Cargo & Towing

The first thing designers and journalists care about when discussing utility vehicles like this one is cargo size. Sometimes I think they get so caught up in the size they forget about the utility. The CR-V measures 35.7 cubic feet with the second-row seats intact and 72.9 cubic feet with them folded flat; that's up from 33.5 cubic feet and 72 cubic feet, respectively, in the outgoing model.

Folding the seats themselves isn't hard, but it's not the best setup either. There are two straps to pull, and neither felt that sturdy. One flips the rear seat bottom forward, against the back of the front seats, and the second strap, next to the integrated headrests, flips the second row down, creating a flat load floor — another must when designing utility vehicles.

There's a folding shelf that fits into two molded slots in the rear, meaning you could store groceries underneath and dry cleaning on top. The shelf didn't seem all that useful, and according to a warning sticker can only support 20 pounds. I'd prefer a standard cargo cover to simply hide what I'm hauling.

The CR-V can tow 1,500 pounds, but I don't expect many buyers will haul more than a load of groceries.

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