2021 Honda CR-V S Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Jun 04, 2021

Editor's: 4.0/5
Smooth operator.
2021 Honda CR-V S Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Engine & Performance
  6. Fuel Efficiency
  7. Verdict
  8. Variants & Price
  9. Color Options
  10. Specs

2021 Honda CR-V S Review: Introduction

The Honda CR-V was first introduced in the Philippines in 1996. It’s one of the first crossover vehicles offered in the local market. The name CR-V stands for “comfortable runabout vehicle,” which basically defines what this Honda-made crossover can offer to you. Since then it has undergone design changes but it’s still built using the Civic’s platform. 

When the fifth generation of the CR-V was launched, it already comes with a 7-seater configuration and for the first time - a diesel engine. But Honda still offered a CR-V that comes with its OG features: a five-seater capacity, and a gasoline engine. By 2020, Honda Car Philippines Inc. introduced the facelifted version of the CR-V. With that, what can the CR-V S gasoline variant offer to you? Can it erase the stigma of being a gas-guzzler? Here’s Philkotse.com’s full review of the 2021 Honda CR-V S.
 

4.0/5

Honda CR-V 2021 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics
    4.50/5

    Overall exterior & Interior design, build quality, form vs function

  • Safety & Technology
    4.0/5

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance
    4.0/5

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality
    4.0/5

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money
    4.0/5

    Sticker price vs overall package

2021 Honda CR-V Exterior Review: Sleeker-looking crossover

The facelifted Honda CR-V was launched last October 2020. It features subtle yet distinctive design changes. The front-end still looks similar to the older model but the minor tweaks integrated into the CR-V result in a sleeker-looking exterior. The 2021 Honda CR-V now also shares some similarities to the US-spec model.  

2021 Honda CR-V front shot

2021 Honda CR-V

Changes to the front include a revamped upper grille that now comes with a gloss black trim instead of chrome. This design detail is one of the things I like since it gives the vehicle a more polished look. It also has a restyled front bumper that now features a seamless mustache-like chrome trim, and more black cladding. Other than that, the CR-V still gets the same LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, and LED fog lamps.

2021 Honda CR-V side profile

Look at that 18-inch alloy wheels

The side profile of the CR-V comes with the same composition as the pre-facelift model. It still comes with familiar character lines, black cladding, and chrome trim. The thing that got my attention the most is the redesigned 18-inch alloy wheels. It looks like a flower or a clover that reminds me of the Boston Celtics. For added functionality, this CR-V comes with roof rails, which is sort of a standard in crossover vehicles in the market today.     

2021 Honda CR-V rear shot

The CR-V now come with smoky LED taillights

The rear also gets subtle design changes as seen on the CR-V’s LED taillights, which are now integrated with black trims giving a smoky finish. Aside from the taillights, the bumper gets a design tweak that now features a silver garnish instead of a skid plate. It still the same tailgate-mounted spoiler and shark-fin antenna.

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2021 Honda CR-V Interior Review: Valuing space and comfort

2021 Honda CR-V interior dashboard

It has a dark interior theme

The interior of the 2021 CR-V retains the current size and layout. The CR-V S has a dark interior theme with piano black trims and silver accents. Soft-touch materials are also integrated into the cabin. One of the selling points of the CR-V S is the space and comfort it offers to its occupants.

The leather seats further add to the overall ride comfort although, the driver’s seat comes with a manual adjustment only. The CR-V is also equipped with a leather-wrapped steering wheel that looks like the one fitted to the Civic. The placement and the materials used for the steering-wheel-mounted controls are also identical to Honda’s compact sedan. Speaking of which, I’m not quite sold on the materials used for the mounted controls as it feels too plasticky.

2021 Honda CR-V steering wheel 

Gear lever is positioned higher than usual

The CR-V gets the usual Honda digital instrument cluster. Placed at the center of the dash is the 7-inch infotainment touchscreen that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The touchscreen gives you crisp images but updating the look of its interface would be better as several crossovers in the market right now come with a slightly more advanced-looking infotainment system.    

The gear lever is right below the climate controls, which is positioned higher than usual, making you feel like your an airline pilot every time you shift from Park (P) to Drive (D). The center console has storage spaces for an assortment of items such as your mobile phone. It also has two USB ports, cup holders, and a center glove box. 

