The Honda CR-V takes the crown in the used compact SUV section of our 2015 Used Car Awards
in association with
Best used compact SUV: Honda CR-V Mk3
Price from: £3,250
Our pick: 2010 2.2 i-CDTI EX, 29,000 miles £10,750
The Honda CR-V was one of the original pioneering compact SUVs to hit British forecourts when it was launched back in 1990. So it’s only fitting that it’s winning awards in this class a quarter of a century later – yet it’s still an amazing achievement.
The CR-V is now in its fourth generation, but it’s the Mk3 model that’s taken the honours in our used compact SUV category this year. And the reason for this is simple: this car is immensely practical, incredibly reliable and agile to drive, too – making it the perfect second-hand car for a buyer on a budget.
It’s true that the CR-V is probably a lot happier on tarmac than off the beaten track, but you can forgive that of a compact SUV with so much to offer. It also stands at the top of the class for cabin space, for example, with a spacious load bay, versatile rear seats and a roomy interior.
The Honda is generously equipped, too. The range is made up of S, SE, SR and EX models, which all include alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control and electric heated door mirrors as standard. Only the SR and range-topping EX models get sat-nav as standard, but all versions come with electric windows and air-conditioning.
The engine line-up is limited to either a 2.2-litre diesel or 2.0-litre petrol, both of which boast 148bhp. However, while the petrol is smooth, the diesel is more eager and delivers far better fuel economy and lower CO 2 emissions of 173g/km.
Buyers also have the option of choosing between a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic gearbox, both of which are paired with a permanent four-wheel-drive transmission.
The icing on the cake is Honda’s great reputation for reliable cars – a fact that’s backed up by owners’ ratings in our annual Driver Power survey. This year, although it was ranked 18th overall in our manufacturer chart, it was rated an impressive fourth for reliability.
Honda CR-V: key details
Honda CR-V: expert view
Age finally caught up with the Honda CR-V this year, as the Mk3 fell to 121st place in Driver Power. But that’s no disgrace, as the model was last in production almost four years ago and before 2015, it’d been a consistent performer, recording a string of top 20 finishes. Owners praised its build quality and reliability, plus its comfort and ride, which should stand the CR-V in good stead as a great used purchase.