Honda CR-V: True Staple of Crossover Class

By Sue Mead, July 29th, 2017

Over the last 40 years, Honda's small CR-V has become a true staple of the American utility vehicle diet. Slotting just behind the Civic and ahead of the Accord, Honda's popular crossover utility vehicle is positioned to become the real bread-and-butter winner for Honda, as American consumers abandon their preference for sedans in favor of the more practical crossovers.

Manufacturer photo: The all-new body and chassis design in the 2017 CR-V provides more agile and confident handling, greater refinement, additional ground clearance and superior overall versatility
Manufacturer photo: The all-new body and chassis design in the 2017 CR-V provides more agile and confident handling, greater refinement, additional ground clearance and superior overall versatility

Honda's CR-V highlights an all-new platform and powertrain -- including the model's first-ever turbocharged engine. The 2017 CR-V is available in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring.

Outside, the CR-V sports a more aggressive attitude highlighted by a broad-shouldered stance, sharply sculpted body design elements, stylized headlights surrounded by a wing-shaped LED DRL array, increased ground clearance, and wide muscular fenders that accommodate larger tires and alloy wheels (17-inch on LX, 18-inch on EX and above).

Its longer hood, longer wheelbase, shorter rear overhang, and dual exhausts give the ute a more sophisticated and athletic presence. For the first time, Honda adds a hands-free power tailgate that opens or closes simply by waving a foot beneath the rear bumper.

The five-passenger CUV boasts from 101.6 to 105.9 cubic-feet of passenger space (depending on the trim level), with more than 39 cu.-ft. of storage behind the rear seats (cargo capacity with the rear seats down has not yet been released). Cargo hauling is easier than ever thanks to a new single-motion split-folding rear seat that creates a fully flat cargo area.

Manufacturer photo: The all-new body and chassis design in the 2017 CR-V provides more agile and confident handling, greater refinement, additional ground clearance and superior overall versatility

Available in both front- and all-wheel drive, the 2017 Honda Civic offers two engine choices: entry-level LX trims are powered by a 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder largely carried over from the previous model.

For EX and above trims, power comes from an upgraded version of the 190-horsepower, 1.5-liter direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable transmission with Honda G-Shift control logic. An automatic shutter system inside the grille closes to improve aerodynamics, or opens to boost engine cooling.

Rough roads with bumps, dips, and generally uneven terrain should be no problem with all-wheel-drive models, as the CR-V will automatically shift power to where it is needed.

As for safety, the outstanding Honda Sensing system includes collision mitigation braking with forward collision warning and pedestrian sensing capability, road departure mitigation with lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, and lane keeping assist. Additional new driver-assistive technologies include the available blind spot indicator, rear cross traffic monitor, and automatic high beam headlights.

Continuing its stellar reputation for safety, the 2017 Honda CR-V targets the highest available collision safety ratings, including a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a Superior rating for frontal crash prevention when equipped with Honda Sensing.

Manufacturer photo: The all-new body and chassis design in the 2017 CR-V provides more agile and confident handling, greater refinement, additional ground clearance and superior overall versatility

Substantially upgraded with soft-touch materials in critical areas, the new interior features more intricately stitched seats, standard rear-view camera, and a color TFT driver information display; a 5-inch display screen is standard on LX models, a new 7-inch-display audio system with Garmin navigation, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay compatibility will be optional. In response to customer complaints, Honda returns a physical volume control knob for the audio system, replacing the slider used previously. Pricing starts at $24,045.

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