In connection with our 2019 Compact SUV Challenge, we embarked on some real-world gas mileage testing of the 2019 Honda CR-V and six important competitors: the Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and Volkswagen Tiguan. With an observed mileage of 28.5 mpg, our CR-V came very close to the 29 mpg combined EPA estimate. It was also the second highest behind the newly redesigned RAV4 Limited, which achieved 29 mpg despite being rated slightly lower at 25/33/28 mpg city/highway/combined for our version.
All seven contestants had optional all-wheel drive. Our CR-V Touring was equipped with the upgraded, better-selling of two engines, a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder. The EPA-estimated mileage for this version is 27/33/29 mpg.
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Designed to emulate a family road trip, our route covered more than 200 miles and consisted of mostly highway driving. As a result, the observed mpg was in the high 20s for all contestants. All SUVs were driven in their default drivetrain modes rather than efficient or sport modes (more details can be seen in our How We Tested story).
Trailing the CR-V was the Forester Touring at 27.9 mpg, the Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line at 26.5 mpg, the Cherokee Limited 3.2-liter V-6 at 26.1 mpg, and finally the Tucson Ultimate 2.4-liter and Rogue SL, both at 25.7 mpg.
For a model of its size and versatility, the CR-V’s mileage is impressive with this upgrade engine, possibly thanks to its continuously variable automatic transmission. It’s a design known to improve efficiency, though sometimes at the expense of the driving experience. Note that the base trim level, the CR-V LX, comes with a non-turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder that is less powerful yet has a lower EPA rating. It’s 2 mpg lower than the 1.5-liter turbo for all three values — city, highway and combined. For either engine, the optional AWD subtracts 1 mpg from each value, meaning the highest possible rating is 28/34/30 mpg for a CR-V with the 1.5-liter and front-wheel drive.
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