For 2007, the Honda CR-V is all new. There is a new available two-wheel drive configuration, new standard safety equipment, a ten-horsepower increase with standard automatic transmission (the manual transmission available in 2006 has been discontinued), new body and chassis for better performance and quieter ride, a lower step-in height, and available dual-deck cargo shelf. There’s also a new model, the EX-L Navi, which includes a satellite-linked navigation system and rearview camera.

The new model has a shorter wheelbase than the 2006 CR-V it replaces, but it’s wider, and has a wider track, with a lower clearance height. Its shortened overall length is mostly due to the spare tire being moved from the tailgate to under the vehicle; the body length without the spare tire is almost the same from 2006 to 2007.

Available in LX, EX, EX-L and EX-L Navi trim lines, the CR-V (which stands for “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle”) uses a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed automatic. The LX comes in front-wheel drive but can be optioned to Honda’s Real Time four-wheel drive system, which is standard on all of the other models; it runs mostly in front-wheel but transfers power to the rear wheels when it senses slippage.

Features on the LX include 17-inch steel wheels, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, vehicle stability assist with traction control, tire pressure monitoring system, heated power mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control, intermittent rear wiper, conversation mirror, power locks with keyless entry, power windows, tilt and telescopic wheel, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, fixed intermittent wipers and 60/40 fold-and-tumble rear seat.

The EX adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, security alarm, chrome grille inserts, power sunroof, privacy tinted glass, dual-deck cargo shelf, variable intermittent wipers and six-CD stereo with wheel-mounted controls.

The EX-L adds body-coloured handles and mirrors, centre console, heated leather seats and leather-wrapped wheel, while the EX-L Navi adds navigation system, premium audio system with subwoofer and backup camera.

The new CR-V is more car-like than before, with ride and handling closer to a sedan than a truck. Thanks to a lower centre of gravity and revised geometry, steering is sharp and there’s almost no body lean. The front seats are larger and more comfortable, the dual-deck cargo shelf makes the CR-V even more practical, and the swing-out door on the previous model is replaced with a swing-up liftgate. On the down side, though, many of its competitors offer V6 power for the price of the four-cylinder CR-V.

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