Pros

  • Excellent reputation for reliability.
  • Offers excellent value for money.
  • Plenty of examples and variants to choose from.
  • Arguably the best budget SUV to buy.

Cons

  • Many examples have seen far better days.
  • Reliable however not mechanically perfect.
  • Lacks modern safety and tech.
  • Also lacks any sex appeal.

Verdict

If you are in the market for a practical, ultra-reliable, and relatively fuel-efficient SUV with decent four-wheel-drive capability – a vehicle capable of navigating everything from city traffic to weekly freeway runs and the occasional light off-road adventure – and your budget is limited to around $10,000, then the right...

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Publish: February 9, 2024

  • The second-generation Honda CR-V, produced in Japan from 2001 to 2006, is recognized as a pioneer in the medium-sized SUV category.
  • Manufactured during the early 2000s, considered Honda’s peak in terms of build quality and reliability.
  • In 2004, Honda not only visually refreshed the CR-V but also implemented significant range and mechanical upgrades.
  • Powertrain features the iconic K24 2.4 L engine, present in all Australian-delivered models, with power distribution to all four wheels through manual or automatic transmissions.
  • The CR-V primarily operates as a front-wheel-drive vehicle, seamlessly transferring power to all four wheels when front-wheel traction loss is detected, a feature users may not readily notice.
  • Pre-update trim specs in Australia included two variants, post-update increased to three, with additional special editions introduced (All details are listed below).
  • The second generation CR-V offers excellent value for money, coupled with Honda’s renowned build quality, providing peace of mind in terms of reliability.
  • Despite its virtues, prospective buyers should be aware of potential imperfections in certain examples; details on what to watch out for are outlined below.
  • The second-generation Honda CR-V, produced in Japan from 2001 to 2006, is recognized as a pioneer in the medium-sized SUV category.
  • Manufactured during the early 2000s, considered Honda’s peak in terms of build quality and reliability.
  • In 2004, Honda not only visually refreshed the CR-V but also implemented significant range and mechanical upgrades.
  • Powertrain features the iconic K24 2.4 L engine, present in all Australian-delivered models, with power distribution to all four wheels through manual or automatic transmissions.
  • The CR-V primarily operates as a front-wheel-drive vehicle, seamlessly transferring power to all four wheels when front-wheel traction loss is detected, a feature users may not readily notice.
  • Pre-update trim specs in Australia included two variants, post-update increased to three, with additional special editions introduced (All details are listed below).
  • The second generation CR-V offers excellent value for money, coupled with Honda’s renowned build quality, providing peace of mind in terms of reliability.
  • Despite its virtues, prospective buyers should be aware of potential imperfections in certain examples; details on what to watch out for are outlined below.
  • The second-generation Honda CR-V, produced in Japan from 2001 to 2006, is recognized as a pioneer in the medium-sized SUV category.
  • Manufactured during the early 2000s, considered Honda’s peak in terms of build quality and reliability.
  • In 2004, Honda not only visually refreshed the CR-V but also implemented significant range and mechanical upgrades.
  • Powertrain features the iconic K24 2.4 L engine, present in all Australian-delivered models, with power distribution to all four wheels through manual or automatic transmissions.
  • The CR-V primarily operates as a front-wheel-drive vehicle, seamlessly transferring power to all four wheels when front-wheel traction loss is detected, a feature users may not readily notice.
  • Pre-update trim specs in Australia included two variants, post-update increased to three, with additional special editions introduced (All details are listed below).
  • The second generation CR-V offers excellent value for money, coupled with Honda’s renowned build quality, providing peace of mind in terms of reliability.
  • Despite its virtues, prospective buyers should be aware of potential imperfections in certain examples; details on what to watch out for are outlined below.

Exterior:

  • Minor rust issues have been sporadically reported, primarily in cold climates with salted roads or vehicles near the ocean, but such occurrences are not widespread.
  • Some early models experienced wiper motor failures, although most instances have likely been addressed.
  • Aging may lead to reduced resistance in the rear door strut, causing potential issues when parking on inclines.
  • Brittle plastics may result in problems like badges falling off and side indicators coming loose.
  • Paint fading could be observed, especially if the vehicle has not been garaged, but affordable second-hand replacement body panels are reportedly available.

