by Amy Lillard
What drives car buyers in today's society? Smart sizes, efficient fuel use, practical capability and of course, the hidden perks and guilty pleasures. In our continuing series, we examine the most popular cars in America.
May 24, 2007 - Utility trucks and efficient family sedans have dominated the automobile bestseller list for several years. SUVs have been all but eliminated from the list as drivers look to limit the gas guzzling. The exception is the SUV that has finally dethroned the Ford Explorer from its decade-long position of dominance.
The Honda CR-V is now the best-selling sport utility vehicle in the country, and the 10th best-selling automobile. The smaller CR-V, which underwent a facelift with the 2007 model, has posted incredible sales increases, jumping over other small to medium sized SUVs and crossovers, like the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Ford Edge.
Introduced in 1996, the CR-V was Honda's first in-house designed SUV. Originally intended as a niche vehicle, Honda discovered that many drivers were attracted to the distinct alternative to more mainstream mid- and full-size large SUVs. The CR-V quickly outpaced the major RAV4 competition, riding the popularity of its car-based design, four-cylinder engine and sedan-like driving. The CR-V has grown in sales and accolades since, and sparked a loyal gathering of CR-V enthusiasts and owners.
The third and latest generation, the 2007 CR-V is a compact four-door SUV that retains the car-like sensibility that made it so popular. The CR-V is powered by the latest version of Honda's standard K-series 2.4 L 4-cylinder engine, with a 2.4 L engine upgraded to 166 hp in the North American market. The new CR-V is lower, wider and shorter than the previous models.
The 2007 Honda CR-V is offered in LX, EX and EX-L trim levels. The LX gives basics like powered accessories, air-conditioning and a CD player. The EX model adds perks like keyless entry, alloy wheels, an upgraded stereo, moonroof and privacy glass. The EX-L brings the luxury, with an available navigation system, rearview camera, satellite radio and a subwoofer. Prices start at just over $20,000, and range to upwards of $28,000.
Previously, all CR-Vs produced for the North American market were imported from Honda's plants in Japan and the UK. Starting in 2007, the CR-V is produced in East Liberty, Ohio.
The CR-V continues to appeal to drivers with respectable and efficient mileage, great reliability and some all-weather capability.
For a complete one-stop look at current CR-V features and specifications, visit
A frequent contributor to ERATE® since 2006, Amy Lillard is a freelance writer specializing in turning complex information into useful tips and tricks for readers. For questions or topic suggestions, contact Amy at [email protected].