By KBB.com Editors
When the Honda CR-V first appeared in 1997, the SUV landscape had a far different look than it does today. Then, the market was thinly populated with four-wheel-drive wagon/SUV hybrids like the CR-V, and the new Honda was the class of a very small class. These days, steep and steady gas prices have chased many drivers out of their large sport utilities, downsizing in the hopes of economizing. As a result, the roads are thick with crossovers, and the third-generation CR-V rolls onto a far more competitive playing field.
Few vehicles do as many things as well as the CR-V. As practical as a backpack, this benchmark crossover is an easy, one-size-fits-most car choice.
There's little pizzazz in practical. If you chafe in sensible shoes, a compact crossover may not be the right fit for you.
The CR-V's body and chassis designs are new for 2007. The list of standard safety equipment is expanded on all trim levels, the engine gains 10 horsepower (now 166), and is linked to a newly-standard, five-speed automatic transmission.
Driving Impressions On the road, the CR-V has a well-integrated feel. The four-cylinder engine is right-sized for daily driving duties and the automatic transmission shifts smoothly. The only interruption to the quiet...inside the cabin is some buzziness from the engine in high-demand situations, such as when the transmission kicks down to a lower gear for passing. Beyond that, there's not much road noise and little wind noise, even when the moonroof (standard on EX and EX-L) is open. The CR-V has a cushioned ride that belies its size. Handling is stable and predictable. Visibility is good in all directions, even to the rear. That's rare among SUVs, and credit goes to the relocation of the spare tire and the redesign of the rear-seat headrests. The four-wheel-drive system is automatic, requiring no input from the driver. The system shifts up to 70 percent of available torque from front to rear wheels as needed for improved traction.
Refined Ride Quality
A compact car with a big-car ride, the CR-V has a composed feel, easily rolling over rough roads without ruffling the passengers.
Sensible Size, Flexible Floor Plan
Right-sized, real-world dimensions and a highly adaptable interior are two reasons why the CR-V is Honda's biggest seller worldwide.
Like most people, the CR-V's proportions have been rearranged a bit by the passing of the years. Unlike most people, the shift here is mostly positive. The latest version is a little shorter (3.1 inches), a little wider (1.4 inches) and it's put on a few pounds (88). The lessening in length is due to the removal of the SUV-influenced outboard tire carrier: The spare is now located beneath the cargo area. The width boost corresponds to an increase in hip room, with wider, comfortably bolstered seats. Front seats have enough travel to accommodate the long of leg, and all trim levels benefit from fold-down, inside armrests. Rear-seat legroom has been reduced by about an inch in the latest generation models. You can fit six footers front and rear simultaneously, though it's a skosh tighter in back now than it was previously. The new, dual-dial dash is an easy read. Controls and switchgear are all within arm's reach and simple to operate. Inside storage areas abound.
Like its predecessors, the new CR-V's defining feature is a highly flexible floor plan. Split rear seats fold easily and tumble forward. Doing so increases cargo capacity from a generous minimum of 35.7 cubic feet to a maximum of 72.9 cubic feet. Lift-over height in back is low. Second-row seats also recline slightly and the headrests have been redesigned for a visibility-enhancing low profile when not in use. Rear-seat travel is adjustable fore and aft. This allows you to pull row two closer to row one, shortening the trip for those occasions when the answer to the question, "Do I have to come back there?" is, "yes."
The first two generations of the CR-V made their mark by combining exceptional utility with enviable reliability. They were high function, but low fashion. This time around, Honda aims to lay claim to that portion of the new buyers flocking to this segment who are style conscious. Toward that end, the new CR-V's still-practical package is now wrapped in a more fashion-forward design. The side view is dramatically different, with an elliptically shaped greenhouse. Up front, the slash-cut headlamps point the way towards a laid-back windshield. Meanwhile, it's addition by subtraction in back. The rear view improves thanks to the deletion of the former bumper-mounted spare tire carrier.
