2017 Honda CR-V: Monthly Update for May 2018
by Dan Frio, Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
The clock is winding down on our long-term 2017 Honda CR-V. We've had it longer than our typical 12 months and we've exceeded the 20,000-mile quota we aim for with all of our long-term cars. Whatever our impressions of any of our long-termers, whatever we write about them — good, bad or indifferent — the odometer tells the true tale of our test cars. With nearly 24,000 miles on the CR-V, it's clear we like it.
And what's not to like? The CR-V is the automotive equal of a five-tool player in baseball. It's roomy, practical, efficient, quick (enough) and reliable, and does everything with shocking competence. We'll miss it when it's gone.
May was a pretty routine month of commuting and driving the CR-V on daily errands. We found a couple of new nitpicks, as you do, but none we'd consider deal-breakers.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Routine driving entailed 1,074 miles, although that's among the lowest monthly totals of our test. With newer cars in the fleet that need miles and no road trips on the docket, the CR-V didn't roam quite as far as per usual. We averaged 28.4 mpg. That's shy of the car's best-mpg average in April (30.2), shy of the EPA's estimate for combined driving (30 mpg) and just a shade taller than the EPA-estimated city range. May's result didn't budge the car's lifetime numbers in either direction.
Average lifetime mpg: 27.6
EPA mpg rating: 30 combined (28 city/34 highway)
Best fill mpg: 38.9
Best range: 425.5 miles
Current odometer: 23,455 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"The continuously variable automatic transmission is my least favorite thing about the CR-V. It's not terrible and is actually better than many, but I still dislike the CVT automatic driving sensation, not to mention the languid acceleration off the line in its default mode. So I started driving it exclusively in S mode in the city, which allows the engine to rev higher for snappier power and transmission response. I've found it invaluable for gliding through city traffic. Once out on the highway, I'll shift it into normal D mode unless I need a quick burst for passing. Predictably, this took a bite out of fuel economy, as I averaged just 26.8 mpg after doing this kind of driving over one full tank. I could live with that." — Dan Frio, staff writer
"How thoughtful. Honda put a padded section on the side of the center console to save your knees from hitting cheap, hard plastic. Except it didn't. That's cheap, hard plastic molded to look like it has a padded surface. That's actually worse, Honda." — Kurt Niebuhr, road test editor
"The CR-V's seating position is dandy, but this view out the back corners isn't helpful. This little window with a rising bottom edge doesn't do much for blind-spot visibility. Better than nothing, but generally ineffectual. I don't miss LaneWatch (a live camera feed of the passenger-side blind spot, which Honda abandoned with the current CR-V) and blind-spot monitoring helps for lane changes, but seems like this could be better executed." — Dan Frio
"The backup camera display was intermittent this morning. When I first reversed, it worked fine. Then I had to do a three-point turn, and it didn't come on until the final 2 seconds of my reversing. Tesla-itis?" — Jason Kavanagh, senior road test engineer
"One continuing nag is the sensitivity of Honda Sensing, the umbrella name for Honda's various driver safety aids. The CR-V wants its space and needs plenty of room to feel safe. That's fine, but gets tiresome when you glide a little too close to the bumper in front of you while changing lanes, for example, and receive a panicked alert in the gauge cluster. 'BRAKE!' Feels like Honda should be able to dial in some sense of the driver's intent — a kind of 'smart learning' feature that understands driver habits — but that might be asking a bit much from a mainstream compact SUV." — Dan Frio
"A couple of our former colleagues were avid mountain bikers and at some point tried to fit their bikes in every current test car. (Colleague Dan Edmunds still does this.) Me, I try to fit a set of drums in each car. I've hauled drums in dozens of cars in a life spent chasing the spirit of John Bonham, from Acura Integras, Ford Escorts and Miatas (in which you're lucky to fit a cocktail kit).
"The CR-V is made for this kind of work. It's no surprise that it'll fit a set of drums; it's more a question of 'How many drums can I fit in this thing?' A friend of mine can fit a big kit with two kick drums and multiple tom-toms — the kind of contraption popular with old hair-metal bands — in a Scion xB without protective cases, so I'm fairly certain you could fit a small high school drumline's gear in the CR-V without issue. Loading up a conventional four-piece kit for a recent jam session was quick work, requiring only one of the rear seat splits to fold down. And the cargo cover was a nice way to keep most of it out of sight." — Dan Frio