Launched in 1997, the Honda CR-V is one of the world’s best-selling SUVs.
It’s been widely praised for its dependable powertrains, copious driver assists and spacious interior.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the CR-V’s average lifespan…
Here is the short answer to how long a Honda CR-V will last:
The Honda CR-V will last on average between 250,000 – 300,000 miles if properly maintained and driven conservatively, although they can last longer. Based on driving 15,000 miles per year, a CR-V will last between 17 – 20 years before requiring expensive repairs or breaking down.
How Long Do Honda CR-Vs Last:
The Honda CR-V is one of the oldest small SUVs on the market, and there’s plenty of historical data that shows these cars are built to last a very long time.
This should come as no surprise as Japanese carmaker Honda is synonymous with reliability.
According to a study by iseecars.com, an automotive research site, the CR-V is the most reliable, longest-lasting compact SUV.
When looking up CR-Vs on used car sites such as Car Gurus and Autotrader, you’ll find models with over 300,000 miles on the odometer – some even approaching 400,000 miles.
However, there are no guarantees that any vehicle can reach that mileage, even with reliability records as high as the Honda CR-V.
With regular servicing and conservative driving habits, a CR-V should have no trouble lasting 250,000 – 300,000 miles.
It is a notoriously reliable vehicle, and while there are of course complaints and problems, they are far fewer than other makes and models – even though the CR-V sells in far higher numbers.
Here’s what owners had to say on CRVownersClub.com:
“I have a CR-V 2002 2.4l 4wd, since new just done basic maintenance has done 257,000 miles. Have replaced an alternator, starter motor, main crank seal.”
“Mine is a 2003 and it has 195,000 miles… I bought it pre-owned…so I think it will still last for a few more years… I hope”
The most common tips for ensuring the longevity of your CR-V are to:
- Change engine and transmission fluids regularly
- Perform routine maintenance
- Use smooth driving habits
- Fix repairs ASAP to prevent them from turning into more significant problems
New Honda CR-Vs come with a 3 year / 36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5 year / 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
These will give you extra peace of mind for the first few years of ownership; after that, you will be responsible for any repairs.
During our research we came across a CR-V called “Lorraine” with 1 million miles on the clock, the owner’s secret sauce is regular maintenance and oil changes every 7,000 miles.
Common Problems of the Honda CR-V
A car’s longevity can be decreased by its problems; listed below are what CR-V owners have had to deal with.
1. Unwanted acceleration when braking
The most commonly reported problem of CR-Vs is unwanted acceleration when braking, without pressing the gas pedal.
This issue is most commonly reported by owners of early generations of the CR-V, from 1997 to 2014, while the 2011 year models received the most complaints.
According to RepairPal, the typical repair cost is $5,000, and the average mileage at which the problem occurs is 16,900 miles.
The causes of unwanted acceleration when braking are:
- Malfunction in the ECU (electronic control unit)
- Faulty throttle control mechanism
What to do when your CR-V unintentionally accelerates:
- Use the brakes to slow the car down
- Shift to neutral
- Turn off the engine
2. Excessive oil consumption
Owners of 2010 CR-Vs complained of excessive oil consumption.
Owners were forced to continually add oil between routine oil changes.
The problem was caused by burnt piston rings, which in some cases required a complete engine replacement.
3. Gas in Engine Oil
The fifth generation CR-Vs fitted with the Honda Earth Dream 1.5L direct injection engines (from 2019 – 2021) were plagued with gasoline diluting the engine oil, causing the engine to stall and suffer a loss of power while driving.
The problem is allegedly caused by an engine defect.
While there are no fixes from Honda, the problem is alleviated by regularly changing the engine oil.
4. Air Conditioning Not Blowing Cold
First and second-generation CR-V models suffered from faulty or failing air conditioning systems.
This is often caused by the AC compressor seizing, resulting in a loss of cold air from the AC vents.
This can often lead to very expensive repairs as when the compressor fails in this way, debris is spread throughout the entire AC system.
What is High Mileage for a Honda CR-V?
High mileage for a Honda CR-V is around 150,000 miles, although the vehicle may still have plenty of life left, it will be more susceptible to repairs as it will have acquired some degree of wear and tear.
A full assessment of the vehicle should be undertaken and any decision should not be based on mileage alone
Buying a CR-V with over 150,000 miles won’t necessarily equate to a sour outcome.
