2017 Honda CR-V: Monthly Update for April 2017
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
The redesigned 2017 Honda CR-V has been in our long-term fleet for a month and a half now, and our editors wasted no time adding nearly 5,000 miles to its odometer. Its early days were spent commuting and prepping the Introduction post, which included a photo shoot along the coastline.
After it passed the engine break-in period, Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds drove it to Oregon to visit family. Finally, we took it to the track for a standard round of performance testing (look for results in an upcoming post). Sometime in between all that, I disabled the driver-seat memory settings before negative comments popped up in the logbook.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Dan set this month's fuel economy record of 38.9 mpg on the final leg of his return trip from Oregon. The fill (Chowchilla to Orange County) was the second of three fills this month to break the EPA's highway rating of 34 mpg. Overall, the CR-V averaged 29.9 mpg over the course of the month (March's fills are also included in the average below).
Average lifetime mpg: 28
EPA mpg rating: 30 combined (28 city/34 highway)
Best fill mpg: 38.9
Best range: 425.5 miles
Current odometer: 4,770 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"As much as I like Honda's overachieving 1.5-liter turbo, it's not quick off the line. Floor the accelerator from a stop in the CR-V and you're typically met with nothing, then a sloowwww ramp up to 4,000-plus rpm, and now you're surfing on that distinctive turbo-CVT wave. It can be an agonizingly long wait when you're trying to shoot a gap in traffic. I have no issues with this powertrain's responsiveness at speed, but I'd be wishing for more initial get-up-and-go if I owned a CR-V." — Josh Sadlier, content strategist
"Points to the CR-V for its powertrain. I never thought the day would come when I actually enjoyed a four-cylinder-CVT pairing, but the Civic proved me wrong. The same goes for this combo in the CR-V. It's smooth under natural acceleration and when you put your foot down, even at highway speeds, the CR-V is happy to propel forward with force." — Cameron Rogers, associate editor
"My short-waisted passenger told me she couldn't see over the dashboard. I asked her if she could find a height adjustment among the power seat controls. Nope. This is one of the more frustrating little cost-cutting measures, and it's quite common. Depriving the front passenger of a height adjustment when the driver has one just seems like undue punishment. Why doesn't Honda spend the extra few bucks and make both front passengers feel first-class?" — Josh Sadlier
"What is with these seat cushions? The cushion is very short, only extending about halfway along my thigh and leaving a whole lot of leg unsupported. On top of that, the tilt function only raises or lowers the front of the cushion instead of tilting the whole thing. There's a lot to recommend the CR-V, but longer-legged drivers (I'm an even 6 feet tall) are not going to be particularly happy about the seats." — Will Kaufman, associate automotive editor
"Even when tilted all the way up, the steering column sits too low. It requires a few moments of awkward maneuvering to swing my right leg under the column to get into the seat." — Cameron Rogers
"I'm not sure I'm sold on the interior design, which is very similar to the Civic. Now, I like the design in the Civic, but for some reason it doesn't seem like it works as well in the CR-V. In the Civic, it seems appropriately sporty. In the CR-V, it looks a little too fussy. Maybe I'm just used to seeing SUVs that always lean toward simplicity and practicality over design. I'll be interested to see if it grows on me over time." — Ed Hellwig, senior editor
"The CR-V has a neat feature that many parents will appreciate: the ability to mount a child seat in the center. Most vehicles only offer LATCH anchors on the outboard seats, so, if you'd like to put your kiddo in the safest spot, you need to use the seat belt, which is much harder to do correctly.
"The Honda delivers on this promise of easy middle-row child seat anchoring, but it's not all roses. First, the hump in the rear is a little more pronounced than I'd expect, which had my seat at a funky angle the first time I tried to lock it down. Next, the rear anchors aren't in the dead center. They're offset a bit. This means that while the seat is in the nice, safe middle, it doesn't really leave much room for people to flank the seats. It effectively takes up the middle and then a chunk of the rear side seat. That's fine if you've only got the child seat back there. Less fine if you were hoping to carry more humans.
"Overall that's a small price to pay. I'm still happy to recommend this to any new parents." — Mike Magrath, content strategist
"The nature of my commute means I don't always get to drive our cars at night. Last night in the CR-V was an exception, and I had some issues. The gauge and infotainment screens were too bright, both remaining in their daytime settings. I figured out how to manually switch the infotainment screen over to night mode but could not, for the life of me, figure out how to dim the gauge cluster. I wound up driving with both hands at 12 o'clock so my arms would block the light.
"I looked at the manual later, and it turns out that twisting the trip computer stalk adjusts the brightness of the gauge screen. There's no labeling on or near the stalk, so that's just one of those things you have to know.
"Still, it's a little frustrating that in an otherwise pretty thoughtfully put-together car, especially one with automatic headlights, both bright screens in the cabin need to be manually switched over when it's dark out." — Will Kaufman
"Honda's touchscreen interface continues to frustrate, though there's a physical volume knob now. Whee." — Cameron Rogers
"The CR-V's cargo area can effortlessly fit one Calvin Kim, but it cannot contain him." — Cameron Rogers
"I went to the media launch event for the new CR-V and wrote a First Drive review that I worried was a bit over the top in its praise. I'm usually pretty immune to the Kool-Aid on these events, but man, was this thing really that good? I wasn't sure. But now that we've got a long-termer and I've had it for a couple nights, I can tell you that I stand behind every word of that review. This thing really is gonna be hard for us to criticize. For years the CR-V was just a highly effective driving appliance, but now there's turbo quickness and a touch of gotta-have-it style, too. If this isn't the best small crossover SUV right now, tell me what's better and why. It's gonna be a tough argument to win." — Josh Sadlier
"The lack of available features is a real oversight. Most competitors offer goodies like ventilated front seats, heated rears, a panoramic sunroof, a 360-degree camera and parking sensors. These aren't available on any CR-V trim." — Cameron Rogers
"The CR-V has twice now given false TPMS alerts. The first time it was halfway through our evaluation loop, the second was the following day on my drive home. I recalibrated the system after verifying the pressures were correct with a gauge each time. This is frustrating for a few reasons. One, the alert reads 'Tire Pressures Low,' which isn't super unhelpful. Which tire(s), and by how much? Two, it's a potential safety issue. I can see the frequency of false positives becoming a bit like 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf.' What happens when the pressures actually drop by a margin that affects vehicle stability? An uneducated driver might ignore the alert because it may be the third time they've seen it that week. That's not good, and could be avoided by using the type of pressure monitoring employed by most automakers." — Carlos Lago, senior writer