 

Interior:

  • Generally, there are no significant interior issues, with nothing major reported.
  • The standard stereo system is not highly regarded.
  • Pre-update models might have encountered air conditioning condenser problems, but these issues are likely to have been resolved by now.

 

Mechanically:

  • The K series engines are renowned for their popularity in engine swaps due to their capability for substantial horsepower with the right modifications.
  • Well-engineered K series engines contribute to their reliability, but missed services may lead to increased engine oil consumption.
  • Extreme neglect may result in timing chain, camshaft, and valve train problems.
  • Occasional VTEC actuator solenoid complications are reported, but they are easily and affordably fixed.
  • Oil leaks may occur, exacerbated when the PCV valve is malfunctioning.
  • Air/fuel ratio faults are linked to faulty oxygen sensors and purge valve issues.
  • Rear differential shuddering during turns can be addressed with a Honda Dual Pump coupling fluid change.
  • Worn stabilizer link pins and sway bushes are common issues, arguably the most prevalent in the CR-V.
  • Power steering pumps, air conditioning compressors, alternators, and starter motors may fail with age.
  • Engine mount replacements are increasingly common as the vehicles age.

Exterior:

  • Minor rust issues have been sporadically reported, primarily in cold climates with salted roads or vehicles near the ocean, but such occurrences are not widespread.
  • Some early models experienced wiper motor failures, although most instances have likely been addressed.
  • Aging may lead to reduced resistance in the rear door strut, causing potential issues when parking on inclines.
  • Brittle plastics may result in problems like badges falling off and side indicators coming loose.
  • Paint fading could be observed, especially if the vehicle has not been garaged, but affordable second-hand replacement body panels are reportedly available.

 

Interior:

  • Generally, there are no significant interior issues, with nothing major reported.
  • The standard stereo system is not highly regarded.
  • Pre-update models might have encountered air conditioning condenser problems, but these issues are likely to have been resolved by now.

 

Mechanically:

  • The K series engines are renowned for their popularity in engine swaps due to their capability for substantial horsepower with the right modifications.
  • Well-engineered K series engines contribute to their reliability, but missed services may lead to increased engine oil consumption.
  • Extreme neglect may result in timing chain, camshaft, and valve train problems.
  • Occasional VTEC actuator solenoid complications are reported, but they are easily and affordably fixed.
  • Oil leaks may occur, exacerbated when the PCV valve is malfunctioning.
  • Air/fuel ratio faults are linked to faulty oxygen sensors and purge valve issues.
  • Rear differential shuddering during turns can be addressed with a Honda Dual Pump coupling fluid change.
  • Worn stabilizer link pins and sway bushes are common issues, arguably the most prevalent in the CR-V.
  • Power steering pumps, air conditioning compressors, alternators, and starter motors may fail with age.
  • Engine mount replacements are increasingly common as the vehicles age.

Exterior:

  • Minor rust issues have been sporadically reported, primarily in cold climates with salted roads or vehicles near the ocean, but such occurrences are not widespread.
  • Some early models experienced wiper motor failures, although most instances have likely been addressed.
  • Aging may lead to reduced resistance in the rear door strut, causing potential issues when parking on inclines.
  • Brittle plastics may result in problems like badges falling off and side indicators coming loose.
  • Paint fading could be observed, especially if the vehicle has not been garaged, but affordable second-hand replacement body panels are reportedly available.

 

Interior:

  • Generally, there are no significant interior issues, with nothing major reported.
  • The standard stereo system is not highly regarded.
  • Pre-update models might have encountered air conditioning condenser problems, but these issues are likely to have been resolved by now.

 

Mechanically:

  • The K series engines are renowned for their popularity in engine swaps due to their capability for substantial horsepower with the right modifications.
  • Well-engineered K series engines contribute to their reliability, but missed services may lead to increased engine oil consumption.
  • Extreme neglect may result in timing chain, camshaft, and valve train problems.
  • Occasional VTEC actuator solenoid complications are reported, but they are easily and affordably fixed.
  • Oil leaks may occur, exacerbated when the PCV valve is malfunctioning.
  • Air/fuel ratio faults are linked to faulty oxygen sensors and purge valve issues.
  • Rear differential shuddering during turns can be addressed with a Honda Dual Pump coupling fluid change.
  • Worn stabilizer link pins and sway bushes are common issues, arguably the most prevalent in the CR-V.
  • Power steering pumps, air conditioning compressors, alternators, and starter motors may fail with age.
  • Engine mount replacements are increasingly common as the vehicles age.

