2017 Honda CR-V Review

Summary

Honda completely redesigned the CR-V for 2017 with very little carry over from the 2016 model. Most noticeable changes are more aggressive styling cues, the 1.5L 4 cylinder turbo engine, and a 7" touchscreen radio. Honda didn't really need to reinvent the wheel - the CR-V is one of the top selling vehicles in the segment, but they're definitely staying ahead of the curve with the changes to the 2017 CR-V.



Safety

A backup camera is standard on all trim levels. Unfortunately, Honda does not provide dynamic gridlines on the LX's backup camera.

On the EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels, "Honda Sensing" is standard. "Honda Sensing" is a combination of 4 major safety features -- Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System and Road Departure Mitigation System.

At the time of this article, the IIHS and NHTSA had not released their crash test ratings.

Appearance

The 2017 CR-V is a complete redesign from the previous generation. The styling changes create a more aggressive look than the 2016 CR-V. Honda has added more chrome accents to the 2017 CR-V, but they haven't gone over the top.

The LX trim level is available in White Diamond, Basque Red, Obsidian Blue, Crystal Black, Modern Steel or Lunar Silver. On the EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels, Sandstorm, Molten Lava, Dark Olive and Gunmetal become available.

The LX trim level comes standard with 17" aluminum wheels. The EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels come standard with 18" aluminum wheels, but a 19" wheel option is available.

Performance

For the EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels, a 1.5L 4 cylinder turbo engine is now standard. While having a brand new engine can be scary for some buyers, a version of this engine is already found in the Civic. The turbo engine is rated at 190hp. The big news is the fuel economy -- 28 City / 34 Highway / 30 Combined -- amazing numbers for the class.

On the LX, the standard engine is a 2.4L 4 cylinder engine. It provides 184hp, which isn't terrible but definitely feels sluggish especially after test driving the turbo engine. The 2.4L also has slightly worse fuel economy ratings than the turbo option -- 26 City / 32 Highway / 28 Combined.

All trim levels offer a Real Time AWD system for dealing with those snowy days.

All engines are matched to Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). For those unfamiliar with CVTs, driving the CR-V will be a little different. Instead having 5 or 6 gears that the transmission shifts through, the CVT has an infinite amount of gears. The result is that you don't feel the vehicle shifting -- the sound of the engine moving from high to low RPMs and the sense of the vehicle pausing. It can take some getting used to, but the benefit of the CVT is great fuel economy and lower maintenance costs.

Honda also increased the wheelbase and widen the CR-Vs stance from the previous generation. The result is a more sporty drive and less body roll in the turns.

Comfort

Overall, Honda has done a good job making the CR-V even more comfortable. They increased the wheelbase, which led to 2 more inches of legroom in the backseat (not that the backseat in the 2016 CR-V was cramped).

Honda has even found a way to slightly lower the noise and vibration heard inside the vehicle while driving.

On the EX-L trim level, the CR-V comes standard with a power liftgate. A nice detail is that height can be adjusted for vertically challenged customers. Honda's Hands-Free power liftgate is available on the EX-L and standard on the Touring trim level. This comes in handy for those times when you find your hands full but need to open the trunk. Below, we attached a video from Honda that shows how the Hands-Free feature works.

One negative is that Honda doesn't provide a height adjustable feature for the passenger seat. Why no love for the passenger?

    Technology

    The biggest technology upgrade might not be the new 7" touchscreen radio that is standard on the EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels. Surprisingly, the best change might be including a physical volume adjust knob. Trying to change the volume on the previous generations was one of the biggest complaints from owners and test drivers. The usability is better but its still lacking. Luckily, the CR-V is equipped with Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto. The navigation system that is optional on the EX-L and standard on the Touring is Garmin based.

    Other thoughts

    While the 1.5L turbo provides great performance and fuel economy, long term owners should be careful about possible expenses. To replace a turbo is extremely expensive. Just something to think about when comparing to other vehicles.


    Trim Levels

        LX - $24,045

        EX - $26,695

        • 1.5L 4 Cylinder Turbo Engine
        • Honda Sensing
        • Power Sunroof
        • 18" Aluminum Wheels
        • 7" Touchscreen Radio
        • More Available Colors

        EX-L - $29,195

        • Leather Seats
        • Power Liftgate
        • Optional Garmin-Based Navigation
        • Optional Hands-Free Power Liftgate

        Touring - $32,395

        • Garmin-Based Navigation
        • Hands-Free Power Liftgate
        • Full LED Headlights