2021 Honda CR-V second row seats

The CR-V comes with spacious second-row seats

The second-row seats offer generous leg- and head-room. It can accommodate up to three individuals but the elbow room might be a bit cramped, especially for the passenger that’s sitting in the middle. This CR-V also gets rear aircon vents, which helps cool down the cabin more efficiently. You’ll also appreciate the two USB ports located below the AC vents. 

2021 Honda CR-V cargo

Loading four to five overnight bags is not a problem

You get a lot of cargo space at the back since the CR-V S variant comes with a five-seater configuration. It offers you a flat and more spacious cargo area since it doesn’t come with third-row seats. Loading four to five overnight bags is not a problem with more room to spare for other items. In case you’re wondering, the CR-V S doesn’t come with a power tailgate.

2021 Honda CR-V: Tech & Safety Review

2021 Honda CR-V infotainment system

Seamless phone integration

This CR-V comes with tech and safety features one would expect from a modern crossover. The 7-inch infotainment touchscreen system comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allows a seamless smartphone integration. Through the Apple CarPlay, you access apps such as Waze and Spotify, while having Siri as your private assistant in case you need to call or text someone. 

The infotainment touchscreen transforms into a rear camera when you put the gear in reverse. It comes with dynamic guidelines to help you park the vehicle safer and easier. The touchscreen can also give you a live feed from the camera that’s placed beneath the right exterior/side mirror. It activates when you flick the indicator light switch to the right, which lessens blind spots when you’re turning. You can also activate it by pressing the button that can be found on the indicator light switch, which is useful in case you need to drive through tight streets.   

2021 Honda CR-V rear camera

Rear camera with dynamic guidelines

The CR-V S also has electronic parking brakes with auto hold, four speakers, and a low tire pressure warning. Safety-wise, it comes with an ensemble of airbags (dual front, side, and side curtain). It is also equipped with an anti-lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution, vehicle stability assist, hill start assist, among others.

2021 Honda CR-V: Engine & Performance Review

The 2021 Honda CR-V S is equipped with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine that puts out 152 hp and 189 Nm of torque. The engine is connected to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and power is sent to the front wheels. 

2021 Honda CR-V engine

The CR-V S is powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine

The CR-V delivers ample power that gives you a relaxed driving feel. One of the things that I like about this car is its steering feel since it’s not too light nor heavy. This is beneficial when you plan to have the CR-V as your daily driver around the urban jungle as it minimizes driver fatigue. It does get a bit firm when you start to gain speed, which is nice since it gives you better control, especially when you’re driving at highway speeds.

The thing I like most about the CR-V is the ride comfort it offers to you. The suspension is notable as it gives you a smooth ride even when you’re driving through the dilapidated roads of EDSA. Yes, you’ll still feel occasional bumps while on the road but the CR-V absorbs road impacts well. This CR-V also has commendable acceleration despite having a CVT. 

2021 Honda CR-V front

The CR-V is a smooth operator

It is also stable and planted on the road when driven along the open highway. The CR-V cruises smoothly on the expressway giving you a pleasant drive, and makes you feel safe behind the wheel. Its throttle response is also good, which allows you to overtake slower vehicles with confidence. In case you want to have a more performance-oriented drive, the CR-V S has a Sport mode and paddle shifters. 

2021 Honda CR-V: Fuel Efficiency

This is probably what concerns a lot of people when discussing the Honda CR-V. If you’re one of the individuals who consider the CR-V S as a gas-guzzler, you might want to retract that mindset. I took out the CR-V around the city as much as I can when the test unit was with me. I drove it to and from Quezon City, and within Makati’s urban jungle without thinking too much about getting a decent fuel economy. In other words, I drove it like how I normally drive any other car. 

With that, I was able to get a fuel economy of 8 km/l while driving it at an average speed of 20 km/h. If you ask me, that’s a reasonable fuel eco. On the other hand, I was able to get 15.2 km/l while driving it at an average speed of 90 km/h on the open highway.     
 

2021 Honda CR-V: Verdict

2021 Honda CR-V front

2021 Honda CR-V S

The 2021 Honda CR-V S is priced at Php 1,678,000. It comes with subtle design changes that result in a sleeker and better-looking exterior. The CR-V also offers you a smooth and comfortable ride, a spacious interior, and adequate power delivery. But more importantly, the CR-V S variant’s fuel economy is reasonable considering its overall size. 

