Honda CR-V 2020 Review

The Honda CR-V was first launched back in the 1990’s and it was one of Honda Malaysia’s best selling models. The CR-V is so popular because it was another vehicle designed as a crossover SUV.

Honda CR-V

Honda understands that people still want something reliable and practical but slightly bigger in size. This car is great for bringing the children out and about, or just to carry use as transportation for items from A to B.

This year, even in the midst of a pandemic, Honda released the CR-V’s fifth version. Even during these times, the CR-V still proves to be a popular choice for the Malaysian driver. This makes the CR-V an important part of Honda Malaysia’s sales repertoire. 

Honda states that the new CR-V 2020 is the most “dynamic car in its class” because they have made the chassis stiffer by using a lot more ultra-high strength steels.


The CR-V 2020 comes in 4 model variants 

  • 2.0 2WD : RM 138,308
  • 1.5 TC 2WD : RM 150,992
  • 1.5 TC 4WD : RM 156,732
  • 1.5 TC-P : RM 163,191

Prices above are OTR market prices and quoted before insurance

The basic model of the CR-V 2020 (2.0), has a naturally-aspirated 2.0 litre engine, whilst the other higher range models get a 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo engine

Quick Specs

Body Type : SUV
Transmission : Automatic
Engine Capacity : 1498 cc – 1997 cc
Fuel Type : Petrol
Seat Capacity : 5
Safety : Honda Sensing
Price : RM 138,308 – RM 163,191


  • New LED headlights across all four of its models
  • Top notch interior design practicality
  • Supports Android Auto and Apple Car-Play
    Honda Sensing* safety feature made available
  • Good all-rounder vehicle


  • Loud tyre noises
  • Less comfortable ride quality
  • Interior wood trimming may not be suitable for some
    Competitor cars offer more responsive drive
  • CVT Engine maybe noisy for some

*Honda Sensing is a suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies.
It comprises some of these features: Safety features: Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) – further discussion is in this article.


The design of the CR-V 2020 has been stylishly updated. The exterior here includes a fancy new front bumper with larger openings for the fog lights. These lights are accentuated by a wide-width chrome trim addition that somehow makes the CR-V 2020 look like it has a “moustache”.


Between the space of the headlights, there is also focus on the front grill to make it look more pronounced. There is a choice for the customer to choose a black finish instead of the standard chrome finish too.

Shifting our focus to the rear of the CR-V 2020, the tail lights are dark tinted. The chrome trimming below the window has also been darkened with the new models. Moving further downwards, the CR-V apron has been slightly modified to appear flatter on the surface, and it comes with exhaust finishers that are trapezoidal-shaped.


Overall, the new Honda CR-V has a very sleek and modern appearance, giving it a premium look and feel.


The Honda CR-V 2020 sees the introduction of the 1.5 litre turbocharged engines. This is a positive update for the CR-V because the previous models were known to be sluggish in performance. The CR-V drives well, with great pick up pace.


It has a good nippy feel to the engine performance, which rates even better than its predecessor of the old 2.4 litre engine. Add to that Honda’s CVT technology, makes the CR-V 2020 very smooth and responsive. It even feels and behaves like an automatic.


The Honda brand has always been at the forefront of vehicle safety values. Their vehicles are engineered with safety orientation in mind. The Honda CR-V 2020 continues with this tradition of great safety features. They include:

  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control 
  • Brake Assist 
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) 
  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Guidelines 
  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) Body Structure
  • Smart Vent® front side airbags


The highlight of this is the inclusion of the Honda Sensing Technology, which includes a variety of advanced driver assistance. These can be useful in certain driving situations.

1. Collision Mitigation Braking System(™)(CMBS)
This system helps avoid collisions as it notifies the driver when a vehicle or a pedestrian is detected in front of the CR-V, and it may apply the brakes if necessary

2. Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM)
This keeps vehicles on the road by assisting with the steering once the system detects that the vehicle might be veering off its dedicated lane

3. Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
The CR-V is kept within its dedicated lane with this system

4. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow
Detects vehicles in front of the CR-V vehicle, and will adjust the vehicle speed to keep a certain distance from the front vehicle

5. Blind Spot Information System (BSI)
When switching lanes, the system alerts the drivers if there are vehicles located in the blind spot of the vehicle

6. Multi-Angle Rear-view Camera with Dynamic Guidelines
Allows the driver to choose between three angles (normal, top-down and wide angle) for best view of what is behind the vehicle whilst in reverse

7. Cross Traffic Monitor
This system senses on-coming vehicles when it is reversing out of a parking lot


The entry level Honda CR-V is powered by a 2.0 Litre SOHC i-VTEC engine, which can push out 154 PS and 189 Nm. Both these engines have been mated to the company’s continuously variable transmission (CVT), with the drive sent to either the front of all four wheels, depending on which model is selected. 

