2017 Honda CR-V: Monthly Update for June 2017
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Manager of Content Strategy
Where Did We Drive It?
Is the shine starting to wear off? Maybe that's a bit strong, but our long-term 2017 Honda CR-V drew some criticism this month after a couple months of generally positive first impressions. We mostly used the CR-V for commuting, and its cabin noise, transmission performance and automatic emergency braking system all garnered less than favorable comments.
It wasn't all bad, though, as the CR-V's undeniably superb versatility and clever interior design continued to earn praise. Still, it'll be interesting to chart our feelings about this Honda as time goes on and familiarity deepens. Speaking for myself, I got out of the CR-V and into our long-term Ford Escape for a night, and I was struck by how quiet and refined the Ford seemed by comparison. Honda's got some great fundamentals here, but we're finding some foibles, too.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We refueled the CR-V five times in June, pouring in 52.4 gallons over the course of 1,374.8 miles. That comes out to an average of 26.3 mpg, which lowered our lifetime average just a tad. Overall, we're nearly 10 percent shy of the EPA's 30-mpg estimate in mixed driving.
Average lifetime mpg: 27.2
EPA mpg rating: 30 combined (28 city/34 highway)
Best fill mpg: 38.9
Best range: 425.5 miles
Current odometer: 8,155 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
Ron Montoya took the CR-V in for its first service around the 7,200-mile mark. It was an A1 service, which includes an oil change (but oddly no filter change, Ron notes; that's part of the B service) and tire rotation. This particular dealership slipped in a bottle of zMAX engine treatment, which added $20 to the bill. Total cost with parts, labor and tax came to $117.18.
"Just had a disconcerting introduction to the Honda Sensing safety suite. While connecting from an overpass onto another freeway, the car about 30 feet in front of me got hard on its brakes to avoid rear-ending a last-second lane-changer. I saw the play developing and went for the brakes, but not in a panic. The CR-V must have determined that I wasn't applying enough braking force, or early enough braking force, and decided to assist me. It assisted with hard, abrupt braking. If I was braking at 60 percent, the car boosted it to about 80 percent. Not enough to chirp the tires or leave stripes, but enough that I saw the eyes of the X5 driver behind me widen as he made an evasive maneuver toward the shoulder. The brakes continued to hold even after I'd lifted from the pedal and tried to dab in some throttle to get moving again. It was an unsettling pause in momentum. I didn't dig the feeling of computer-induced panic at all." — Dan Frio, automotive editor
"Honda humorously adds an S mode, ostensibly for 'Sport,' between the CVT shift lever's Drive and Low modes. It splits the difference between the slow, soggy transmission response of D and the sharp, shrill reaction of L. Suggesting there's some Sport involved is cheeky; it's more like Survival since I find this is the only setting that's useful for getting in and out of your own way on the highway. But it's also high-strung, noisy and just not very pleasant when you need to get on it. There's been an enthusiast campaign to save manual transmissions from extinction. Do we need one now to save regular, quietly serving six-speed automatics, too?" — Dan Frio
"I rarely hear people talk about how convenient the CR-V is for dogs. The cargo area's point of entry is low enough that most able-bodied canines will be able to hop in easily. But people with smaller dogs, or dogs who need a hand getting in and out, are sure to appreciate the low position, because less lifting is always a good thing. Also, folding the rear seats down is as easy as pulling a lever. With those rear seats dropped, the flat-ish cargo area is large enough that a trio of dogs could hang out and not be lying on top of each other. Before the dog came along, I would have never considered the cargo area as a place to carry anything other than ... cargo. Now that a dog is part of the equation, I have a new appreciation for the design of the CR-V's rear hatch." — Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor
"I'm disappointed by how the CR-V's shift lever feels when you slot it into Drive, or attempt to do so. There's no tangible indication that Drive is any different from the other detents, so I find myself looking at the lever each time to make sure, lest I inadvertently end up in Neutral or L or something. Also, the movement between detents feels cheap and clunky to me. Seems like Honda didn't have time to design this shifter with the company's usual attention to detail." — Josh Sadlier
"The CR-V features this odd center-console storage arrangement, which is like open-air storage with an L-shaped sliding tray acting as a kind of cover. It's weird and took me awhile to get accustomed to it, but it turns out to be a pretty useful way to stash things out of sight and out of the way while the grippy rubber-lined tray keeps phones, wallets and keys from moving around. The sliding armrest ices the cake on this ingenious little system." — Dan Frio
"Wind noise seems to be a deeply ingrained Honda trait, at least for Civic-based platforms. At highway speeds, airflow pours over the front glass, pillars and mirrors, with an accompanying sustained orchestral whoosh pouring into the cabin right along with it. It's a little disproportionate to how nice the rest of the cabin feels." — Dan Frio
"As a driver of average height, I find getting in and out of a CR-V incredibly easy. Not much bending, climbing or squatting is required, and sliding my butt onto the seat doesn't take much effort. I know I'm not covering new ground here — anybody who is familiar with the CR-V knows that simple in-and-outs have been the CR-V's calling card for the past umpteen years." — Matt Jones
"Best CR-V yet. For comfort, ergonomics and little driver-friendly touches, it's like a mini Odyssey. Firm seats with great support, nice cabin materials and build quality, room for driver and passengers to spread out. You'd expect Honda to continue refining its top player with each generation, but this feels like a statement to the rest of the field. Granted, we're driving the top trim and expect to see the car at its best. But it feels like Honda took a longer stride than usual with this one, and not 'just enough' to maintain its market position." — Dan Frio