For an annual 900-mile fishing trek to Mammoth Lakes, senior editor Ron Kiino signed out the CR-V to transport himself and three buddies, not to mention a 50-quart cooler, four duffel bags, eight fishing rods, four sets of waders and boots, and two float tubes-the last items deflated, of course. "I was a bit worried," says Kiino, "that a full load of people and gear would overburden the CR-V and its 166-horse four-banger, but I was proven wrong. Even trudging up the steep grade from Bishop to Mammoth-an elevation gain of over 3700 feet-the CR-V, spinning at around 5000 rpm in fourth gear, had minimal trouble conquering the ascent." That said, Kiino did wish for one feature absent in the Honda. "The five-speed auto could really use a manual mode as in the Subaru Forester and Mitsubishi Outlander. As it is, the tranny is fairly intuitive and responsive, but, nevertheless, it would be nice to have full control to be in a specific gear at any given moment-especially when passing on a two-lane highway." Besides that one grumble, Kiino had little else to complain about. "
Overall, the CR-V is a smooth operator-the throttle is nicely calibrated, the brakes are easy to modulate, the steering feels quite organic-and a total lifestyle accommodator, what with its huge cargo hold (that dual-deck shelf is ingenious), ample interior volume, and entertainment/nav screen, which displays maps, XM radio info, and the backup camera. Moreover, with the lofty price of gas, the CR-V and its 2.4-liter engine prove that SUVs and frugality are not necessarily mutually exclusive. "So even loaded to the gills, the CR-V returned average fuel economy of 25.2 mpg on the trip-impressive."
| 2007 Honda CR-V |
| Months/miles in service || 12/20,743 |
| Avg econ/CO2 || 21.7 mpg/0.89 lb/mi |
| Unresolved problems || None |
| Maintenance cost || $488.97 (2 oil change/inspection/rotate tires, 1 air-filter change, axle-fluid change, A/C pollen filter change) |
| Normal-wear cost || $0 |