If it’s been well maintained, it’s likely a better purchase than one with 100,000 miles that had lots of owners and led a rough life or was previously a rental vehicle.
When buying a used CR-V, consider the following factors:
- Maintenance history. Check that the car was properly serviced and the owner can provide evidence of this.
- Take it for a test drive. Ask the seller to leave the car cold; this way, you’ll see how easily it starts up, and you can listen for any strange engine, transmission or exhaust noises.
- Check for rust. Rust is a known factor for all makes and models; you must check the CR-V for any rust. If left untreated, the rust will spread.
- Previous owners. More owners usually equate to more wear and tear issues. As a general rule, fewer owners are better.
- How long you are planning on keeping the car. If you’re planning on keeping the car for a long time, you should evaluate whether the short-term savings outweigh spending a bit extra on something more reliable.
Honda CR-V Longevity Compared to Similar Compact SUVs
In this section, we’ll compare the CR-V to some of its rivals in the compact SUV class.
Honda CR-V vs. Subaru Forester
Subaru’s compact SUV is the Forester, which is aimed at this segment’s more adventure-minded buyers.
The Forester is popular with buyers who enjoy using their SUVs for off-road activities.
The Subaru Forester can typically last 200,000 – 250,000 miles, which is slightly less than the Honda CR-V’s expected lifespan.
|Honda CR-V||Subaru Forester|
|RepairPal Reliability Rating||4.5 / 5.0||3.5 / 5.0|
|RepairPal Reliability Ranking||2nd / 26 |
|21st / 26 |
|Average Annual Repair Cost||$386||$632|
The Honda CR-V outscores the Subaru Forester for reliability and average annual repair costs.
It is also more spacious and has better driving dynamics although the Forester has better standard safety features.
Honda CR-V vs. Volkswagen Tiguan
The Tiguan has been on North American roads since 2009, and it is VW’s top-selling model in the United States.
It’s more fun to drive than many of its competitors although its seats may be a bit too firm for some.
The Tiguan can typically last between 150,000 – 200,000 miles, which is considerably less than the Honda CR-V’s expected lifespan.
|Honda CR-V||Volkswagen Tiguan|
|RepairPal Reliability Rating||4.5 / 5.0||3.0 / 5.0|
|RepairPal Reliability Ranking||2nd / 26 compact SUVs||26th / 26 compact SUVs|
|Average Annual Repair Cost||$386||$730|
In this comparison, the CR-V offers a far more reliable package and is nearly half the average annual repair cost to maintain.
Both models have a similar towing capacity, storage space and turning radius.
Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 was launched in 1996 in the United States and is considered the first compact SUV ever.
Now in its fifth generation, the RAV4 is the best-selling SUV of any type in the world.
The RAV4 can usually last between 250,000 – 300,000 miles, which is the same as the CR-V’s expected longevity.
|Honda CR-V||Toyota RAV4|
|RepairPal Reliability Rating||4.5 / 5.0||4.0 / 5.0|
|RepairPal Reliability Ranking||2nd / 26 compact SUVs||3rd / 26 compact SUVs|
|Average Annual Repair Cost||$386||$429|
It is a close matchup between the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4.
The CR-V has a slightly better reliability rating and ranking and undercuts the average annual repair cost of the RAV4.
However, choosing between either of these would be tough, and personal preference will play a large part in the buying decision because both are fantastic SUVs.
|Honda CR-V||Subaru Forester||Volkswagen Tiguan||Toyota RAV4|
|Annual Repair Cost||$386||$632||$730||$429|
|Reliability Rating||4.5 / 5.0||3.5 / 5.0||3.0 / 5.0||4.0 / 5.0|
|RepairPal Rank||2nd / 26||21st / 26||26th / 26||3rd / 26|
Honda CR-V Reliability
The Honda CR-V is one of North America’s most reliable compact SUVs, and it has scored strong reliability scores from automotive review websites.
Of course, no vehicle is perfect and some CR-V models are more reliable than others – but overall, a CR-V is a safe bet when looking for a dependable vehicle.
On owner forums you’ll find reports of trouble-free motoring and this is supported by auto review sites that have given the CR-V near-perfect scores.
Generally, the last year models of a generation are the best to get simply because they are the most refined and therefore less problematic.
- RepairPal ranked the CR-V 2nd out of 26 compact SUVs for reliability, with a score of 4.5 / 5.0.
