Interior

Honda has really found its stride with interiors lately. The CR-V shares its look in part with the new Civic compact car lineup and Ridgeline pickup truck.

The dash is perfectly executed. Did I just say that? Where the Civic went a bit funky with a two-tiered layout for the gauge cluster, the CR-V opts for a more straightforward side-by-side setup with an informative digital display wedged between the speedometer and tachometer.

The steering wheel was a bit on the small side for me, but considering Honda expects 60 percent of CR-V buyers to be women, that won't be a real negative. Radio controls and the center-mounted shifter are surrounded by small cubbies, including a hidden upper glove box with a metal door. There's also a standard glove box below. A trio of center-mounted A/C knobs felt a bit cheap when turning, but they were the lone setback in an overall splendid dash.

The moonroof in the LX model seemed small, even for a compact vehicle. Rooftop glass is only getting bigger these days, and the CR-V's small sliver doesn't deliver as a must-have option.

Leather-equipped LX models should be the preferred choice, as I found the standard cloth fabric in both the EX and LX trims a bit too soft to the touch to be durable. I also didn't think the straps used to flip the rear seats down would last over the long haul. They felt strong for the most part, but other automakers use sturdy buttons for such operations instead. There's also no way to flip the seats down from the rear cargo area.

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