do you get when you change a lot of little things a little?
You get a lot of change. While the update of Honda's CR-V
compact sport utility isn't radical by any means, it packs
a lot of freshness into one of the original "cute utes"
that has set the bar for a host of others that followed.
'05, the CR-V remains true to the car-based roots that first
attracted buyers who wanted sport utility fun and function
without a need to conquer brute terrain. Keep the CR-V on
pavement (or light gravel) where it was intended to go,
and it repays with comfort, style and, above all, a solid
foundation of safety features. This year's update starts
with a more aerodynamic front, new grill and headlamps,
monochrome bumpers plus three new colors and larger tires
among exterior changes. Inside are retractable grab rails,
new lighter ivory color, outside temp display and wheel-mounted
audio on the upmarket EX, plus leather trim and heated leather
seats and door mirrors on a new Special Edition trim level.
main changes are invisible, however, including an improved
four-wheel drive system and standard five-speed automatic
across the four-model lineup. Safety gets a boost with more
safety features as standard equipment. Honda adds side impact
air bags and a new anti-skid system. All CR-V versions run
on the same 2.4-liter four banger. This five-seater, with
ample leg and storage room, starts just below $20K, leaving
room in the budget, perhaps, for a little extra change.