The CR-V is now offered in three trim levels: LX, EX, and EX-L. A tire pressure monitoring system is newly standard across the board, as are 17-inch wheels. The steering column now telescopes as well as tilts. All sound systems have an MP3/auxilliary audio input jack, and speed-sensitive volume control. Those parents not equipped with eyes in the backs of their heads can utilize the standard "conversation mirror" on the back of the sun visor to keep tabs on the rear-seat occupants. LX and EX models have a retractable center tray table between the front seats. It's replaced by a fixed, floor-mounted console on EX-L models. Two covered storage containers are includedthe larger of which is big enough to hold 24 CDs. EX and EX-L models gain a folding, removable, dual-level shelf in the cargo bay for added storage options. XM Satellite Radio is standard on the EX-L.
Honda's Real Time four-wheel-drive system is available on all trim levels. A GPS navigation system with a large, six-and-a-half-inch screen, voice recognition and rearview camera function is offered on EX-L models. The navigation system also includes an upgraded audio system, with 270 watts of power, a six-disc, center console CD changer, seven speakers (including subwoofer) and a digital audio card reader.
The CR-V's drivetrain has been refined and simplified for 2007. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine makes 166 horsepower (10 more than the last generation) and delivers its 161 pound-feet of torque across a wider power band than previously. The four-cylinder engine is linked exclusively to a five-speed automatic transmission. Dropping the five-speed manual transmissionformerly standard equipment on the CR-Vmay be lamented by mileage maximizers, but Honda says that the demand for stick-shift CR-Vs among buyers has been low (only three percent) and dropping.
2.4-liter in-line 4
166 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
161 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 (2WD), 22/28 (4WD)
By Girly Girl on Sunday, September 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, convenient size, great gas mileage"
Cons: "road noise, uncomfortable on long trips"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I love my CRV around town. It is easy to park and convenient. The hatchback and storage is so easy for hauling groceries, etc. However, it is not very comfortable for long trips and the road noise is a real concern. Wish it weren't so. I would love to purchase another CRV."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By bigd on Saturday, September 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Cons: "very spartan, uncomfortable seats, marginal A/C."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"If you are over 40 and NOT fat you will probably find these seats to be very uncomfortable. They are hard and crowned in the middle. A test drive won't tell you how bad the seat is, only after daily driving is it evident. I had the local upholstery guy take the bottom seat apart to try to fix this issue. We were able to get the crown out of it but it is still a poorly designed and constructed seat. Air conditioning is marginal also. Disappointed in our 2013 CRV EX-L after all the talk about Honda's being so good. window lock, radio controls, blind spot mirror on right, marginal power with air and people and so on. Had to buy sunroof and leather to get a powered driver seat. I think I'll go back to Ford/Lincoln products."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By duffer on Saturday, September 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Classy, versitile and reliable"
Cons: "Road noise, road noise, road noise."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The only problem I have with this vehicle is the excessive road noise. It appears that more insulation and seals around the windows and doors would be beneficial."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By mags on Sunday, September 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "all the airbags , cargo capacity"
Cons: "would have preferred a vehicle with 4WD not AWD"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Only selling it because I lost my job and need money. It handles well, quick response and recovery to road hazards. Has been averaging 18.4 mpg, air conditioning constantly on, short trips, Long Island traffic knocked the mpg down from about 19.2. I would have preferred to have the second row seats to fold flat. For a crossover SUV, this CRV can handle trips to discount warehouses about as well as the old 2 door Chevy Blazer I owned several years ago. Amazing cargo capacity. Handles well in bad weather. I only got stuck twice (as did the fire trucks and ambulances)driving to work at the hospital during the blizzard of 2013."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Patty on Sunday, September 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very comfortable and loads of storage"
Cons: "Visibility and no basic amenities"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"The car has performed well. I was disappointed in the lack of USB port, sateliite radio and the blind spots that are very prominent. In 2011 Honda added USB, blue tooth , satellite radio but did nothing to correct the blind spots or rear visibility."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Marge on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Want new car
Pros: "comfortable drive, very reliable, no problems"
Cons: "High road noise and no gutter on the trunk rim"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"One complaint I have about this car is there is no gutter on the trunk lid. When you open it after a rain, it drips all over you. And the road noise on freeways is bad."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful