2017 Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V

Episode 3630
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Honda’s brand of practicality is certainly well known, and the compact CR-V crossover has been a core part of that story for 20-years now. Still, like the rest of the things on this earth, the CR-V must evolve if it wants to keep roaming our roads. Let’s see how this 5th generation CR-V has changed with the times. 

While evolution is necessary for survival, it can still be a scary proposition. And that brings us to the 2017 Honda CR-V. 

Where changes include first time turbo power, though it’s a small 1.5-liter with 190-horsepower that we’re talking about here. The I4’s 179 lb-ft. of torque makes it feel plenty adequate on daily commutes, a bit less so when fully loaded climbing hills.

It’s still the peppier of the two available engines, the other being a carryover 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated 184–horsepower I4 that’s offered now only in base LX.

Both are CVT-equipped, and that means sometimes excessive engine noise that we’re still getting used to in a Honda product. No complaints on its performance however, as it’s one of the best CVTs out there. 

The reving racket is most noticeable, because the rest of the interior experience is an extremely quiet one. 

Front-wheel-drive remains standard, with all-wheel-drive a $1,300 option. 

On the road, the new Civic-based chassis delivers a good deal of confidence; as it remains flat under hard cornering, yet still offers a smooth, stable ride.

Inside and out, everything looks and feels more substantial than previous CR-Vs; and while visibility was already good, it has improved with slimmer A-pillars.

Our example is of course top level Touring trim and everything inside is clean, modern, and upscale in appearance. 

Typical for Honda, no actual gauges in the cluster; just a digital speed readout and virtual tack. But it passes our eye test, being easy to read at a quick glance. 

Seat comfort wasn’t as great as we’d like, and the seat bottoms remain too short; but neither are deal-breakers. 

And we can’t thank Honda enough for bringing back an honest to goodness radio volume knob, while ditching their awkward center stack dual screen setup.

New this year is an available Hands Free Access Power Tailgate. Like others it opens the hatch with a quick sweep of the foot beneath the bumper. 

Once opened, there’s enough room back here to easily incur extra baggage fees at the airport. Volume is 39.2 cubic-ft. in the cargo area, and 75.8 cubic-ft. with the seat backs folded. That’s more than Acura’s midsize MDX. 

Safety systems are comprehensive, with much-appreciated blind spot monitoring and Collision Mitigation Braking standard on all but the base LX. 

Physically larger than last generation, with 1.6-additional inches of wheelbase, the CR-V certainly has more visual presence than before. 

Highlighting the back end are wing-shaped LED lights and dual exhaust tips.

While there is adequate power for the street; for the test track, our all-wheel-drive CR-V felt weak off the line, delivering us to 60 in a mediocre 7.5–seconds. 

Once the turbos, engine RPM, and noise all get cranking; things improve greatly, as we buzzed our way through the ¼-mile in 16.0–seconds at 89 miles-per-hour.

Handling is where this latest CR-V’s light shines the brightest.  It felt almost athletic through the cones; with no top heavy feel, very little understeer, and quick steering.

With a 108-foot average stopping distance from 60, braking performance was equally impressive.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are another strong point, 27-City, 33-Highway, and 29-Combined; with our average at the low end at 27.0 miles-per-gallon of Regular grade. 

The Energy Impact Score is average at 11.4-barrels of yearly oil use, combined with 5.0-tons of CO2 emissions. 

Typical for the segment, base pricing starts in the mid-20’s, at $24,985 for the LX; Touring trim begins at $33,335.  

So, overall, just what do we think of the 2017 Honda CR-V? Well, the fact we picked it as our Drivers’ Choice Best Small Utility is pretty self-explanatory.

So, we’re not going out on a limb by forecasting that Honda will sell a lot of the new CR-Vs. Like the Civic, its formula of simple, inexpensive, practical, reliable transportation, that’s suitable for both young and old, continues on; only now with more style, more performance, and thus more appeal, to make even more CR-V fans. 

Specifications

  • Engine: 1.5 liter / 2.4 liter
  • Horsepower: 190 / 184
  • Torque: 179 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 16.0 seconds @ 89 mph
  • EPA: 27 mpg city / 33 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 11.4 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 5.0 tons/yr

Long Term Updates

Mileage: 2,100

Our 2017 Honda CR-V has been with us for 2-months now, and it’s easy to see why it was such a runaway winner as Best Small Utility in our latest Drivers’ Choice Awards. 

It really does offer tons of space in an easy to drive package, making it simple and efficient to go about running weekend errands; exactly the reason compact crossovers are so popular. 

Despite our early misgivings, with this CR-V Touring package’s 1.5-liter I4 turbo, it’s 190-horsepower has proved more than adequate. Our fuel economy average is off to a good start too at 28.8 miles-per-gallon; right where the Combined rating says it should be. 

Inside, we love that Honda has given us a volume knob for the radio, but still hate that we have to take our eyes off to road too much to use the touchscreen for station tuning; and hair trigger steering wheel controls take a lot of getting used to as well. 

And we’ve got nothing but time, as our year of CR-V is just getting rolling. 

Mileage: 5,000

We’re 3-months in and very much enjoying the roomy interior and confidence inspiring ride. Though we haven’t added too many miles since last report, 2,100; it handles a lot of commuting chores; bringing our total to just over 5,000. Everybody must be taking it easy on the 1.5-liter turbo-4, as mileage is so far a stellar 31.5 miles-per-gallon. 

