Honda whipped the covers off its all-important, fifth-generation CR-V that comes with an evolutionary redesign, slightly increased dimensions for improved space, added features and a new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine.
As Honda’s second-best selling vehicle in the United States with nearly 4 million deliveries since it was introduced two decades years ago, the CR-V is a pivotal model in the brand’s lineup, leading a very crowded and competitive segment with popular compact SUVs such as the Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Escape.
Honda believes that the redesigned 2017 CR-V has all the ingredients to continue its successful course in the market.
"The new Honda CR-V raises the bar in every imaginable way, delivering more performance, space and premium content together with higher fuel economy ratings and value than ever before," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "Customers are going to love what they see and what they experience behind the wheel of this new CR-V."
Without being pretty, the new CR-V has a more characterful (and perhaps less forgettable) exterior design than the fourth-gen model, stealing some crispier styling cues from the new Civic (some would say, from Volvo too, at the rear)and in the case of LED headlamp equipped models, from Acura as well, all while retaining a familiar shape. In a Honda first, the 2017 CR-V also gets an Automatic Shutter Grille System that lowers aerodynamic drag.
The interior has an edgier and more contemporary design, with the Japanese brand claiming that it benefits from improved ergonomics, including a physical volume knob on the (7-inch touchscreen) infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and higher-quality, soft-touch materials. The new CR-V continues to offer seating for five, but a 1.6-inch-longer (41mm) wheelbase and better interior packaging results in a 2.1-inch (53mm) increase in rear legroom, while cargo space grows by 2 cubic feet to 39 cubic feet.
New comfort and convenience features include remote engine start, dual-zone climate controls, heated side mirrors, an Electric Parking Brake (EPB), rear USB charging ports, front passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment and driver's seat with 8-way power adjustment and 4-way power lumbar support and heated front and rear outboard seats.
Even though the new CR-V has a slightly larger footprint, curb weight is down over the outgoing model.
Last year’s 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine returns producing 184 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, but for the first time, the CR-V will be offered with a turbocharged gasoline engine, based on the 1.5-liter force-fed unit found in the Civic, massaged to deliver 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque in the SUV. Both units will be mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with Honda G-Shift control logic, driving the front, or optionally, all-four wheels.
More detailed specifications, including EPA ratings, along with prices, will be released closer to the 2017 CR-V’s on-sale date later this fall.