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2007 Crossover Buyer's Guide: 2007 Honda CR-V

by Martha Hindes

2007 Honda CR-V
2007 Honda CR-V Interior

You probably wouldn't think of Honda's staple CR-V crossover vehicle a trend-setter in design. But for 2007, with a makeover complete, there are definitely changes. Following the current trend in many CUVs, the new generation has a leaner, "racier" slope flowing from nose to tail. There's a higher rising beltline under the windows toward the rear. And a slanting rear hatch treatment is augmented by the curve of aftward windows. Might we call this a tad rakish?

Gone is the utilitarian side-swinging rear door with its resident spare tire of previous years now banished to a spot beneath the cargo area. In its place, a more standard top-hinged liftgate. Progress comes in a more user-friendly package, it seems. And this revised CR-V remains a small, urban-friendly five-seater runabout just as some companies are coming out with competitive crossover vehicles for seven or even eight (GMC Acadia for one).

CR-V gains 1.4 inches in passenger space-enhancing width thanks to wheels pushed further toward the corners, as it loses a bit in front-to-rear length and diminishes in height from the previous version. But the easier step-in, and a lower center of gravity that are gained for a more car-like ride definitely would limit off-road intentions. Despite its small truck-based underpinnings, think of the new CR-V as more wagon, less sport utility than before.

This smallest of Honda's utility vehicles gains some high tech advances - a first-ever, voice activated navigation system and backup camera. Among safety features, there's a tire pressure monitor and side curtain airbag system. For child monitoring mode or long-legged passengers, rear seats slide forward or back.

All four trim levels of the CR-V have the same powerplant, a four cylinder I-VTEC, generating 166-hp (a gain of 10 from last year) and 161 lb. ft. of torque. Beyond base pricing ($20,600 LX, $22,850 EX, $24,800 EX-L) there are a limited number of options -- in Honda tradition. Add $2,000 for the GPS navigation system on the EX-L.

Click Here to Read RTM's 2007 Honda CR-V Road Test