2017 Honda CR-V: Big changes–and a heck of a lot sexier

6 Oct 2017 | 941 views | No Comment
      By Don Hammonds Talk about your big time changes! Just look at the all-new 2017 Honda CR-V 1.5T AWD Touring! It's got all new, tough looking styling that really catapults it to the top in terms of head turning design and a look that truly can't be mmistaken for anything else. [caption id="attachment_9086" align="alignnone" width="532"] 2017 Honda CR-V[/caption] And there's a host of new features and innovations, including an all new engine, marking the first time that there will be a choice of two for the country's best selling CUV. Our test version, which listed for $34,595, is powered by an all-new  190 horsepower, 1.5 liter, direct injection turbocharged four cylinder engine, with a continuiously variable transmission.  No complaints here!  Although the CR-V does feel a bit heavy coming off the line, it's only for a second or two.  The handling is Honda sharp, with tight, precise cornering, and steering that is just about as centered and unflappable as they come.  Brakes are strong, yet don't act grabby when you hit them. The all-new CR-V achieves a pretty respectable 29 miles per gallon, 27 city and 33 highway. Annual fuel costs are $1,250 bassed on 15,000 miles of driving on $2.45 a gallon gasoline.  You can save $750 in fuel costs over five yearws by buying the CR-V, compared with other new vehicles.  And it uses only 3.4 gallons per 100 miles! I had not driven a CR-V in many years when this one arrived, and I can see why it is hands down, a favorite.  It is so well built,  so comfortable to drive, comnnes well equipped without adding a thing, and its got its own distinct styling going on--you will never confuse this with anything else.  And the new styling themes make this CR-V look way more expensive than it is. For 2017, Honda introduced a whole new generation and there is quite a bit to talk about in terms of changes.  For the first time, there are two engine choices with a new 1.5 liter turbocharged version that powered our test example.  The other engine is a 184 horsepower, 2.4 liter four cylinder engine. Honda says the CR-V has best fuel economy rating in the class with the new engine, and the company also claims top-in-class cabin quietness, steering precision and rife comfort, a long with tops-in-0class interior space along with five feet of flat cargo space. The EX trim  and above have standard HondaSensing safety/driver assist technology, too. This year the CR-V also gets a new programmable power tailgate with several height positions, and it also has a two mode floor setup around back: the upper mode is for a full, flat layout, and a lower level mode that offers maximum capacity with four large hard su9itcases being able to be stored under the tonneau cover. There's also a new three-mode center console that includes USB charging ports for front passengers, an upper tray for holding smartphones, or a trick where you can flip the tray over and stow it at the back of the box for maximum storage capacity. If you get the LX, standard features include 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 adds  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. Step up to the EX-L and standard features include  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. A highlight is HondaSensing, which combines collision mitigation braking system, lane departure warning, a collision prevention package that includes adaptive cruise control with Low-Speed follow feature; a lane keeping assist system, and auto-high beam system; a blind spot information system that provides more lateral safety, and a rearview camera and cross-traffic alert system in the touring for more rear safety. The new styling is more substantial looking, and rather elegant in all model levels.  The Touring is a knockout with the tasteful side trim it offers, and the CR-V has turned into a real head turner. Inside, the CR-V is tastefully done, but traditional, especially in terms of what Hondas traditionally have offered --which might turn off some design minded consumers who want a more contemporary, forward-looking interior. I also didn't care much for the touch screen design that Honda uses--it's a few seconds slow to respond. It comes with a 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty. Altogether, we suspect that Honda won't have any trouble holding onto its sales crown for the CR-V--it's a keeper!

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