2024 Honda CR-V Sport-L Review: Comparative Sweet Spot

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Love It

Leave It

Smooth ride

Still pricey

Smooth power delivery

Light on features

Ease of use

Hybrid sacrifices towing/storage

Fifty percent makes a lot more sense now.

That’s the split Honda was targeting for hybrid models as part of this generation of CR-V. There was just one problem when the model launched last year: only the higher trims saw electrification. For 2024, the hybrid choices increase, one of which is the 2024 Honda CR-V Sport-L you see here (EX-L Hybrid in Canada). The new model puts the better powertrain in reach of more folks—but it’s still a little rich.

What’s new?

This trim’s available hybrid powertrain. It’s the same one we’ve seen in the rest of the CR-V lineup, but at a different—and more affordable, in Canada—price point. With an electric motor and a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, combined system figures are 204 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. A small 1.1-kilowatt-hour battery pack provides the juice, though it trims cargo space by a little less than 10 percent versus the gas-only model.

Beyond that, and a few price increases to the hybrids in particular, the ’24 is all but identical to the ’23. This particular model bakes in some added personality with blacked-out trim pieces and orange contrast stitching inside. The new-shape CR-V is already ubiquitous up in these parts, but it’s a shape with more presence than the old, rounded model.

American buyers still get the choice of front- or all-wheel drive for the electrified model, similar to Korean competitors. Canada, as is often the case, is an AWD-only affair, for every CR-V bar the base model.

Grown-up drive

In the vast lineup of mainstream family SUVs, the latest CR-V has a more mature feel, like the Mazda CX-5 but without the penchant for driving fun. The Honda is buttoned-down and confident on the highway and in the city, where its well-judged suspension smooths over crackled pavement. The steering is is clean and crisp: light on weight because of the CR-V’s target demo, but consistent and accurate.

It’s the same story with the power delivery: mature, metered, and lacking in fuss. Most of the time, it’s only the 181-horsepower electric motor that is handling acceleration duties, with the gasser acting as a sort of along-for-the-ride generator. Sure, you’ll hear the thing wake up now and again, and it will join in the action when there’s a call for full power. The 2.0-liter will also be the main motive source on steady-state highway cruising, where its efficiency is best. Honda’s novel approach to hybrids makes for an altogether quieter electrified commute than the droning you’ll find in a Toyota RAV4, however. It can take a while to get used to the rev fluctuations not actually aligning with the momentum of the vehicle, mind you. Another perk: selectable levels of regenerative braking.

Fuel economy is officially rated at 40 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 37 mpg combined for this AWD model. (Canadian figures are 6.0, 6.9, and 6.4 L/100 km, respectively.) We saw about 10 percent worse than that, though that was with more highway miles than not, and a few days of bitter cold.

It's worth noting the CR-V hybrid is now officially capable of towing 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms). It's not much, but it's something.

Grown-up cabin

That same sense of maturity applies to the CR-V cabin. The pared-back dashboard design we saw debut in the Civic works just as well here, all horizontal lines to emphasize the width of the cabin. There are a handful of changes for SUV duty, namely a switch to a more subtle hidden-vent mesh along with flatter armrests. It’s an altogether classy space with a classic, quality feel that might not hit Mazda levels, but certainly isn’t far behind.

It’s spacious, too. Honda has a knack for carving out passenger space, thanks to low-mount (and comfortable) seats and wide-opening doors. The rear seats recline plenty too, so anybody looking for a quick snooze back there shouldn't be disappointed.

Sparse features list

Despite being the penultimate step on the trim walk, this Sport-L (EX-L Hybrid) tester is missing out on quite a few features. The standard safety kit is quite good, but the complete lack of a 360-degree camera, on any trim, is a strange omission. Same goes with ventilated front seats. This Canadian-market tester has rear outboard heated seats, but that’s not even an option in America. A panoramic moonroof of any sort is another, likely more divisive, miss.

The 9.0-inch touchscreen is mid-pack. There’s nothing exceptional about it, neither good nor bad; it does the job and no more. We do appreciate the wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with an easy-access button to swap between that and the native setup. Speaking of the latter, the color coding makes it a cinch to use without taking eyes off the road. Smart move, Honda.

