Compact SUV; Built in Japan, USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $11,500 – $23,000*

2008 Honda CR-V

2008 Honda CR-V

2008 Honda CR-V

2008 Honda CR-V

  • Cargo room
  • Control layout
  • Ride
  • Seat comfort (front)
  • Quietness
  • Steering/handling (winter-weather driving, 2WD models)

Honda’s model is still not the most powerful compact crossover SUV, but the latest CR-V continues to excel for its “just right” blend of comfort, refinement, and cargo versatility. Standard traction/antiskid control on all models, abundant convenience features, and Honda’s reputation for reliability, further bolster its Best Buy appeal. On the other hand, Honda’s reputation for strong resale value keeps used-vehicle prices on the high side.


Honda redesigned its compact crossover SUV for 2007, adopting freshened styling that barely resembled its predecessor, but retaining a four-cylinder engine and five-passenger seating. In this new form, the CR-V was 3 inches shorter overall than the 2002-06 generation, but wheelbase and interior dimensions were virtually unchanged. Track width grew, and the new CR-V had a lower center of gravity. The spare tire was now concealed, no longer mounted externally. Inside, the gearshift lever moved from the steering column to the central panel.

Three models were offered: base LX, midrange EX, and top-line EX-L with leather upholstery. All came with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, which lacked low-range gearing.

For 2007, the CR-V’s 2.4-liter engine gained 10 horsepower, now rated at 166. A five-speed automatic was now the sole transmission; manual shift was no longer offered. Traction/antiskid control was standard. So were front side airbags and curtain side airbags with rollover deployment. A top-opening liftgate without separate-opening glass replaced the previous model’s swing-out cargo door. Wheel size grew to 17 inches (from 16). A sunroof was standard on EX and EX-L models, and a navigation system was available on the EX-L. In addition to archrival Toyota’s RAV4, competitors to the CR-V included the Hyundai Tucson, Saturn Vue, and Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Yearly Updates

2008 CR-V
For 2008, the EX-L model gained an eight-way power driver’s seat and dual-zone climate control. All EX-L versions now had a premium audio system. Otherwise, changes were minimal.
2009 CR-V
The 2009 Honda CR-V was largely unchanged.
2010 CR-V
The 2010 Honda CR-V underwent a freshening with 14 more horsepower, updated styling, and revised interior controls.
2011 CR-V
The 2011 Honda CR-V lineup gained a new trim level, the SE, which slotted in just above the base LX.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Just one powertrain has been available: a 166-horsepower (180 starting in 2010), 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mating with a five-speed automatic transmission. A CR-V may have either front-drive or all-wheel drive.

dohc I41
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/144
Engine HP 166-180
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 161
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



1. EPA Note: Figures shown are for 2008 models. The Environmental Protection Agency changed its procedure for 2008 to yield more realistic estimates. Therefore, estimated mileage is lower than for prior years.

Road Test

Acceleration is adequate around town and in highway passing, with no noticeable difference between 2WD and AWD versions. Transmission shifts are smooth and alert.

Fuel economy is satisfying. Test 2WD versions have averaged 21.6 to 24.0 mpg. A test AWD CR-V averaged 23.1 mpg in mostly highway driving. CR-Vs use regular-grade fuel.

Expect a car-like ride on all surfaces. The CR-V’s suspension comfortably absorbs bumps, with minimal float or wallow.

Compact-car maneuverability is the rule. Body lean during fast turns is kept in check. Brakes provide good stopping control with adequate pedal feel. A test 2WD model coped poorly with 3 inches of fresh snow.

Engine noise intrudes during acceleration. Tire noise is noticeable on most road surfaces, but does not annoy. Some wind rush may be noted around exterior mirrors.

Controls are easy to reach. Instruments are large and clear. However, some testers said small buttons made radio operation difficult, with or without a navigation system. The navigation system absorbs too many audio functions and takes time to master, but its touch-screen and programming via predetermined voice commands are helpful. Hard plastics abound in the cabin, but none look cheap and the interior is assembled with care.

Front occupants enjoy plenty of headroom and legroom. The driver gets a comfortable take-charge stance, aided by the standard tilt/telescope steering wheel, plus generous fore/aft, up/down seat travel. Seats are well-bolstered. Note that a power driver’s seat was unavailable until 2008, and then only on the top-line EX-L model.

The supportive backseat has a reclining backrest; but unlike the one in previous CR-Vs, it does not slide fore/aft to increase legroom. Space for legs and knees is plentiful, however, even with front seats positioned far back. Headroom is ample, too. The rear bench can accommodate two child safety seats-a bonus for parents.

Cargo space is generous, even with the rear seat up. It flips/folds flat with the cargo floor in a 40/20/40 configuration for flexible hauling. This liftgate is more convenient and easier to open than the previous model’s side-hinged cargo door. Interior storage is very good. EX-L models offer center console storage. Other versions have a flip-up tray between the front seats.


Model Tested: 2008 CR-V EX-L w/AWD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 9

Total: 62


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.1 177.9 71.6 66.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
72.9 15.3 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.9 38.6 41.3 38.5
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 CR-V 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine noise
Description: Squeaking noise from engine compartment due to problem with exhaust gasket at catalytic converter. (2007-08)
Oil pump
Description: Defective oil pump causes whine when engine is cold. (2008)
Description: The power windows may stop working because a faulty switch in the right door blows the fuse. (2007)
Description: The windshield wipers may not stop or may stop in the wrong spot due to a bad wiper motor and the washers may quit if the front bumper strikes something or gets struck. (2007)
Description: The clock may randomly change time on vehicles equipped with navigation system unless a remanufactured nav unit has been installed. (2006-09)
Electrical problem
Description: The tire pressure warning light may come on due to faulty monitor in the wheel. (2007-08)
Check-engine light
Description: Grease leaks from the fuse box electrical connector onto the air/fuel sensor triggering the check engine light unless the connector is replaced with a new wiring harness. (2007-08)

Recall History

2007-2010 CR-V manufactured from July 1, 2004, through Septemeber 3, 2010
Description: The outer race of the secondary shaft bearing may be broken during certain driving styles. A broken outer race may cause abnormal noise, the malfunction indicator light to turn on, and allow contact between the transmission idle gear and an electronic sensor housing within the transmission. This could result in a short circuit causing the engine to stall. Additionally, broken pieces of the outer race or ball bearing from the secondary shaft may become lodged in the parking pawl resulting in the vehicle rolling after the driver has placed the gear selector in the park position. Engine stall and unexpected vehicle movement increases the risk of a crash or personal injury to persons within the path of a rolling vehicle. Honda will notify owners and dealers will update the automatic transmission control module software free of charge.
2010 CR-V
Description: There is a potential failure with the engine wiring harness connector which may cause intermittent spark firing or the engine to stall. An engine stall will increase the risk of a crash. Dealer will inspect and replace the ignition wiring harness connector free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.