By on December 12, 2016

2017 Honda CR-V Green in forest, Image: © 2016 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

2017 Honda CR-V

2.4-liter inline-4, DOHC, i-VTEC, direct injection (184 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm; 180 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm)

1.5-liter inline-4, turbocharged, DOHC (190 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm; 179 lb-ft @ 2,000-5,000 rpm)

Continuously variable transmission (CVT), front-wheel drive/Real Time AWD w/ Intelligent Control System

26 city / 32 highway / 28 combined (EPA Rating, MPG, 2.4L + FWD)

25 city / 31 highway / 27 combined (EPA Rating, MPG, 2.4L + AWD)

28 city / 34 highway / 30 combined (EPA Rating, MPG, 1.5T + FWD)

27 city / 33 highway / 29 combined (EPA Rating, MPG, 1.5T + AWD)

Price: $24,945–34,595

Pricing includes $900 destination charge.

Update: An earlier version of this story stated the 2017 Honda CR-V was “American-made.” However, the CR-V is manufactured in both the United States and Canada for North American consumption. Sorry, Allistonians.

We sat down for dinner in a rented space shortly after arriving in Monterey, California. The food, standard fare for such a gathering, consisted of no less than three different types of meat, the usual suspects of sides, and one or two items my small-town mind couldn’t infer from the non-Anglo-Saxon names printed on the buffet placement cards.

This was normal for a manufacturer press launch dinner: provide just enough “exotic” items for attendees to feel fancy, privileged, and cultured, but make sure the usual assortment of normal standbys are present so as not to confuse the rest of us with indecipherable choice.

Not adventurous enough to take on that mystery sushi? Here’s some roast beef.

That sauteed vegetable of dubious origin giving you second thoughts? Here, have a potato.

To the front of the room stood two new 2017 Honda CR-Vs. Much like the edibles offered to the journosaur guests, one of the examples wore a resplendent, bright hue; the other a more muted pigmentation for those with more conservative sensibilities.

For 2017, Honda’s brand-new follow-up to its successful fourth-generation CR-V brings turbocharging, loads of technology, and updated (but not necessarily better) styling to American driveways. And in a bold move for Honda, it will even give you choice — so long as said choice is between two four-cylinder engines that offer up the same performance and nearly identical fuel economy figures.

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Less than 10

Much like our buffet dinner, the CR-V is both exciting and conservative under its newly shaped hood.

The same 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that debuted in the 10th-generation Honda Civic is now found in the company’s staple utility, though the CR-V’s engine does offer more performance than the Civic — 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque — to lug around its added heft. Yet, the base-model LX isn’t weak in the knees, as its 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder is similarly rated at 184 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque.

Between the two engines, there isn’t a massive fuel economy spread, either: with identical drivelines, the difference between the two engines is 2 miles per gallon across the board.

So, yes, there are two engines, but it isn’t as if Honda’s new CR-V is spoiling consumers for choice. To illustrate the conservative level of difference between the CR-Vs engines, let’s do some math that doesn’t exactly matter.

The two engines are 6 horsepower apart, 1 lb-ft of torque apart, and 2 mpg apart, for a TTAC Differential Score of 9.

2017 Honda CR-V Engine Bay, Image: American Honda

Then consider the Toyota RAV4: two different powertrains (naturally aspirated and hybrid) separated by 18 hp and a whopping 10 mpg difference in city fuel consumption — though there’s virtually no difference in highway thirst. The Ford Escape spins an even greater tale: a 77-horsepower difference between the least and most powerful engine options (2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder vs. 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder) — and the most powerful engine is rated better for fuel consumption.

But those numbers don’t tell the full story. Choice is only good when the choices themselves are good. In the case of the CR-V, both options are solid.

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder wasn’t a dream in the previous CR-V, but it wasn’t a lambastable ingredient in Honda’s SUV special sauce. We didn’t get a chance to drive the 2.4-liter unit in the new CR-V, but it was wholly acceptable in the previous-gen.

2017 Honda CR-V 1.5-liter Turbocharged Engine, Image: American Honda

Instead, we drove a 1.5-liter-equipped Touring from base camp in Monterey to San Francisco, and it never seemed caught off-guard by our hamfisted pedal operation. I could go on and on about the new turbo motor, but the truth is it’s a choice chosen for you based on other criteria. If you opt for a CR-V in anything but base trim, this is what you’ll get. It’s rated at 28/34/30 mpg (city/highway/combined) in front-wheel drive trim, or 27/33/29 mpg if you opt for the pseudo-heroism of all-wheel drive.

Oh, and both engines send power to Honda’s new continuously variable transmission. That’s okay, too.

