rsz_1500a_(1)Back in 2015, the CR-V won the SUV of the Year title, edging out the new Jeep Cherokee. Now, the completely redesigned CR-V has once again beaten a serious contender, this time the much more expensive and surprisingly accomplished Alfa Romero Stelvio – by only a single vote.

“Honda made sure it kept its crown jewel ahead of the field by paying attention to a wide range of details,” Motor Trend Detroit editor Alisa Priddle said. “Others might excel in certain fields, but others don’t put the whole package together the way the CR-V does.”

Although the exterior was not embraced by all of the judges, they did agree that the new CR-V was fresh looking and sports a design that makes it look bigger and more substantial than previous models. An added element of muscularity helps give it additional appeal to both sexes, where previous generations had been considered most suitable for “Soccer Moms”.

rsz_1500b_(1)1Inside, the judges were in agreement: the CR-V interior is outstanding. “This is about the swankiest interior ever seen on the CR-V,” Motor Trend technical director Frank Markus said. “it’s carefully executed, with the high-mounted PRNDL gate, climate and audio controls, and infotainment screen within easy reach even for drivers of modest stature. Additional controls on the steering wheel are unobtrusive yet intuitive to use”. “The overall design is logical and high-tech, and it feels loaded,” added Motor Trend editor-in-chief Ed Loh.

rsz_1500c_(1)1On the road, the judges agreed the CR-V chassis was “consistent and predictable; Further stating that “the steering is light but accurate and the ride tightly controlled, keeping the CR-V confidently planted through corners”. “I’m impressed by how quickly this Honda is capable of going down a canyon road,” Motor Trend associate editor Scott Evans said.

As for safety, Evans was equally impressed by the CR-V’s Honda Sensing suite of driver assist technologies. “It’s seriously impressive, especially for the price,” he said of Honda Sensing. “This is one of the most advanced driver-assistance systems on the market, and you can get it in an everyday family crossover.”

“If you’re buying a family crossover, I’m not sure why you’d consider anything other than the Honda CR-V,” features editor Christian Seabaugh said. “It checks all the boxes.”

“Overall, it’s the best in one of the toughest classes around,” Ed Loh concluded. “That’s saying something.”