Choosing a Utility Vehicle of the Year winner is consistently challenging and this year was no different, with plenty of strong contenders to choose from. The CR-V was pitted against the Kia Sportage, Jaguar F-Pace, GMC Acadia and Audi Q7 in the fight for AutoGuide.com’s Utility of the Year honors, making this year’s competition no walk — or drive — in the park. But after the dust settled it was the CR-V that impressed the most during evaluations, with its combination of interior space and in-demand features providing plenty of reasons to like it.
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“The Honda CR-V was a pioneer of the crossover movement, and it’s only gotten better with time,” said AutoGuide.com Group Editorial Director Jonathan Yarkony. “While the competition has become fierce, especially in the compact crossover segment, the CR-V stays ahead of the pack with its blend of practicality, value and ease of use, which earn it this year’s 2017 AutoGuide.com Utility Vehicle of the Year award.”
AutoGuide.com’s team of automotive experts put the contenders through their paces in the rain, snow and dirt, in both urban and rural settings. And while others excelled at certain components of the testing regimen, the CR-V proved to be a well-rounded package that has been improved on all fronts to stay atop this increasingly competitive heap.
The all-new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine makes 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t enough to impress, but it manages to make the most of every drop of fuel. With its standard continuously variable transmission and revised independent suspension, the CR-V drives smoothly, with plenty of legroom in the second row and 39.2 cu-ft (1,110 liters) of cargo space. When it comes to technology, the CR-V boasts available adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a standard backup camera.
“Congratulations to Honda,” said Yarkony. “The CR-V is exactly what it needs to be for busy families and active lifestyles. Not only is it an excellent value and impressively efficient, but it makes life a little easier with the latest technology, convenience features and spacious interior.”
The AutoGuide.com Utility Vehicle of the Year is the third and final award of the year from the outlet, joining both Car of the Year and Truck of the Year honors. Those awards were captured this year by the Ford Focus RS and Ford F-150 Raptor, respectively.