Come to think of it, the CR-V S offers you solid points that could make it a more practical choice compared to its other variants. This is especially true when you don’t have the need for a seven-seater CR-V. With its price point and all of the stuff that it can offer, the CR-V S should be on your list when you’re looking for a five-seater compact crossover.

2021 Honda CR-V: Variants & Price

Honda CR-V Price & Variants in the Philippines

CR-V 2.0 S CVT

Php 1,678,000

CR-V V Diesel 9AT

Php 1,713,000

CR-V S Diesel 9AT Honda SENSING

Php 1,888,000

CR-V SX Diesel 9AT AWD Honda SENSING

Php 2,158,000

2021 Honda CR-V: Color Options

2021 Honda CR-V S Color Options

Modern Steel, Cosmic Blue, Ignite Red, Platinum White Pearl

2021 Honda CR-V: Specs

Overall

Make

Honda

Name

CR-V 2.0 S CVT

Body Type

Compact Crossover

Dimensions & Weight

Lenght 

4,623 mm

Width

1,855 mm

Height

1,658 mm

Wheelbase 

2,662 mm

Ground Clearance

198 mm

Curb Weight

1,505 kg

Seating Capacity

5

Cargo Capacity (2nd Row Up)

522 liters

Turning Radius 

5.5 m

Engine & Transmission

Type

SOHC i-VTEC

Engine Displacement

1,997 cc

Max Power

152 hp @ 6,500 rpm

Max Torque

189 Nm @ 4,300 rpm

Transmission

Continuously Variable Transmission

Fuel Tank Capacity

57 liters

Emission Rating 

EURO 4

Steering

Gear Type 

Rack & Pinion

Power Steering

Electric Power Steering

Steering Wheel Material

3-Spoke Leather

Steering Wheel Controls

Audio, Multi-Information Display, Hands Free Telephone

Steering Wheel Adjustment

Tilt & Telescopic

Exterior

Headlights

LED

Fog Lights

LED

Side Turn Signal Lights

With (Door Mirror Mounted)

Tail Lamp

LED

High-Mount Stop Lamp

With (LED)

Door Handles

Body Color

Door Mirror Color

Body Color

Antenna

Shark Fin Type

Front Wipers

Variable Intermittent with Washer

Rear Wiper

With

Bumper Skid Garnish

Black

Roof Rail

With

High-Mount Stop Lamp 

With (LED)

Interior

Audio System

7" Touchscreen Audio with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

Connectivity

Bluetooth, Audio Streaming, and USB

Speakers

4

Air Conditioning System

Dual Zone Automatic

Rear Aircon Ventilation

With

Keyless Entry System

With

Fuel Level

With

Accessory Socket (12V)

With

Rear USB Charging Ports

With (2)

Instrument Cluster

Full Color TFT

Interior Trim Finish

Piano Black and Silver Finish

Cargo Area Light

With

Power Windows

With

Power Door Locks

With 

Safety & Security

Multi-view Rear Camera

With Dynamic Guidelines

Airbags

With (Driver & Front Passenger, Side, Side Curtain)

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

With Electronic Brake Force Distribution

Reverse CameraElectronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)

With

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)

With

Hill Start Assist (HSA)

With

Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)

With 

Child Safety Lock

With

Child Seat Anchor (ISOFIX)

With

Immobilizer

With

Agile Handling Assist (AHA)

With

Driver Attention Monitor

With

LaneWatch Camera

With

Low Tire Pressure Warning

With

Suspension

Front

MacPherson Strut

Rear

Multi-Link

Brake

Front

Ventilated Disc

Rear

Disc

Tires & Wheels

Tire Size

235 / 60 R18 103H

Wheel Size and Type

18-inch Alloy

Spare Tire

Full Size

Martin Aguilar

Martin Aguilar

Author

Martin is the Content Editor of Philkotse. His love for cars first started when he got a remote-controlled toy as a birthday present. Then, Martin’s interest in cars was further developed through his family’s humble collection of Japanese cars.

Martin started his writing career as an editorial assistant and writer for various magazines under ABS-CBN Publishing. Before joining Philkotse, Martin was a writer for Autoindustriya then shifted gears in 2017 to become the editor for AutoDeal.

Aside from his interest in cars, Martin loves to read crime-thriller novels, play basketball in the virtual world, eat tapsilog, and go for random road trip adventures.

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