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2010 Honda CR-V ReviewThe Good
The Honda CR-V is affordable, efficient, utilitarian, and it keeps getting better, with increases in power and fuel efficiency for 2010.The Bad
The navigation system for the 2010 CR-V takes too much time to learn, and road and wind noise continue to permeate the cabin annoyingly.
The CarGurus View
All-wheel drive seems a must in climates where snow and ice are encountered, but otherwise there is no mechanical difference between any of the 2010 Honda CR-V trims. Upgrades to the model continue, and this year sees some substantial ones for a mid-generation refresh. With that in mind, decide which options are worth cracking your wallet for, and drive away happy.
At a Glance
Call it a “Compact Recreation Vehicle” or a “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle”; the Honda CR-V has been a hit for Honda since its 1996 introduction at the Chicago Auto Show. This five-passenger compact SUV has a sole powertrain offering - a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) engine paired with a five-speed automatic transmission - for both front- (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations.
The CR-V gets a mild refresh for 2010, both cosmetic and mechanical. The front fascia has been redesigned with a new grille and bumper, while the rear gets a similar treatment with a redesigned bumper and new turn signals and taillights. EX and EX-L trims also see new 16-inch alloys. Inside, upholstery gets an upgrade and armrests get widened. Audio controls have been altered slightly, and backlighting for the gauges is now blue instead of black.
A 14-hp increase is seen for the 2.4-liter engine, bringing its output up to 180. There’s been no penalty for efficiency, and both FWD and AWD trims actually see a 1-mpg increase.
Previously criticized for being slightly underpowered and coarse, the CR-V's 2.4-liter I4 received many changes and updates for 2010, most notably a compression increase from 9.7:1 to 10.5:1. Additionally, larger intake valves, friction-reducing piston rings, a higher-precision timing sensor, high-efficiency fuel-injectors and spark plugs, and a higher-flow exhaust system have all been employed to improve power and efficiency. Accordingly, EPA estimates show a 1-mpg increase for both FWD and AWD trims, showing 21/28 and 21/27 mpg on regular-grade gasoline, respectively.
The power increase has been received well, with a notable improvement in highway passing and merging. That said, the 2.4 is certainly not a powerhouse, with a 1,500-pound maximum towing capacity, and while the five-speed shifts confidently and competently, drivers shouldn’t expect to win any races.
Ride & Handling
The 2010 CR-V provides car-like handling in all situations, improved here in the third generation, as the vehicle is lower and wider than previous versions. Body lean and roll are handled adequately, and maneuverability offers no issues in parking-lot situations, with a turning radius of 18.9 feet and pleasantly assisted steering. Bumps, ripples and ridges are handled without drama, offering a comfortable if not sporty ride. All three trims of the 2010 Honda CR-V are mechanically identical, barring the option of AWD, which does offer an improvement over the FWD trims in inclement weather.
Cabin & Comfort
As mentioned, a slight visual refresh has resulted in upgraded upholstery material, a blue gauge background, and revised audio controls that address complaints heard in previous model years. With the exception of the navigation system, which along with Bluetooth is an option exclusive to the EX-L trim, the controls of the CR-V have received much praise for their placement and function. Seats are comfortable, aided here by the new material and widened armrests, with plenty of passenger room in both first and second rows. Several luxury features like heated leather seats, a power driver’s seat, and dual-zone automatic climate controls come standard on the EX-L, but are unavailable otherwise. Road, tire, and wind noise can rise to uncomfortable levels.
The 2010 Honda CR-V, with its antilock four-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, six standard airbags, and an anti-skid system, scored well in NHTSA tests, earning a five-star rating in all categories excepting rollover.
What Owners Think
The CR-V has provided SUV utility with car handling and efficiency since its introduction, and owners continue to be pleased with the improvements Honda has made in these areas. The power and efficiency increase for the 2.4-liter engine this year has also refined the engine, a major upgrade for a vehicle that garnered relatively few complaints. Additionally, the visual upgrades for 2010 have been a success, if reviews can be believed.
A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.
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