The Honda CR-V is one of the most popular crossovers in the U.S. because it’s comfortable, practical, reliable and gets great fuel economy. It gets a makeover for 2017 and sales for the redesigned CR-V are ahead of last year.
The five-passenger CR-V is available with front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. It comes in LX, EX, EX-L and Touring trims. Starting prices range from $24,045 to $33,795.
The LX is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 184 horsepower. The rest of the trims have a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 190 hp. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission.
The CR-V is not very sporty but it is a pleasant daily driver and there’s enough power for most driving situations. You will notice a bit of turbo lag as you accelerate from a stop, and you may wish you had a bit more power when trying to quickly get up to freeway speeds. It’s comfortable over rough roads and feels planted when cornering. The CR-V turns easily making it a breeze to maneuver in city traffic and tight parking lots. Visibility is good all the way around, except for the back corners.
Fuel efficiency is pretty good for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with a combined rating of 29 mpg. I got 28 during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The CR-V with AWD has 8.2 inches of ground clearance so you and the family can do some basic off-roading. It has a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.
The interior gets updated for 2017 with nice materials and finishes and is easily one of the nicest cabins in this class. Cloth seating is standard while upper trims have leather seating. Passengers in both rows of seating will be comfortable with good leg- and headroom even for adults. The cabin is also pretty quiet with engine and road noise barely noticeable.
All CR-Vs come standard with a rearview camera, four-speaker audio system, single-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and USB port.
The base LX trim comes with a five-inch display screen. The other trims get an infotainment system with a seven-inch touch screen. The system is pretty intuitive and quick to respond. And—hallelujah—there’s now an old-school knob to use when you want to adjust the volume! Anyone who’s driven the CR-V in the past probably griped about the lack of knobs and buttons to operate the infotainment system. It was a pain to have to use the touchscreen to adjust the volume. In addition to the new volume knob, there are also knobs for climate adjustments. And the infotainment system’s menus have been updated to make them more user-friendly. Hooray!
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now available so smartphone integration is a snap.
The CR-V boasts the most cargo space in the class with 39.2 cubic feet behind the second row and 75.8 cubes with the rear seats folded down. The seats fold flat and you can easily fold the back seats down from the cargo area. There’s a power liftgate on the EX-L trim, and the Touring model boasts a hands-free power liftgate. There are also many spaces throughout the cabin to store small items and water bottles.
Upscale interior with many soft-touch surfaces
Roomy cabin with the most cargo space in the class
Good fuel efficiency for the class
Honda finally added a volume knob to the infotainment system!
Starting price is higher than many competitors
Engine could use more power for freeway driving
My tester starts at $33,695. Destination fee is $900 bringing the grand total to $34,595.
The CR-V delivers on the list of features most shoppers want in a compact crossover. It’s comfortable, reliable, spacious, gets great gas mileage and is pleasant to drive. And the addition of a knob makes it so much easier to perform the basic function of adjusting the volume! The redesigned 2017 CR-V is poised to remain a popular choice for the foreseeable future.