The segment sales leader, the Honda CR-V, has been redesigned, and the result is better fuel economy, improved safety, sharper handling, and an upgraded interior.

The CR-V is small enough to navigate through tight parking lots, yet roomy enough inside to capably fit five adults. Plentiful cabin storage makes it a very functional vehicle. Visibility is good, except to the rear corners.

We tested both LX and EX trim CR-Vs. The base LX’s 2.4-liter engine is adequately powerful and returned 27 mpg overall; the EX’s 1.5-liter turbo returned 28 mpg overall. Both mileage figures are the best among nonhybrid small SUVs, but the turbo is peppier to drive.

The firm ride is unlikely to elicit complaints. Handling is responsive and secure.

The cabin is quieter than it has ever been, but some competitors provide a more relaxing space. The LX’s front seats have limited adjustments; those in the EX are much better thanks to power adjustments, including four-way lumbar support, that let you fine-tune your driving position. The rear seat is very roomy, and large door openings ease access. The LX’s infotainment system is easy to use; EX trim and above get a more complicated and distracting touch-screen system.

Honda doesn’t make advanced safety gear standard on all CR-Vs, which hurts its Overall Score and ranks it below the Toyota RAV4 in our ratings. All things considered, we think it’s worth the extra $2,650 to get the EX version.

Read the complete Honda CR-V road test.

HIGHS: Fuel economy, roomy interior
LOWS: Cumbersome infotainment system on EX version and up
POWERTRAIN: LX: 184-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder; EX: 190-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo engine; continuously variable transmission; all-wheel drive
FUEL: 27 mpg /28 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED: $26,245 /$28,935


Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the June 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.