2017 Honda CR-V

Existing quietly with your volume knob

In 10 years time, when automakers start coming to their senses and adding buttons to the dashboard again, we’ll mark this move by Honda as the turning point. Yes, I’m talking about the triumphant return of the humble volume knob.

Any interior design element that causes the driver to not pay attention to the road should be binned posthaste. Thankfully, Honda realized this quickly, and the volume knob again takes its proper place at the left side of the center stack, right next to the infotainment screen.

Thank you, Honda.

If you’re interested in bagging a Civic but this blunder of design and cost-cutting is holding you back from signing on the dotted line, wait a couple of years until the Civic refresh. I’m sure — though nobody has said as much — the knob of all knobs will return to Honda’s compact, too.

That said, the volume control on the steering wheel is still a disaster. It’s a rocker switch you can also “swipe,” which means you’ll either lose audio or blow out your eardrums if you graze it inadvertently. This is the kind of design faux pas that happens when people get bored and start fiddling around with solutions that already work.

The rest of the interior provides a great place to relax in comfort: supportive seats, minimized NVH, plenty of storage, and easy controls. Still, you must contend with HondaLink, which isn’t pleasing to the eye nor intuitive to operate.

2017 Honda CR-V Cargo Area, Image: American Honda

However, if you’re reading this, chances are you have a family and want to know what’s going on aft of the B-pillar. After all, child seats need to be fitted, and Timmy’s stroller and all his toys are required for that jaunt to Auntie Kim’s so you can drop off the little rugrat for a few days of peace and quiet. Well, good news: you can hold more of Timmy’s toys thanks to an increase in seat-up cargo volume from 37.2 cu. ft. in the old CR-V to 39.2 cu. ft. in this one.

2017 Honda CR-V Cargo Area, Image: American Honda

The rear cargo hold has a trick floor panel to flatten out the cargo floor when the “one-motion dive-down” 60/40 rear seats are folded. It probably won’t help Timmy now, but it will come in handy when Timmy is old enough to go to college and he’s loading his three boxes of personal possessions into the rear. That seat-down cargo area is now 4.9 cu. ft. larger than before thanks to the aforementioned cargo floor panel “dipping” lower into the floor when you need that extra bit of cargo volume.

Middle of the road

As you can probably already infer, the CR-V is not a driver’s utility like the Escape, but it’s supremely comfortable on the road, and has no issue handling a pothole or two. That said, the CR-V is really great when you’re not driving it.

Honda Sensing, the company’s suite of safety and assistive driving aids, returns to the CR-V with new and improved features on EX, EX-L, and Touring trims. Of note are Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist System, which together provide one of the easiest ways to travel in a new compact crossover today.

2017 Honda CR-V Front, Image: © 2016 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

During our highway drive, I set the adaptive cruise control and — at the risk of sounding like an idiot — I literally forgot it was on. The CR-V plodded along, gently slowing down for traffic ahead, not once calling attention to itself.

Lane Keeping Assist wasn’t so transparent, but it makes itself known in the best way possible. For example: During our drive, we encountered a somewhat sharp left-hand bend on a downhill slope, giving the system’s camera less time to “see” the road ahead. Thanks to another road intersecting to the highway’s outside edge, the road was a jumble of road paint, and the conditions were made worse by the sheer density of traffic on this two-lane strip of highway.

Throwing caution to the wind, I let the CR-V figure out it.

At first, I didn’t think Honda Sensing would kick in soon enough for it to see a car ahead and turn the vehicle. However, as soon as it had a clear line-of-sight with the white shoulder line, it was smooth sailing. The CR-V slowed down for the car immediately in front of us, we rolled through the corner smoothly, and we unclenched as we shot out the other side. The whole experience was eye-opening. We now have sub-$30,000 vehicles, which weigh over 3,000 pounds, more-or-less driving themselves through busy intersections. It’s a marvel of programming and engineering.

Would you like turbocharging with that?

The North American-made Honda CR-V is a tour de force in the crossover/SUV segment and provides families an easily palatable choice for those seeking a supremely capable on-roader with utility and technology. It’s also the product of North American echo chamber groupthink. There’s nothing obtuse about the CR-V. It isn’t a looker, but it isn’t hair-raisingly ugly. Its performance is adequate. Its manners are polite. The choices are easily portioned for family decision-making.

Still, the CR-V is transparent to the process of driving. It’s an empty room that can be the meeting place for intimate conversation, a whiteboard upon which you plan a highly detailed road trip plan, a kitchen stove providing the heat for a great (or disastrous) family meal. In effect, the CR-V is an appliance for performing the tasks that life throws at us, and not a prized possession that drives a lifelong love affair of enthusiasm — nor is it meant to be, nor is that a bad thing.

