Review: 2022 Honda CR-V 2.0 S CVT

The workhorse CR-V
by Jason Tulio | Dec 14, 2021
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PHOTO: Jason Tulio
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Back in 2017, Honda Cars Philippines dropped a bombshell by introducing the seven-seater, diesel-powered CR-V to our market. The fact that the compact SUV had more seats and ran on an oil-burner engine was big news at the time. Then, in 2020, the Japanese carmaker unveiled the face-lifted version featuring the same engine. 

Throughout all of that, though, Honda has continued to sell a gasoline version of the fifth-generation CR-V as a base variant. Here, we take a look at the current 2.0 S CVT to see what it has to offer.

Styling

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Up front, the CR-V features black plastic cladding behind the license plate, a honeycomb grille, and some chrome around the badge and LED headlamps. It’s strictly business along the sides with straight lines and a high beltline. Around the back, the L-shaped headlamps from the previous version remain. A solid chrome bar connects the two to round off the rear fascia. Alloy wheels fitted with 18-inch tires hold the SUV aloft.

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The changes from the pre-facelift model are minimal, and like before, Honda’s done a great job of infusing some sportiness into an SUV that mostly caters to older buyers. 

Interior

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A seven-inch touchscreen display equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto sits in the middle of the cabin. Underneath that is the shifter, which is notable because this is the only CR-V variant that has one—the rest have a button-operated gear selector instead. Also in the center are some physical knobs and buttons for operating the A/C. On the left, the leather-clad steering wheel features controls for the infotainment system and for taking calls. The seats are likewise wrapped in black leather and well-bolstered. Head and legroom are decent, even by our taller editors’ standards. 

In all, it’s a fairly no-nonsense cabin that makes ergonomic sense. It gets plus points for featuring an actual shifter, which I’ll always prefer over pushing a button to hit the reverse gear.

Engine performance

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The gasoline CR-V runs on a 2.o-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder with 152hp and 189Nm of torque. The engine itself does a decent job of ferrying the front-wheel-drive SUV through city roads and long stretches of highway. Once it gets going, the CR-V has little trouble achieving its objective. The problem is the getting going part—the CVT takes its time delivering power to the front wheels when you need it. On tollways, the vehicle struggles to perform quick overtakes with just three passengers and some light cargo onboard. On the plus side, the fuel economy here is decent. Our test netted 10.4km/L in mixed highway and city conditions. 

Ride and handling

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The ride and handling on the CR-V are standard Honda fare: accurate, with just some minor imperfections that don’t take away from the overall experience. The steering is feather-light, making the vehicle easy to maneuver into tight parking slots despite its surprising girth. The 18-inch tires, coupled with the MacPherson struts up front and the multi-link setup in the rear, do a decent enough job of absorbing road imperfections. For a family SUV, though, the ride is a bit on the stiff side. There are likely some comfier alternatives available if this is a major sticking point. 

Extra features

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Tech options, they are aplenty. The safety suite onboard features reversing cameras, hill-start assist, driver attention monitor, low tire pressure warning, and automatic LED headlights with daytime running lamps. Conveniences, meanwhile, include power windows (automatic up/down for the driver), a cargo area light, push-button start, and two rear USB charging ports. 

Verdict

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Most CR-V buyers will automatically opt for the diesel versions due to their fuel economy and added passenger space. However, those looking for a more workhorse-like Honda wouldn’t do too bad to consider the gasoline variant. It’s not perfect by any stretch, but it does accomplish all the basic necessities you expect from a five-seater compact SUV. 

SPECS: 2022 Honda CR-V 2.0 S CVT

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Price: P1,678,000
Engine: 2.0-liter gasoline I4
Power: 152hp @ 6,500rpm
Torque: 189Nm @ 4,300rpm
Transmission: CVT
Layout: FWD
Seating: 5
Score: 18/20

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PHOTO: Jason Tulio
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