Dollars and sense

In America, the Sport-L is the Goldilocks CR-V trim: more creature comforts than the Sport while, at $39,900 including destination, still saving a few grand compared to the top Sport Touring trim. It’s important to note the hybrids have seen two price hikes since last summer.

For Canada, this is now only the second hybrid trim and thus, the most affordable one. We’re still talking $48,775 CAD including destination.

Verdict: 2024 Honda CR-V Sport-L Review

On either side of the border, price remains the biggest sticking point with the 2024 Honda CR-V Sport-L (EX-L Hybrid). It’s a great all-around package that asks for a significant amount of extra cash compared to competitors. While that’s worked for the Civic, the CR-V’s relative lack of features against a talented segment—one more focused on family use—hurts it. This is the pick of the CR-V litter, but prospective buyers should check out what else their money could get them.

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2024 Honda CR-V Sport-L


8 / 10


8 / 10

Handling and Drivability

8 / 10

Passenger Comfort

8 / 10

Ride Quality

4 / 5

Exterior Style

3 / 5

Interior Style and Quality

8 / 10


7 / 10


3 / 5


4 / 5


7 / 10

Emotional Appeal

7 / 10


75 / 100

Fast Facts: 2024 Honda CR-V Sport-L


2.0L I4 Hybrid


204 hp, 247 lb-ft



US Fuel Economy (mpg)


CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km)


Starting Price (USD)

$35,400 (inc. dest.)

As-Tested Price (USD)

$39,900 (inc. dest.)

Starting Price (CAD)

$48,775 (inc. dest.)

As-Tested Price (CAD)

$48,775 (inc. dest.)

Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

More by Kyle Patrick

Join the conversation
  • Eugene Eugene on Apr 01, 2024

    Friends, we have a leased Canadian built Hybrid CRV purchased in August, 2023. This our 9th Honda since 2002. Among them 5 Odysseys, 1 Pilot, 1 Civic, and 2 CRVs. The Odysseys were the best vehicles we’ve had over our adult life of 60 years. We love our Hondas and like our 2023 Hybrid CRV, but there are some glaring missing features and lacking functions that would make the 1923/24 CRVs rise to #1 once again:

    1. The small information screen has small print that is hard to read. Night seeting better than daylight.
    2. The Navigation map print is too small and difficult to read at 110mpk.
    3. No information on the windshield like Mazda.
    4. The 142hp Atkinson Gas engine is a willing little engine lacks passing power. Step on the gas and the little engine roars with not much happening. When the electric kicks in the power is a little better.
    5. The Passenger seat if fixed at a too low a level, my wife is 5’ tall, and for a $54,000.00 auto, you would think it would have an eight way passenger seat rather that the four way seat only What gives???
    6. As well, the 2023 CRV comes with “nice to have” features like auto wipers and dimming headlights but lacks ESSENTIAL features such as adjustable brakes and accelerator pedals. Again by wife being only 5’, she must sit so close to the steering to be able to reach the pedals that if she were in a frontal accident, she would be in a serious situation from the airbags. DEATH?
    7. No panoramic moon roof. Canadian models from 2020 had them while the US models did not have that option!
    8. No 360 degree cameras like the Nissan Rogue to help when parking.
    9. Very small colour selections compare to US made vehicles and competitor vehicles. 4 colours for EXL models an ALL have the ubiquitous black! What happened to grey, red, blue?
    10. All hybrid CRVs do not have a spare tire. An air compressor and a can of latex does help you if you have a ten inch slash in one of your tites while travelling in areas like through the mountains. Call Saul?
    11. The location of the window washer fluid filler is located in an award location making filling difficult.
    12. The two fake front chrome coloured air intakes look garish and take away from the large grill.
    13. That’s all for now. Thanks!

  • Bro81964699 Bro81964699 on Apr 02, 2024

    Im not a fan of variable speed transmissions. Which I heard honda installed in the CRv

    im sticking with my rav4. I enjoy the Toyota reliability