2017 Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V SUV Review

4 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Josh Sadlier
Edmunds Editor

The completely redesigned 2017 Honda CR-V could easily have been a case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." After all, the outgoing CR-V was still selling at a class-leading clip, so there was no pressing reason to change course. We would have understood if Honda made some superficial design tweaks and called it a day.

But instead we have the 2017 CR-V, a redo from the ground up that decisively parts ways with its competent but conservative predecessor. The styling has gone from anonymous to awesome, led by an aggressive new front fascia, reshaped rear windows and sculpted haunches that convey a surprising muscularity. For all trims except the base LX, that's backed up under the hood by Honda's excellent 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, first seen in the Civic and a natural fit in the CR-V given its ample low-end torque and fuel-sipping ways — up to 34 mpg highway, according to the EPA.

Inside, the CR-V again follows the latest Civic's lead with a modernized dashboard, a digitally enhanced instrument cluster and an updated touchscreen that thankfully includes a volume knob. There's also even more rear legroom than before — not that anyone was clamoring for it — and an exceptional 75.8 cubic feet of maximum cargo space that positions the "compact" CR-V as a legitimate alternative to midsize SUVs.

The 2017 Honda CR-V further benefits from thoroughly overhauled underpinnings that reduce body roll in corners without compromising the historically compliant ride. The wheelbase is longer, the front and rear tracks are wider, and there's even an extra 1.5 inches of ground clearance for those who found that the previous CR-V scraped its stomach too often in light-duty off-roading. Add it all up and you've got a strong contender for best-in-class honors. The CR-V has long been a champ in the sales and sensibility columns, but now it's poised to be a winner on the merits, too.



what's new

The CR-V is all-new for 2017. It features more aggressive styling, an optional turbocharged engine and a much-improved interior design.

we recommend

We're torn between the EX and the EX-L. The latter certainly has some desirable luxury features, such as leather upholstery, a programmable power liftgate and a premium audio system. But do you need that much kit in your crossover? If you're just looking for a practical utility vehicle, the cheaper EX has a generous features list of its own, including a sunroof, and it comes standard with the same turbocharged engine and a 7-inch touchscreen.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Honda CR-V is offered in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. The LX isn't exactly bare-bones, but its less powerful engine, 5-inch display screen and lack of a sunroof mark it as the entry-level model. Step up to the EX and you get a standard sunroof plus a 7-inch touchscreen, a power driver seat and a more powerful, turbocharged engine. The EX-L tacks on items such as leather, premium audio and a power liftgate, while the Touring goes all-in with LED headlights, a subwoofer and more.

Opt for the base LX and you'll get a decent roster of equipment, including a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (184 horsepower, 180 pound-feet of torque), an electronic parking brake, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, automatic climate control, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 5-inch color LCD screen (not a touchscreen), and a four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Honda's various advanced safety technologies are not offered on the LX.

The EX ups the ante with a standard 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (190 hp, 179 lb-ft), remote ignition, 18-inch wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, body-color door handles and spoiler, rear privacy glass, a retractable cargo cover, keyless entry and start, an upgraded driver information center, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, heated front seats, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Audio, satellite radio, an upgraded rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, numerous advanced safety features (automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking) and second-row USB charging ports.

The EX-L's claims to fame include a programmable-height power liftgate, driver-seat memory settings, leather upholstery, a power passenger seat (though it still lacks height adjustment), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-speaker audio system with HD radio. A navigation system is optional on the EX-L but not on the lesser trims.

The top-of-the-line Touring boasts LED headlights, roof rails, dual chrome exhaust tips, automatic wipers, hands-free functionality for the power liftgate, ambient interior lighting, the navigation system and a subwoofer for the audio system.

Aside from the EX-L's optional navigation system, there are no factory options for the 2017 CR-V, so the only question is which trim level seems right to you.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2017 Honda CR-V Touring AWD (1.5L turbo 4-cyl.; CVT).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration4.0 / 5.0
Braking4.0 / 5.0
Steering5.0 / 5.0
Handling4.0 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.5 / 5.0
Climate control4.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.5 / 5.0

Ease of use3.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5.0
Driving position4.0 / 5.0
Roominess5.0 / 5.0
Visibility4.5 / 5.0
Quality4.0 / 5.0

Utility

5.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage5.0 / 5.0
Cargo space5.0 / 5.0

Technology

4.0 / 5.0

Audio & navigation3.5 / 5.0
Smartphone integration4.5 / 5.0
Driver aids4.0 / 5.0
Voice control3.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
With capable if not thrilling acceleration, composed handling, and confident highway manners, the turbocharged 2017 CR-V is a multidisciplined competitor. If you're looking for a small SUV that doesn't makes compromises for its size, this Honda fits the bill.

acceleration

edmunds rating
Small displacement turbocharged engines often struggle in SUVs, but not this 1.5-liter. The CR-V is quicker than most competitors, providing good low-end oomph for scooting through city streets. You won't be embarrassed on a freeway onramp, and you won't need to slam the gas to pass slowpokes.

braking

edmunds rating
Owners will find linear and progressive response from the brake pedal during both light and hard stops. In our emergency braking testing, the CR-V's best stop from 60 mph took 116 feet, which falls in line with what we expect from compact SUVs.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering resistance builds naturally as you turn the wheel, giving the CR-V a sense of precision and confidence. The wheel also returns to center smoothly and doesn't require much work to stay there, ensuring stability on the freeway. A standout in the class.

handling

edmunds rating
The CR-V strikes an admirable balance between handling and ride quality. Midcorner bumps and other road irregularities don't upset it, and body roll is minimal. You can confidently snake up a curvy road without sickening your passengers or unnecessarily triggering the stability control.