Body Styles

  • 5 door Wagon

Engine Specs

  • 2.4 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 118kW / 220Nm (All Models)

Transmission

  • 5-speed Manual (CR-V, Sport, Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic, Special Edition, Extra)
  • 4-speed Automatic (CR-V, Sport, Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic)
  • 5-speed Automatic (CR-V, Sport, Special Edition, Extra)

Fuel Consumption

  • 7.2 – 9.5 / 100km (Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic)

Length

  • 4535mm – 4630mm (All Models)

Width

  • 1780mm – 1785mm (All Models)

Height

  • 1710mm (All Models)

Wheelbase

  • 2620mm – 2625mm (All Models)

Kerb Weight

  • 1470kg – 1520kg (All Models)

Towing

  • Unknown kg (unbraked) – 1500kg (braked) (All Models)

Ancap Ratings

  • Not tested (CR-V, Sport, Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic)
  • 4 stars (CR-V, Winter Classic, Sport, Sport Winter Classic, Special Edition, Extra)

Body Styles

  • 5 door Wagon

Engine Specs

  • 2.4 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 118kW / 220Nm (All Models)

Transmission

  • 5-speed Manual (CR-V, Sport, Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic, Special Edition, Extra)
  • 4-speed Automatic (CR-V, Sport, Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic)
  • 5-speed Automatic (CR-V, Sport, Special Edition, Extra)

Fuel Consumption

  • 7.2 – 9.5 / 100km (Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic)

Length

  • 4535mm – 4630mm (All Models)

Width

  • 1780mm – 1785mm (All Models)

Height

  • 1710mm (All Models)

Wheelbase

  • 2620mm – 2625mm (All Models)

Kerb Weight

  • 1470kg – 1520kg (All Models)

Towing

  • Unknown kg (unbraked) – 1500kg (braked) (All Models)

Ancap Ratings

  • Not tested (CR-V, Sport, Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic)
  • 4 stars (CR-V, Winter Classic, Sport, Sport Winter Classic, Special Edition, Extra)

Body Styles

  • 5 door Wagon

Engine Specs

  • 2.4 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 118kW / 220Nm (All Models)

Transmission

  • 5-speed Manual (CR-V, Sport, Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic, Special Edition, Extra)
  • 4-speed Automatic (CR-V, Sport, Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic)
  • 5-speed Automatic (CR-V, Sport, Special Edition, Extra)

Fuel Consumption

  • 7.2 – 9.5 / 100km (Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic)

Length

  • 4535mm – 4630mm (All Models)

Width

  • 1780mm – 1785mm (All Models)

Height

  • 1710mm (All Models)

Wheelbase

  • 2620mm – 2625mm (All Models)

Kerb Weight

  • 1470kg – 1520kg (All Models)

Towing

  • Unknown kg (unbraked) – 1500kg (braked) (All Models)

Ancap Ratings

  • Not tested (CR-V, Sport, Winter Classic, Sport Winter Classic)
  • 4 stars (CR-V, Winter Classic, Sport, Sport Winter Classic, Special Edition, Extra)

Warranty

  • 3 years / 100,000 km (All Models)

 

Model range, pricing & features

Honda CR-V RD-1

CR-V

Price when new: $29,990 - $33,990

Price used: $2,100 - $5,700

Equipment

  • 4 Speaker Stereo
  • Adjustable Steering Col. – Tilt only
  • Air Conditioning
  • Airbag – Driver
  • Airbag – Passenger
  • Armrest – Front Centre (Shared)
  • Body Side Mouldings
  • CD Player
  • Central Locking – Remote/Keyless
  • Coil Springs
  • Disc Brakes Front Ventilated
  • Disc Brakes Rear Solid
  • Engine Immobiliser
  • Headrests – Integrated 2nd Row
  • Independent Front Suspension
  • Independent Rear Suspension
  • Intermittent Wipers
  • Picnic Table – Foldable
  • Power Door Mirrors
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows – Front & Rear
  • Rear Wiper/Washer
  • Remote Boot/Hatch Release
  • Remote Fuel Lid Release
  • Spare Wheel – Rear Mounted
  • Spare Wheel Cover – Soft
  • Tacho
  • Trim – Velour

