For those not interested in learning the nuances of SUV-shopping, the Honda CR-V is a great default choice. It's so good in so many ways that you really can't go wrong.
We recently spent a week in an Aegean Blue 2020 CR-V provided by the manufacturer, and came to appreciate all the evolutionary excellence that's packed into the model.
New for 2020, all CR-Vs come with Honda's excellent 1.5-liter, turbocharged engine which makes 190 horsepower while returning excellent fuel economy. According to the government, you can expect 32 mpg in highway driving and 27 mpg in city driving.
Also, all 2020 CR-Vs have Honda's suite of safety-tech features including blind-spot assist and collision mitigation braking — two biggies.
Honda CR-Vs are available locally at Economy Honda, an expansive Lee Highway dealership that had 55 CR-Vs in digital inventory late last week.
* Model: 2020 Honda CR-V Touring AWD
* Exterior color: Aegean Blue Metallic
* Interior color: Black
* Engine: 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, turbo
* Horsepower: 190
* Transmission: CVT
* Fuel economy: 32 mpg highway, 27 mpg city
* Local Dealer: Economy Honda, 6001 Lee Highway
* Price (as tested): $35,870
WHAT IS IT?
The CR-V is a compact, two-row SUV with a spacious interior, efficient powertrain and a reputation for reliability. All that adds up to make the CR-V a high-value choice.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The entry-trim LX starts at $25,050. The EX starts at $27,500 and the EX-L at $27,500. Our top-of-the-line CR-V Touring tester with all-wheel-drive and handling fee included rings up at $35,850 before discounts.
WHAT WE LIKED
The comfortable, driver-oriented cockpit; the easy-to-reach shifter; heated steering wheel; wireless phone charging system; roomy back seat; and faux-wood accents.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
The CR-V is designed for functionality, not sex appeal. It looked a little dowdy in our driveway parked next to the sleek Mazda CX-5. The doors sound hollow when you shut them forcefully and we found the digital gauges a bit confusing at first.
The turbo-charged engine is surprisingly stout, considering its small displacement, only 1.5-liters. The all-wheel-drive worked brilliantly in a four-inch Signal Mountain snowfall.
Families looking at highly-optioned mid-size SUVs might be suffering sticker shock. Chances are the CR-V will do the trick for $10,000 less. The Touring edition with AWD has all the features your heart desires, included heated seats and steering wheel, Apple Carplay and Andriod Auto, leather seats, 9-speaker audio, satellite radio, moonroof, LED headlights and rain-sensing wipers.
By the way, the rain-sensing wipers saved our bacon when a sheet of snow slid from the roof of the CR-V onto the windshield on our way down the mountain. The wipers immediately sprang to life and punched the snow out of the way, instantly restoring visibility.
Online: In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy's Chattanooga Test Drive columns visit www.timesfreepress.com/testdrive.