Honda has revamped its popular CR-V for the 2007 model year. Gone are the boxy lines and the barn door, replaced by a curvy crossover SUV with carlike dynamics, plenty of storage space, and some impressive onboard tech features.
The audio system in the 2007 Honda CR-V is spread out between the head-unit stack--where a single can be inserted behind the roll-down LCD screen--and the central console between the driver and rear passenger--where a six-disc cartridge is buried. To load CDs into the cartridge requires holding open a spring-loaded cover, pressing the Eject button, physically removing the cartridge, slotting CDs into the individual trays, and replacing the cartridge. Not exactly state-of-the-art.
When playing MP3 and WMA discs, the CR-V's screen shows full information for folder, album, and artist. A nice feature when playing digital audio is the CR-V's Track List button, which provides a list of all the tracks on a particular disc by name. With a large number of files on an audio disc, the Track List function can take a minute or so to index them all, but once it has digested all the information, it provides a very useful dashboard for navigating a media library.
Those wishing to play 21st century music formats have to roll down the navigation screen using the Open button on the faceplate (as this happens, the screen displays a reminder that, despite appearances, this is not a drinks tray). With the screen down, drivers are greeted with a single MP3- and WMA-friendly disc slot, and a slot for a digital audio card reader, which can be used to play MP3 and WMA files from Compact Flash and similar media via a PC card adapter.
Most engine-related details, including fuel level, gas mileage, engine temperature, and average fuel economy, can be seen at a glance via an intuitive white-on-black digital display nestled between the speedometer and the tachometer.
The CR-V comes with drive-by-wire throttle controls and Grade Logic Control, which is designed to adjust the shift points of the five-speed automatic transmission according to whether the car is on flat ground or going up or down hills.
The cabin of the CR-V is stylishly appointed for an under-$30K crossover SUV. The EX-L boasts leather (and heated front) seats, aesthetically-pleasing cabin materials, and a stylish red-and-blue trimmed, electroluminescent instrument panel.
The standard 270-watt six-speaker audio system on the 2007 Honda CR-V is pretty, well, standard in its quality of acoustic output. While it does have the admirable feature of a programmable subwoofer, output is muddy with little midrange refinement.
Honda's fabled voice-command system works as well as ever in the 2007 CR-V: It can be programmed without moving anything other than the larynx and the left thumb, which is used to depress the Talk button on the bottom of the steering wheel.
The 2007 Honda CR-V comes with one engine choice in the form of a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder plant, making 166 horsepower. Like most new models in Honda's lineup, the CR-V features the iVTEC variable valve timing, which serves to adjust valve timing according to engine demand.