on the dash, which are important for soaking up harsh vibrations and road noise. It feels much more premium than something like the Toyota RAV4, and similar if not better than the Nissan X-Trail.
Being the RS spec, you will notice red stitching around the cabin, particularly on the gear shifter shoe and the steering wheel, adding to that sporty look.
The steering wheel is a nice leather unit, the multi-function controls work well for controlling media and your adaptive cruise control settings, and it feels great in the hands.
The air vents span the width of the interior, and once again are identical to what you will find in other Honda products, meaning they feel sturdy and have a satisfying click when you open and close them.
Speaking of satisfaction, the climate controls are all physical dials and buttons which feel absolutely great! They have a nice click when you rotate them and are simple and intuitive to adjust. The temperature is also displayed on a digi-analogue display which means you don’t have to consult the infotainment at all when adjusting the temperature.
Technology is decent in the cabin, the infotainment display is on the smaller end at 9 inches, with some competition like the Nissan X-Trail sporting massive 12.3-inch displays. That being said, it will be big enough for most people and is a very sharp, responsive display.
Apple Carplay and Android Auto are wireless, and you get built-in satellite navigation too. I also like the fact that you get some physical buttons on the side with a physical volume knob, something you don’t always find these days!
Ahead of the driver, you get a large 10.2-inch display that contains your digital instrument cluster, this is available on the VTi LX model and above, and it has plenty of customisation, and good brightness and quality.
Connectivity is fantastic with a wireless phone charger, a USB-C and USB-A port, and a 12V socket.
There is plentiful storage in the front too, with some space adjacent to the wireless phone charger, a couple of well-sized cupholders, and a deep centre armrest storage area. The door bins are also well-sized, and the glove compartment is large. We have absolutely no complaints about the practicality of the Honda CR-V and can tell that Honda has put a lot of thought into it, given that it is their top-selling SUV, and they want it to be as family-oriented as possible.
The seats on the VTi L and above are nice leather units, and both front seats have 4-way power adjustment, with the driver’s seat having adjustable lumbar support and memory function. Both front seats are also heated.
Another nice feature is the Bose sound system which you get on the VTi LX model again, it has 12 speakers including a pretty powerful subwoofer in the back.
Lastly, the panoramic sunroof extends all the way to the back and is another great addition available on the VTi LX model and above.
What about the Back seats of the 2024 Honda CR-V?
The back seats are where the Honda CR-V excels at being fit for purpose as a family car. Regardless of whether you opt for the 5- or 7-seater variants, the second-row passengers will have boatloads of legroom.
Toe room is also excellent, with the floor being quite flat, and the headroom is adequate.
Material choices have taken a bit of a hit in the back seats with more hard scratchy surfaces within reach.
The seats are still nice and leather, with plenty of leg support and you can even recline them quite a lot. However, when putting them back upright the seats can be a little tricky to maneuver into position.
Amenities in the back are good with some air vents, and connectivity is once again excellent with a couple of USB-C ports for charging up your kids’ iPads.
Another great family-friendly feature is the fact that the rear doors open almost completely 90 degrees. This makes it much easier to get small kids into the back, as well as get infants into their chairs. Not to mention it makes it easier for adults too, as Matt demonstrated to great effect in our video review.
How much can it fit in the boot of the 2024 Honda CR-V?
Boot space on the 2024 Honda CR-V is fantastic in this 5-seat version we tested, you get close to 600L of luggage capacity thanks to the enormous aperture of the tailgate. Even with 7 seats, you get 150L of space in the boot.
If you drop the second row, this volume is expanded to close to 1600L, with just a small bump where the second row begins.
Due to the hybrid battery under the boot floor, the Honda CR-V RS e:HEV just gets a tyre repair kit, compared to the space-saver spare that is available on other models. The 5-seat VTi variants even get a full-sized spare wheel, so keep that in mind if you are considering the Hybrid model.
What’s under the bonnet of the 2024 Honda CR-V?
The 2024 Honda CR-V will be offered in just two engine variants:
1.5-litre turbo 4-cylinder petrol: 140kW power + 240Nm torque
2.0-litre 4-cylinder hybrid petrol engine: 135kW power + 335Nm torque
The turbo petrol engine is available in either front-wheel drive on all models except the RS, or all-wheel drive on the VTi L and VTi LX models.