The 2017 Honda CR-V goes on sale this month with a starting price of $24,945 (including a $900 delivery fee) for the base LX 2.4 FWD model. Pricing tops out at $34,595 in top-trim Touring guise powered by the 1.5-liter turbo sending power to all four wheels.

[Images: © 2016 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars, American Honda]

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152 Comments on “2017 Honda CR-V First Drive Review – Vehicular Happy Meal...”


  • avatar
    brettc

    I can see the 1.5T in a Civic, but it seems like that engine is going to be overworked in something like a CR-V which apparently weighs between 3300 and 3500 pounds. I guess time will tell on reliability of this setup. I do like the look of the 2017 model better than the outgoing one.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yea, I think Ford tried this in the Escape with the 1.5/1.6T and promptly dropped it. I think I worked out the formula for how to size a turbo engine for a car…. no more than 3lb for every 2cc of displacement. So really this thing should have a turbo 2.2-2.3L.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Yea, I think Ford tried this in the Escape with the 1.5/1.6T and promptly dropped it.”

        http://www.ford.com/suvs/escape/features/#page=Feature2

        “I think I worked out the formula for how to size a turbo engine for a car…. ”

        something you extracted from your butt is not a “formula.”

      • 0 avatar

        If by ‘promptly dropped it’ you mean ‘continue you to use it as their bread-and-butter engine and have, in fact, actually downsized the engine offered as their most popular choice by 0.1 liters since this generation of Escape was launched’ then you would be 100% correct.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It depends on how you drive. The 1.5T might not be particularly stressed on highway jaunts, but the 2.4 is likely better if your driving is more urban.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “one or two items my small-town mind couldn’t infer from the non-Anglo-Saxon names printed on the buffet placement cards.”

    definitely wise to avoid the khlav kalash.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Pretty much echoes a lot of what I found in the Civic.

    1) The touchscreen infotainment system – particularly the touch-sensitive volume control – was awful. I actually liked the LX model, with the “dumb,” non-touchscreen system, a lot better.

    2) Honda has definitely upped its’ CVT game. The CVT in the old Civic was atrocious; the new one functions far better, particularly in sport mode.

    3) Honda interiors are improving. The Civic’s instrument panel is terrific – I loved the execution of the digital instruments, in particular.

  • avatar
    daviel

    I don’t like its looks.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      I agree with you daviel, the front view isn’t bad, the wheel opening treatment is nasty and I can’t warm up to the ass end/tail lights. But what I hate most on this or any SUV/CUV are pointy. triangular, upswept, weird shaped 1/4 windows…….hate, hate, hate.

    • 0 avatar

      Better than the duck-billed-platypus ugliness of the current one. Combined with that horrific rear-side window the thing made me want to projectile freaking vomit.

      Uh, anyway, this next one clearly was spared so many whacks with the ugly stick.

  • avatar
    colin42

    Any word on the rumored Plug-in hybrid version?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    The Ford Escape KILLS THIS in terms of NVH, ride quality, handling, reliability, durability, fit/finish, assembly quality, and every single other auto industry and consumer metric.

    #FordRules

    • 0 avatar
      Not_a_luddite

      I’d be shocked if it was less reliable than the Ford. My wife’s 2013 2.0 Ecoboost SE has been a rickety POS since day one. It has spent more than two months in the shop, it would randomly shut down, rough idle, refuse to engage gear, the roof rack leaked, it has been recalled no less than four times, it’s needed a tierod end, strut bearing and during a standard oil change, I discovered a subframe bolt nearly backed all the way out. It has been repaired three times for rust, in the driver’s door twice and the liftgate once. It ran through all the brakes and rotors, all within the first 60k of ownership. Truly a POS, first rate junk. So bad that when my LS430 was totaled, I considered a Focus or Fiesta to replace it, but then I felt like an idiot for considering a Ford and bought another old Subaru.
      I’ll never buy another Ford product again.

      • 0 avatar

        As someone that has had 15 Ford products…yeah, I completely understand.

        Also, your wife’s Escape has had more problems than my old Spectra, Integra, Civic, RAV, and CRV combined.

        These are the cars (save for an 01 Town Car, 01 Sable, and 96 Aerostar) that I’ve owned in the past 10 years. Except for a classic, I don’t see myself owning another American car.

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      I see what you did there.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Snark aside it probably does on the first three categories you mentioned. The remaining, not so much.

    • 0 avatar

      I kinda miss when DeadWeight ranted instead of trolling.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Not according to the reviews I’ve read.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I’ll probably be in the market for a mid-size CUV this fall. (It’d be a wagon if there were more than a single VW avail. in a non-luxo brand.) The CX-5 and this model are both on my shortlist.

