2017 Honda CR-V Touring Test Drive – It’s a Whole New Animal [Review]


The 2017 Honda CR-V marks the launch of the popular five-passenger compact SUV’s fifth generation. The all-new Honda CR-V is likely to continue its legacy as the best-selling SUV in America for the past 20 years, with sales in the U.S. of nearly 4 million units since its introduction in 1997.


This latest iteration Honda CR-V enters showrooms offering two engines – one of them all new, and five models or levels of trim. A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine will continue be the power source for the well-equipped base LX model, but in a more efficient form. It is a 184 horsepower DOHC, 16-valve engine with 180 lb-ft of torque, i-VTEC and Direct Injection. The all new engine, is a 1.5-liter DOHC, 16-valve turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 194 horsepower at 5,600 rpm along with 179 lb-ft of torque in a range from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm. The 1.5-liter four-banger will serve as the powerplant for EX, EX-L and Touring models.


Both engines mate to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with Honda G-Shift control logic. All trim levels are available in either FWD or Honda’s upgraded Real Time AWD system. Towing capacity is rated at 1,500 pounds.

Suspension componentry consists of MacPherson struts up front and new rear multi-link that utilize specially tuned low-friction dampers, with both FWD and AWD models including tubular front and solid rear stabilizer bars.

The 2017 CR-V expands the application of the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, by now offering it as standard fare on EX and higher trims, and including for the first time on CR-V both Road Departure Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow. Additional new available driver-assistive features offered are Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, Blind Spot Information System, Auto High-Beam and all-new Driver Attention Monitor.

In terms of its visual appeal, the new CR-V displays a fresh direction with a boldly aggressive attitude, with crisper and sharper front-end design elements, aggressively stylized headlights surrounded by a wing-shaped LED DRL array on all models, and wide, muscular fenders. The long hood, longer wheelbase, short rear overhang and new dual exhaust outlets give the 2017 CR-V a look that is both more sophisticated and athletic.

The new windswept frontal appearance includes signature Honda LED headlights (Touring trim), a Honda-first Active Shutter Grille system that lowers aerodynamic drag, uprated aluminum alloy wheel sizes to 17 or 18 inches on all trims, narrower A-pillars for enhanced visibility, and a sporty dual exhaust. Adding convenience is a Honda-first available hands free access power tailgate, which allows opening and closing the tailgate simply by kicking a foot to activate a sensor under the rear of the vehicle.

The exterior design is complemented by the new CR-V platform’s best-in-class space-efficiency. Its wider stance and longer wheelbase significantly benefit interior space – total interior volume is increased 1.8 cubic feet, rear seat legroom adds 2.1 inches, and total cargo length with second-row seats folded flat is up 9.8 inches compared to the previous model. Converting from passenger to cargo hauling is made easy with the new one-motion dive-down 60/40 split rear seat, and available power tailgate with hands-free operation. While the Honda CR-V exhibits a compact exterior appearance, it provides a surprisingly roomy interior.

My test 2017 Honda CR-V 5-door, five-passenger SUV came in Touring trim and in an AWD configuration. The base price was set at $32,395 while Destination and Delivery charges elevated the final total to $33,295. The exterior finish was sprayed in Gunmetal Metallic, while the interior was done in Gray and Charcoal tones, with natural matte finish wood trim accents.

This latest example CR-V exhibits a greater visual appeal overall with its enhanced streamlining, which also yielded improved aerodynamics. Character lines showcase gentle curves and smooth surfaces.

In the performance department, the 1.5-liter turbocharged, inline four delivers both spirited acceleration and efficiency of operation, with satisfactory fuel economy – an EPA estimated 27-mpg city / 33 mpg highway. Handling characteristics are sporty with good on-center steering feel and the ride quality is quite comfortable with supportive seating.

The cabin provides a sophisticated and refined ambience with lots of useable space, featuring a high level of functionality and versatility. Connectivity and infotainment deliver a new generation of advanced technologies. Available features include a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen Display Audio interface; a Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System developed in cooperation with Garmin. For the first time, the CR-V ’s Display Audio system is compatible with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto platforms, providing seamless integration of key smartphone features and functions, including smartphone-powered GPS navigation and voice-controlled search capabilities.

Bottom line, the Honda CR-V for 2017 has made a giant leap over that first generation CR-V, once again taking a highly successful vehicle and making it significantly better as well as more attractive, and it is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile new-car limited warranty.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Honda CR-V Touring

Base Price: $32,395

Price as Tested: $33,295 (Estimated)

Engine Type and Size: 1.5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, Direct Injected, Turbocharged in-line four-cylinder with Drive-by-wire throttle system.

Horsepower (bhp): 190  @ 5,600 rpm

Torque (ft./ lbs.): 179  @ 2,000-5,000 rpm

Transmission: CVT with G-Shift.

Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System.

Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with 14 mm tubular stabilizer bar and low-friction dampers.

Rear Multi-link with 13 mm solid stabilizer bar and low-friction dampers.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, EBB, BA. ESC, VSA with Traction Control. Agile Handling Assist, Straight Driving Assist and Hill Start Assist.

Tires: Hankook Kinergy GT P235/60 R18 All Season 103H mounted on stylized 6-hole/spoke alloy wheels with machined face and painted inners.

Wheelbase: 104.7 inches

Length Overall: 180.6 inches

Width: 73.0 inches

Height: 66.5 inches

Curb Weight: 3,421 lbs.

Turning Circle: 37.4 ft.

Fuel Capacity: 14 gallons

EPA Mileage Estimates: 27 mpg city / 33  mpg highway