Honda Unveils All-New Turbo CR-V for 2017 With Volume Knob

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Honda has revealed an all-new, fifth-generation CR-V, which becomes the first example of the brand’s compact crossover to use a turbocharged engine.

That’s the mechanical highlight of a vehicle whose styling is similarly significantly updated with cues tying it other recent Honda designs.

That new powerplant is a 1.5L that we assume is closely related to that used in the 2017 Honda Civic, but tuned for 190 hp, up from the Civic’s 174. Honda doesn’t state a torque figure for the CR-V’s new mill, but we presume it will crank out more than 162 lb-ft as it does in the Civic. And the new turbo is available in EX trim and higher; the base LX sticks with a 2.4L four-cylinder carried over from the outgoing model with its 185 hp and 181 lb-ft. Both engines use a continuously variable (CVT) automatic transmission and, again, presumably, with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, depending on trim.

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Honda is confident that the new turbo engine, coupled with the new body, will put the CR-V’s fuel consumption ratings at the head of the compact crossover pack — which is exactly where the current model sits (in FWD form), according to Natural Resources Canada. Honda says it will release official consumption estimates closer to the CR-V’s on-sale date this winter.

The new front clip, which looks like an upsized version of that on the subcompact HR-V, hides automatic grille shutters to improve aerodynamics. It leads to a longer wheelbase and shorter rear overhang Honda says combine for what it calls a more sophisticated and athletic presence. That stretched wheelbase also allows for claimed class-leading rear-seat legroom. Honda also calls out a larger cargo area that is “more versatile,” but doesn’t elaborate.

New available features include LED headlights (in top-end Touring trim) and a hands-free power tailgate, operated via a foot-activated sensor under the rear bumper. Alloy wheels are standard across the board, in 17- and 18-inch sizes.

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In the infotainment department, Honda has responded to media and consumer criticism by including a volume knob in place of the infuriating touch-only volume control in the outgoing CR-V. (We won’t be truly happy with Honda until they do the same across their vehicle lineup.) The display audio system also adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

A new digital gauge cluster reminds us of that in the Civic, with a ribbon-style tachometer that recalls the S2000 roadster’s instrument panel.

On the active safety front, all AWD CR-V models will get the Honda Sensing suite as standard, including forward collision warning and mitigation braking, pedestrian sensing capability, lane departure warning with road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. New Honda Sensing additions include blind spot warning with rear cross traffic monitor, and automatic high beams. And narrower A-pillars contribute to improved forward visibility.

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.