Honda CR-V

Honda's fifth-generation CR-V is was completely redesigned for 2017 and it continues to be a top competitor in the compact SUV landscape. Outside, the CR-V benefits from styling that Honda describes as bold and sophisticated, with an aggressive, "windswept" front end and sculpted sides. Inside, the cabin yields more space than previous iterations, with 106 cubic feet of total passenger cabin volume, including 39.2 feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 75.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. Underpinning it all is a chassis that allows the CR-V to be agile in its handling capabilities while still offering a cushy ride, thanks to a suspension system comprised of MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link setup in the rear.

Honda's proven 2.4L 4-cylinder powers the base LX model, providing 185 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, while returning an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, in front-wheel-drive models. Meanwhile, the CR-V EX, EX-L and Touring trims are powered by a 1.5L turbocharged four. This unit produces 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet and is EPA-rated at 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway on front-wheel-drive models. These figures for both engine options are only reduced by 1 mpg in the all-wheel-drive models. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable transmission.

Like much of Honda's lineup, the CR-V is offered in four trims: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. LX models ride on 17-inch alloy wheels and feature LED daytime running lights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights, as well as a tailgate spoiler. Standard features include automatic air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, a 160-watt, 4-speaker audio system with Pandora compatibility, active noise control and premium cloth seating, with a one-motion 60/40 split "dive-down" rear seat.

In addition to the 1.5L turbo, EX trims add 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry with push-button start, automatic headlights with auto high beam and integrated turn signals in the mirrors. Inside, you'll find heated front seats with an 8-way powered driver's seat, a 6-speaker audio system with 7-inch color display and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, a power moonroof and dual-zone automatic air conditioning. Standard safety technology on the EX includes blind spot information, a driver attention monitory, rear cross-traffic monitor and Honda SENSOR, a suite of technologies that feature collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and lane departure warning.

The EX-L trim adds luxury amenities like leather-trimmed seats, steering wheel and shift knob, 4-way power passenger's seat, a power tailgate, auto-dimming mirror, an 8-speaker sound system and SiriusXM satellite radio. Navigation is available on the EX-L.

Finally, the CR-V Touring features exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust, LED headlights, roof rails, automatic wipers, a hands-free power tailgate and a 330-watt premium audio system with nine speakers.

Editors' Review

Honda simply does it better. No other mass-market automaker builds as many all-around excellent vehicles. With unnerving consistency, this company's products are typically nicer to drive, more fuel-efficient, spacious inside and of higher quality than models fielded by rivals. The CR-V crossover embodies that ethos of excellence. A sales leader in America for more than 20 years, this perennially popular nameplate competes in the heart of the crossover market, battling opponents like the Nissan Rogue, Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan.

To keep the CR-V fresh and help it fend off competitors that have been redesigned more recently, models like the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, Honda has made a number of enhancements for 2020. Plenty of new technology and features have been added, but the price of a base LX model only creeps up by $600.

What's new for 2020?

Headline news for the latest model year is the inclusion of Honda Sensing, which is now standard across the CR-V's model range. This is the automaker's handy suite of advanced driver-assistance technology. Among other things, it includes lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control.

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The Good ~ Comfortable accommodations ~ Excellent crash-test scores ~ Cavernous cargo hold ~ High-quality cabin

The Bad ~ Antiquated infotainment system ~ Weak CVT performance ~ Grumbly engine

The Bottom Line Spacious and efficient, comfortable, versatile, affordable and well-made, the Honda CR-V does nearly everything a crossover should, and it does it all with confidence and grace.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 8.5
  • Design 8
  • Media 7.5

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