Honda has redesigned its segment's best seller CR-V, 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 comfortably fit five adults. Despite a modest growth in dimensions, including two inches added to the wheelbase, the CR-V actually weighs about 75 pounds less than before and still manages to be significantly quieter and convey a substantial feel. We tested a base LX and the more mainstream EX. Both achieved impressive fuel economy of 27 and 28 mpg respectively in our testing, a new best for the class, excluding the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. As a bonus, the turbo makes for a peppier drive.
The base LX has the 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's carried over from the last CR-V; it works well, sufficiently delivering power. Emulating Honda's compact Civic sedan, the CR-V now gets a small displacement turbocharged engine in most versions: The EX and above trim levels come with a 1.5-liter turbo engine that makes 190-hp, which isn't much more power, but it supplies that power earlier, reducing the need for drivers to push the engine. Most of the time, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) does its job unobtrusively but when merging or climbing, it's a struggle to mask the engine's droning whine.