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STYLING | 7 out of 10
the CR-V's styling is handsome and gives the impression the vehicle is bigger than it is
cabin looks more refined than before, with richer, softer materials
the exterior design stands out as being much more interesting than the current model
Last year the Honda CR-V was given a complete redesign; although its exterior arguably looked like just a light evolution of the existing look, with spruced-up front and rear styling.That's true, in part. With the same wheelbase, as well as the same basic silhouette and proportions—but with the roof dropped slightly, the rear pillar thinner and at a different angle, with the seating repositioned and the cargo space made smarter—the CR-V's layout became even better from a practical standpoint. But it didn't become any prettier.
Honda's taken more liberties with the interior, and it's both attractive and straightforward—although up close some of the details reveal themselves as either done on a budget or with kids and spills in mind. With a rather carlike layout and a simplified, streamlined theme, the 2013 CR-V completely avoids the chunky, overwrought-and-cluttered look of the larger Pilot, as well as the odd asymmetries of the Civic, and the confusing rotary knob and multi-tiered layout of the high-end Accord models. On most models, there's a small, five-inch 'i-MID' trip computer and audio screen, with audio controls and climate controls below.
Overall, think of it as a tradeoff. The CR-V doesn't have the rakish profile and arched roofline of the 2013 Ford Escape, but it has more of what families need because of it.
There's nothing all that memorable or attention-getting about the CR-V from the outside, but simplicity is an asset inside.