    While I like the idea of the handling of the CX-5, I ALSO want the latest safety nannies, which Mazda won’t put in anything but the Leather-I-Don’t-Want and Big-Wheels-That-Harsh-the-Ride top-level trim, at least, not in the ’16. And they don’t offer Android Auto/CarPlay anywhere.

    If they’ve fixed the noise problems in this CR-V, it’s a strong possibility.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Mazda option availability is an enormous PITA. My wife is a marine biologist, and uses her CX-5 for any number of smelly, dirty, rock-and-mud-entrenched activities in connection with her work, and so we wanted cloth and big sidewalls, but she also spends much of her life behind the wheel in remote (and cold) locations 400 miles from home, and so XM and heated seats were must-haves. We couldn’t get the one with the other. And so we ended up with muddy leather seats and aftermarket 18″ rims (and all-terrain tires) on our Grand Touring model.

      • 0 avatar
        Not_a_luddite

        Ford at least let you break out options however you wanted, my wife wanted Nav and Sirius/XM without the moon roof, with cloth, with auto liftgate etc. etc. The only manufacturer that didn’t require her to go to an upscale vehicle was Ford. Also everyone else required some sort of premium package to get Nav.

      • 0 avatar

        Out of curiosity, why would ‘muddy cloth seats’ be better, in that scenario? One of the huge advantages of leather is that you can wipe it clean and that it doesn’t take on smells. Seems to me like a cloth interior would be pretty gross after a few years of that type of treatment.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Taking the lead in a very important and just incredibly dull segment. I will do my best to ensure we have a proper sedan/hatchback and a truck/SUV with ground clearance and 4WD because I just don’t like the nether region occupied by this kind of vehicle, even a class leading one like this. Even though I fully get why others find them so useful.

    Two snipes: like the refreshed Accord, they messed up the clean front and rear design by putting chrome makeup where it needn’t be, and I remember a university fleet 1982 F150 that had fake wood on the steering wheel that looked no worse than what is pictured here.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      You do not speak ill of the bullnose F-Series XLT Lariat!

      http://images.freerevs.com/gallery/18433025.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        That’s the one! No carpet, though, black rubber floor. Oh, I loved that truck. It was a charming rig, probably ex-forest service given the faded lime green paint, and had a supreme honesty and simplicity and an oingo-boingo springy green vinyl bench seat!

        I kept the interior clean and respectable, but it was suffering mechanically, with an auto transmission that would bang brutally into second gear after a painfully slow first gear wind-up, and judging from the smell more fuel escaped unburned from the tailpipe than went into combustion within the engine. Tired, proud old truck.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “http://images.freerevs.com/gallery/18433025.jpg”

        Eeee! Vent windows! Crank ’em backwards, slide the rear window open… happy dog!

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I agree the front end is too much. I can let it go on a small car like the Civic, but on this it’s too much too much.

  • avatar

    I’m so glad that we got our ’16 EX-L AWD, I really dislike this. It looks like a bad Toyota copy on the outside, and the interior looks generic.

    If something happened to our CRV, I’d replace it with a Forester (our runner-up).

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      Really? I think the rear is a massive improvement over the fugly outgoing model. The grill is slightly less weird, while the rest of it looks identical to the untrained eye. And inside, they did away with the stupid two tiered infotainment system and, while I think the digital speedo is kinda cheesy, it’s an improvement over the cheap, dated looking trip computer in the old one.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I know the answer – just get cx5 and be done with it. It is smaller but that is the only category where it is “less”

      • 0 avatar
        Not_a_luddite

        CX-5 doesn’t have an automatic liftgate. Basically, it totally removes it from the equation. I’ve been a wagon owner my whole life, and the automatic liftgate has ruined me. It’s probably the most convenient, convenience item available. That’s the one thing the Escape does right, although we don’t have the gimmicky “open sesame” foot sensor, having a button on the key fob is freaking great.

        We considered trading our craptastic Escape in on a CX-5, and I could live with the somewhat wonky nav, the 60hp deficit, and the ridiculous 19″ wheels. Frankly it’s a good driving vehicle, better than the Ford, and the Escape has decent chassis dynamics, and still felt peppy despite being low on power and torque, but we just couldn’t live without the automatic liftgate.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          I am tired of this nonsense. I counted that I open my trunk twice a week. The total time is 5 minutes max. And for this I will give up on driving experience that I have for 6-7 hours a week? You don’t need to buy trim with 19″ wheels. Remember about ace of base

          • 0 avatar
            Not_a_luddite

            Have a kid? Have to access a stroller three or four times a day? Have to access the trunk while dealing with a kid and bags and whatever else? No? Your opinion is moot, move on.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “I counted that I open my trunk twice a week. The total time is 5 minutes max. ”

            So basically because YOU don’t use/do something must mean that no one else does? Hard to say whether we’re dealing with a massive ego or just lack of basic social awareness here.

