2017 Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V

The 2017 Honda CR-V has debuted in the USA, featuring bold new looks; a more premium, spacious and versatile interior; and a more powerful turbocharged engine. Honda’s fifth-generation SUV has been completely redesigned and re-engineered, and will go on sale State-side later this year.

“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 VP and GM of the Honda division. Well now, lots to live up to, then.

First up, the looks. Honda has gone for a bold yet familiar approach. Alienating nearly four million CR-V buyers in the US since 1997 is not an option, obviously. It now wears a large chrome grille up front (now with Honda’s first Automatic Shutter Grille System), joined by a pair of full-LED headlights, with the whole fascia making up a distinctive iteration of Honda’s Solid Wing Face.

2017 Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V

The CR-V’s upswept D-pillars have been retained for another generation, and so have the model’s traditional vertical tail lamps. This time though, the latter has a more swoopy and stylised appearance – almost Volvo-like in execution. A customary chrome bar adds width to the rear, along with twin tailpipes with silver surrounds. Another Honda-first is the Hands-Free Access Power Tailgate.

Under the hood is a 1.5 litre turbocharged engine – the first blown unit for a CR-V. The direct-injected DOHC unit gets a power boost over the unit in the Civic FC, rated at 190 hp at 5,600 rpm and 243 Nm of torque between 2,000 to 5,000 rpm. The turbo CR-V now features a Remote Engine Start system, a la the Civic.

Also available in the US is a 2.4 litre i-VTEC direct-injection engine, with 184 hp at 6,400 rpm and 244 Nm at 3,900 rpm. This naturally-aspirated motor, however, has been relegated to serve the only base-spec model. Both engine options are paired to a CVT transmission with Honda G-Shift control logic.

Honda says the new CR-V, in turbocharged form, will have the best fuel economy figures in the compact SUV class (as it is classified over in The Land of the Free). This is thanks to the more aerodynamic body, as well as the CVT, which is also claimed to offer “incredibly refined and responsive performance.”

Inside, the 2017 CR-V is claimed to raise the bar for interior refinement, utility and premium features. Now with a longer wheelbase – 2,660 mm vs 2,620 mm – the new SUV boasts a more spacious cabin, with “top-in-class interior space and the best rear seat legroom in its class.” It remains a five seater, though, despite earlier rumours of it gaining two extra seats.

Upping the premium factor is the use of upgraded materials throughout the interior, including an instrument panel that now has a colour screen. A new Android-based 7.0-inch touchscreen display audio system is featured here, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Dual-zone air-con, Ambient LED lighting, electronic parking brake and rear USB ports are among the new additions.

More models in the US now get the Honda Sensing advanced safety and driver-assist suite. The tech is now offered on all but the base model (which gets six airbags and electronic stability control as standard), and Honda targets over 75% of all CR-Vs sold in America will be such equipped.

Honda Sensing includes Collision Mitigation Braking (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and pedestrian sensing capability, Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with low-speed follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS). Blind Spot Information (BSI), Rear Cross Traffic Monitor (CTM) and Auto High Beam (HSS) headlights are also in.

Honda targets the highest available collision safety ratings for the new CR-V, including a five-star score from the NHTSA, and an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. Models intended for North America will be produced at East Liberty, Ohio; Alliston, Ontario, Canada; and for the first time, Greensburg, Indiana.

The important question is, what do you think of the 2017 Honda CR-V?