- Consumer Reports gave the CR-V an average reliability rating of 4 / 5.
- Kelley Blue Book gave the CR-V a reliability score of 4.2 / 5.0.
Keep in mind that reliability is also heavily dependent on regular maintenance and taking care of your vehicle.
Commonly reported CR-V problems include:
- Unwanted acceleration when braking
- Excessive oil consumption
- Gas in engine oil
- Air conditioning stopped working
How Reliable is the Honda CR-V Compared to Other Compact SUVs?
|Subaru Crosstrek||4.5 / 5.0|
|Honda CR-V||4.5 / 5.0|
|Toyota RAV4||4.0 / 5.0|
|Nissan Rogue Select||4.0 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Tucson||4.0 / 5.0|
|Kia Sportage||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mitsubishi Outlander Sport||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mitsubishi Outlander||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross||4.0 / 5.0|
|Jeep Cherokee||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mazda Tribute||4.0 / 5.0|
|Jeep Compass||4.0 / 5.0|
|Kia Sorento||4.0 / 5.0|
|Nissan Rogue||4.0 / 5.0|
|Honda Element||4.0 / 5.0|
|Jeep Patriot||4.0 / 5.0|
|Ford Escape||4.0 / 5.0|
|Subaru XV Crosstrek||4.0 / 5.0|
|Nissan Xterra||4.0 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Captiva||3.5 / 5.0|
|Nissan Murano||3.5 / 5.0|
|Subaru Forester||3.5 / 5.0|
|GMC Terrain||3.5 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Equinox||3.5 / 5.0|
|Fiat 500L||3.5 / 5.0|
|Jeep Wrangler||3.5 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen Tiguan||3.0 / 5.0|
|Avg. Compact SUV||4.0|
Best and Worst Years of the Honda CR-V
In this section, we’ll take a look at the best and worst model years of the Honda CR-V.
Worst Model Years
The worst model year Honda CR-V is 2011, according to the number of complaints reported on CarComplaints and CarProblemZoo.
This is also because of the nature of the reported problems having high repair costs and more problems at lower mileage.
The 2011 model year’s biggest problems are unwanted acceleration when braking and excessive oil consumption.
Other years to watch out for are 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2008, 2007, and 2002.
Best Model Years
The best Honda CR-V model years are from 2020 onwards.
These CR-V years have the lowest number of reported faults, as Honda has likely worked out all the production issues over the lifecycle of the CR-V.
The later model year CR-Vs are also equipped with the latest safety, comfort and luxury features.
Other models that are good choices are 2016, 2013, 2009, 2001 and 1998.
Honda CR-V Recalls
The Honda CR-V has had a total of 162 recalls since 1997.
You can check if your Honda CR-V has been subjected to a recall campaign by entering your car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the NHTSA website.
Recalls are safety-impacting, manufacturer faults repaired at no charge to the consumer.
Honda CR-V recalls:
- 1997 Honda CR-V: 2
- 1998 Honda CR-V: 3
- 1999 Honda CR-V: 3
- 2000 Honda CR-V: 2
- 2001 Honda CR-V: 1
- 2002 Honda CR-V: 16
- 2003 Honda CR-V: 14
- 2004 Honda CR-V: 13
- 2005 Honda CR-V: 14
- 2006 Honda CR-V: 13
- 2007 Honda CR-V: 11
- 2008 Honda CR-V: 10
- 2009 Honda CR-V: 11
- 2010 Honda CR-V: 14
- 2011 Honda CR-V: 12
- 2012 Honda CR-V: 3
- 2013 Honda CR-V: 1
- 2014 Honda CR-V: 0
- 2015 Honda CR-V: 2
- 2016 Honda CR-V: 2
- 2017 Honda CR-V: 3
- 2018 Honda CR-V: 2
- 2019 Honda CR-V: 5
- 2020 Honda CR-V: 2
- 2021 Honda CR-V: 1
- 2022 Honda CR-V: 2
- 2023 Honda CR-V: 0
Honda CR-V Generations and Model Years
First Generation (1997 – 2001)
- 1997 Honda CR-V
- 1998 Honda CR-V
- 1999 Honda CR-V
- 2000 Honda CR-V
- 2001 Honda CR-V
Second Generation (2002 – 2006)
- 2002 Honda CR-V
- 2003 Honda CR-V
- 2004 Honda CR-V
- 2005 Honda CR-V
- 2006 Honda CR-V
Third Generation (2007 – 2011)
- 2007 Honda CR-V
- 2008 Honda CR-V
- 2009 Honda CR-V
- 2010 Honda CR-V
- 2011 Honda CR-V
Fourth Generation (2012 – 2016)
- 2012 Honda CR-V
- 2013 Honda CR-V
- 2014 Honda CR-V
- 2015 Honda CR-V
- 2016 Honda CR-V
Fifth Generation (2017 – 2022)
- 2017 Honda CR-V
- 2018 Honda CR-V
- 2019 Honda CR-V
- 2020 Honda CR-V
- 2021 Honda CR-V
- 2022 Honda CR-V
Sixth Generation (2022 – present)
- 2023 Honda CR-V
- 2024 Honda CR-V
Related: How Long Do Honda CR-V Hybrids Last?
