The 2017 Honda CR-V has come a very long way since the first Honda CR-V hit the market back in 1995, when SUVs were starting to be introduced to the market. It was a quirky, weird looking thing (for its time), but that’s what made it so unique. People were sold to the idea, and it actually shipped out of the factory in reasonably large numbers, despite the experts’ claims that it won’t succeed. The current generation CR-V was launched in 2012, with Honda providing a large upgrade in 2015, improving the safety structure to bring it up to par with IIHS testing. It’s always been a top contender in its segment, but with the constant update and upgrades, the CR-V is slowly gaining the lead on its rivals.
The 2017 Honda CR-V boasts a brand-new body design, as well as chassis upgrades, although overall it doesn’t appear too different. The interior receives small updates, and so does the powertrain.
EXTERIOR & INTERIOR
The exterior design of the 2017 CR-V is not too different from the 2016 Honda CR-V. The hood for instance still carries the same muscular body lines on both sides. They appear to be sharper and more defined than before however, cleaning up the front fascia and creating a small crest on the fenders. The difference between the 2017 CR-V and the 2016 CR-V can be found at the point where the upper edge meets the lower one. The end result is a rounded nose. The headlights get more slanted, with the top edge moving closer to the grille than the lower one. The changes are subtle, but when added up lead to a more refined and pleasing exterior.
There’s a new chrome strip linking the headlights and the Honda emblem, replacing the old black insert which looked somewhat dated. The top radiator grille is wider and slightly taller, along with the air dam which receives a large size increase, as well as a rectangular shape. The fog lights on the other hand, got smaller, rounder and sit further down.
Looking at the rear of the 2017 Honda CR-V, it’s quite apparent this is a brand-new design. The taillights are thinner, despite the fact that they still sit at the upper edges of the hatch. The reversing lights have been integrated fully into the lenses on the hatch, and the layout of the lens itself is more modern and crisp-looking. Both vertical lines on the hatch are much more angular and aggressive. Overall, Honda has done an amazing job updating an already great-looking vehicle.
The spacious interior of the 2017 Honda CR-V is sure to please drivers as it takes what has worked throughout the years and adds updates to perfect the functionality, versatility and quality. The dash gets wrapped in a super soft surface which has the look and feel of a premium material. The old two-tier dash which looked strange gets replaced with a new, flatter one, boasting a much more elegant design. The standard screen is good, but we suggest opting for Honda’s seven-inch Android-powered display if possible. The instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is now a TFT digital display rather than the analogue dials. It’s simple, elegant and extremely clear to read and interpret.
A new three-spoke steering wheel makes an appearance and feels good in the hand, perfect both in size and material. Silver and black inserts all around give the car a luxurious feel, as well as replacing some outdated plastics the old model sported.
ENGINE & PERFORMANCE
The 2017 Honda CR-V is equipped with a 1.5L turbocharged four cylinder engine outputting 190hp and paired with a continuously variable transmission. While two wheel drive comes standard on the base model, real time all wheel drive becomes the norm for all other models (optional for the base model LX).
The CVT transmission allows for a smooth and seamless acceleration from rest all the way to highway speeds. While its gear ratios are not as defined as automatics, it still does a great job of keeping power readily available and is a welcome tradeoff for a smooth drive and better fuel economy. Our 200km combined city and highway test drive yielded 9.2 L/100km, which is very impressive for an SUV.
Overall the 2017 CR-V provides a pleasant and well rounded drive. Comfortable yet quick accelerations, precise handling and reassuring real time AWD all add up to a best in class ride for both driver and passengers.
The 2017 Honda CR-V is all around the best compact/cross over SUV for drivability, versatility, comfort and performance. Starting at $26,690 and topping out at $38,090, you also get great value for your money. To find out what all the hype is about and why the CR-V has been a top selling SUV since its release in 1995, we suggest you take one for a test drive!