            “It is smaller but that is the only category where it is “less”

            Same thing: maybe, just maybe, someone prioritizes having more cargo capacity and utility over driving dynamics?

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            You can see why Ukrainians were such enthusiastic collaborators.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Interesting. My niece has twins that are growing in CX5. Sounds like they have no issues

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “You can see why Ukrainians were such enthusiastic collaborators.”

            I didn’t think that Trump could get 60 million votes, but here we are.

            I wonder what the remaining free Ukrainians think?

            As to the CR-V, they seem to be trying to invoke early 50’s Buick AND Pontiac with that grille treatment – it’s subtle enough that old folk might like it, yet not know why.

        • 0 avatar

          “Have a kid? Have to access a stroller three or four times a day? Have to access the trunk while dealing with a kid and bags and whatever else? No? Your opinion is moot, move on.”

          LOL beat me to it. Yeah, that’s the main feature in our CRV (that’s missing) that’ll need to be in our next ride.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Bloody ‘ell… tha’ green’s a CAR COLOUR!

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    This is what I should have, but it’s way way way too boring so I will continue to lust after V8 old-school SUV brutes. (Desire of the day is a gently used GX460)

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    I’m considering replacing a sedan with a CUV and it’s probably going to end up being one of these. Frankly, I’d rather have a Cherokee, but I don’t feel like rolling the dice on a 30k+ vehicle with widespread transmission and electrical issues. Second choice would be the Tucson or Sportage, but they aren’t much better.

    The critical darlings – the CX-5 and Escape – have their own issues. The Forrester feels chintzy and a flat four combined with a mediocre CVT is pretty damn unappealing. Rav4 ownership sounds like a fate worse than death.

    So that leaves this thing. If they’ve improved the seats and driving position over the last one, I might pull the trigger. Otherwise, I guess I’ll just have to continue putting my Tetris skills to use every time I need to load something bulky into my Accord.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      Roll your dice on a 2017 4Runner Mr Truckface.

      • 0 avatar
        Trucky McTruckface

        I’ll pass. Had a 4th generation 4Runner that I loved and never should have sold. New one is a serious downgrade in every metric.

        Toyota should be shot for dropping the locking center diff. They should be shot again for the hideous 2014 refresh. If I bought one of these, I’d have to run it into the back wall of my garage a couple of times to improve the looks.

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          Lol! I love the look of all 4Runners including the 5th gen. No CLD on the 4Runner, CRV or Accord for that matter!

          Selling your 4th gen = I can’t believe the re-sale value on these trucks around these parts. I have seen asking prices of $9k on examples approaching 200k on the odo.

          I have heard of 4th gens with V8s, although, I have never actually seen one. Were these as reliable?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            EAF one could argue they’re even MORE reliable than the V6s. I’ve heard of some early 1GRs (03-04) developing headgasket leaks in the 150-200k range, the iron block 1UZ is a 300k+ motor easily (assuming you change the timing belt at least once in that interval). The Fulltime T-case on the V8s is also arguably less prone to solenoid-sticking/failing issues.

            Yes the loss of the CDL lock on all 5th gens short of the Limited’s Fulltime system is a real shame. At the same time, I’m happy to see a return to a manual t-case lever (SR5s lost them in ’13 unfortunately), and a return to a higher ground clearance and overall appearance closer to the 3rd gen. Yes that taller clearance came at the expense of some on-road handling, but you can get one with KDSS if it is a real bother. The ugly-mug refresh also brought some good improvements to interior quality across the line, and dropped the stupid rocker trim and approach/departure angle robbing bumpers of the ’10-’13 trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      There’s also GM’s upcoming redesigned Equinox, which I think looks hideous…but it might strike the right chord for you. Failing that, the Terrain is also being redesigned, and hopefully it will be less boxy.

      • 0 avatar

        The Equinox makes sense on paper, but after driving from DFW to Louisiana last year…no thanks. That thing is a turd with horrible ergonomics.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The redesigned Nox certainly doesn’t look any worse than this or the Rav 4. It’s also interesting that the GM 1.5T is down 20 ponies from Honda’s same sized engine but makes 24 additional LBS Ft of torque so that should be interesting to see which works better in day to day driving. Note to that the Nox loses weight from the outgoing model.