Our RS e:HEV spec is the only grade that gets access to the new Hybrid powertrain, and some speculate it is due to part shortages and Honda wanting to reserve these parts for their most expensive model of the CR-V.
Regardless, you get a healthy amount of power and torque on the Hybrid, with the 2L naturally aspirated petrol engine supplemented by two electric motors that send drive to the front wheels only via an electric continuously variable transmission (or “E-CVT”) which is the same transmission found on the Civic e:HEV and the ZR-V e:HEV. This hybrid powertrain achieves a claimed 5.5L/100km, which we found to be quite accurate in urban settings, with the consumption rising to just above 6L/100km on the highway.
The 1.5L Turbo Petrol engine sends drive to either the front wheels via a CVT, with some models receiving on-demand all-wheel drive, with the front-wheel drive models having a claimed consumption of 7.1L/100km and all-wheel drive having 7.7L/100km.
How does the 2024 Honda CR-V drive?
While we joked around in our video review about this Honda CR-V having “Hybrid VTEC”, we weren’t joking about the fact that this thing has a decent amount of grunt. While 135kW of power won’t knock your socks off, it's the torque that makes this thing spritely, thanks to the shove from two electric motors.
One criticism I’d give to the fancy new “E-CVT” transmission found on Honda’s hybrid products, in particular on this Honda CR-V is the amount of noise it produces, and not in a good way. It makes the car sound like a leafblower - and once you hear that you can’t un-hear it.
You get several drive modes to choose from, including Dynamic mode which sharpens up the steering feel, and this RS spec genuinely feels quite dynamic on the back roads, something that can’t be said for many family-oriented SUVs.
The steering is on the stiffer side, and the ride isn’t as plush as you’ll find in some of its competitors, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it is uncomfortable at all.
In terms of power delivery, this is more similar to the Toyota RAV4 than the Nissan X-Trail e-Power, because, like the RAV4, this is a parallel hybrid, meaning that the engine and electric motors all send power to the front wheels. On the other hand, the e-Power has a series hybrid that sits between the engine and the axles and gives it a more “EV” feel.
In terms of fuel efficiency, this hybrid system thrives around town, we observed it very close to the claimed 5.5L/100km. If you stretch its legs though, you’ll see the consumption increase to around 6.7L/100km. The RAV4 still wins that battle of efficiency.
As far as self-driving and adaptive cruise control goes, this Honda CR-V has a great implementation of lane-keeping assist, and a whole range of safety features which are essential these days for family cars. Disappointingly though, there is no 360-degree camera.
On a more interesting note, we tested out the straight-line performance of this new Hybrid CR-V, and the results will shock you.
Well, maybe, we achieved a 0-100km/h time of 8.03 seconds which as Matt described, is “bordering on warm hatch territory.”
Is the 2024 Honda CR-V Safe?
As of right now, the 2024 Honda CR-V has not undergone assessment by Euro NCAP or ANCAP, which means it does not have a safety rating yet.
Included as standard safety equipment are:
Front Collision Warning
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
Traffic Sign recognition
Lane departure warning
Lane keep assist
Adaptive cruise control
Traffic Jam assist
Front and rear parking sensors
The VTi X7 and VTi L add:
Rear cross-traffic alert
The CRV RS e:HEV adds:
LED adaptive cornering lights
Adaptive driving beam
How much does the 2024 Honda CR-V cost to service?
Honda Australia provides a 5-year, unlimited kilometre warranty across the range.
The 2024 Honda CR-V comes with an additional 6-year warranty against rust.
Our test model, the RS e:HEV, comes with an additional 8-year warranty on the high-voltage battery, with premium roadside assistance for the same period.
You also get capped-price servicing, with scheduled maintenance at $199 for the first five services. These service intervals are set at every 12 months or 10,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.
Final thoughts - should you buy a 2024 Honda CR-V?
If you are coming from another Honda product, the new CR-V will represent a familiar, but refreshing version of their hit SUV. It’s difficult to fault anything on the interior, everything works well without anything being a standout in particular. The new styling is very appealing, with the sport VTi LX and RS models getting some sportier elements to their exteriors.
The packaging is excellent. In terms of practicality, and flexibility in offering 5 and 7-seat variants, if you are after a complete premium family SUV, this is a very good choice. No, it won’t beat the Toyota RAV4 for pure efficiency, and some of the technology will be better in the Nissan X-Trail, but the Honda CR-V just does everything well, with some surprisingly good driving characteristics too.
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.