A number of thoughtful improvements work to make Honda's strong-selling crossover better than ever.

Introduced yesterday in Detroit's historic Eastern Market, the 2017 CR-V takes the lessons learned on Honda's latest models, refining it into what will almost certainly be the best CR-V ever. That's good news for the 300,000-plus customers who buy Honda's popular CUV each year.

At its core, the 2017 CR-V adopts a more powerful version of the Civic's 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Blessed with 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, it has 16 extra ponies and 17 extra torques on offer compared to the compact sedan. The flipside is that peak torque is available along a narrower part of the rev range, from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm instead of the Civic's broader 1,700 to 5,500 revs. This will be the standard engine on all but the very base CR-V, so Honda’s estimated 75-percent take rate makes sense.


If you prefer your family-friendly crossover sans turbo, prepare to give up a lot of content, because you’re stuck with the base LX. At least the loss of power isn't too bad – there's 184 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque available with the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine. But peak torque doesn't arrive until 3,900 rpm, and while Honda hasn't released official fuel economy figures, expect the larger-displacement engine to be less efficient than the 1.5-liter turbo. Regardless of powertrain, a continuously variable transmission remains standard across the range. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is a cost option – pricing isn’t available yet, but we’re guessing AWD will retain the same $1,300 premium as the current car.

2017 Honda CR-V
2017 Honda CR-V
2017 Honda CR-V
2017 Honda CR-V

Click here to see more official photos of the 2017 Honda CR-V.

This 2017 update adds a greater dose of interior refinement – the cabin on the range-topping Touring model we crawled around looks lovely, with a noticeable improvement in dash and door-panel materials. The cabin is bigger, too – the roomiest in the class, according to Honda. That translates most noticeably to an extra two inches of rear legroom. Even at six-foot, one-inch tall, your author had plenty of space in the back, with a larger driver positioned up front.

On the tech front, Honda updated the CR-V's cabin with many of the great features from the newest Civic, beginning with the lovely center-mounted touchscreen infotainment display. Honda's Sensing suite – collision-mitigation braking, with forward collision warning with pedestrian sensing, road departure mitigation with lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist – also makes an appearance for the safety minded. And in a move that received audible cheers and applause from the journalists at yesterday's debut, Honda Senior Vice President Jeff Conrad confirmed that Honda's seven-inch touchscreen gets a physical volume knob.

The CR-V will make its public debut at next month's Los Angeles Auto Show, before going on sale over the winter. Expect full pricing and fuel economy info in the coming months, and scroll down to read Honda’s official press release.

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Live Photos: Brandon Turkus / Motor1.com

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