The extremely popular 2016 Honda CR-V is one of the best compact crossovers on the market. After a significant refresh in 2015, the 2016 model is largely unchanged.
While not the most thrilling vehicles on the planet, small crossovers offer a lot of functionality at an attractive price. They give a commanding view of the road thanks to their elevated ride height and easily accommodate four occupants and their luggage. Their engines are typically small and modestly powered, but fuel-efficient. As long as you're not looking for a spirited driving experience, few vehicles are as well-rounded and practical. Among this group, the 2016 Honda CR-V is one of the best.
Everyday usability is the driving force behind the CR-V's interior design. The wide doors allow for easy ingress and egress, and head- and legroom are ample for front and outboard rear passengers. A passenger sitting in the rear middle seat will also appreciate the lack of a protruding transmission tunnel that would otherwise necessitate an uncomfortable seating position. Farther back, the CR-V's cargo area is vast, with 37.2 cubic feet of space ready to swallow just about anything you want throw back there. Pull the trunk-mounted levers and the spring-loaded rear seats fold down immediately, nearly doubling the CR-V's cargo capacity.
Honda also offers a long list of available safety and comfort features for shoppers wanting a little extra. A sunroof, keyless ignition and entry and heated front seats are standard equipment about halfway up the CR-V's hierarchy of trim levels. Also included on that trim (EX) is a trick passenger-side-mounted camera that reduces the blind spot by displaying a wide-angle picture on the central touchscreen when the right blinker is turned on. Those looking for additional safety features may want to consider the top-tier CR-V Touring, which adds lane-keeping assist and automatic braking when the CR-V senses an impending forward collision.
As much as we like the 2016 Honda CR-V, we still suggest checking out at least a few of the other top models in this segment. The popular 2016 Toyota RAV4 gets a face-lift this year to counter the CR-V's redesign in 2015. Both can come off as a little bland, though, so if you're looking for a crossover with a bit more personality, the 2016 Ford Escape and 2016 Mazda CX-5 are more athletic and fun to drive, while the Escape, 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, 2016 Jeep Cherokee and 2016 Subaru Forester all offer more powerful optional engines. But when you factor in the stuff that most people desire most — practicality, fuel economy, usability, interior space and safety — the 2016 CR-V is tough to beat.