        As for the current Nox being a turd, it’s a good selling turd that apparently please many consumers. There are people at my work with them that love them, especially the sliding second row seat that many of these CUV’s lack. They are also pretty refined these days

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          “As for the current Nox being a turd, it’s a good selling turd”

          It’s a “smart turd”, in the sense that it’s longer than its class, but utilizes the sliding rear seat to get class-leading rear legroom (a favorite “business lunch” feature), but still has competitive cargo room with the seat forward. I don’t think the new platform has this.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “trying to invoke early 50’s Buick AND Pontiac with that grille treatment”

            That’s uniquely unfathomable! You’re never boring, Pizza.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “That’s uniquely unfathomable!”

            I was looking at the chrome bar that droops down on the sides of the CR-V grille – you can see the similarity on these:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_Skylark#/media/File:Skylark-Wiki-Side-View-D.jpg

            This Pontiac has the chrome horizontal cross-bar between the “dagmars”as well as the “drooping” chrome on the bottom of the hood:

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Pontiac_Star_Chief_1955.jpg

            That’s why the (CR-V) grille looks “busy” to me.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          My daughter had a ’14 FWD LS model (super cheap lease). For the bargain basement ‘Nox, it was rather well equipped. It was all I would want in a car I was going to daily drive.

          *That’s* how they sell. And rather well, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Trucky. You could always try Korean. Or the Japanese outliers the Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan Rogue. Or maybe you want to gamble on European reliability with a Tiguan.

      It’s certainly not like there is a lack of choice in this segment.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    If you buy $35K+ uninspiring vehicle with 1.5L engine… UR Dumb

  • avatar
    nels0300

    This whole segment has sucked ever since the 2GR-FE left.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      +1 Nels… CRV equipped with an Earth Dreams J35!

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        Seriously, that would’ve been fantastic. Don’t know why Honda never did the J35 CR-V. Probably because it’s more than enough motor, but that didn’t stop conservative Toyota.

        The 2GR-FE was something special for a cute-ute.

        Now we have 1.5T with CVT.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          because anyone who even knows what a J35 is isn’t going to buy a CR-V, and Honda is well aware of that.

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            People bought V6 RAV4s. Can’t say a RAV4 buyer is that different than a CR-V buyer.

            But you’re right, if people cared, they’d probably still make a V6 RAV4 and maybe even a J35 CR-V.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “anyone who even knows what a J35 is isn’t going to buy a CR-V”

            J35 is a Gibson acoustic and I have a CR-V.

            nyah

        • 0 avatar
          Trucky McTruckface

          I assume they withheld it to justify the existence of the Acura RDX.

          Which is funny because, as of 2017, the entire Acura lineup is now a generation behind Honda in powertrains and infotainment options. Unless of course you just have to have that ZF 9-speed in your next vehicle…

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            Whatever the reason, I don’t like it.

            If the compact CUV is supposed to replace the midsize sedan, and both Honda and Toyota see fit to offer EXCELLENT V6s in their midsize offerings, why not in their compact CUVs?

            Hyundai/Kia/Ford offer 2.0Ts compact CUVs, what do Toyota/Honda have to offer? It’s not like they don’t have nice V6s just sittin there on the shelf.

            If anything, to me it makes less sense to offer the V6s in the midsize sedans vs the compact CUVs which weigh more, can take better advantage of the V6 power with AWD, and seem to now have a larger pool of potential buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            “Hyundai/Kia/Ford offer 2.0Ts compact CUVs”

            Hyundai does not. The Tuscon comes with the 2.0 Nu GDi (not the 2.0T Theta) 6 speed auto or the 1.6T and 7 speed DCT.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Add me to the group that would be interested in a V6 CRV or Rav4, it would definitely make them a hoot to drive. But the sad reality is that Toyota dropped the V6 Rav4 because the take rate was on the order of 10%, same with the third row seating. That and them figuring if you want the V6 just buy the Highlander I suppose.

          That gen Rav4 with the V6 was truly a sleeper. A soccer mom in a rush was a real stop light menace to bros in WRXs and Mustangs all of a sudden.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Too bad opting for the V6 in the RAV didn’t get you a nicer interior. Ghastly.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yeah I love to gripe about the slapdash interior in my fiance’s folks’ ’13 Limited, but then I rode in her uncle’s ’12 Limited. Geesh! Somewhat more aesthetically pleasing to look at (in terms of cohesiveness of design) but man that is hard-plastic city. Terrible stiff seats with short cushions as well, and an overly stiff ride. All of a sudden the ’13 seems a lot better. I love me some ‘yotas, but I for the life of me do not ‘get’ the Rav4 outside of the 1st gen trucklets with the rear LSD and 5spd manual transmissions.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        The J35 CRV is called the RDX, and it costs $40,000.

