We have driven this CRV for about 1,000 miles and taken a few trips. This design is very refined with road and wind noise very well controlled. The engine is very smooth and quiet. The typical 4 cyl rev can be heard when accelerating, but is not intrusive or loud. It has very responsive handling and power. While we have yet to do one of those "pedal to the metal" passes, the engine does allow very good pick-up with surprising torque. In comparison to the 2010 Forester, Rav4, and Venza, only the Venza beat it in ride refinement and quiet. However its 2.6 was slightly sluggish with the larger vehicle. The CRV feels more like a midsize in the passenger area than a compact.
Interior room. Ride. Performance.
The seats. The back seats are rather firm and could be a little more plush. This may improve with break-in. We went with leather because I, 5'11" 200lb+ male, could not get comfortable in the cloth model on the driver or passenger side. The leather pkg was worth the $$$$ for the increased comfort.