The Honda CR-V is an affordable compact SUV to own, and its reliability and maintenance costs are well below the segment’s annual average. RepairPal estimates the CR-V’s average yearly repair cost to be $386, while the sector’s average is $489.
The average annual repair cost across all makes and models of vehicles in the United States is $652.
|Model||Avg. Annual |
|Probability of |
|Nissan Rogue Select||$436||0.3||10%|
|Mitsubishi Outlander Sport||$498||0.3||10%|
|Subaru XV Crosstrek||$631||0.4||11%|
|Avg. Compact SUV||$521||0.3||11%|
How Long Do CR-V Brakes Last?
The Honda CR-V’s brake pads can typically last between 30,000 – 60,000 miles. This depends mainly on driving style, traffic conditions, climate, and more.
A conservative driving style and smoother use of the brake pedal will help to maximize the lifespan of a CR-V’s brake pads.
How Long Do CR-V Tires Last?
The Honda CR-V’s tires usually last between 50,000 – 60,000 miles or 5 – 7 years. However, they can wear out much sooner. Their lifespan depends on various factors, such as driving habits, climate, road conditions, and more.
- Rotate tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even tire wear.
- Check tire pressures regularly every two weeks to ensure they’re at the optimum tire pressure.
- Have a mechanic or tire shop check your wheel alignment every 6 months.
How Long Do CR-V Transmissions Last?
A Honda CR-V’s transmission can typically last 250,000 – 300,000 miles, which is just as long as the expected lifespan of the CR-V. The transmission’s serviceable life can be extended by regular maintenance.
How Long Do CR-V Spark Plugs Last?
Honda mechanics recommend that CR-V’s spark plugs are changed every 30,000 miles.
It is recommended that the spark plugs are inspected every time you take your CR-V in for a tune-up at your local mechanic.
Signs of fouled spark plug include:
- Reduced gas mileage
- Lack of acceleration
- Rough idling
- Hard starts
- Engine misfires
How Long Do CR-V Engines Last?
Honda CR-V engines can typically last 250,000 miles or more before they’re expected to suffer problems. Proper care and preventative maintenance will ensure Honda CR-V engines can last a very long time.
You’ll find many examples of Honda CR-V with much higher mileages than 300,000 miles on used car marketplaces, underlining this model’s robust engines.
How Long Do CR-V 12V Batteries Last?
The Honda CR-V’s 12V battery usually lasts for 3 – 5 years, but this varies greatly depending on several factors, such as battery size, weather conditions, driving habits, the condition of the battery, and more.
- Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of the CR-V can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
- Limit short rides: Quick car rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
- Storage: Keep your CR-V stored in a garage, away from extreme temperature changes.
- Control corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.
What are the Insurance Costs for a Honda CR-V?
The average cost of full insurance coverage for a Honda CR-V is $1,336 per year or $111 per month.
The average annual cost across all compact SUVs is $1,426 a year.
Insurance costs can vary greatly, so be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal for yourself.
How to Get the Most Life From Your Honda CR-V
- Follow the maintenance schedule outlined in the owner’s manual
- Have recalls and repairs addressed ASAP
- Use your CR-V’s air-conditioning system
- Replace spark plugs regularly
- Use quality parts
- If possible, keep the vehicle stored in a garage, out of the elements
- Invest in ceramic paint protection to keep the car looking new
- Drive smoothly and conservatively
- Check the tire pressure regularly and rotate the tires