2019 Honda CR-V Vi Review

2019 Honda CR-V Vi Review

2019 Honda CR-V Vi front

Car companies like to amortise (write down the cost) of making their products as much as possible and Honda is expert at it.

The latest, lower cost CR-V Vi uses a single cam, 2.0-litre, four cylinder, petrol engine that’s in a number of other Hondas and dates back at least a decade possibly more.

It wouldn’t cost Honda much to crank out one of these donks that’s for sure.

Doesn’t mean it isn’t good because Honda makes some of the best engines around but you are certainly not getting the latest engine tech’ on the Vi.

That said, the 2.0-litre engine with a CVT transmission feeding power to the front wheels gives buyers on a tighter budget the opportunity to tap into the benefits of owning a Honda CR-V.

Then there’s the pertinent point that Vi is the only non-turbo in the range and the only 2.0-litre. All the others are 1.5 turbo petrols.

You would be fairly accurate in describing this as a “stripper” model as it has a reasonable amount of kit but not much by way of luxury, technology or advanced driver assist stuff.

The Vi looks like any other CR-V and drives like one too. It’s big for the segment and at $28,290, represents great value for a five seat, 5-star ANCAP rated medium size SUV.


Love the big chin front and angry looking grille and lights. It certainly doesn’t look like a prissy shrinking violet at the front. The rear is too much though especially the recurving tail lights and upright tailgate with a rash of styling lines.

CR-V looks like different people came up with the front, the side and the rear styling with the first two a success.

Overall, I am a bit of a fan though as it is distinctive and a good size for the segment.

Even the 17-inch alloys are a bonus on a car pitched at this price.

2019 Honda CR-V Vi rear


Inside is like other CR-Vs too apart from the cheaper looking upholstery and lower spec’ features including the screen, audio and aircon’ systems.

Having said that, it’s a roomy beast and offers a large load space down the back with a full size spare underneath.

The tones are all grey just like everybody else and a control screen dominates in the centre of the dash.

The seats themselves are comfy if a little on the firm side. Some people like that.


As the entry level model built to a relatively low price you’d expect the Vi to be a “hose out” cheap and cheerful vehicle. It misses out of plenty compared to other CR-Vs but there is a reasonable amount of kit to make your time aboard more comfortable, safer and entertaining.

You get:

  • Aircon including rear outlets
  • 17-inch alloys
  • Reverse camera
  • Display audio for phone streaming
  • Electric park brake
  • Multi-function wheel

Drive and Engine

Performance from the CR-V Vi is honest and acceptable once underway. Bowling along the freeway and commuter driving  are the Vi’s strengths _ when it is operating in the engine’s comfort zone. Add five peeps and a bunch of luggage with the aircon’ running and things tend to become somewhat lethargic.

But the Vi isn’t pitched as a performance SUV, it’s all about affordability and practicality, two things it excels at.

The engine is good for 113kW and 189Nm while sipping regular petrol at 7.6-litres/100km. The CVT transmission is a bit slury when you exercise the right foot but otherwise is not noticeable.

Ride and handling is set for comfort and though the tyres transmit a fair bit of road noise, the Vi’s interior is quiet and comfortable. Good brakes and a well set ride add to the vehicle’s appeal.

Honda uses a dual pinion steering system which is better than most as it gives more leverage on the steering along with sharper and more accurate response.

All in all an acceptable vehicle to drive every day.

2019 Honda CR-V Vi interiorSafety

It’s amazing to think in these safety obsessed days that a car can still have a 5-star ANCAP rating with only a smattering of advanced driver assist technology and no autonomous emergency braking. This is the case with CR-V Vi as it is practically bereft of any sophisticated safety technology.

It must have a safe chassis to justify the high rating.

You do get tyre pressure monitoring and a reverse camera but that’s about it for the techno stuff.

So, let’s stop quibbling, it’s a 5-star car and that’s it….good enough

2019 Honda CR-V Vi bootGood Bits                                                                                           

  • Affordable
  • Roomy
  • Large for the class
  • Looks good from the front
  • Decent warranty
  • Old school engine should be like “grandfather’s axe”- unbreakable
  • Uses 91 petrol
  • Relatively economical

Not So Good Bits

  • Bit doughy off the mark
  • No advanced driver assist safety tech to speak of
  • CVT tends to slur when worked
  • Compared with other CR-Vs this one has skinny amount of kit

2019 Honda CR-V Vi sideSummary

Yeh, not for me. It’s a decent thing to be sure but there are plenty of choices out there for not much more money.

Mitsubishi’s Outlander springs to mind along with a couple of impressive Korean offerings that take my fancy.

Facts and Figures: 2019 Honda CR-V Vi

  • Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder petrol producing 113kW/189Nm
  • Transmission: Multi-speed CVT
  • Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Price: from $28,290

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