If the DOT hadn’t invented double-yellow lines, the Honda CR-V would have been a great marker for the middle of the road.

Honda fits the CR-V crossover with either a 1.5-liter turbo-4, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and front- or all-wheel drive—or a hybridized version, with electric motor and battery grafted on to a non-turbo-4. In either case, mild-mannered acceleration and pleasantly invisible handling traits give it a score of 5 out of 10 for performance.

Let’s talk about gas first. The standard CR-V’s turbo-4 punches out 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, and applies it through a belt-driven continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Power arrives low in the rev band, and stays strong—a virtue of turbocharging that’s staged well. Without stepped gears, the CVT keeps the engine working…

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