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2007 Honda CR-V Trims

EX

Avg. Price: $13,455

This is Mama Bear's CR-V, with a bit more to show than Baby Bear's LX, yet not quite the roster of Papa Bear's EX-L.

Mama Bear's favorite feature is the included power moonroof, which opens to the sky with one touch of the button. Of course, she wouldn't have purchased this little SUV if it hadn't come with ABS, Stability Assist with traction control, and the full complement of air bags to protect her furry family.

The EX is visibly discernible from the LX by the addition of rear privacy glass, which keeps the shopping treasures safe from nosy passersby, and a pretty chrome grille, rather than the body-color one on the lesser trim. The 17-inch wheels that were steel on the LX are a nice-looking alloy on the EX.

Other standard upgrades include a security system, a premium audio system with steering wheel-mounted controls, and a handy dual-deck cargo shelf. The interior, which was improved aesthetically for this new generation, makes long drives more pleasurable. And although we know Mama Bear has no problem asking for directions when she gets lost, she can opt for the available navigation system - a first on the CR-V.

EX AWD

Avg. Price: $14,220

The mid-level CR-V EX was already equipped well for save driving, thanks to standard front and side-curtain air bags, ABS with electronic distribution, and stability assist with traction control. But the addition of Honda's Real-Time Four Wheel Drive boosts its safety factor that much more.

The Real-Time system is not a true 4WD, as it has neither a lock mode nor low-range gearing. But those things are useful in off-roading, and that type of driving is not what the CR-V is intended for.

Nope, the utility in this little SUV is in its everyday practicality, and the 4WD reflects that. It's made for common driving situations such as wet or otherwise slippery roads, and best of all it acts on its own: whereas with traditional four-wheel drive the driver must consciously engage the system, Real-Time detects wheel slippage and responds in kind. This is also a more fuel-efficient system, as opposed to or part-time 4WD, where rear-wheel drive is the default, or full-time all-wheel drive, which sends power to all four wheels at all time, meaning often when it's unnecessary.

With this trim you will also enjoy visual improvements, for example the chrome grille and rear license-plate area, and the nicer alloy wheels. For increased security there is privacy glass and a security system.

EX-L

Avg. Price: $14,592

Welcome to the height of luxury - at least among Honda CR-Vs. This highest-level trim packs in still more bells and whistles for the practical person who still wants a lot of comfort and convenience.

That person will feel the comfort just by climbing in, where heated, leather seats await, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The next move might be to turn on the upgraded audio system and tune in some choice music on the included XM Satellite Radio.

Some way-cool gadgetry is available as options on this year's EX-L. How about the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, which integrates a voice-recognition feature and a rear-view camera. Rear-view cameras are usually seen on large vehicles, but Honda decided to make one available for this little cutie, too.

If you opt for the navigation system, your audio system is upgraded to a seven-speaker (with subwoofer) doozie that includes a center-console 6-CD changer. And since this is becoming more of a necessity in life as we know it today, there's also a jack for MP3 players.

EX-L AWD

Avg. Price: $15,221

The ultimate CR-V would not be that without Honda's Real-Time Four-Wheel Drive. If you love this model and want it all, then this is the trim for you.

What Honda calls four-wheel drive is actually closer to all-wheel drive, as it does not have the trail-oriented features of true four-wheel drive (locking transfer case and low-range gearing) and it engages automatically rather than by the driver's conscious engagement. But Real-Time is made for real life and all times, so its name fits.

The system does the thinking for you and activates the four-wheel drive when it detects the need, say when a wheel experiences some slippage on a slippery road. It's a wonderful technology to have, especially alongside the EX-L's traction control, sophisticated ABS, and full lineup of air bags.

Knowing that you have all of that stuff protecting you and your passengers is comforting, but the EX-L also comforts you directly with standard heated leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a well-appointed interior with lots of handy storage.

A navigation system is available this year, and it includes a rear-view camera for safe backing. With this option the audio system is automatically upgraded to include a 6-CD changer (in the console rather than the dash) and 7 speakers.

LX

Avg. Price: $12,694

The Honda CR-V is a wonderful and practical vehicle, from this basic trim right on up. Even the lowest-priced rendition includes an array of impressive standard features that you might otherwise expect to pay extra for.

You'll get a great array of safety features (air bags, including side-curtain units with rollover sensors, ABS, traction control, and daytime running lights), comfort features (air conditioning with filtration, retractable center tray table), and convenience features (cruise control, power side mirrors, keyless entry, rear-window wiper). This year's newly-designed generation is also wider than before, providing even more passenger breathing room and cargo space.

The LX won't break you at the pump (it's rated at 23 city/30 highway), but even better than that, it's a certified Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle. The praiseworthy power source is the same 2.4-liter, 166-horsepower I4 found in all CR-Vs.

Other notable features on the all-new LX include a tire-pressure monitoring system, which will help to assure not only safety but optimal fuel efficiency. You'll also get an anti-theft system with immobilizer, an audio system with MP3 playback compatibility, and a nifty little storage bin beneath the seat. Of course, there are ample cup-holders, too.

LX AWD

Avg. Price: $13,137

All of the practical features (ABS, air bags, traction control, keyless entry) of the 2WD CR-V LX are found on the 4WD, plus the obvious big one: Honda's Real-Time Four-Wheel Drive.

This 4WD program was designed to be lightweight and therefore economical, as well as convenient. (Technically it should be referred to as all-wheel drive, as it lacks a locking transfer case.) It's made not for off-road play (no low-ratio gearing) but for common, everyday driving situations (hence the Real-Time name), and it's completely automatic so that you don't have to think about what you need in imperfect driving conditions.

The system has been improved as part of this new CR-V generation, with an emphasis on torque transfer. So if bad weather hits when you're not quite home, you can relax your white-knuckled grip on the wheel just a tad in the confidence that the Real-Time system "knows" what to do to keep the wheels rolling the way they need to.