By David Colman
Hypes: Great Loading, Huge Cargo Area, Nice Finish
Gripes: Needs a V6 and 6 Speeds
Just because this SUV packs loads like a donkey doesn’t mean it has to look like a donkey. With this in mind, Honda last year revamped the uninspiring appearance of its CR-V, turning it into one of the most fetching compact SUVs in a crowded market that includes Chevy’s Equinox, Ford’s Escape, Hyundai’s Tucson, Nissan’s Rogue and Toyota’s RAV4. You can even ice the new cake by selecting the scintillating blue color of our test car – “Mountain Air Metallic.” But the CR-V’s appeal lies deeper than its shimmering paint, plunging side window line or pinched rocker panel. The real beauty of the CR-V is its utterly utilitarian configuration.