Compact SUV Comparison: 2017 Honda CR-V
The one to beat
Starting Price: $24,985 | Price yours
Above Average: Efficiency, practicality, comfort, features, resale value...
Below Average: Infotainment interface
Consensus: Perennial segment leader widens the gap with total redesign
Arguably the best compact SUV of all time, the Honda CR-V just got even better thanks to a complete redesign for 2017. Now roomier, more powerful, more efficient, more comfortable and loaded with even more tech, the 2017 Honda CR-V is the surest, safest answer to the question, "Which compact SUV should I buy?" It outranked most of the others in most of the categories during the course of this comparison test, and the return of a proper volume knob eliminates one of the outgoing model's few weaknesses.
2017 Honda CR-V
Turbocharged engines and continously variable transmissions don't always go together like chocolate and peanut butter, but leave it to Honda to combine them into one of segment's best powertrains. On the highway the result is confident merging and passing, along with class-leading efficiency. While our CR-V Touring model wasn't always the smoothest-riding SUV in the test, excellent seats and well-managed road and wind noise, plus excellent driver-assist tech like lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, all helped make it one of the highest-rated highway cruisers in the test.
The CR-V's excellent powertrain is just as impressive around town, moving the SUV smoothly from a stop and up to speed. Steering and braking feel are similarly well-tuned, combining to deliver an easy and satisfying driving experience. As for parking, a multi-angle rearview camera and rear cross traffic monitor make it easy to back into or out of close quarters with confidence and precision.
The CR-V’s interior is among the most practical, comfortable and spacious in the segment. The cabin is laid out with clever touches like a center console with a deep bin and sliding tray, plus a plethora of storage spaces throughout. Our testers also appreciated the new single-screen infotainment layout that replaces the confusing dual-screen setup in the previous generation. Even the rear seat area gets high marks thanks to reclining seatbacks, two USB ports, and dedicated air vents.
Our CR-V’s 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system was easier to use than the previous models, thanks in large part to the addition of a volume knob and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability. The touchscreen is positioned well and easy to see, and seemingly more resistant to smudging. Phone pairing was simple and quick as well. Overall the infotainment system was viewed favorably by the group and best summed up by one tester who noted, “Great tech, not just the long list of it, but it all works very well, too.”
The Honda CR-V benefits from a roomy cabin which is especially noticeable in the amount of space allotted to the rear. With 40.4 inches of rear-seat legroom plus the lack of a noticeable center hump in the rear seat position, two passengers can fit comfortably and with room to spare in this compact SUV.
The CR-V's cargo area isn't just exceptionally roomy, it's smart. A hands-free power liftgate and a low liftover height make it easy to get things in and out, while underfloor storage and rear seatback releases add clever functionlity. In our time with the vehicle the CR-V accommodated both a large dog crate (and the dog that comes with it) and an entire steering column from a vehicle restoration project.
EPA ratings and our own observed fuel economy figures qualify the 2017 Honda CR-V as the most efficient compact SUV in the test. In our all-wheel-drive test vehicle, the turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine delivers an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
The famously reliable and practical Honda CR-V retains value better than most compact SUVs, and most vehicles on the road. Strong resale value is a key strength of the Honda CR-V, giving it a strong financial advantage on top of all its other class-leading strengths.
Inside and Out Photo Gallery: 2017 Honda CR-V
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