When the CR-V entered our long-term test fleet, it was simply Honda’s latest riff on America’s best-selling SUV, one that immediately impressed with its sharply styled sheetmetal and intriguing new small-displacement turbo engine. But soon after joining the fleet, the CR-V competed in and won our 2018 SUV of the Year competition. That’s right, after a weeklong battle in Southern California’s harsh desert, it beat out Alfa’s new Stelvio and Subaru’s capable Crosstrek along with many other new and notable 2018 models. None of this surprised me, as I had already put thousands of miles on our tester prior to the competition and considered the CR-V a frontrunner for the Calipers. Our judges concurred, calling the CR-V “a supreme example of calm, confident composure that delivers in all categories. … [None of the] others put the whole package together the way the CR-V does.”

Honda CR-Vs are no strangers to long-term MotorTrend testing. This is MotorTrend’s sixth long-term CR-V, with the first being a 1997 CR-V (complete with cleverly hidden picnic table) and when the previous generation won SUV of the year contest, we spent a year with a 2015 CR-V Touring AWD. We’ve executed long-term tests on every generation of CR-V and have watched as Honda has progressively evolved CR-V from a slightly modified JDM product to America’s best-selling SUV.

My favorite part on the SUV is the capless fuel filler. On a weekly basis it made trips to gas station all the better.





With this fifth-gen CR-V, Honda has made a meaningful leap in performance dynamics, and its handling is a clear improvement over the previous model. Although it doesn’t handle as well as, say, some of BMW’s latest FWD-based SUVs, overall the CRV’s handling is predictable, the ride is tightly controlled, impact harshness is well concealed, and the body movements are appropriately damped. Put the CVT in low, and it’s possible to reach 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, 0.8 clicks quicker than the previous generation. Also improved over the last model are lateral grip and 60-mph braking, which improve by 0.04g and 4 feet. The steering, a tad on the light side, is nonetheless accurate and controlled, and coupled with a steady and sorted chassis it serves up a planted course through the turns. Lastly, hard braking results in a rear end that stays put and a vehicle that maintains straight stability.

Lots of miles suffering L.A.’s frustrating traffic were made easier inside the confines of the CR-V, and this is attributed to the vehicle’s impressive Honda Sensing Suite. This semi-autonomous system of cameras and sensors is greater than the sum of its parts, and its real-world application is superior to many of the systems offered from other OEMs. Most important, this is technology that makes daily life more agreeable. In fact, whenever the freeway would come to a halt on the northbound 405, I’d simply activate Honda Sensing and let the adaptive cruise system assume the stress of stop-and-go traffic instead of me.

Yet the CR-V is not without shortcomings. The shifter is well placed, but often when shifting from sport or low up to drive, the selector will annoyingly overshoot drive and end up in neutral, resulting is an undesired rev of the engine followed by a puzzling glance at the gear selector. Other gripes include the hard to remove/clean single-piece rear floormat and the plastic trim pieces on the front and rear doors. The door trim pieces extend below the door metal and are susceptible to catching curbs and snapping their mounting brackets when closing the door. The trim even once grabbed a hunk of grass and dirt and shoveled it into the car. Lastly, this CR-V was equipped with a hands-free tailgate, and try as I might, I could rarely get it to work. Even watching a handful of YouTube videos did not help the cause. Neat idea, poor execution.

Right around 15,000 miles in, the CR-V began to struggle to start, as if its battery wasn’t fully charged. This also affected the power liftgate’s ability to lower and shut. Three days later, the battery died and required a jump to get to a Honda dealer. The battery was toast and was replaced under warranty. During the same visit, a code on the dash suggested a $177 differential fluid change, which seemed premature for 15,000 miles, but per some internet research and an inquiry with Honda corporate, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for this to be triggered when the system detects debris caused by break-in. Also keep in mind this is only for AWD CR-Vs, as FWD CR-Vs do not have rear differentials. Additional maintenance for the duration of the test was limited to two oil and filter changes, one cabin air filter change, and one tire rotation. Total routine maintenance cost for the length of the test was $418 over 20,447 miles and two services. That’s about $110 more than our 2017 Mazda CX-5 long-termer racked up in four stops over 28,307 miles.




Our 2018 SUV of the Year is full of clever features that, combined with its large, useable interior volume, make for a right-sized SUV that appeals to a wide audience. It’s an agreeable combo of practicality, efficiency, and (equipped with Honda Sensing) technology that continues to lead an increasingly competitive segment.

Read more about our 2017 Honda CR-V Touring AWD:






























Our Car
SERVICE LIFE 12 mo / 20,447 mi
BASE PRICE $34,595
OPTIONS None
PRICE AS TESTED $34,595
AVG ECON/CO2 28.6 mpg / 0.68 lb/mi
PROBLEM AREAS None
MAINTENANCE COST $418
NORMAL-WEAR COST $0
3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE* $25,200 (73%)
RECALLS None
*IntelliChoice data; assumes 42,000 miles at the end of 3-years

 

2017 Honda CR-V AWD Touring
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD
ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 91.4 cu in/1,498cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.3:1
POWER (SAE NET) 190 hp @ 5,600 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 179 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
REDLINE 6,500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 18.4 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION Cont variable auto
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 5.64:1/2.28:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 12.3:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.3
BRAKES, F; R 11.1-in vented disc; 10.2-in disc, ABS
WHEELS 7.5 x 18-in cast aluminum
TIRES 235/60R18 103H (M+S) Hankook Kinergy GT
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 104.7 in
TRACK, F/R 62.9/63.5 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 180.6 x 73.0 x 66.5 in
GROUND CLEARANCE 8.2 in
APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE 20.8/24.8 deg
TURNING CIRCLE 37.4 ft
CURB WEIGHT 3,487 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 57/43%
TOWING CAPACITY 1,500 lb
SEATING CAPACITY 5
HEADROOM, F/R 37.8/38.3 in
LEGROOM, F/R 41.3/40.4 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 57.9/55.6 in
CARGO VOLUME 75.8/37.6 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 2.8 sec
0-40 4.0
0-50 5.6
0-60 7.5
0-70 9.8
0-80 12.7
0-90 16.4
0-100 21.0
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.8
QUARTER MILE 15.8 sec @ 88.5 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 115 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.82 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.9 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,600 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $34,595
PRICE AS TESTED $34,595
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/36,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 14.0 gal
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 21.9/34.2/26.1 mpg
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 27/33/29 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 125/102 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.66 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded regular

 

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