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2006 Honda CR-V Test Drive Review

Picture of 2006 Honda CR-V The CR-V will provide comfort while commuting, plentiful cargo space, and is capable of taking you on weekend adventures.

7 /10
Overall Score

The 2006 Honda CR-V combines the attributes of a traditional SUV with a nimble, flexible, and efficient car-based platform. It is carried over from a fourth-generation redesign that was introduced in 2002 and received a facelift for the 2005 model year. Those changes have been carried over for 2006.

This nimble SUV competes with the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, and Ford Escape, representing a growing and competitive segment of compact crossovers. The CR-V operates as the more refined player in this segment and offers comfort and efficiency for daily driving.

Look and Feel

8/ 10

The CR-V shares a platform with the Honda Civic, Honda Element, and Acura Integra. Despite this car-based DNA, the CR-V has many traditional SUV style hallmarks. It has a tall profile, an angled front bumper, and a spare tire mounted to the rear. The front headlights and grille design fall in line with the visually upbeat design language, like that of the Accord and other members of the Honda family.

Inside, the CR-V has a clean, focused design that bridges form and function. The radio is mounted high in the dash for ease of access, with the climate controls down at the bottom of the center stack. Between these elements, there is a helpful tray and cubby. To the left, the CR-V has an attractive and clean instrument panel, giving it a sporty vibe.


6/ 10

The CR-V comes with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 156 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed to the front wheels or available all-wheel drive (AWD) through a 5-speed automatic transmission. The AWD CR-V is also available with a 5-speed manual transmission. The automatic is operated via a helpful dash-mounted shifter, while the manual shifter is located in the floor, between the front seats. Though Honda calls it 4-wheel drive (4WD), the CR-V lacks a transfer case with low-range, and so it’s actually an AWD system.

The CR-V’s car-based DNA leads to refined driving characteristics. Acceleration is adequate for getting around town and getting up to highway speeds and will provide miles of hassle-free and comfortable driving.

Form and Function

8/ 10

We keep talking about the car-like underpinnings of the CR-V, and it really pays dividends in the layout of the vehicle. The car platform allows for a spacious, flexible cabin that makes the most of the CR-V's footprint. The CR-V has 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and with those seats folded down, it provides up to 72 cubic feet of cargo space. The competing RAV4 offers 36.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 73 cubic feet with the seat down.

One thing to note about the CR-V’s cargo space is that is accessed by a side-hinged rear door and opens sideways. This is also true of the RAV4 and is a bit unconventional. Some may like this door hinge placement, as it allows you to easily crack it open a few inches or a couple of feet to quickly place or access an item, but it also means you have to be mindful of opening it when parallel parking. Some may prefer this, especially if they park in a garage, but others may find it awkward.

Tech Level

5/ 10

The standard stereo setup comes with four speakers and an AM/FM radio. Moving up to the EX increases the number of speakers to 6 and adds satellite radio. The EX also adds an external temperature display and adds audio and cruise controls to the steering wheel.


8/ 10

The CR-V comes standard with 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, as well as stability control, emergency braking assist, and an anti-theft engine immobilizer.

It also comes standard with dual front side airbags with front passenger occupant detection and front and rear head airbags.


7/ 10

The most efficient version of the CR-V is the front-wheel-drive (FWD) version, returning 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, 23 mpg combined. The next-most-efficient version is the AWD version with the automatic transmission, which returns 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, 22 mpg combined.

The manual transmission and AWD combination sound fun, but it is the least efficient, returning 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, 21 mpg combined.

Base MSRP for a 2006 Honda CR-V is $20,395. The EX with AWD will likely be a common build, starting at $23,750. The most expensive trim, by starting price, is the Special Edition, which comes with AWD and starts at $25,450. That pricing is pretty much on par with that of the Toyota RAV4, the CR-V’s biggest competitor.


From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine,, Hemmings Classic Wheels,, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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2006 Honda CR-V Top Comparisons

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Honda CR-V Questions

How A I Found Radio Code


The rpms will not go over 3000 rpms, the engine stalls, but runs fine at 2500 rpms

My Honda CR V 2006 Engine Over Heats At Idle And Traffic Jam.

My Honda CR V 2006 engine over heats at idle and traffic jam. In normal driving it is fine. Why so?


2006 Honda CR-V Cargo Area Cutouts

Does anyone know what the cargo area, driver's side panel cutouts are for? I thought they might be for a medical kit, but the medical kit (part number 08865- FAK-100) has velcro on the back, so that...

Used 2006 Honda Crv When Will Transmission Need To Be Replaced

I want to buy a gently used Honda CRV but am wondering when the transmission would need to be replaced? It has 160,000 miles on it and is in mint condition.