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Almost identical to mine: Mojave Mist on steelies. Photo from usedcarsgroup.com

What is it? 2002 Honda CR-V, the 2nd generation and first evolutionary step towards the bloated, mini-van-esque CR-V we have today. It came with a 2.4L DOHC transverse four cylinder engine, an automatic gearbox, and all wheel drive. With its approximately 160 HP and torques, it had a towing capacity of 1500 pounds. That’s just enough for the average pop-up camper or Midwestern family of four.

Photo from motorauthority.com

Pros: Reliability; utility; interior room; decent in the elements; spare tire on the rear door where it should be; (i)VTEC, yo

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Cons: Serviceability; reverse sounds like an RC car; seats don’t fold flat; the first gen looks better

The seats fold down or flip forward like shown, but they are never really out of the way for large cargo. Photo from Forbes.com

Recommendation: The CR-V perfectly demonstrates the practicality of small SUVs. Are you a suburban mother that hauls kids and groceries? It is safe and reliable. Are you a college student going on a road trip with all your buddies to Burning Man/PCB/Electric Forest? It is spacious and comfortable. Are you an inexperienced driver in a scary, snowy climate? It has AWD and a decent ride height. Are you an adventure enthusiast that enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, and other annoying physical activities? Those things that fit in your Subaru Forester could also fit in a CR-V. It’s annoying from a gearhead’s perspective, but it just does anything that most people need and it does it well.

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Matte black aside, this isn’t too bad. See? It’s not just your mom’s car. Photo from hondasuv.com

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