The 2011 Honda CR-V will once again be one of of the best compact crossover SUVs on the market. With its roomy dimensions, family-friendly features, nimble handling, solid build quality and outstanding crash test scores, the new CR-V remains a force to be reckoned with.
As one of the first compact crossover SUVs, the CR-V has long been valued for its appealing combination of refined road manners with practical versatility. The 2011 certainly meets the high standards set by its predecessors.
That's not to say, however, that the CR-V is without any shortcomings. While its only available engine is a quite capable and efficient four-cylinder, there are times when additional V6 power is missed, for example, when ascending a long uphill climb with a full load. It's also a bit more susceptible to road noise than its top competitors, while also delivering a somewhat firmer ride, making cruising down the highway slightly less accommodating than some other choices. There's also no option for those who would prefer a manual transmission.
But all in all, most carbuyers have found these downsides to be rather insignificant when compared to all the other positive qualities offered by the Honda CR-V. Even so, it's always a good idea to shop and compare in order to make a more informed final decision. Other top rivals perhaps worthy of consideration would include the Chevy Equinox, the Kia Sorento the Nissan Rogue and the Toyota RAV4.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 Honda CR-V can be outfitted with either front- or all-wheel drive and is available in five trims: LX, SE, EX, EX-L and EX-L with Navigation.
Standard features on the already well-equipped base CR-V LX include power windows, power mirrors, power doorlocks, cruise control, air conditioning, keyless entry, 17-inch steel wheels, a retractable front center tray table, driver seat height adjustment, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 40/20/40 sliding and reclining rear seats, and a 4-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack.
Moving up to the SE model adds a 6-speaker audio system with a 6-disc CD changer, alloy wheels and rear privacy glass, while the EX then adds a sunroof, steering-wheel audio controls and a dual-level cargo area.
The top-of-the-line CR-V EX-L chips in with leather upholstery, an 8-way power driver seat, heated mirrors, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a fixed front center console, automatic headlights and a 7-speaker sound system with satellite radio, a subwoofer and a USB audio jack.
Not surprisingly, the EX-L with Navigation adds a navigation system with voice controls, plus a rearview camera and Bluetooth.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2011 Honda CR-V is a very competent 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's good for 180 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. It's mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel (standard) or all-wheel drive (optional). The all-wheel drive sytem powers the front wheels only until slippage is detected, when power is then transferred to the wheels with the most traction.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for a front-drive CR-V stands at 21 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway. The AWD CR-Vs are rated just slightly lower at 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
Standard safety features on all 2011 CR-Vs include stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In addition, parking sensors are a dealer-installed option for the lower trims, while the EX-L with Navigation also comes with a rearview camera.
The 2011 CR-V also excelled in government crash tests, earner the highest ratings possible of five stars in all frontal- and side-impact occupant protection categories.
The CR-V's cabin is attractive, practical and user-friendly. The materials quality is high while controls and gauges are well-organized and easy to see. And thanks to the wide-opening rear doors, the sliding and reclining backseat, and the lightweight rear liftgate, the loading of cargo and children is made all the easier. There's also a "conversation mirror" built into the overhead console that conveniently allows front occupants to keep an eye on the backseat.
The seating is comfortable and supportive, both front and rear. Storage room is also ample with a capacity of 35.7 cubic feet. The split-level cargo area is also particularly useful. And by stowing the split-level divider and folding the rear seats, cargo capacity expands to a very generous 73 cubic feet.
The Honda CR-V's four-cylinder engine is quite capable and confident in almost all situations. Most drivers will be satisfied with its performance, but those who regularly transport full loads may miss the occasional need for V6 power. Road noise is also a bit elevated and the ride is slightly firm, however, the CR-V compensates to a large extent with iths agile handling, precise steering and strong brakes. While it has some downsides, the CR-V is still an overall pleasure to drive.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try the Wholesale Bank And Government Auto Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.
Prices: 2011 Honda CR-V
LX, FWD: list price: $21,695, invoice price: $20,195
LX, AWD: list price: $22,945, invoice price: $21,354
SE, FWD: list price: $22,395, invoice price: $20,844
SE, AWD: list price: $23,645, invoice price: $22,003
EX, FWD: list price: $23,995, invoice price: $22,328
EX, AWD: list price: $25,245, invoice price: $23,487
EX-L, FWD: list price: $26,645, invoice price: $24,786
EX-L, AWD: list price: $27,895, invoice price: $25,945
EX-L w/Navigation, FWD: list price: $28,645, invoice price: $26,640
EX-L w/Navigation, AWD: list price: $29,895, invoice price: $27,800