Used Honda CR-V 2007-2011 review

Overall rating:5 Star Rating
January 25, 2016
2011 Honda CR-V
2011 Honda CR-V

The name CR-V stands for Comfortable Runabout Vehicle, which describes this car perfectly. It's a compact 5-seater SUV that combines fuel economy and utility in a well-rounded package. The 2007-2011 Honda CR-V is only available with a 4-cylinder engine and automatic transmission. It comes as a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive system automatically sends power to the rear wheels when the loss of traction is detected. The interior is comfortable and offers plenty of storage space. Rear seats slide back and forth and can be folded forward for extra cargo room. Driver's place is well thought-out, with easy to use controls and sharp gauges. Is the CR-V reliable? How long can it last? What are the common problems? We have done our research to answer these questions, read further.

2011 Honda CR-V
2011 Honda CR-V. Click for larger view

Model line-up: The CR-V comes in base LX, mid-level EX with available moonroof and top-of-the-line EX-L with heated leather seats and optional Navigation. For the 2011 model year, the SE trim level was added. The SE adds steering wheel audio controls and 6-disc audio system to the base LX model.

Owner reviews: We have researched hundreds of owner's reviews. Many CR-V owners list safety, comfortable and practical interior, front visibility, audio system, dashboard design and storage space among favorite features. Good fuel economy, styling, easy handling and dependability are also often mentioned. We found that many owners use their CR-Vs for long trips and camping. The most common dislike is the road noise. Many owners also commented that the OEM tires wear fast (between 15K and 25K miles). The lack of optional V6 is another common comment. Several owners had problems with the air conditioner that required an expensive repair, but overall, the vast majority of owner reviews are positive.

Honda CR-V 2.4L 4-cylinder engine
Honda CR-V 2.4L 4-cylinder engine. Click for larger photo

Engine: The CR-V comes with only one engine choice: the 2.4L 4-cylinder i-VTEC, model K24. It's a very reliable motor. With good maintenance it can easily last for over 200K miles. This engine has a timing chain instead of a timing belt. A timing chain doesn't need to be replaced in regular intervals.

Fuel Economy: Honda CR-V is one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs with all-wheel drive. The 2011 AWD Honda CR-V is rated at 21/27 MPG (11.2/8.7 L/100km) city/highway, or up to 382 miles (615 km) to a tank.

How well does the used Honda CR-V hold its value?

Honda CR-V depreciation chart
Honda CR-V depreciation chart

We looked at the US retail prices. The biggest drop in value happens after the second year of ownership. The second drop comes after the fourth year. After that, the CR-V holds its value well.

Pros: Styling, easy handling, comfortable interior, flat floor, plenty of storage space, safety features, decent fuel economy, reliability.

Cons: Road noise, firm ride, tires wear fast, thick rear pillars limit rear visibility, no center console storage.

NHTSA   crash tests: Frontal
2007-2010 CR-V 5 Star 5 Star 5 Star 5 Star
New NHTSA tests: Overall Frontal
2011 CR-V 4 Star 4 Star 4 Star 4 Star

Safety: Honda CR-V has disc brakes on all 4 wheels. Antilock brakes and stability control with traction control are standard. Front, side and side curtain airbags, as well as active driver and front passenger head restraints are also standard.

Overall: The CR-V is one of the best small SUVs on the used car market. The 2007 CR-V has a few more potential problems, but overall it's a very reliable vehicle. Consumer reports rates the 2007-2011 Honda CR-V above average for reliability and has awarded it with the "Good Bet" mark. The only problem area mentioned is the Climate System. Of course, used car buyers should check the service history to make sure that the vehicle has been maintained regularly and have the pre-purchase inspection done by a qualified mechanic.

