2011 Honda CR-V

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2011 Honda CR-V
2011 Honda CR-V

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

179.3” x 66.1”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • Seating position
  • Gas mileage
  • Reliability
  • Cargo room
  • Handling

The bad:

  • Road noise
  • Modest passing power
  • Folding design of backseat
  • IIHS roof-strength rating

5 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2011 Honda CR-V trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2023

Notable features

  • New SE trim
  • FWD or AWD
  • Four-cylinder engine
  • Seats five

2011 Honda CR-V review: Our expert's take

By Kelsey Mays

Since the current generation arrived in late 2006, I’ve driven the Honda CR-V during four model years in four states on six occasions. If reviewing cars were like doing laundry, the CR-V would be my well-worn pair of jeans. Honda still has a few things to iron out — chief among them being the CR-V’s jittery ride — but to call foul on the market’s best-selling crossover over a few loose threads would be to ignore the whole closet’s worth of things the CR-V gets right.

The Honda CR-V may not be the most handsome or capable model in its body-type class, but it delivers precisely the qualities a small crossover ought to.

This time around, I evaluated two EX-L vehicle models: one with front-wheel drive and one with all-wheel drive. The EX-L caps off a lineup that also includes, in ascending order, LX, SE and EX trims. The SE is new for 2011; click here to compare all four trims or here to compare the 2011 and 2010 Honda CR-Vs.

Sufficient Power, Firm Ride
Paired with a standard five-speed automatic transmission, Honda’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder pulls the CR-V up to speed with sufficient power. The automatic kicks down to 4th or 3rd gear on the highway aggressively and with little delay — which is necessary given that, characteristic of a Honda four-cylinder, the CR-V has modest low-end torque. With just me on board, our front-drive tester droned loudly in the passing lane, but overall power for such maneuvers was ample.

In contrast, I put four adults in an EX-L already burdened by an extra 124 pounds of all-wheel drive. Loaded up, the CR-V doesn’t have much oomph to spare: It reaches highway speeds soon enough, but passing requires planning and effort. If you want enough power to pass on a whim — or if you need to tow more than what’s allowed by the Honda CR-V’s meager 1,500-pound rating — consider the Toyota RAV4 or Ford Escape, both of which can be had with a V-6 engine. (The Chevy Equinox also offers a V-6, but it’s pretty underwhelming.) The CR-V comes only with its four-cylinder, which makes 180 horsepower.

EPA combined gas mileage with front-wheel drive is 24 mpg; all-wheel-drive models are rated 23 mpg. That’s near the top of the segment. In Cars.com’s recent $29,000 SUV Shootout, the Honda CR-V’s 28.8 mpg tied for top honors among nine crossovers in a 145-mile highway loop.

If outright power isn’t a strength, handling is. The CR-V’s reflexes are generally sharp, with good braking linearity, relatively flat cornering and sharp steering. Though it falls short of a Subaru Forester or Kia Sportage when it comes to outright driving fun, the Honda CR-V’s maneuvering confidence puts it in the upper half of its class. That said, some drivers may wish for more power steering assist at low speeds, such as in parking lots.

The CR-V handles larger bumps well enough, but small road imperfections will be felt over long stretches of interstate. The CR-V settled in better and bounced less on the highway when loaded with extra passengers, but Honda has work to do on the suspension.

Roomy Cabin
Though the five-seat cabin wasn’t particularly well-insulated from tire noise (with Bridgestone Dueler P225/65R17 all-season tires) at highway speeds, it’s comfortable overall. The CR-V’s upright front seats, tall windows and open lower dash recall a minivan or large SUV. You sit up in there, which is exactly the driving position a proper crossover ought to have. In the name of more carlike interiors, too many competitors strand you down in a sea of wraparound cockpit furniture.

The most important controls operate with precision, and it’s nice to see chrome door handles and textured silver trim in places where other Hondas employ duller gray plastics. A couple of areas are less excusable, including sheets of molded plastic as door inserts and a navigation system whose graphics rival the original “Oregon Trail” maps. All told, however, the CR-V’s cabin ranks above average. It may be a 5-year-old design, but it’s aging well.

