2017 Honda CR-V Long Term Test

A month in the people mover that’s got its grace back

By Shahzad Sheikh

2017 Honda CR-V

We ran a new Honda CR-V over four weeks, updating regularly across our social media channel using #MMECRV. A review of the car at launch is also available at this link.

We owned a second generation 2003 Honda CR-V and I maintain that that car is still the best of the breed thus far. There’s just something about the inherent solidity and confident assurance with which it goes about it business and always gets the job done that shines through.

Plus it’s the car we kept the longest – about 11 years – so there’s a lot of affection for it. Although I do think it’s a bit like Honda’s BMW E30 3-series – ever notice that all the Threes after that disappeared, but you still see those and they’re still desirable. Okay, the CR-V ain’t a sports saloon, but you see what I mean.

Now this latest iteration is quite possible the best evolution of the CR-V brand at this point. It manages to maintain familiar looks whilst almost doing away with that awkward underbite of the last couple of generations. In fact it’s not only a handsome family SUV, but it’s almost got a more meaty and dare-I-say, more masculine stance, particularly in this sandstone colour.

It’s proved not only an economical but an extremely effortlessly and easy drive, with excellent ride quality and decent handling. Performance is perfectly adequate for this type of car. The air con was great and the stereo satisfying.

This top-trim car was chock full of goodies, but frankly that’s how you want it to keep the family happy, so spend the extra for the kit. It’s extremely practical from its luggage space, to its generous rear seat capacity and that astonishingly configurable centre console.

I’m still not at all convinced by the right signal camera view that takes over the centre screen – and it is pretty much useless at night – though you can turn it off. Plus I would add that this is not really a sports SUV, although it’s dynamically competent.

Spending time with it, is to appreciate it’s daily driveability, and casual useability. My wife, who’s car the old CR-V was really, took a stint behind the wheel of this thing and immediately liked it. She’d definitely consider this as her next car. And to a large extent that’s a pretty formidable and relevant endorsement right there.

Put the CR-V on your shortlist, it ain’t America’s best-selling compact SUV for no reason you know.

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