by Will Kaufman, Associate Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
Another month, another month of commuting. I haven’t asked our long-term 2017 Honda CR-V what its New Year’s resolution was, but hopefully it wasn’t “go new places” because it spent January going to all the same places. It did get rained on, which made for a nice change, even if it also made for some blurry backup camera views.
This month we have some dissenting comments from our nearly universal praise parade, as Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya decides that maybe the CR-V isn’t the compact crossover for him. Otherwise, the CR-V’s space and easy drivability continued to win it points.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Commuting in Los Angeles is brutal on fuel economy numbers, as my Corvette reminds me every time I drive it, so our CR-V isn’t doing too badly by almost just meeting its estimated city mileage rating. Hey, some cars are missing their ratings by much larger margins. The CR-V has also proven it can beat its freeway rating by a significant margin, but that’s hard to manage in months when your average speed hovers around 20 mph.
The CR-V posted one-tenth of an mpg improvement over last month, coming in at 27.6 mpg over 573.7 miles and leaving its lifetime average unchanged at 27.5 mpg.
Average lifetime mpg: 27.5
EPA mpg rating: 30 combined (28 city/34 highway)
Best fill mpg: 38.9
Best range: 425.5 miles
Current odometer: 17,145 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
“I drove our long-term CR-V to an event for a competitor, just to establish a baseline for compact SUVs. I can only repeat the praise that I’ve given it already. It’s still my favorite of the group. The CVT automatic works smoothly; power is adequate for commuting; the steering and handling balance enjoyment and comfort remarkably well; and Android Auto works great. It was surprising how much clunkier the competitor’s nine-speed automatic felt versus our CR-V’s CVT automatic. Even one of the guys working for this particular competitor let slip how impressed he was with Honda’s CVT automatic. Said it surprised a lot of people in the industry.” — Carlos Lago, senior staff writer
“We call the CR-V a compact SUV, but you’d never know it after getting inside. It’s kind of like the TARDIS in that way. I can put the driver’s seat in my preferred position, climb out and into the back seat, and still have enough legroom and headroom for my 6-foot-4 frame to stay comfortable for hours on end. (Even Will’s 6-foot-6 cousin is a fan.) The cargo area is one of the largest in the class too. I don’t know if there’s a better crossover in this price class for four tall adults, but the CR-V gets my vote.” — Cameron Rogers, staff writer
“Would you rather have an infotainment system that is more advanced and offered Apple CarPlay/Android Auto but is slow and laggy? Or a less advanced system that only supported Bluetooth audio but is fast and snappy? After using Honda’s infotainment system in our CR-V, I’d vastly prefer the latter. The ‘dumber’ system always works and you can work around its shortcomings, but on the CR-V, you can’t always rely on the system to recognize your phone and it’s frustrating when you planned on using a feature, only for it not to work. Smartphone connection aside, even navigating the menus seems to take a second or two longer than it does on other systems.” — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
“I have very few qualms with the newest-generation CR-V. As a driver, the most glaring problem for me is the lack of knee padding on the center console. My legs are pretty long, so I usually brace my knees against the door and center console while I’m driving. In the CR-V, I can plant my left foot comfortably in the space between the brake and the dead pedals, so I can stretch my leg out without resting it on the door. On the right side, I press my knee against a piece of hard plastic on the console. Every time I take a right-hander, my knee hits the piece of plastic and I’m left wondering why Honda didn’t spend a few extra bucks and trim this section in faux leather or something.” — Cameron Rogers
“I don’t seem to like this CR-V as much as some of our other editors do. Sure, it’s comfortable, has a good engine and has plenty of cargo space. But I’m not a fan of the styling, the slow and occasionally buggy infotainment system, or the hard-to-read fuel gauge. For my money, I’d rather buy the Mazda CX-5.” — Ron Montoya