This car needs more POWER. It's a cute little runabout, but it's desperately underpowered. I constantly need to floor it to avoid getting rear-ended on the freeway. And I live on a moderate hill, and the CRV can barely make it up. A tune-up helped the performance a little, but it the engine is far too overworked. Unless you live in Kansas and feel like keeping pace with the truckers, the constant throttling of the engine will make the fuel economy miserable.
Driving it is like driving a minivan. The LAST thing it screams is "Sport Utility Vehicle." You sit like you're in a minivan. One benefit is the center pass-through, however.
Another little clever thing is the Picnic table. It's a handy thing to have.
The dimpled-plastic on the doors I could do without.
This little ute has ZERO (read ZE-RO) off-road ability. NONE. PERIOD. You're hard-pressed on hilly dirt roads. It's decent for tiptoeing in slush-puddles, it takes a second for the 4 wheel drive to engage. I'm unimpressed.
We ended up selling this early and buying a loaded Mazda Tribute. What a difference! Plenty of grunt, and a little bit of off-road capability (but it's no Jeep or Land Rover.) It also seems roomier in the inside (the back seat is even better), and less minivan-like. Despite the recalls, it's been trouble-free. I would reccomend getting this or the Ford Escape over the CR-V.