The new generation Honda CR-V also ranks highly when it comes to petrol engine refinement and performance – a trademark of all the Honda CR-V models.

The great thing about the latest generation of Honda CR-V is that it has a third row of seats – a feature that was sorely missing from all the previous generations of the CR-V. Surprisingly, even though the CR-V does not look big on the outside, the interior is very spacious.


The interior volume of the CR-V has always been one of its selling points. The fifth gen CR-V continues carrying this feature very well. The cabin space layout is superior to its other competitors. 

This spatial optimisation is especially noticeable from the second-row viewpoint. The rear legroom of this vehicle is an absolute winner, and the storage space is absolutely mindblowing.


The storage console at the centre armrest is actually deep enough to store one’s handbag, and there is no other SUV in this class that has this feature. Furthermore, the rear boot aperture is very wide, and the loading floor is set low, making it super easy to load and unload your things into the boot. 

If you push up all the rear seats, the Honda CR-V 2020 offers you 522 litres worth of boot space. Even more mind blowing is if you fold down all the rear seats, you get a total of 1,084 litres of boot space. This feature is a clincher for many Malaysians out there.


Fuel Economy

Honda has gotten it right for this fifth generation version. For the size, the Honda CR-V is surprisingly very fuel efficient. This is probably due to its CVT engine. The 1.5 TC version averaged at 7 litre / 100km during test drives. Even in the urban KL traffic, the CR-V does not use more than 9 litre / 100km, making this the most fuel efficient SUV in this class after the Nissan X Trail Hybrid.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Honda Malaysia has always been very generous with their warranty. For the CR-V, Honda has included free labour services for up to 5 years with unlimited mileage. Free labour servicing can be claimed up to 5 times within the stated time frame or mileage as above. 

However, this warranty is specific to Peninsular Malaysia. If you are not located here, do check with your local dealer for the latest warranty. This warranty also applies to HR-V Hybrid, Civic, BR-V and the Accord.


Should I buy a new or used Honda CR-V?

If you are in the market to purchase a CR-V, it is worth considering the new CR-V 2020. This is because the features offered in this new SUV are far more inclusive than its predecessors. The main features you will be buying into will be the Honda Sensing technology. 

If you have a small family, this in itself is worth the purchase. A plus point, a Honda holds decent value in the second hand car market. So should you see the need to change cars in a few years time, you will still be able to get a buyer for this CR-V without much problems.

Honda CR-V 2020 vs Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 is a close competitor to the CR-V 2020 in terms of size and price. It is also still a popular choice among Malaysian car buyers. Whilst the CR-V’s cabin is more practical, the CX-5 fights back with a plushier and more upmarket looking cabin. 

On the downside, the CX-5 still cannot compete in terms of cabin size and spaciousness. It does feel cramped on the inside of the Mazda CX-5.

Honda CR-V 2020 vs Proton X70

The Proton X70 ranks very closely next to the Mazda CX-5. Both these SUVs have very similar comfortable cabins. The X70’s interior has a mix of plush quality yet tactile extras. The other thing the X70 has is a voice command system (think Apple’s Siri or Google’s Alexa, but with less intelligence). 

However, this does not compare much to the CR-V’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto system. It is also worth noting that the X70 has a higher maintenance cost compared to the CR-V 2020. The X70 also has a much higher fuel consumption rating, due to its weight.

Customer Reviews

Being one of the most popular cars in Malaysia, the Honda CR-V remains highly sought after by Malaysian drivers. Most of the customer feedback about the CR-V 2020 is that it has great fuel efficiency and a very powerful engine to boot. They have also noted that the car is extremely spacious and comfortable. On the downside, some customers have noted that the CR-V does get a bit noisy when driving.

The Verdict

Although this class of vehicles is starting to get crowded and competitive, the Honda CR-V 2020 still stands its ground compared to the others. The CR-V is a great example of how the Honda team has taken into consideration the modern day needs of its consumers, and blended it with their proprietary technology. This results in a vehicle that rates well in performance and safety within this pricing.

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