As we should all have noticed by now, the crossover and SUV segments are on fire in the US. So, it should be no surprise that there is quite a good bit of competition going on between brands. As capitalism will tell us, this is a good thing because it drives competitors to make the best products they can. One such producer, Honda to be specific, has just released a redesign of the best selling SUV in the US. The 2017 Honda CR-V is all-new, with a plethora of new features, presumably to try and help keep the CR-V at the top of its segment.
One such improvement is a new-to-the-CR-V 1.5L four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The same one from the Civic, this little turbo four-banger is rated by Honda at 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. This engine will be available on all trim levels with the exception of the base model, LX trim which will receive a 2.4L naturally-aspirated four-cylinder. Honda says the move to a turbo was made primarily for fuel economy, as they expect the CR-V to be the most efficient SUV in the segment. All trims and engine configurations will be paired to a CVT transmission, again, in the name of fuel efficiency.
The folks at Honda have made a number of aerodynamic improvements to the CR-V, once again, to help improve the fuel efficiency of the CR-V. In addition to the “windswept front end appearance,” the CR-V has received some impressive new tech to improve aerodynamics at high speeds. Honda calls this technology the Automatic Shutter Grille System. Effectively, the car will close up the grill slightly to help make the front of the car more aerodynamically smooth. While the CR-V doesn’t have any automatically adjusting spoilers, one could make a reasonable argument that this car does indeed have active aero.
Honda have made some major changes to the exterior in the styling department as well. The Touring trim has some fancy LED headlights, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels and twin exhaust tips to help Honda achieve a sportier look. Some added convenience comes in the form of a foot activated power tailgate, as well as loads of driver assistance technology. This lengthy list includes Collision Mitigation Braking (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and pedestrian sensing capability, Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with low-speed follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS). But wait, there’s more! Also available is Blind Spot Information (BSI), Rear Cross Traffic Monitor (CTM) and Auto High Beam (HSS) headlights, according to Honda.
Finally, we move to the interior, where the CR-V has seen even more improvements. Thanks to its longer wheelbase and overall length, now 104.7″ and 180.6″ respectively, the CR-V has a bit more interior room, as much as 105.9 cu-ft of passenger space. But what is perhaps more important are the improvements made to the Driver Information Interface (DII). This includes an all-new 7-inch color touchscreen display, made in conjunction with Garmin, that has an Android operating system. Don’t be worried Apple users, the car has both Android Auto and Apple Car Play to keep your device connected in any circumstance. But there is one more piece to this interior which may seem insignificant, but is actually one of the more important changes made to this new 2017 Honda CR-V.
That improvement would be the return of the volume knob! For a while, Honda was using a touchscreen volume slider-thing that was honestly pretty awful to use. It got the job done, but was just a bit finicky. If you were wearing gloves it was useless, and there is just a laundry list of ways that a volume knob is infinitely better. In a lot of ways, it was trying to fix a problem that didn’t exist. Thankfully, Honda have listened to their customer complaints and fitted this CR-V with a trusty old volume knob.
If you’ve made it this far, you will likely come to the same conclusion that I have, being that the CR-V has a ton of new features, almost too many to fit in one article. Perhaps, the Honda will be able to remain at the top of its ever-competitive segment after all. We won’t know until we can actually drive the thing but fortunately, the wait won’t be too long. The 2017 Honda CR-V should be on sale at the end of this year, with customer deliveries getting here in the beginning of 2017. So, make sure you stay tuned for our review of the vehicle once it finally reaches dealerships.
Until then, why not see how that new turbo engine performs here at altitude in the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe: