Model: 2002 to 2006 Honda CR-V
Vehicle type: Compact SUV
Approximate used price range: $6,000 to $21,000
History/description: The second-generation Honda CR-V launched for the 2002 model year to battle competitors like the Ford Escape, Toyota Rav4 and Hyundai Tucson. With four wheel drive, plenty of space and a flexible, storage-rich interior, the second-generation model carried on the success of the original CR-V, which launched in 1997.
CR-V came only with four-cylinder power, making it a popular choice with shoppers who prioritize cheap running costs and low fuel consumption.
Honda’s proven 2.4-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder engine generated 160 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission was standard equipment, and ideal for shoppers who prefer to row their own gears. An automatic was available.
Honda’s Real-Time four wheel drive (4WD) system was the CR-V’s winter-busting weapon. It automatically powers all four wheels the instant wheel-slippage is detected, while running only the front wheels otherwise.
What owners like: Owners love the CR-V’s combination of good mileage, confident year-round operation and its flexible ‘ready for anything’ interior. Other owner-stated positives include good visibility, plenty of storage, easy-to-use controls and a commanding seating position.
What owners hate: Some owners wish for more power, a bigger engine option, and a more exciting looking interior. Road noise is another common complaint with most CR-V owners in this generation, and bigger drivers will probably wish for wider seats.
Common issues: CR-V wasn’t intended for heavy off-road use, but that doesn’t stop certain owners. When shopping used, be sure to have a look at the floor from beneath, noting any dents, heavy scrapes or rust.
Some CR-V models left the factory with a misaligned spring-seat in the front suspension, and a mechanical check of all suspension components isn’t a bad idea on a used model.
Ensure the air conditioner blows ice cold, as owners have frequently reported expensive air conditioner failure. A check of the system by a trained AC technician is in order if you’re unsure.