Honda sold 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 1997, and 13 percent of them were light trucks (CR-Vs and Isuzu-built Passports). Now, in 2016, Honda expects to sell 1.6 million vehicles. But get this—some 48 percent of Honda’s current sales are now light trucks, vehicles such as the Pilot, HR-V, Odyssey, and Ridgeline. And leading the way, as usual, is the super popular Honda CR-V, the best-selling SUV in the U.S. for the last two decades.
Naturally, this compact sport ute is hugely important to Honda, so it’s easy to understand why the company has aimed for “class-above” standards when creating the 5th-generation CR-V. Although this all-new 2017 Honda CR-V doesn’t go on sale until December 21, Autobytel had an early opportunity to test one recently in California, on the coastal roads above Monterey. Here’s what we learned.