2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2019 Jeep Wrangler

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CR-V has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats that act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Wrangler doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head and are only available for the front seats.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring has standard Collision Mitigation Braking System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Wrangler offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the CR-V uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Wrangler uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the CR-V and the Wrangler have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CR-V the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Wrangler has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CR-V’s reliability 29 points higher than the Wrangler.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V third among compact suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Wrangler isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 48 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 7 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CR-V gets better fuel mileage than the Wrangler:

 

 

 

MPG

CR-V

FWD

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/32 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

28 city/34 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

Wrangler

4WD

Manual

2-door 3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

 

 

4-door 3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/23 hwy

 

Auto

2-door 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/25 hwy

 

 

4-door 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/24 hwy

 

 

3.6 DOCH V6

18 city/23 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda CR-V uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Wrangler with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The CR-V has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Honda CR-V comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Wrangler.

The CR-V has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The CR-V stops much shorter than the Wrangler:

 

CR-V

Wrangler

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

194 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

133 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

146 feet

163 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The CR-V LX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Wrangler Sport’s standard 75 series tires. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s tires have a lower 60 series profile than the Wrangler Sahara’s 70 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Honda CR-V’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Jeep Wrangler’s solid front axle, which allows the CR-V’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

For superior ride and handling, the Honda CR-V has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Jeep Wrangler has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the CR-V has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Wrangler.

The CR-V Touring AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Wrangler Sahara 4-door pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Honda CR-V may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 950 pounds less than the Jeep Wrangler.

The CR-V is 7.8 inches shorter than the Wrangler 4-door, making the CR-V easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The CR-V is 7.5 inches shorter in height than the Wrangler, making the CR-V much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction lowers the CR-V’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Wrangler uses body-on-frame design instead.

For excellent aerodynamics, the CR-V has standard flush composite headlights. The Wrangler has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

The front grille of the CR-V uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Wrangler doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The CR-V uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Wrangler doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CR-V’s rear seats recline. The Wrangler’s rear seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the CR-V is 6 inches lower than the Wrangler 4-door (19” vs. 25”). The CR-V’s rear step up height is 7.8 inches lower than the Wrangler 4-door’s (18” vs. 25.8”).

Cargo Capacity

The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Wrangler 4-door with its rear seat up (39.2 vs. 31.7 cubic feet). The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Wrangler 4-door with its rear seat folded (75.8 vs. 72.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CR-V easier. The CR-V’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Wrangler’s liftover is 29.7 inches.

The CR-V’s cargo area is larger than the Wrangler’s in every dimension:

 

CR-V

Wrangler

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37.5”/71”

37”/65.8”

Max Width

54”

42”

Min Width

41.5”

39.5”

Height

41”

30”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CR-V’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Wrangler doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The CR-V’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Wrangler 2-door’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

The CR-V’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Wrangler’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CR-V EX-L/Touring has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the CR-V Touring, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the CR-V EX-L/Touring, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Wrangler doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CR-V EX-L/Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Wrangler doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The CR-V’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

The CR-V’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches.

The CR-V’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Wrangler’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

If the windows are left open on the CR-V the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Wrangler can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The CR-V’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. Power locks are only available on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

The CR-V has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The CR-V Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Wrangler’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CR-V has a standard rear wiper. A rear wiper costs extra on the Wrangler.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Wrangler doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The CR-V has standard power remote mirrors. The Wrangler Sport doesn’t offer either a remote driver side or passenger side mirror. The driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

Both the CR-V and the Wrangler offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CR-V has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Wrangler doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Model Availability

The CR-V is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Honda CR-V has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

CR-V

Wrangler

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V first among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Wrangler isn’t in the top three.

The CR-V was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 17 years. The Wrangler has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CR-V as their 2018 Sport Utility of the Year. The Wrangler has never been chosen.

The Honda CR-V outsold the Jeep Wrangler by 62% during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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