Surprisingly, there’s been zero complaints about the CVT transmission; just the usual touch-sensitive control nitpicks. But, then, we’re just getting to really know the CR-V and it has a lot of hot driving months ahead.   

2024 Lexus GX550

2024 Lexus GX550

It’s A Land Cruiser With A Lexus Badge

Episode 4344
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When most people think of Lexus SUVs, they tend to think of the RX, and for good reason. The RX was a key player in popularizing the luxury SUV market as we know it today. But, the Lexus SUV world is much bigger than that, of course, including something for adventurous, rugged, off-road types.

We’re not about to claim that there’s some kind of body-on-frame SUV resurgence happening, but it’s clear that car-like crossovers haven’t fully taken over the SUV world just yet; and more than any other brand, Toyota seems on a mission to make SUVs truly great again. Even when it comes to their Lexus brand with this new 2024 Lexus GX550.

When the first gen GX arrived for 2003, it seemed to go out of its way to disguise its substantial off-road capabilities behind some very soft-roader sheet-metal, but those that knew… knew that underneath, the GX was based on the rugged J120 Land Cruiser. Fast forward to this third-gen GX, and it looks like Lexus is fully embracing that Land Cruiser kinship going boxier and bolder than ever before. Square lines, chunky fenders, wide track, short overhangs, highly vertical windshield; all hallmarks of serious off-roaders.

The GX is also the first Lexus to benefit from their Overtrail Project which encourages Lexus owners to get out of their comfort zones and experience what their luxo-ute is actually capable of. So, Overtrail models are outfitted with 33-inch all-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels, a locking rear diff, and an Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System that can independently unlock both front and rear stabilizer bars for more wheel articulation.

2024 Lexus GX550 3/4 Front
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2024 Lexus GX550 3/4 Rear
2024 Lexus GX550 Wheel
2024 Lexus GX550 Badge
2024 Lexus GX550 Grille
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Just like the recently released Toyota J250 Land Cruiser, the GX is built on Toyota’s Tundra truck frame, but instead of a four-cylinder turbo-hybrid, it’s launching with a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 with 349-horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. That’s 48-horsepower and 150 lb-ft over the previous GX’s V8. Max tow rating shoots up from 6,500 to 9,096-lbs. The GX works exclusively with a 10-speed automatic transmission, with full-time four-wheel-drive and a two-speed transfer case standard. Lexus says a hybrid option will be available later, but no word on if it’s the Land Cruiser’s 2.4-liter I4 hybrid or the V6 hybrid that’s currently available in the Tundra pickup.

It doesn’t take much time behind the wheel to appreciate the high seating position and great visibility of the GX; as rugged as it looks outside, it still feels plenty luxurious inside, and is highly functional too. There’s a big control center in front of the dash with a high-mounted 14-inch touchscreen, and dedicated knobs for temperature and volume just below. A third row of seating is available in most trims, providing space for six or seven passengers. But if you go Overtrail, Lexus assumes you’re not the big family type and would rather have the space for packing adventure gear, so it’s the only trim that is five-passenger only.

As rugged as it looks outside, it still feels plenty luxurious inside, and is highly functional too.

While the double-wishbone front and rear multi-link suspension of this Overtrail is clearly off-road inspired, it held up well enough in our Mason Dixon Dragway handling course. Slow and steady definitely won the race here, as the GX felt big and heavy, with notable weight shifting on transitions through the cones, and light steering. Stability systems were eager to kick in well before things could get out of sorts.

Buyers can add Lexus’ Adaptive Variable Suspension for smoothing things out on the highways without sacrificing off-road capabilities. It launched quite aggressively off the line in acceleration runs; again, sturdy and truck-like, with all four wheels biting into the pavement and propelling us forward harder than we were expecting, hitting 60 in 6.5 seconds.

2024 Lexus GX550 Dashboard
2024 Lexus GX550 Steering Wheel
2024 Lexus GX550 Infotainment
2024 Lexus GX550 Shifter
2024 Lexus GX550 Front Seat
2024 Lexus GX550 Second Row Seats
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2024 Lexus GX550 Seats Down Trunk
2024 Lexus GX550 Trunk
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Lots of grip and no drama, as this turbo-six puts plenty of power down instantly. It sounds good too; powerful, with a nice throaty exhaust note that was more of a V8 rumble than V6 trumpet. Quarter-mile completed in 14.9-seconds at 94 mph.

Braking runs were a little inconsistent, with the off-road tires seemingly gripping and pulling us in different directions. But stops averaged a great 114-feet from 60 mph, so we’ll accept the slightly unsettled feel.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 15-City, 21-Highway, and 17-Combined; we averaged a respectable 20.1 mpg of Premium. But it garners a worse than average Energy Impact Score of 17.5-barrels of yearly oil use, with 8.3-tons of CO2 emissions.

Pricing starts with Premium grade at $64,250, ranging to Luxury at $77,250, with Overtrail in between at $69,250. All trims can be plus sized for additional features.

The 2024 Lexus GX550 is clearly not just another luxury saturated soft-roader. It’s a real deal Land Cruiser with a Lexus moniker, and this Overtrail is the most off-road capable Lexus ever. That not only makes it appealing to traditional Lexus buyers, but to a whole “range” of new conquests as well.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic
  • Horsepower: 349
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft
  • EPA: 15 City | 21 Highway | 17 Combined
  • 0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.9 seconds at 94 mph
  • 60-0 Braking (avg): 114 feet
  • MW Fuel Economy: 20.1 mpg (Premium)
  • Max Tow Rating: 9,096-lbs