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Hi All, Since I’d had my 2017 EX-L CR-V for a little over a month now and have logged over 1200 miles on it, I thought I’d share my perspective as a first-time Honda owner.

Some background: I had a 2003 Toyota Highlander that was getting a bit long in the tooth and I decided it was time to get a new vehicle. My primary requirements were five passenger seating (don’t need or want the 3rd row), AWD, generous cargo room with the second row folded down, good power, and a decent ride feel. The ’03 Highlander to me was the perfect size with 80 cu ft. of cargo space and lots of space in the second row. With the V6 it had great power too. It was an extremely reliable vehicle, but I have kids who will be driving in a few years so I wanted something with updated safety features as well.

Cross shopping the Ford, Mazda, Hyundai, and Toyota comparables, led me to the CR-V. To me, this car is a great bang for the buck. The Mazda was too small, the Toyota too drab in the interior, and a “mushy” ride. I was concerned about long term reliability of the Ford and Hyundai as I keep my cars for 12+ years if possible.

Overall the buying experience was low-hassle, and lower pressure than I had anticipated. The CR-V replaced a 2003 Toyota Highlander, so it’s been awhile since I’ve bought a new vehicle. I was expecting the typical high pressure sales crap, but my experience proved otherwise. Had 4 visits/test drives to be sure on the model. My local Honda dealership really impressed me.

The CR-V is pretty close to my old Highlander in terms of cargo and second row space, just being a bit smaller. I think it’s a sharp looking car (I have Crystal Black Pearl) on the outside and the inside. I really like Honda’s ivory leather color and the seats to me are very comfortable. The tech package on the EX-L is great with the memory seats, and I like the overall HondaSense package. I’m on my 4th tank of gas and I’ve been getting a consistent 29 MPG, (both car computer and hand-calculated on fill-up) so no complaints here.
My favorite features are the walk-away vehicle lock and the brake hold feature (I was surprised how cool this feature is – don’t knock it until you try it). I like the driving dynamics and handling, it may not be as sporty as the Mazda/Ford or a BMW, for this class/price range I think it’s pretty dang good. It’s turning radius and maneuverability are great - very easy to whip around in parking lots and tight spaces. The wind noise is good, tire noise could be better (lousy Bridgestones) and I think the sound system is good for a stock system (light years of the old Highlanders for sure). Storage console and cubbies in the doors meet my family’s needs so no issues there. Overall acceleration is fine to me, but the CVT took some getting to use to. I find the Jalopnik review very on point here with regard to the CVT feel and response.
I only have three major complaints. The first is the Android-based head unit is slow and the UI could be improved. I’ve had times where from start to reverse to drive the UI would shift through 3 or more screens to get back to where I left it previously and would take up to 6 seconds – not really acceptable by today’s standards. Second, is the turbo/CVT transmission noise. I don’t mind a bit of turbo “growl” at heavy throttle, but the CRV always emits growl – even at light throttle. Also, the CVT is loud when the car is slowing down. I know Honda isn’t famous for noise dampening in their cars compared to their competitors, but this could use some improvement. Lastly is the Bridgestone tire noise – I started a thread on that, so nothing more to add here, other than I can’t believe Honda found that tire and the Hankook to be comparable.

Sorry for my long windedness, but in summary, I think the CR-V is the best bang for the buck in this category of CUV. Is it perfect? No. But it does so many things well, and it’s just a great package of features, design, and Honda quality.

This forum has been a great resource as well. Would I buy my CR-V again if I had to do it all over? Yes. Two lessons learned from this forum – I would have waited longer to buy it as it seems I could have saved about $1000. Also, I would have tested all tire combinations on my test drives had I known about the tire noise issue. So, for any first gen Highlander owners looking for a replacement that’s the same size, I highly recommend the 2017 CR-V.
 

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Good review, thanks for sharing. Since I came from a Gen2 CR-V and have the Kinergy tires on our Touring, the new CR-V doesn't make any objectionable noises with the exception of a little bit of droning at extended full throttle due to the CVT. 99.9% of the time your not at full throttle so overall we are also very happy with our purchase.
 
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