 

MY05 update

  • Alarm
  • Clear Side Indicator Lenses
  • Drive By Wire (Electronic Throttle Control)
  • Footrest – Drivers
  • Headlamps – Clear Lenses
  • Heat Insulated – Side Windows
  • Map/Reading Lamps – for 1st Row
  • Metallic Finish Dash Board
  • Metallic Finish Front Grille
  • Multi-function Steering Wheel
  • Rear View Mirror – Manual Anti-Glare
  • Seatbelt – Pretensioners 1st Row (Front)
  • Seatbelts – Lap/Sash for 5 seats
  • Seats – 2nd Row Split Fold
  • Sunvisor – Vanity Mirror for Driver
  • Sunvisor – Vanity Mirror for Passenger

Sport

Price when new: $35,290 - $36,749

Price used: $2,400 - $7,000

Adds

  • 15″ Alloy Wheels
  • ABS (Antilock Brakes)
  • Body Colour – Bumpers
  • Body Colour – Fittings
  • Body Side Mouldings – Colour Coded
  • EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution)
  • Fog Lamps – Front
  • Spare Wheel Cover – Hard
  • Sunroof – Electric

 

MY03 update

  • Body Colour – Exterior Mirrors Full
  • Headrests – Adjustable 2nd Row x2
  • Sunvisor – Illuminated Vanity Mirrors Dual
  • Trip Computer

 

MY05 update

  • 16″ Alloy Wheels
  • Airbags – Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front)
  • Audio – MP3 Decoder
  • Body Colour – Door Handles
  • Body Colour – Exterior Mirrors Partial
  • CD Stacker – 6 disc In Dash/Cabin
  • Seatback Pockets – 1st Row (Front) seats

Winter Classic

Price when new: $32,990

Price used: $2,600 - $4,800

Adds

  • Side Steps
  • Tow Bar

Sport Winter Classic

Price when new: $37,490

Price used: $2,900 - $5,600

Adds

  • Cargo Blind – Rear
  • Guard – Sump
  • Nudge Bar – Front
  • Roof Rails

 

MY04 update

  • Cargo Cover
  • Roof Racks
  • Skid Plate – Front

Special Edition

Price when new: $31,590

Price used: $4,000 - $5,700

Adds

  • Control – Park Distance Rear

Extra

Price when new: $31,590

Price used: $4,400 - $6,100

If you are in the market for a practical, ultra-reliable, and relatively fuel-efficient SUV with decent four-wheel-drive capability – a vehicle capable of navigating everything from city traffic to weekly freeway runs and the occasional light off-road adventure – and your budget is limited to around $10,000, then the right second generation Honda CR-V is the ideal choice.

Should you find an example in good condition with a solid service history, the answer is a resounding yes, you should consider purchasing a second generation Honda CR-V. This model successfully meets these specific requirements, earning its place as one of our top picks in this category.

If you are in the market for a practical, ultra-reliable, and relatively fuel-efficient SUV with decent four-wheel-drive capability – a vehicle capable of navigating everything from city traffic to weekly freeway runs and the occasional light off-road adventure – and your budget is limited to around $10,000, then the right second generation Honda CR-V is the ideal choice.

Should you find an example in good condition with a solid service history, the answer is a resounding yes, you should consider purchasing a second generation Honda CR-V. This model successfully meets these specific requirements, earning its place as one of our top picks in this category.

If you are in the market for a practical, ultra-reliable, and relatively fuel-efficient SUV with decent four-wheel-drive capability – a vehicle capable of navigating everything from city traffic to weekly freeway runs and the occasional light off-road adventure – and your budget is limited to around $10,000, then the right second generation Honda CR-V is the ideal choice.

Should you find an example in good condition with a solid service history, the answer is a resounding yes, you should consider purchasing a second generation Honda CR-V. This model successfully meets these specific requirements, earning its place as one of our top picks in this category.

Disclaimer

Please note that pricing information is subject to fluctuations in the automotive market.

Information correct as of Jan 25, 2024.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

Read our full terms and conditions here.

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