2007 Honda CR-V EX-L
Comfortable Runabout Vehicle
CR-V stands for Comfortable Runabout Vehicle and that’s exactly what it has been since Honda revolutionized the compact SUV market in 1997 with its car-based quasi truck. The first two generations sold very well, performing its runabout duties with a car-like driving experience and enough room for most families. With the all-new, third generation CR-V, Honda has opted for a less utilitarian appearance inside and out, with an increased emphasis placed on comfort and luxury. The new rear design is particularly noteworthy, as the spare tire has migrated from the tailgate to beneath the trunk, while the tailgate itself now swings up in one piece rather than the old side-swinging door.
The interior has been vastly improved, with an attractive design that utilizes good quality materials and innovative features. The rear seat slides forward, allowing for parents to bring their children’s car seats closer to the front cabin. When paired with the standard drop-down “conversation” or “spy on the kids” mirror, spotting and wiping a runny nose while driving has never been easier. Our fully loaded tester came with heated leather front seats and an intuitive voice-activated touchscreen navigation system. As luxurious as the CR-V is, it’s disappointing that Honda left out features like Bluetooth and power memory seats—the latter of which would help with the driver seat’s limited leg room.
Although the 166-horsepower inline-4 won’t exactly light the tires on fire, it feels solid off the line with a good amount of torque, and only when trying to pass someone on the highway does one notice its lack of muscular fortitude. There are no plans yet to offer a V6. Perhaps the best surprise was the CR-V’s steering, which was tight, direct and made driving actually fun. Credit this with it sharing its platform with the performance-tuned Acura RDX.
The Honda CR-V is now a much more luxurious and fun Comfortable Runabout Vehicle than its forbearers, but it hasn’t forgotten how to be a roomy, economical small SUV that should meet most families’ needs.
Warranty/Service: Three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty; five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Text and photography: James Riswick