drivability

edmunds rating
Continuously variable transmissions often feel strange, but the CR-V's is among the best. Accelerating from a stop feels natural, and only when you really nail the gas do CVT quirks such as surging materialize. Alas, cruise control doesn't manage speed going downhill, which might annoy some drivers.

comfort

edmunds rating
The CR-V's ride is quieter and suppler than ever, and and accommodations for front and rear occupants are spacious and inviting. You may hear some engine noise while accelerating up the freeway onramp, but the sound falls on the pleasing side of the spectrum.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The power driver's seat (EX models and up) provides eight-way adjustment, plus four-way lumbar, ensuring a fit for drivers of all sizes. You won't hear complaints during long trips from the backseat, unless you have someone in the center. Alas, only the driver gets to adjust seat height.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
The CR-V is composed and settled over everything. Impacts happen once and that's it, thanks in part to fluid-filled suspension bushings and Honda's decision to stay with 18-inch wheels (19s are optional). There's plenty of tire to absorb the bumps, resulting in a smooth yet composed ride.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
There are quieter SUVs out there but louder ones, too. You'll notice some wind and tire noise, but the engine is only apparent when you step on the gas — and it doesn't sound bad either. None of it is loud enough to drown out conversations or force occupants to raise their voices.

climate control

edmunds rating
Drivers sensitive to temperature change might have to ride the climate controls, and the system seems to work better at higher speeds. Heated front seats are standard on all trims except LX, but ventilation is not available. Rear passengers will appreciate vents on the back of the front armrest.

interior

edmunds rating
The interior design improves practicality and offers a welcome dose of style versus last year's model. Owners will appreciate little tricks such as adjusting the opening height for the rear hatch for tight garages and venting all four windows on hot days by holding the unlock button.

ease of use

edmunds rating
All physical controls are very intuitive, but the touch-sensitive ones can be annoying. Some on-screen buttons are small, and it's too easy to graze the capacitive volume control on the steering wheel. The digital temperature and fuel gauges flanking the speedometer wash out in sunlight.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
The wide front and rear door openings provide plenty of head and leg clearance on the way in. The CR-V is a little taller this year, but it remains just as easy to step inside — overlapping doors with narrow sills help. Occupants of all sizes will have little difficulty entering or exiting.

driving position

edmunds rating
It's simple to put the seat and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel where you want, and the gauge cluster is easy to see in its entirety. The armrests sit at equal heights, but what looks like a pad for your right knee is actually hard plastic, which might be uncomfortable for the longer-legged.

roominess

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Never mind the "compact" part of this SUV's class. Interior dimensions are generally larger than those of rivals, with exception of front head- and legroom, which are by no means tight. Rear seating space is the biggest you'll find in a small SUV. Four full-size adults will fit with zero problems.

visibility

edmunds rating
Windshield pillars don't obstruct your front view, and it's easy to sense the location of the front bumper. Blind spots are minimal, and monitoring is standard on all but LX models. Rear headrests encroach slightly on the rear window but don't obstruct. The backup camera covers a wide viewing angle.

quality

edmunds rating
Solid fitment is crucial when you consider the many storage configurations, and the CR-V does not disappoint. Flowing interior panels and trim inserts show generally convincing quality, as does the leather adorning the seats and steering wheel (EX-L and Touring).

utility

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The 2017 CR-V is a master class of practicality. From its enormous and multiconfigurable storage capacity to its many clever compartments, this Honda makes you question if a larger SUV is necessary.

small-item storage

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The multiconfigurable center console has a deep storage well and a sliding tray that's rubberized and textured. It also doubles as a cover for hiding small valuables. From large cupholders to a phone shelf and deep door pockets, there's a place for your and your passengers' stuff.

cargo space

edmunds rating
At 39.2 cubic feet, the CR-V's rear storage space is at the top of the class, rivaling larger SUVs. The rear seats flip down easily and softly, expanding that space to a massive 75.8 cubic feet. A clever, height-adjustable cargo floor lets you choose between a flat loading surface or more space.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
All rear seats have easily accessible LATCH anchors. The large rear passenger area means car seats fit without moving the front seats. Outboard rear seats each have a tether anchor on the rear seatback. The center seat's tether anchor is in the roof, which can slightly obstruct rear visibility.

technology

edmunds rating
With smartphone integration and advanced safety features standard on the majority of trims (all but LX), the CR-V makes a strong case on paper. Alas, the entertainment system and voice controls can be annoying. But that doesn't matter much if you plug in your smartphone, which is fully supported.

audio & navigation

edmunds rating
Yes! Honda finally added a volume knob. But other aspects of the touchscreen's menus still feel clunky and stilted. Smartphone owners with good reception can get navigation for free via Apple Carplay and Android Auto, which means they can think twice about buying the optional navigation system.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard (all but LX trims), and plugging in this way makes it unnecessary to pair your phone via Bluetooth — it's automatic. But you can use Bluetooth streaming audio if you wish. Front and rear occupants get two USB ports each.

driver aids

edmunds rating
Lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise, forward collision, and blind-spot monitoring are standard on all but LX trims. Collision monitoring throws the occasional false positive during congested city driving, but most of these systems are otherwise unobtrusive or easily disabled

voice control

edmunds rating
Standard voice controls are somewhat cumbersome, such that it's often faster to rely on the physical or on-screen controls. Fortunately, a long press on the voice control button lets you engage the very advanced Siri or Google Voice voice recognition system when your smartphone is plugged in.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.