What Is the Meaning of Honda CRV?

by Marcy AndersenUpdated June 22, 2023
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Sport/utility vehicles have become popular as family vehicles, not just heavy duty work vehicles. Domestic car companies have been on the SUV bandwagon, making vehicles that are sturdy for hauling and off-road driving but also family friendly, since the 1980s. It wasn't until the 1990s that Honda entered the game with the Honda CR-V, a popular car with a mysterious name.


Honda released the CR-V in 1996 in Japan. Due to public demand, Honda had decided to create a sport/utility vehicle. It based the CR-V on the popular Civic. However, Honda was hesitant to market the CR-V; it wasn't sure it could stand up against the Honda Passport as Honda's entrance into the world of SUVs. But after seeing the popularity of Toyota's RAV4, Honda introduced the CR-V to the United States in 1997.

Officially in Japan

The official Honda Japan CR-V fact book states that the acronym CR-V stands for Comfortable Runaround Vehicle.

In the UK

In British literature, the Honda CR-V is touted as a "Compact Recreational Vehicle."

Other Fun Possibilities

Many people have made up their own meanings for the acronym, such as Civic Recreational Vehicle, which makes sense since the CR-V is on a Civic platform. It has also been called Cross Road Vehicle, Crossover Recreational Vehicle, Car-like Recreational Vehicle and even Cute Recreational Vehicle.


No matter what you call it, the Honda CR-V has had a lot of success as a family vehicle and as an SUV. New CR-Vs are more luxurious, have great gas mileage and offer ultra-low emissions.

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