        Thank CAFE.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s part of the reason why my MIL went with an Accord Crosstour, instead of another RAV (she had a 2003 that’s now mine, and a 2006 with said V6).

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Are Mazda & Jeep the only two remaining players in this class with clutch pedals?

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      Subaru still does.

      The wife has a 2013 Forester manual, and with the manual transmission it has full time AWD, not “on demand” style like almost everything else.

  • avatar
    probert

    Put your foot in it – it’s a Honda -lean it into a curve – it’ll hold it – then come back with the “Escape” as a driver’s car. Seriously?

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Honda, make a successor to the 2006-2007 Accord sedan V6 6 speed manual. If you ask the bean counters, it makes no sense.

    I know it will never happen.

    The 2018 version would certainly be a compact CUV, it’s the new midsize sedan dontcha know.

    So here it is, 2018 CR-V Si, J35, SH-AWD, 6 speed manual. $32K. Parts are in the shelf.

    With a 2 year old and a 4 year old, THAT would be my modern day keep for 20 years car.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’d settle for an RDX with SH-AWD and a firmed-up suspension, not even the stick. That would be one nice-driving crossover. Parts are indeed on the shelf. But I don’t think buyers are.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        You’re probably right, 4 people would buy them, including you and myself.

        But maybe there would be more buyers.

        I’m thinking of all of the Dads & Moms that aren’t rich, aren’t poor and grew up with and owned Integras, Preludes, Civic Si, 6sp V6 Accords. They love them some Honda manual transmissions. Honda fans. Enthusiasts. They’re out there.

        They have to Mom & Dad now, what Honda can they buy? Accord Sport, sure, but that’s not the new thing. The new thing is compact CUV and it’s better for car seats and carrying stuff.

        Honda could create a new segment, the sport compact CUV, and they could friggin’ own it.

        That’s where my dream J35 SH-AWD CR-V Si 6sp manual comes in.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “They love them some Honda manual transmissions. Honda fans. Enthusiasts. They’re out there.”

          no they’re not, no matter how desperately you wish them to be.

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            Ha. There are at least 20 and I know 10 of them.

            I grew up in the 80s and 90s, and a manual transmission Honda was the car to have. I’ve had an 87 Prelude Si, 92 Integra GSR, 99 Accord EX sedan manual, 2006 Accord sedan V6 6 speed.

            These people that owned late 80s, early 90s Hondas as teens are 40 year-olds now, a lot of them with kids.

            They’ll reluctantly buy a regular CR-V, sure, but it’d be nice to have something more fun.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Provincial is a state of mind.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Up until recently, I purchased new Toyota and Honda vehicles every year. Then, the turbos, CVT transmissions, and 8 speed plus transmissions took over. The reliability of that stuff worries me. So, I am sitting here with several year old Toyota and Honda products in my driveway. I am taking great care of them … possible I might keep them for 10 years. I love my 2 year old Honda Pilot without a Turbo and a reliable 5 speed transmission. A keeper. Same with the 3 year old Camry Hybrid which is a looker compared to the 2016 Camry. And, my 2013 Highlander which is also a looker compared to the current 2016 mess of a Highlander. And, I love the 3 year old Highlander 6 cylinder and 5 speed tranny. The Detroit vehicles have always been a nightmare. It is possible the new Toyota and Honda vehicles may be pushing too much change that make them a problem. Toyota and Honda, what happened to your simple and nice looking vehicles?

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      All them cars but you ain’t got enough left over to buy a paragraph or two?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      If you’re swapping out vehicles that frequently, why worry about CVT and turbo longevity at all?

      Us curmudgeons that buy and hold (or buy 10+ year old used examples) have plenty to gripe about, but if you’re gonna sell it before it’s through the first set of tires, who cares?

      Hell if I was switching cars every 2-3 years, I’d drive an Audi.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Yeah, that doesn’t make sense to me either. If I were willing to spend the money to transition in and out of vehicles that frequently, I would be looking for something more interesting than a hybrid Camry and Highlander. Oh well, he may not be taking advantage of Toyota reliability but he’s benefiting from their resale value.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Y’know, I don’t want a CR-V for my car, but I grudgingly admit Wifey’s 2002 CR-V, bought new, just keeps cranking along with very few problems. 135,000 miles on the clock.

    It is not a comfortable vehicle compared to my Impala, but it has been a magnificent family truckster, hauling everything we could stuff into it.

    She’ll keep it ’til the wheels fall off unless it needs a serious repair and then we’ll see.

    A Ford Escape is better? Perhaps more comfortable, but is it a better vehicle?, Well, I would have to refer to that underwear commercial on TV with the Scotsman saying “Nae”, and tossing a pair of shorts over his shoulder while heartily laughing!

