2004 Honda CR-V

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
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Key Specs

of the 2004 Honda CR‑V. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Compact dimensions
  • Fuel economy
  • Refinement
  • Resale value
  • Five-star crash-test rating

The Bad

  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • ABS not standard on all models
  • Unconventional controls

Notable Features of the 2004 Honda CR-V

  • 160-hp i-VTEC engine
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Carlike qualities
  • Familiar appearance
  • Real Time 4WD offered

2004 Honda CR-V Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Several newcomers have entered the compact sport utility vehicle market since Honda launched its car-based CR-V as a 1997 model. To meet that assault, Honda completely redesigned its compact SUV for 2002 and gave it more interior space and room behind the rear seat. Passenger space grew by approximately 3.5 inches in front and an inch in the rear, and headroom increased by 2 inches. A 160-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC engine replaced the previous 2.0-liter.

LX versions may be equipped with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and either an automatic transmission or a manual gearbox. The upscale EX edition comes only with four-wheel drive. Except for the addition of a new front-passenger power door lock switch, little has changed for 2004.

In its first generation, the CR-V became the most popular car-based SUV on the market. Rivals include the Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute and Toyota RAV4. The latest CR-V is produced in Japan and England. It has earned impressive five-star ratings for both front and side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Exterior
Semi-traditional SUV styling continues to conceal the CR-V’s passenger-car platform. Styling features include a short, sharply raked nose and high-visibility rear lights. The CR-V rides a 103.1-inch wheelbase, measures 178.6 inches long overall and stands 66.2 inches tall. The EX version is equipped with a moonroof and privacy glass.

Interior
Th...
Vehicle Overview
Several newcomers have entered the compact sport utility vehicle market since Honda launched its car-based CR-V as a 1997 model. To meet that assault, Honda completely redesigned its compact SUV for 2002 and gave it more interior space and room behind the rear seat. Passenger space grew by approximately 3.5 inches in front and an inch in the rear, and headroom increased by 2 inches. A 160-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC engine replaced the previous 2.0-liter.

LX versions may be equipped with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and either an automatic transmission or a manual gearbox. The upscale EX edition comes only with four-wheel drive. Except for the addition of a new front-passenger power door lock switch, little has changed for 2004.

In its first generation, the CR-V became the most popular car-based SUV on the market. Rivals include the Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute and Toyota RAV4. The latest CR-V is produced in Japan and England. It has earned impressive five-star ratings for both front and side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Exterior
Semi-traditional SUV styling continues to conceal the CR-V’s passenger-car platform. Styling features include a short, sharply raked nose and high-visibility rear lights. The CR-V rides a 103.1-inch wheelbase, measures 178.6 inches long overall and stands 66.2 inches tall. The EX version is equipped with a moonroof and privacy glass.

Interior
The CR-V seats five people in front bucket seats and a three-place rear bench that folds flat. The reclining and sliding rear bench seat is split 60/40, and it folds and tumbles. Cargo volume is 72 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down and 33.5 cubic feet with the backseat up. The automatic-transmission shift and parking-brake levers are positioned below the instrument panel.

Under the Hood
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with i-VTEC intelligent valve control develops 160 hp and 162 pounds-feet of torque. The CR-V meets 2004 Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV II) standards. The engine mates with either a five-speed-manual or a four-speed-automatic transmission with “intelligent” grade logic control. Front-drive and four-wheel-drive models are available. Honda’s Real Time 4WD system engages automatically to maintain traction.

Safety
All-disc antilock brakes with Brake Assist are standard on the EX model. Side-impact airbags are standard on the EX and optional on the LX. A bumper beam on all models was designed to match the height of passenger-car bumpers.

Driving Impressions
From the first moment, the CR-V is quiet, smooth, refined and classy. This SUV is neatly stable, stays easily on course and maneuvers crisply, which yields an enjoyable road experience. The ride is not wholly gentle, but it’s smooth most of the time. Occupants can feel the bumps, but few are annoying.

Though the CR-V is pleasantly peppy when equipped with a manual gearbox, it isn’t quite as vigorous with the automatic transmission during steep, demanding upgrades. Downshifts under hard throttle are less abrupt than on the previous model, and engine blare when pushing hard on the throttle is reduced but not gone completely. The manual gearbox shifts easily and teams with a well-behaving clutch.

Firm but well-cushioned seats have snug side bolstering. The protruding automatic-transmission lever operates as easily as a steering-column shifter.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 9/16/03

Latest 2004 CR-V Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Best car I ever owned!

by Kris from Colorado on October 6, 2018

I prefer a manual stick shift, and the manual option provides much better power than the automatic. This car is fun to drive, has a large cargo area. Plus the back seats fold down for even more space. ... Read full review

(4.0)

Awesome car

by Pawan from Walnut, CA on August 7, 2018

Awesome Car. Good on Milage. Reliable and sturdy. Best car I have owned for the family of three or four people. The comfort is amazing. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2004 Honda CR-V currently has 9 recalls

NHTSA Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2004 Honda CR-V LX

NHTSA rates vehicles using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Driver's
5 Star
Passenger's
5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver
5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
5 Star
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The CR-V received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker