Car Review: 2017 Honda CR-V One Of The Best Gets Better - Review By Larry Nutson
One of the best gets better
- 5 Star Rating by The Auto Channel
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
There’s a sales-king battle going on this year in the very popular compact SUV segment between the 2017 Honda CR-V and the 2017 Nissan Rogue. Both vehicles are quite good and very popular in the marketplace. The CR-V has held the crown for many years. So, we’ll see.
The 2017 Honda CR-V is all-new for this year. It’s been completely redesigned with more style and flair. The interior has been revised and made more spacious, and there’s a new turbo engine.
The new CR-V is much better looking on the outside than the previous model. It’s been sculpted, has a new front fascia and new rear window shape. On the inside it’s also more modern with higher quality materials. And--wait for it, we now get a volume knob for the audio system. You wouldn’t think this simple item is a big deal, but it is.
Now with a longer wheelbase and wider track, the ride remains very compliant and yet a bit more comfortable.
The five-passenger CR-V is offered in five trims—LX, EX, EX-L, EX-L with Navigation and Touring. Prices run from $24,045 to $33,795. All five models are offered in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
The lowest price LX is powered by a 184-HP, 2.4-L four-cylinder that’s a carry-over from the previous generation. The other top-four models now get Honda’s 190-HP turbo 1.5-L four. Both engines use a CVT.
The 1.5-L engine is the better performer and has the better fuel economy ratings.
Front-drive models have EPA test-cycle ratings of 30 mpg combined, with 28 city mpg and 34 highway mpg. All-wheel drive models are rated one mpg lower. By the way, the 1.5-L engine is certified as low-emission which may pay off if you park at work in a LEED certified building that provides closer-in parking spaces for green vehicles.
The 60/40 split-folding rear seat folds flat. Cargo space is very ample at 39.2 cuft and it then grows to 75.8 cuft with the seatback down. Also, there’s a two-step load floor that can be raised or lowered to fit tall items. Plus, there’s an available hands-free power liftgate.
The Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistance safety features has been made standard on EX and higher trims. Road Departure Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow are now available. Additional new available driver-assistance features include Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, Blind Spot Information System, Auto High-Beam and a new Driver Attention Monitor.
Noteworthy is the 2017 Honda CR-V has earned the highest possible safety rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when equipped with available Honda Sensing and LED headlights.
Other features include remote engine start, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate controls, heated power mirrors, automatic high-beam headlamps and a 180-degree rear camera.
An available 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
For my test-driving in the CR-V I drove an all-wheel drive Touring model. On a 150-mile road trip from Chicago to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin I got around 33 mpg driving at steady interstate speeds on a light traffic day. The turbo engine performs well with good torque on hand to deliver reasonable all-around performance, although it was always with just me on-board. I’m not real fond of CVTs but they get the job done and with the turbo engine you don’t need to rev very high to get going.
Honda did a decent job with interior cabin noise management as my road trip proved out with tire and wind noise not being too disturbing. The overall refinement of the CR-V over the previous model is noteworthy. I was impressed by details like the interior wood trim on the Touring model and the illumination in the engine stop/start button makes it easy to see and locate.
Like most all SUVs the high seating position provides good outward visibility. At the end of my little road trip the seats proved their worth in not leaving me fatigued or stiff.
In drives around my Chicago home the CR-V handled the rough-and-tumble city streets nicely soaking up road imperfections and what-have-you. At the recent Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Spring Rally based at Road America in Elkhart Lake I drove the CR-V on some local twisty-windy roads to test out the overall driving dynamics, which proved to be comfortable and able to handle the routines it would typically be put through.
The 2017 Honda CR-V is a candidate for the MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year award that will be announced at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show in February.
More information, specifications and model details can be found at www.automobiles.honda.com. You can cross-shop and compare to other compact SUVs right here at The Auto Channel.
The new CR-V has already received a number of worthy awards from the automotive media and is well regarded. It is a must-test-drive vehicle if you are shopping for a compact SUV. With its compact size and roomy interior it is poised well to fit in with the re-urbanization trend.
© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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