Are you looking for a crossover SUV that's coolly competent across the board? The redesigned 2017 Honda CR-V will certainly fit the bill. It gets sharp new styling, even more feature content and an excellent optional turbocharged engine. It's a great choice for an all-around crossover SUV.
For years, the Honda CR-V has been one of our favorite small crossover SUVs. Now Honda has fully redesigned this versatile, comfortable and well-built vehicle, giving it a whole new look and addressing some prior drawbacks.
The Honda CR-V's most significant change is its new optional turbocharged engine. It's very similar to the one introduced in the Civic last year, and it represents a welcome boost in muscle if you thought previous iterations of the CR-V were too wimpy in the engine department. The CR-V is now a bit bigger, too, with more interior space that makes it one of the most spacious vehicles in the class. Honda has also added some of the latest tech features and introduced changes to make the CR-V quieter at highway speeds.
Add it all up and the 2017 Honda CR-V looks like the small crossover to beat this year. But you should still consider a few other options. For an abundance of driving personality and great on-road feel that you don't typically get in small SUVs, we recommend the 2017 Mazda CX-5. The Ford Escape is another modern, well-equipped option that is also pretty fun to drive, and the 2017 Toyota RAV4 is a popular pick with many consumers. Whatever you require from a five-passenger crossover SUV, though, the 2017 Honda CR-V is likely to provide it, and there's a lot to look forward to when it goes on sale.
The 2017 Honda CR-V is a five-passenger crossover SUV offered in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. Note that the following feature sets are preliminary and might change slightly as Honda readies final production.
The CR-V LX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a rearview camera, single-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60\/40-split folding and reclining rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity, a 5-inch center display screen, and a four-speaker sound system with a USB port, an auxiliary audio jack and Pandora internet radio compatibility.
Going with the EX gets you 18-inch alloy wheels, a turbocharged engine, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights (and high beams), a sunroof, foglights, a retractable cargo cover, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitoring system, a forward collision warning and mitigation system with automatic braking, a lane departure warning and intervention system, a 7-inch touchscreen with HondaLink smartphone app integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), satellite radio and an extra USB port.
The EX-L adds a power liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, leather upholstery and an eight-speaker sound system with HD radio.
Finally, the Touring tops off the CR-V range with roof rails, LED headlights, hands-free operation for the power liftgate, automatic windshield wipers, ambient interior LED lighting, a navigation system and an upgraded sound system with nine speakers. The navigation system is also available as an option on the EX-L trim.
Although we have yet to drive the 2017 Honda CR-V, we do have extensive experience with its predecessor and with the Honda Civic with which it shares its optional 1.5-liter engine. The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine carries over in the base EX and it has decent power, but you really need to wind up to high rpm for that power to kick in. On the spec sheet, the 1.5-liter engine isn't really more powerful, but its turbocharger gives a nice bump to low-to-midrange power, which should make the CR-V better at highway passing and squirting into small gaps in city traffic. Honda also says this year's CR-V will handle better around turns and be quieter and more comfortable on the highway. We'll update this review with full driving impressions as soon as the 2017 CR-V is available for testing.
The 2017 Honda CR-V LX comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 184 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. All other CR-Vs have a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and buyers can choose between front- and all-wheel drive on all trims.
The 2017 Honda CR-V comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. On EX trim levels and above, the CR-V also comes with blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and intervention, and a forward collision warning and mitigation system with automatic emergency braking (also includes pedestrian detection).
For years, the Honda CR-V has offered shoppers looking for a small crossover SUV one of the roomiest interiors in its class, and this new 2017 model is no exception. There's an abundance of space for rear passengers, and drivers will appreciate the added adjustability that comes with the available power driver seat, as it provides a superior visibility and a sense of openness.
A welcome change this year is the reintroduction of a volume knob (yes, really!) on the CR-V's center console. We've complained in the past about the touchscreen volume controls on previous CR-Vs, so hopefully the model's volume knob will make cranking your tunes easier. We're also interested to learn how well this year's CR-V's 7-inch screen works. Honda says it has new navigation and Android-based operating system software.
Out back, there's one of the most user-friendly cargo areas in the small SUV segment. The CR-V can carry 39.2 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats. That area benefits from a low load floor and a boxy shape overall, making it easier to get your dog into the car or to carry large items. Lowering the spring-loaded, auto-folding rear seatbacks with a tug of the trunk-mounted levers, is easy to do quickly while you're holding groceries, large items or maybe even a child. Maximum cargo space for the previous-generation CR-V was 70.9 cubic feet (one of the largest numbers in the segment), and we expect that to grow by one or two cubes.
Plenty of adult-sized room in both seating rows; more cargo capacity than most rivals; rear seatbacks fold flat at the tug of a lever; appealing roster of tech and safety features.
Possibly not as entertaining to drive as a few other rival crossovers.