Before becoming the Honda Motor Company Ltd., founder Soichiro Honda's humble beginnings began in the garage, tuning up vehicles during the 1930s. In 1937, when he received financing from acquaintance Kato Shichiro, Honda founded Tokai Seiki to make piston rings working out of the Art Shokai garage he had been working for beforehand.
Honda's company was later placed under control by Japan's Ministry of Commerce and Industry around the time frame of World War II and was demoted from president to senior manager as Toyota took a 40% stake in Honda's company.
Honda's participation in Japan's war effort, plus a close working relationship with Toyota's personnel was instrumental during and after the events of WWII that eventually led to the funding and development of the Honda Technical Research Institute in October 1946.
Moving Up From Motorcycles
As Honda, the company focused on the manufacturing of motorcycles. The first was introduced to the market in 1949, but it really wouldn't be until 1961 Honda's name would find itself on the map as a world-class producer.
That was the year Honda earned the company's first series of victories at Grand Prix and World Championship races. Since then, the roller coaster ride of Honda as a company has seen a number of changes that would later see its entry into manufacturing cars, trucks, and other vehicular machinery in 1963.
The Honda T360 was their first mini pickup truck model, followed by the S500 sports car they brought out that same year.
From the current headquarters of Tokyo's Minato district, Honda has since become more prominent in the industry of making quality automobiles at a worldwide level. This includes the Honda CR-V models, which began their first year of production in 1995.
As a compact crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV), Honda merged its Honda Civic platform with an SUV body design. CR-V is an acronym for Comfortable Runabout Vehicle as it is a larger version of the company's HR-V model. In the UK, however, the acronym they used for CR-V is Compact Recreational Vehicle.
The CR-V, since its first generation of models that ran from 1995 until 2001, didn't start making a North American appearance until 1997. Within this first generation, the year 2000 seems to be the best-rated, at least according to discussions on a variety of car enthusiast forums.
The second generation of Honda's CR-V received considerable more praise, both from consumers and critics. The production timeline for these redesigned CR-V models ran from 2001 until 2006.
Using the seventh generation of the Honda Civic lineup, this group of Honda CR-V SUVs featured the K24A1 engine that produced 150 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque within the Japanese nation. In America, the CR-V SUVs were allowed to produce 156 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy was still the same, but the new chassis allowed a more rigid bending, torsional and suspension performance.
The third generation of Honda CR-V models ran from 2007 until 2010, which brought in a rear liftgate that replaced the previous designs of a side-opening rear door.
This lineup also discontinued the mounting of the spare tire to its rear door. The 2010 model in particular received significant changes to its styling and powertrain, which would serve as standard features for the fourth generation of the CR-Vs.
From 2011 until 2015, this lineup of Honda's SUVs once again saw its final year of production see a number of upgrades that would pave the way for Honda's fifth-generation of CR-V models.
Here are our picks for the 10 best Honda CR-V models of all-time
10. 2010 Honda CR-V
After establishing a decade's worth of dominance on the affordable vehicle market for families, the 2010 Honda CR-V served as a solid reason why this is the case. Among a multitude of car reviewing platforms and consumer reports, this award-winning SUV continues to be one of the most beloved Honda CR-V models of all time.
Despite its classification of third-generation classification of the CR-V lineup, the 2010 model paved the way for the fourth generation to measure up to the mantle it started. The 2010 series saw a number of upgrades to the overall look and performance of the CR-V models that caused Honda's top competitors to step up their game in the SUV market.
9. 2013 Honda CR-V
As a used SUV, the 2013 Honda CR-V model is among the most recommended for families as its reliability has proven when it comes to making a quality vehicle that ensures all the safety standards and expectations automotive consumers expect are well met.
8. 2016 Honda CR-V
The 2016 Honda CR-V was recognized by Care and Driver as one of the top trucks and SUVs, according to its critical rating system. It also scored second overall on the US News & World Report ratings system, which is impressive enough to earn this recognition. However, it caused a spark with Honda to not settle for second place, as they took it upon themselves to go from near perfect to absolute perfection.
7. 2011 Honda CR-V
The appeal of this fourth generation of Honda's CR-V models is the ease of maneuverability, plus the comfort, which has become an increased demand among consumers who look for quality family vehicles.
Honda has remained one of the favorite names when it comes to finding a good, quality vehicle at a price tag that is affordable enough for families to invest in.
The 2011 lineup earned a number of awards from car reviewing platforms, beating out the competition who has been trying to dethrone Honda for top honors for a decade at this point. Among a variety of review sites and car critics, the 2011 Honda CR-V was rated number one in the category of affordable compact SUVs.
6. 2007 Honda CR-V
According to the J.D. Power rating system, plus a number of car critics, the award-winning 2007 Honda CR-V beats out the competition of all other manufacturers who produced this same class of vehicles. Despite its age, it is still a highly favored model from a brand that consistently remains a fan favorite in the automotive industry.
5. 2021 Honda CR-V
According to US News and World Report, the 2021 edition of the Honda CR-V series is the best car for the money. This is a recognition earned for the quality level, plus its value, that is later decided by the combined reviews of critics and consumers.
4. 2020 Honda CR-V
According to the 2020 Kelley Blue Book edition, the 2020 Honda CR-V model was recognized as the best compact SUV for the fifth straight year. In addition to this recognition, it also received award-winning reviews from a number of car critics, including Auto Trader, US News and World Report, and Edmund's Editor's Choice.
3. 2019 Honda CR-V
The impressive fuel economy performance, combined with the latest array of technology that has become a standard issue, is the one field of expertise Honda excels in. For the third year in a row within the fifth generation of Honda's CR-V models, a perfect ten score was awarded to its 2019 lineup.
Aside from a slightly frustrating infotainment system that doesn't operate quite as fast as some car critics care for, the 2019 Honda CR-V continues the dominating presence of Honda's award-winning SUVs. According to the AutoWeb's Buyers' Choice Awards, both the 2019 Honda CR-V and its 2019 Honda Accord were the overall winners, which is based on a voting format that is decided by the consumers and not just car critics.
2. 2017 Honda CR-V
It is rare for Car and Driver to award a vehicle a perfect ten out of ten scores. The 2017 Honda CR-V not only achieved this from their team of reviewers but had been recognized as U.S. News & World Report’s pick for Best Compact SUV for Families. When it comes to the mix of performance and style, the 2017 CR-V continues to be one of the most commonly referred to family-oriented vehicles as a top pick.
1. 2018 Honda CR-V
Vehicles within the same generation of a specific lineup to share perfect ten scores two years in a row from car critics that have proven to be the fussiest in the business are very rare. Honda's 2018 CR-V managed to not just earn this honor, but a series of highly recognized awards
According to Torque News, the 2018 Honda CR-V proved to be the Oscar-winning SUV within the automotive industry. Despite the growing competition within the popular SUV category, Honda continues to hold over twenty years' worth of reasons why it remains as the best-selling family vehicle in North America.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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