2017 Honda CR-V: Monthly Update for December 2018
by Will Kaufman, Content Strategist and News Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
We still have this thing? Our 2017 Honda CR-V is the long-term SUV that just won't die. The problem is that, as unglamorous as the CR-V is (especially compared to that sweet new turbocharged Mazda CX-5), its totally effortless combination of practicality, utility, power, efficiency and comfort come together to make a package that seems to be holistically unbeatable. We can't get rid of the CR-V because it's still the class benchmark.
Even if a bit of the car just broke off.
Sure, competitors are better in some ways — sometimes much better in certain areas. But taken as a whole, the CR-V just makes too much sense. However, what if you're willing to look at something other than an SUV? Keep reading for all our thoughts from December, and to find out what bit broke off.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
There's nothing to report. Our lifetime fuel economy remained steady at 27.6 mpg. I will say that over the half tank I used commuting on the post-apocalyptically abandoned-looking freeways (also known as "Christmas traffic"), the in-car meter crept up to show a 34 mpg average. Of course the second half of that tank is going to get burned up in our standard apocalyptically overcrowded traffic, so I don't expect to see the needle on our lifetime average move much.
Average lifetime mpg: 27.6
EPA mpg rating: 30 combined (34 city/28 highway)
Best fill mpg: 38.9
Best range: 425.5 miles
Current odometer: 29,654 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Something broke! I'm not the first to notice this, but I get to be the first to document it. The plunger on the shift lever broke (you know, the one that you have to depress to change the lever position), and it now pops out of the lever and falls on the floor if you're not careful with it. This issue could potentially be disastrous: If we lose that piece of plastic, we're not going to be able to change out of whatever gear the car happens to be in unless we stick a pen down in there to release the catch. It'll be interesting to see what the fix for this winds up costing us." — Will Kaufman, content strategist and news editor
"I've been thinking a lot about how the CR-V stacks up against the Accord, in no small part because my wife and I just bought an Accord. One thing I really disliked about the CR-V and Civic's design is the gauge cluster: Overall legibility is poor, and important information isn't that easy to find at a glance. The Accord's gauge cluster is an almost universal improvement — except for one thing: You can't display the tachometer at the same time as other information. While the CR-V's tach isn't all that easy to read, at least it's persistently displayed. It may not matter to everyone, but it bugs me." — Will Kaufman
"Over a long weekend on fun secondary roads, I got to experience the CR-V's turbocharged engine and CVT automatic. While this combination isn't exactly a powerhouse of performance, it gets the job done once you get used to it. The initial response in particular is lackluster and will seem slow to drivers who are coming from a bigger, more powerful car. But once the CVT automatic downshifts and the turbo gets spooled up, the CR-V is quick enough to pass big rigs, RVs and fifth-wheels up long grades with no worries. To quicken response, throw the bulky shift lever in S to put the transmission in a lower gear. With the engine revving higher than usual, both the transmission and engine respond faster." — Calvin Kim, vehicle test engineer
"Is it just me or is the CR-V's interior not aging well? I'm not saying it's gone downhill since we started this test; I just think the dashboard layout in particular is increasingly 'meh' compared to other offerings in the class. Our own Mazda CX-5, for example, has a much more upscale vibe inside, and there's a new Toyota RAV4 right around the corner. The Honda's versatility is unimpeachable, but I'm afraid it's going to keep losing valuable style points with that ho-hum interior. Put plainly, the CR-V doesn't make you feel cool when you're driving it, and that's less than ideal in this increasingly style-conscious segment." — Josh Sadlier, senior manager, content strategy
"To me, the biggest problem with the CR-V is the Accord. The Accord is just better: power delivery and handling, ride and seat comfort, cabin noise levels, technology features and infotainment, fuel economy, design and build quality. ... The CR-V has the edge for rear-seat headroom and cargo volume, but that's it. In part, that's a testament to just how impressive the new Accord is. It's good enough that after I rated it, I knew it should be our next family car, and now my wife drives a 2018 Accord.
"I like our long-term CR-V. I really do. But every time I drive it home now I just wish I was in an Accord instead." — Will Kaufman