Both rows of seats sit high enough off the floor to afford excellent thigh support, though the rear seat’s bottom cushion could be a bit longer. Still, legroom is good. Taller adults may want more headroom, which trails off as you lean back. Conversely, you can’t find much more versatility than you get in the backseat of a CR-V. The standard 40/20/40-split second row offers reclining and forward/backward adjustments.

Cargo room behind the second row is an impressive 35.7 cubic feet. Tumbling and securing the second-row seats is an onerous process, but it helps create an equally impressive 72.9 cubic feet of maximum space.

Safety, Features & Pricing
In crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CR-V earned the top score, Good, in front-, rear- and side-impact tests. The Honda CR-V’s roof-strength score of Marginal, however, is a concern. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the CR-V an overall score of four stars (out of five) in its revamped 2011 crash tests.

Standard safety features include rollover-sensing curtain airbags, antilock brakes, active front head restraints and an electronic stability system. Click here for a full list.

Small crossovers are generally a dependable group, but the CR-V’s excellent reliability stands out even in that crowd. The Honda CR-V LX’s $21,695 starting price is relatively affordable, as small crossovers go. Standard features include power windows and locks, an automatic transmission, air conditioning, cruise control and a CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack. All-wheel drive on any trim runs a reasonable $1,250. Move up the ladder, and you can get a power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, USB/iPod compatibility, heated leather upholstery, a navigation system and a moonroof. A loaded EX-L tops out just under $30,000.

CR-V in the Market
Of the nine crossovers in Cars.com’s SUV shootout, the Honda CR-V placed sixth. Aesthetic issues played a large part – the vehicle has always looked quirky. In comparison, up-and-coming competitors like the redesigned Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage offer scads of fresh appeal. No doubt they’ll eat away at the CR-V’s sales lead this year.

Still, Honda has done well with the current generation. This Honda CR-V is a competent choice: comfortable, spacious, efficient and reliable. We’re due for another CR-V within the next few years, but if you’re shopping a small crossover vehicle today, the existing car is very much worth a look.

Send Kelsey an email  


Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.7

Most recent consumer reviews


2011 Honda CR-V Best Purchase Experience

South Shore Auto Dealers & Sales has an archangel in Richie.The car is clean, clean, clean! He had the car that I prayed for. It's safe, beautiful, economic, and the insurance payment is within my budget. Everything that I didn't know I needed. Richie is 1,000% authentic, sincere, professional and includes a warranty.The price that he lists REALLY IS the price + taxes + plates. That's it! I'm still shocked. You can't compare this experience to anything else you've experienced. Take the trip out to South Shore Auto Dealers, it'll be the beginning of the best drive home ever


Sheila C

The vehicle is just what I needed to replace my older CRV. I love the Honda Brand and especially the CRV. The styling and comfort are just what I need in a vehicle


One of my best cars very surprised

Runs as new I’m a mechanic car have 267000 miles I put expensive oil parts transmission fluid every 40000 miles changed every 2000 miles synthetic oil only Honda authentic parts nothing after market or amazon or from ebay. car running perfect I drive it every day it feels as bigger car very safe solid build car it a monster drive in snow never let me down Japanese cars are the best don’t buy American junk Chevy Chrysler or Ford waist of money and time you buy American you have nightmares. Honda makes the best or Toyota my crv will go more and over 300.000 miles I also own a Toyota 4 runner 2003 and runs perfect with 478.000 miles another 4x4 monster and I own a Camry 2013 with 205.067 miles on it my cars drive better and better. You have to understand people buy a car they put cheapest gas parts and oil they change oil after 10000 miles the way the treat them selves they treat car house family. Remember when you buy these kind of cars as Honda or Toyota you have no excuse to blame the Honda or Toyota company these cars will last 4 ever so don’t listen or follow these bad reviews those people have never idea to drive or take care a car so for their mistakes blame the dealership or Honda or Toyota. Honda and Toyota makes engine and transmission bulletproof body interior. Buy these cars take care service regular don’t put cheap parts gas or oil, you will always remember me . Stay away from jeep , dodge, Chrysler . GMC production.

See all 178 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Honda True
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
More than 12 months or 12,000 miles from their original in-service date, with 80,000 miles or fewer at time of vehicle delivery.
Basic warranty terms
5 years/86,000 miles
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
182-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

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