Small SUV Pre-Owned Top Pick

Second Generation Honda CR-V

Produced: 2002-2006

MSRP New: 2002- $18,800 2006- $20,990

Years to Buy: 2005-06

2006 CR-V KBB Value: $5,846- $7,175

Mechanical Specifications– Dual overhead camshaft i-VTEC 2.4 liter inline four engine mated to a 5 speed manual transmission or 4 or 5 speed automatic depending on year.

The second generation CR-V was offered in a Front Wheel Drive option, however it is far more common to find them with the Honda Real Time 4WD All Wheel Drive system.

What Makes It Great– Mechanically the 02-06 CR-V is an excellent choice. The engine uses a substantially more durable timing chain as opposed to a rubber timing belt making snapped timing belts and the ensuing cylinder head replacement much less common than most interference timed engines. The transmission and drivetrain also benefit from Honda’s excellent design team and with proper maintenance are incredibly reliable components.

The excellent Honda Real Time 4WD system is excellent in any kind of inclement weather or slick road conditions, and it engages automatically when needed without any action required by the driver.

Additionally the interior is well appointed and four full size adults will be comfortable riding in it indefinitely, although five passengers will fit for shorter journeys. The second generation CR-V also boasts excellent cargo space as well as excellent fuel economy with an EPA rated 26 MPG on the highway for 2006 models.

What To Look Out For– Make sure that the vehicle has not experienced a spotty maintenance record. This is good advice on any used vehicle, but the CR-V’s differential is often neglected and requires special Honda Dual Pump II fluid changes.

Another item to look for on these Hondas if you can take it to a mechanic is uneven brake pad wear on any wheel as sticking brake calipers are not uncommon on second generation CR-Vs.

Finally make sure before driving the vehicle that the airbag recall has been performed and that the failure prone Takata airbags have been removed.

Years To Buy– 2005-06. The CR-V was updated in 2005 to include a fresher visual look as well as including a close ratio 5 speed automatic transmission, improved AWD system that activated quicker when needed as well as standard ABS, Traction Control, and Vehicle Stability Assist.

Also included in this refresh are optional steering wheel mounted stereo controls and an XM Satellite compatible stereo.


(photo by Luftfahrrad (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

(Background image courtesy of Joe Wolf


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