The 2021 model year for the Honda CR-V does not bring significant changes. Customers should expect more of the same. Overall, the 2021 Honda CRV AWD version will be the same as the 2020 model year when the Japanese manufacturer introduced an exterior facelift.
Engine and Transmission
For the AWD model, Honda is using their VTi-S system that makes use of a 1.5-liter turbo petrol engine that delivers 189 HP or 140 kW. Despite have reasonable power, the CR-V is a heavy vehicle and it does not feel like a sporty drive in any shape or form. It is suitable as a daily driver and family car especially with the CVT automatic transmission that comes as a standard for AWD models. A reasonably specced 2021 Honda CRV AWD model should weigh about 3500 lb which is not a lot. The power to weight ratio is decent but the AWD system makes it accelerate slower than what most would expect if it were to be compared to an FWD version having the same 140 kW transmission.
The interior of the Honda CR-V has been refined starting with the 2020 model year. Unlike most European manufacturers, the infotainment system is properly integrated into the central console and it does not stick out, obstructing a portion of the windshield. It has a lower position that allows for two air vents to be placed right above it. The driver instrument cluster is now available with digital gauges that are split amongst 3 small screens instead of using a single large screen like most german manufacturers like to use.
What is important to note that Honda retained physical buttons for the AC system, seats, and volume. Most users complain about manufacturers using touch-sensitive buttons or completely removing buttons. For the 2021 Honda CRV AWD, the Japanese automaker decided to still use physical buttons for their practicality and tactile sensation that simply makes them more practical.
The gear selector is placed right beneath the infotainment system but still has that slightly elevated position as in the 2020 model. Being an automatic, having the gear selector so elevated does not do much in terms of practicality but it leaves the storage area around the armrest more open and easier to use.
As for the overall build and construction of the interior, the 2020 Honda CR-V AWD model is no different than any other Honda. It uses soft-touch materials for most surfaces that you would touch often and a leather steering wheel. There are hard plastics used on lower areas such as the door panels but those surfaces are not meant to be touched constantly while driving.
As far as tech goes, the CR-V offers everything one would expect from a 2021 car. It has auto-emergency braking, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 360 cameras, parking sensors, and all the bells and whistles that enabled it to get a five-star safety score in the ANCAP safety rating. The ones that are not used to driving larger cars such as the CR-V should rest assured as the 2021 Honda CRV AWD model comes with self-parking as standard.