The Honda CR-V is the latest production model of family oriented, compact SUVs in the US from the Japanese car maker. It has been a class leading seller since 2016 (four million sold in North America since it’s 1997 introduction), when the Honda CR-V Touring received its first major redesign by making its face more aggressive yet lighthearted, modern and sporty front face.
In 2017, Honda’s given its upscale SUV some more design love. It’s even more sporty, muscular and aesthetically pleasing than the 2016 redesign.
If you’re a parent and are shopping for a new SUV that you and your kids will be proud to step in and out of, then look no further. You’ll definitely feel the guilty pleasure of showing off your superior new vehicle in the back your mind by owning this car. In fact, I’d feel like the coolest person in the parking lot at Target when I’m rolling up to buy some groceries.
This is saying a lot—since most crossover buyers are looking only for how well their crossover stacks up against other crossovers. Accordingly, manufacturers have followed suit. Most vehicles in this segment offer frugality, safety, and utility, but the CRV actually manages to look good.
We’re going to give you ten reasons to love the Honda CRV Touring trim.
1. It’s cost effective.
Sitting at $32,395 for the touring trim, which isn’t exactly cheap for a Honda, the CR-V is in fact competitively priced—a Toyota RAV-4 base model starts at $24,410. I believe that’s offset by a decent 27 City / 33 Highway mpg rating from the EPA for the CR-V.
2. People love this SUV for a reason.
It’s currently the best-selling SUV in America as of 2016-2017. SUV sales have actually surpassed car sales, which marks a shift in consumer tastes—SUV’s are becoming people’s preferred transportation method. So people are buying a lot of SUV’s..but what’s this mean to you?
The CRV is a sign of our current vehicle ecosystem. Social factors like becoming car enthusiasts, spirited driving, simply talking about your car and admiring it’s aesthetics (much like people do when they review their iPhones and MacBooks and the like) reflect the tastes and capabilities and design sensibilities people want in their cars. Consumer expectations are higher than they’ve ever been—they need and want their purchases to make them feel good consistently. It’s a part of our overall reality as human beings. Those who do end up purchasing this vehicle end up liking it for what it offers, and it appeals to a wide range of consumers.
And then there’s the actual appeal of driving the CR-V. Its utility value is virtually unrivaled, though a few competitors do come close.
3. It’s ergonomic and classy.
The dashboard is pleasant. It has a nice faux wood accent that looks great, but touching it makes it feel a bit dingy. The doors and sides also have soft touch surfaces on all of the most important areas that your arms and hands will be touching. The seats on the Touring trim are very attractive but are also quite supportive. Driving for long periods of time will be no trouble at all.
Also featured are two USB outlets, a rather large storage bin (large enough for big water bottles and Tupperware containers, for example). The back seats also recline for increased cargo space. Trunk space with back seats in place is 39.2 cubic feet, beating out Toyota’s RAV4 which sits at 38.4 cubic feet. You’ll also notice a small hump that doesn’t detract from leg room in the back. Loading and carrying cargo or people is easy as pie in the CR-V.
4. New instrumentation
I’ll be as straightforward as I possibly can here. The information display cluster is..not bad? Actually, it’s pretty good. The seven-inch touchscreen comes with volume knobs (thankfully not some tedious touch only control..or weird buttons).
Honda has also bravely moved past the conventional tachometer and speedometer. Instead, an all digital screen is swapped in. The tachometer is a straight, rectangle-like graphic, and the speedometer is replaced by a simple speed reading. It’s novel, and it’s a welcome change.
All CR-V’s come with Honda’s ACE body structure—an award winning design. The Touring also comes with safety technology standard. It includes adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assists, blind spot monitoring, traffic monitoring, traction and stability control systems (this might make for a less fun driving experience..although I wouldn’t expect the typical suburban family to ever take their CR-V out on the track), collision mitigation and automatic braking. The car can also tell when you’re sleepy.
6. It’s Pleasurably Smooth.
The CR-V has the same Mac-Pherson struts as the Honda Civic. It’s also incorporated stabilizer bars equipped with bonded bushing mounts with the bushings being filled with fluid. This makes for an extremely soft and smooth drive on the roads. Virtually no vibration and noise either—it’s definitely a getup which can handle large amounts of weight for extended periods of time. This is one durable vehicle.
The steering wheel is also souped up. It offers Straight Driving Assist and Agile Handling Assist. This improves steering feel, comfort, and accuracy while reducing the required human effort.
Motortrend’s Zach Gale reported on an in-house track test, the CR-V out-accelerated everything from 0 to 60 virtually all competitors except the 6 cylinder Jeep Cherokee.
7. An Engine With Character
Jalopnik contributor William Clavey posted an impressive driving review of the 2017 CR-V. This vehicle runs on the Honda Civic platform, with an available AWD option. The CR-V basically has the same driving chops of the respected Civic—structural components like chassis shape. The 1.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder is also from the 2017 Civic, although it has more horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. It’s a slight boost up from the Civic.
Clavey would describe the character of this engine with “punch”. While he was at first skeptical with how a turbocharged engine, despite being a fan of Honda’s VTEC, he found that it wasn’t a bore at all.
While it is not sport-sport, it’s definitely useful for somewhat rough terrain. Long drives at night or day will be comfortable and smooth.
8. Continuously Variable Transmission That Doesn’t Ruin The Fun of Driving
Most people would say that CVT’s ruin the actual fun of driving. But Honda has excellently engineered this aspect of the vehicle as well—slamming the pedal to the floor won’t get you a strong launch like any other consumer vehicle. The CVT, however, will give you consistently reliable forward motion. It’s safe to drive and the engine will just keep pulling, and pulling, and pulling, so long as you’re going straight.
9. Clever Aesthetic
Robotic, inorganic, yet sleek and curvaceous. The headlights run long vertically in tune with tradition. The wheelbase is lengthened to 104.7 inches, which gives it a more meaty look on the legs (wheels). Its width is 73 inches, and 66.5 inches tall. The styling has numerous intersecting lines which have been said to make it look smaller than actual size. Sleekish indeed.
10. Well Rounded and True to The Original
Honda CR-V is already a best selling utility vehicle. How does one avoid the mess of “fixing something that isn’t broken”? Honda has actually made something that people were satisfied with even better.
The 2016 CR-V is still selling well. Sensibly, Honda’s launch of the 2017 CR-V has been rather muted, despite it being a real upgrade, looks and specifications considered. Honda really wants to keep the dough rolling in, and their efforts on the 2016 model speak loudly. I’m actually a little excited to see what the next model will look like.
Honda pretty much kept everything that made the 2016 version a best seller: versatility, capability, reliability, and its kinda-fun-to-drive-ness and amplified them. As in, they didn’t try to simply make it better but ended up ruining it, they’ve actually really improved the end experience. I send my regards to the team that worked on this vehicle.