Honda’s CR-V helped pioneer the car-based “crossover” SUV segment ten
years ago, and now it’s time for the third version of this popular
model. Honda’s been on a styling renaissance lately, so the new CR-V
stands out from its ancestors.
This little “tall
wagon” reminded me of the much larger and much more expensive BMW X5.
Just look at that side styling, it borrows the recent BMW “flame” convex
/ concave shape, with a sharp fold running down the side and boldly
defined lower body panels that blend into the wheel well bulges. It’s
tough, yet refined, and looks like it’s built out of two-inch-thick
The CR-V’s radical,
fanciful face is nothing like the previous two CR-Vs or even the
competition. The top half of the nose isn’t that unusual, with sharply
pulled-back headlamp clusters and a squared-oval grille, but the smile
below it is unique. Study the car for a while, and you’ll notice how the
black, knobby lower body cladding makes the car look slimmer and lower.
The new model, with its
new sedan like roofline and stretched hexagonal tailgate bulge, is about
the same size as the old model. The biggest difference, besides an
additional 1.4 inches of width, is the reduction in length, achieved by
moving the spare tire inside.
Honda gave the CR-V’s
2.4-liter four-cylinder engine 10 more horsepower, raising it to 166 hp
and 161 lb.-ft. of torque. This 3,500 pound vehicle moves easily through
the standard five-speed automatic transmission. It feels perky on the
road, noticeably smaller than Honda’s larger Pilot. As a Honda, it
drives smoothly and effortlessly. If you want a manual transmission this
year, though, sorry, it’s gone.
There are three levels,
starting with the well-equipped LX, through the better-equipped EX, to
the lavishly equipped EX-L. The LX includes four-channel antilock
brakes, Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system with traction
control, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD
system, air conditioning with air filtration, power windows with power
down and up (power up is a real luxury feature), power locks, 17-inch
steel wheels, and more.
The EX model adds alloy
wheels plus a power moonroof, security system, rear privacy glass,
steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a six-disc CD changer with
six speakers. The EX-L contributes additional heated leather seats with
complementary leather armrests, XM satellite radio and a subwoofer with
the optional navigation system.
You can opt for Honda’s
Real Time 4-wheel drive or, on the EX-L only, a state-of-the-art
voice-activated navigation system. Each costs $1,200. My Royal Blue
Pearl test vehicle, an EX-L with two-wheel drive, had the navigation
system. If you plan on regular ski vacations or back road jaunts, the
extra two wheels of traction could help.
Fuel economy is good
for a family hauler. The CR-V earns EPA numbers of 23 City, 30 Highway
for the two-wheel drive model or a slightly lower 22/28 for the
four-wheel-drive version. I got 20.3 mpg over a week with two-wheel
The 2007 CRV bests the
previous emissions level, moving from LEV II LEV to LEV II ULEV (ultra
low emission vehicle). The EPA’s Green Vehicle listing gives it a 7 on
the Pollution Score and 6 on the Greenhouse Gas score.
Honda’s ACE Body
Structure helps prevent injury in frontal collisions by dissipating
crash energy and helping vehicles to line up more directly. The CR-V’s
six standard airbags and active head restraints protect effectively.
CR-Vs have earned top marks in government crash tests for years.
The LX two-wheel-drive
model starts at $21,195, including shipping charges. From there, you can
ascend through EX and EX-L, and add the navigation system and four-wheel
drive to reach $28,595 at the very top. My tester cost $27,395 at the
The CR-V is a dream to
drive, capable, well-balanced, quiet, and smooth. There’s really nothing
to say against it. Since 1997, Honda has sold 2.5 million CR-Vs, nearly
half of them in the U.S. It is also marketed in 160 other countries
around the world, and is assembled in seven countries, including the
East Liberty, Ohio plant. As it turned out my test car was built in
The CR-V epitomizes the
latest family car trend, with a move away from full-scale, fuel-guzzling
SUVs and into more compact, tall-car crossovers. If you’re going to join
a trend, the car-based “crossover”’ vehicle, you may as well do it with
the leader, and the all new for 2007, Honda CR-V. By Steve
Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
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Column Name: Honda’s CR-V pioneer the car-based “crossover”
Topic: The 2007 Honda CR-V
Word Count: 805
Photo Caption: The 2007 Honda CR-V
Photo Credits: Honda CR-V Internet Media
Series #: 2007 -
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2007 Honda CR-V
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2007 Honda CR-V