$20,068 - $28,977

2017 Honda CR-V Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Honda CR-V was new.


Performance: 7.8

The 2017 Honda CR-V is well-suited to daily driving. It has a comfortable ride, adequate engine power, and excellent fuel economy. It isn't the most powerful or most agile in the class, but for drivers using it to commute or run errands, it performs capably.

  • "We're attacking some mildly challenging, serpentine stretches of asphalt and the all-new 2017 Honda CR-V is holding its own. No wild-child sport modes, no fantastic claims of 'dynamism,' just an honest to goodness, well-engineered crossover with a buttoned-down chassis and enough power to have a little fun. If it can manage to handle its business out here, then the CR-V is pretty much assured capable of tackling anything modern suburbia can throw at it." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "What does the CR-V do right, then? Just about anything the average (read: non-enthusiast) consumer wants." -- Left Lane News
  • "Honda's new CR-V remains fun and responsive to drive, hallmark traits of the spry not-so-little crossover." -- New York Daily News

Acceleration and Power

The base 2017 CR-V LX comes with a 184-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, while all other trims have a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 190 horsepower. Both engines come paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which functions like an automatic.

With the base engine and front-wheel drive, you'll get up to 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The turbocharged engine uses less fuel, getting 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. If you opt for all-wheel drive with either engine, you'll lose 1 mpg in both city and highway driving. The CR-V's fuel economy is good for the class.

No matter which engine you choose, you'll have a similar driving experience. They produce nearly the same amount of power, and acceleration is decent enough. Still, you may find yourself wanting more punch when trying to merge onto the highway, and when you pull away from a stop there can be some hesitation from the turbocharged engine before you feel the power kick in. Check out the Ford Escape if you want to get going in a hurry once you press the accelerator. The CR-V's CVT does a good job providing you with the right amount of power.

  • "One problem with most small, turbocharged engines is that it takes a moment for power to arrive if you have to hurry away from a stop. In most driving, you don't really notice anything lacking, which makes it all the more surprising when you slam your foot down and not much happens. And that's the case here. However, full-throttle acceleration is quite linear if not overly strong, and the moaning engine leaves no question that it's working hard to satisfy." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Mash the gas pedal and the CR-V responds with relative authority, delivering the power in a smooth, linear fashion befitting a CVT-propelled vehicle. At freeway speeds, it hums along quietly enough with a minimum of racket in the cabin thanks in part to multiple noise abatement strategies, but any aggressive high-speed passing maneuvers need a little planning before putting the turbo's hammer down." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) used in all CR-Vs is among the best around, and readily feigns kicking down gears when pressed." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Honda updated the CR-V's suspension and steering to improve both ride comfort and agility for the new model. Of course, it's tuned primarily to be easy to control and to keep you cushioned. The steering responds quickly to small movements of the wheel, making it easy to maneuver around tight spaces. Around corners, the CR-V stays composed, with little body lean. It's not particularly sporty, though, so if you want a fun-to-drive compact SUV, you should consider the Mazda CX-5.

Front-wheel drive comes standard in the CR-V. You can get all-wheel drive for an added cost, which may be worthwhile if you live in an area of the country prone to harsh winter weather.

  • "As the CR-V has never really been about 'sport,' its chassis tuning tends to favor ride comfort over handling. Although California isn't known for its poor roads (something that can't be said for our hometown of Chicago), the CR-V seemed to ride quite smoothly. Handling was fine if still not really sporting – which is acceptable (sic) for this type of vehicle – and we appreciated the quicker steering ratio used for the new model (you don't have to rotate the steering wheel as far to make the same turn)." -- Consumer Guide
  • "This new CR-V feels more dynamic in corners, but when really pushed is more apt to grudgingly obey than goad its driver for more. Rather, the CR-V continues to excel as a comfortable and competent commuter. In urban settings, we like its manageable size and brake-hold feature, while on the highway we appreciate its quiet and supple ride." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Honda gave us a chance to drive the 2016 and 2017 CR-Vs back to back, and it was easy to feel the difference between the two SUVs. The new CR-V just feels more grown up and sophisticated. It's quieter, its ride is more comfortable and controlled, and its steering needs fewer corrections when driving on the freeway." -- Autotrader

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