Similar vehicles: Ford Escape is less expensive and it's the only small SUV that still looks like a truck. It also comes with an optional V6, however, it's less reliable. Toyota RAV4 is less roomy, but it has softer and quieter ride. Nissan Rogue offers better city fuel economy thanks to its continuously variable transmission, but it's also less reliable and offers less cargo space. Subaru Outback has a more capable AWD system. Mazda CX-7 is sportier, but its AWD version only comes with the troublesome turbocharged engine.

Honda CR-V common problems:
The OEM tires wearing prematurely is a common issue. Some owners report longer tire life after switching to better tires (e.g. Michelin).
Tire pressure (TPMS) sensors can fail. ($120-$250 to replace). Aftermarket sensors are sold online for $20-$60 each.
Faulty door locks are mentioned often ($190-$260 repair).
A sticking A/C compressor clutch relay can cause the A/C to stop working intermittently. The relay can be purchased from a Honda dealer for about $15. It is installed in the fuse box under the hood. The A/C compressor magnetic clutch can also fail causing the same issue ($400-500 repair). Several owners mentioned that Honda has extended the warranty on A/C compressor clutch issues. There are also a few reports about the A/C compressor needed to be replaced. This repair is more expensive.
A failing starter motor may cause an intermittent no-start issue.
Growling or groaning noise from the rear end at slow-speed turns can be caused by worn-out fluid in the rear differential. The Honda TSB recommends replacing the rear differential fluid, and burnishing the rear differential clutches.
Loose catalytic converter heat shields can cause rattles coming from under the car. The repair is not expensive. Overall, the majority of the Honda CR-V owners report very few problems with their vehicles.

What to look for when buying a used Honda CR-V: It's important to check the service history. If oil changes were not done in regular intervals, the engine may have excessive wear and consume oil.
When inspecting the car on the lot: Check the tire condition. Are the tires of a well known brand? Are there any signs of uneven wear? See if all the door locks and the air conditioner work. Are there any warning lights staying on? The low tire pressure warning light may indicate under inflated tires or a bad TPMS sensor.
During a test-drive: Look for vibration and humming or rumbling noise (possible cupped tires or bad wheel bearing). Read more: How to inspect and test drive a used car.

Guides for used car buyers:

Maintenance: Honda CR-V has Maintenance Minder system, that calculates engine oil life and other regular maintenance items based on the mileage and operating conditions. Once the required maintenance is done, the Maintenance Minder needs to be reset. The resetting procedure can be found in the owner's manual, see the link below. According to the US owner's manuals, for the 2007-2009 models, Honda recommends using the 5W-20 grade of oil, while for the 2010-2011 CR-V, the 0W-20 is the preferred oil grade.

Resources: Honda Owners - access you owner's manual and warranty information, learn more about pairing a phone via Bluetooth, view recalls and more.
Honda eStore - shop for bike racks, kayak attachments, trailer hitches, back-up sensors and other accessories, as well as Honda parts.
This site has many interesting DIY guides with photos. This forum has some info on common complaints and other topics. We also found plenty of information at

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2011 Honda CR-V short specifications

Overall length:
Overall width:
Overall height:

179.3 in (4,555 mm)
71.6 in (1,820 mm)
66.1 in (1,680 mm)
103.1 in (2,620 mm)

Seating Capacity:


Cargo Volume:

With rear seats up:
With rear seats down:

35.7 cu. ft.
72.9 cu. ft.

Turning diameter (curb to curb):

37.8 ft


2.4L in-Line 4-Cylinder, 16-Valve DOHC i-VTEC
180 hp @ 6800 rpm, 161 lb. ft. @ 4400 rpm

EPA Estimated Fuel Economy:



city: 21 mpg (11.2 L/100 km)
hwy: 28 mpg (8.4 L/100 km)

city: 21 mpg (11.2 L/100 km)
hwy: 27 mpg (8.7 L/100 km)

Recommended Fuel: Regular unleaded

Fuel Tank Capacity:

15.3 US gal (58 liters)

Oil Capacity:

4.4 US qt (4.2 liters) /with oil filter change/