    One may not want a Honda, but I can’t argue with the reliability.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    How to fail at life: spend $34K on a fully-loaded 2017 Honda CR-V.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      how to fail at life: worry about what some internet rando thinks about your car.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Well said and so true. That’s why I bought my last 3 Impala’s since 2000 and loved every one of them despite being told it’s on a 1988 designed chassis or that it won’t be reliable or that it drives like a boat and has horrific interior plastics that fall apart every other second or such. Well here i am on my 3rd Impala, a 2013 LT now with 60K miles and like the last 2 has been bullet proof and rock solid never ever leaving me stranded, never having a failed wheel bearing or window regulator and heck I rarely ever have to go under the hood for anything.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “spend $34K on a fully-loaded 2017 Honda CR-V”

      Gormless yobs…. that’s Encore money!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I know which is the better buy.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          You’d puke up either one! Who you zoomin’?!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            True, but gun to my head I’ll buy the CR-V so I can sell it as soon as possible later with ease and maximum resale.

          • 0 avatar
            chiefmonkey

            But that’s ridiculous! Why would you want to buy a high-priced car, likely not at a very big discount, only to sell it as soon as possible? Presumably people buy Hondas because they are reliable and because they intend to keep them forever/until the doors fly off. Sure, Honda is happy to have you trade back your three-year old CR-V after the bulk of its depreciation has already occurred and finance a new one, but can you not see why this is a preposterous idea?

        • 0 avatar
          chiefmonkey

          It’s also BMW 320i money…I know which is the better buy.

          • 0 avatar
            LeMansteve

            I doubt anyone is cross-shopping a loaded CR-V with a no-options, Ace of Base 3-series. Two completely different vehicles.

            Keep in mind, the loaded CR-V comes with several options the base 320i does not, such as navigation, heated seats, active cruise, emergency braking, moonroof, LED headlights.

            If the 320i is a better buy for YOU, then go for it.

            There are things the CR-V does better than a 3-series, and vice versa.

    • 0 avatar

      LOL I guess I failed at life then…except I sprung for the EX-L AWD version instead.

      *looks out the window of my cush office gig*

      Oh yeah, I totally failed.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    As for Encore it is a smaller vehicle. The 34k is for a CRV with adaptive cruise control, blind sight warning, heated leather seats, and a host of other features. From experience I would trust the CRV for reliability over years of ownership over the Escape. I am not saying the Escape is a bad vehicle but which one of these vehicles do you want to own over the next 10 years? Having owned a Honda Accord over 17 years I will choose the Honda. So as for 34k if I am going to keep a vehicle for 10 plus years then 34k is not that bad.

  • avatar
    Tandoor

    The only thing less appealing to me than a self driving car is a touchscreen anywhere in the dash. I get it, it’s cheap, endlessly configurable, etc but let me adjust the volume and climate control without taking my eyes off the road, please.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Keep your eyes on the article before jumping to the comments.

      On the new CR-V you can indeed adjust the volume and climate control without using the touchscreen. Each has their own physical knob.

  • avatar
    DonInYYC

    Or, wait a few months and buy a gently used 2014 Audi Q5.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Is that battery location common in newer Hondas?

    And if you needed to change a headlight ‘bulb’ how would you access it?

  • avatar
    EX35

    $34K for an AWD econobox “SUV” w/ leather w/ a 1.5L engine? Jesus. Makes paying $50K for a fully loaded 2017 AWD Armada (Patrol) seem downright cheap by comparison.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    We own a Civic EX-T.

    The engine works really well with the CVT in that car. It’s certainly not fast, but it’s plenty peppy for an economy car and feels quicker than most cars in class.

    Even though I’m a fan of this powertrain, I struggle a bit to picture it in a CR-V.

    I’m guessing that most CR-Vs are sold with AWD. Such a vehicle has to weigh 500 pounds more than our Civic sedan, and is probably a bit less efficient aerodynamically. Throw three or four people inside with the air conditioning running, that little engine may have to be pushed pretty hard to move the vehicle.

    A lot of people have observed that some vehicles with small turbo engines tend to under perform in regards to MPG in the real world. Our Civic actually bucks that trend, and is getting darn near 40 mpg overall even with city traffic thrown in.

    I wonder, though, if the CR-V might disappoint with the 1.5T. More frontal area than our Civic, lots more weight to lug around, more interior volume probably means A/C has to work harder in summer, etc. I can see this being one of those vehicles that does better on paper than IRL.

    Hopefully this works out for Honda, but I’m a touch skeptical, having some seat time in a Honda with a similar powertrain.


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