Best Family minivans

National survey finds majority of fathers active in driving kids to and fro

Utility and Safety Prioritized

One of the reasons the Honda CR-V has remained popular for so long is its uncompromising utility, and that hasn't changed this year. The wide hatch opens to a giant cargo area, one that's easy to load thanks to the low bumper. The floor itself is adjustable, with multiple levels allowing you to deepen the cargo area a bit to keep items from splattering onto the driveway when you open the power hatch. Need more space for bigger items? Quick release handles inside the cargo area automatically flip the second-row headrests forward and fold the seatback for a flat floor.

That second row offers up easy access to the lower anchors for your LATCH-equipped car seat, and plenty of headroom to make sure it's cinched down correctly. The vertical slots in the fabric hiding the anchors make it easy to unlatch those anchors and remove the seat in case you need to load your CR-V full of adults. A rear-facing infant seat doesn't kill front seat legroom, and even with two boosters in the second row, there's enough room for an adult in the center spot.

When it comes to safety, the CR-V is second to none in its class. Of course there are the plethora of airbags, stability control, standard backup camera and (expected) excellent crash test ratings. But Honda's determination to make its Honda Sensing suite of active safety systems as widely available as possible makes it standard on the $26, 600 CR-V EX with front-wheel drive. That means that starting from the budget-minded mid-level model, CR-V buyers get road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning and braking, and even active cruise control with low-speed following. More than just conveniences, these technologies have been shown to help prevent accidents and save lives.

Looks, With the Power to Back It Up

The 2017 CR-V doesn't depart dramatically from the styling laid out by its predecessor, but why mess with success? The styling is all new though, with the biggest change being the CR-V's new horizontal taillight elements, a departure from the signature vertical-only lights it's had since its introduction. It's a sharply styled compact SUV that may not induce double takes, but will undoubtedly earn nods of approval from its loyal fanbase.

Inside, the 2017 CR-V is more stylish than ever. The soft touch materials on the dash and doors feature a classy stitched look, and the wood trim on higher-end models adds a touch of elegance we're not used to in this Honda. The new infotainment system features the return of a volume knob, and integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as well. But it's not just for design's sake: everything works well and is easy to use, meaning the driver spends less time fiddling with controls, and more time with eyes on the road.

Honda CR-V buyers have a choice of engines this time around, with LX models getting last year's 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, while EX trims and higher feature a brand new 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine Both are paired with one of the best continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVT) on the road. While there's not a lot more power with the turbo, acceleration is still more than adequate, and fuel economy is notably higher, putting the CR-V at the top of its class.

Won't Break the Bank

One thing the 2017 Honda CR-V does not come with is a big price increase. Base prices for a front-wheel-drive LX start at about $25, 000 including destination, and range up to about $34, 000 for a loaded all-wheel-drive CR-V Touring model. However, thanks to the wide availability of Honda Sensing, you can get all the "good stuff" for much less than $30, 000, and that might be the most family-friendly feature of all.

More 2017 Honda CR-V

To learn more about the 2017 Honda CR-V, you can read our full review. If you’re ready to take the next step, build and price your own CR-V to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more. And if you want to keep looking around, head over to our Compact SUV Buyer's Guide.

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