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The 2017 Honda CR-V continues the tradition of quality, functionality, roominess and value that has established the model as a class leader in hot compact SUVs since its introduction in 1995. Redesigned for this model year, the latest CR-V adds a host of new features that are sure to be appreciated by shoppers looking for comfort, convenience and the latest technology in their next crossover.
Still built on the same platform as the Honda Civic, the new CR-V has a longer wheelbase for improved ride quality, while the updated exterior features more muscular fenders, aggressive front-end styling and Honda's first automatic foot-activated tailgate. Inside, the model's reputation for spaciousness is maintained, with plenty of room for all your stuff in the cargo area and more legroom than ever for rear-seat passengers.
One of the biggest changes for 2017 is the addition of the CR-V's first turbocharged engine, a 1.5-liter four-cylinder powerplant rated at 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque that is standard on EX and higher trim levels. A criticism of past CR-Vs was that peak power didn't arrive until high up in the rev range, an issue that is capably addressed by the turbo, which reaches maximum torque at a low 2,000 rpm.
The base LX model will still be powered by a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission, and buyers have the choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive on all trim levels.
Never known for particularly sporty handling, the new CR-V makes improvements in that department with beefed-up suspension tuning, which reduces body roll in the corners, and variable-ratio electric power steering for quicker turn-in and more positive feel. And while perhaps not ideally suited for rigorous off-roading, the updated CR-V boasts increased ground clearance compared to the outgoing model.
The EPA has not yet released fuel-economy figures for the 2017 CR-V, but the 2016 model achieved a rating of 29 mpg combined (26 city/32 highway). Honda says it expects the new CR-V, with its lighter weight and new powerplant, to garner the best EPA fuel-economy ratings in its class.
The base LX model CR-V is already well equipped with enhanced interior materials and a variety of comfort and convenience features. EX and higher trim levels add more premium interior touches, an upgraded infotainment system and the standard Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety systems.
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Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.