The engine makes 166 horsepower and 161 lb-ft of torque. That's 10 horsepower more than last year's model, and the engine has been tuned to be more responsive at lower revs. A Drive-by-Wire throttle control matches with the transmission for better drivability on hills. Front-wheel drive is standard on the CR-V; the optional Real Time 4WD system is tuned for on-road driving, with power going to the front wheels during most driving but with some sent to the rear wheels as needed on slippery surfaces.
With a four-wheel independent suspension (MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link setup in back), plus a more rigid body structure, the new CR-V has improved handling, while the use of more sound-absorption materials helps make the interior quieter, according to Honda.
The CR-V continues with two rows of seating and space for five, but the interior has been completely redesigned, with more standard equipment, more storage compartments, and clever features like a retractable center tray table, dual gloveboxes, and various cupholders.
Three trim levels are available: LX, EX, and EX-L. There's no stripped-down base model; the LX includes a wide range of standard equipment like air conditioning, a CD sound system with MP3 compatibility and auxiliary input jack, tilt/telescope steering adjustment, and power windows, locks, and mirrors. The EX adds a moonroof, chrome trim, a dual-deck cargo shelf, upgraded audio with six speakers and a six-disc changer, among other additional equipment, while the top EX-L brings leather upholstery and a top audio system that has XM Satellite Radio compatibility and a subwoofer. A navigation system with voice recognition and a rear-view camera is available only on the EX-L.
On EX and EX-L models, a dual-deck cargo shelf can hold up to 20 pounds of cargo on top while leaving space for full-size grocery bags on the bottom. The back seat is split 60/40 and can fold forward as needed to expand the cargo floor.
The CR-V adopts Honda's ACE Body Structure, which improves frontal crash performance and allows better crash compatibility with vehicles of varying sizes. Front-seat side air bags and full-length side-curtain bags are standard on all CR-Vs, along with active head restraints. Vehicle Stability Assist and four-channel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution are standard on all CR-V models as well.