NEW FOR 2009:

– New front-wheel drive EX trim line

For 2009, the Honda CR-V is unchanged, save that the EX trim line, now previously available only in all-wheel drive, is now front-wheel drive, with AWD as an available option.

Sold as the LX, EX and EX-L, the CR-V uses a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with five-speed automatic transmission. The LX and EX are front-wheel drive and can be optioned to all-wheel drive, while the EX-L is AWD only.

Features on the LX include 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, tire pressure monitoring system, front and rear splash guards, heated mirrors, conversation mirror, cruise control, intermittent front and rear wipers, power locks with keyless entry, auto up/down driver’s window, retractable centre tray table, tilt and telescopic wheel, CD/MP3/WMA stereo with auxiliary input, manual driver’s seat height adjustment, 60/40 split-folding slide and tumble rear seats, fold-down rear centre armrest, and under-seat storage bin.

The EX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, security alarm, chrome grille inserts, power sunroof, privacy glass, dual-deck cargo shelf, exterior temperature display, variable intermittent wipers, and six-CD/MP3 stereo with wheel-mounted controls.

The EX-L adds dual-zone automatic climate control, body-colour mirrors and door handles, front centre console, premium stereo, heated leather seats, eight-way power driver’s seat, and leather-wrapped wheel. Optional on the EX-L is the under-seat storage bin, along with an available navigation system with backup camera.

Handling more like a car than an SUV, the CR-V has a relatively low centre of gravity and good steering feel, and is nimble and fun to drive. The seats are comfortable, including the reclining rear ones, and all passengers enjoy good legroom, but many competitors offer V6 power for the price of this inline four.

Connect with Autos.ca