The Honda CR-V is roomy, convenient and easy to drive. You can put lots of stuff in it and the back seats are quite comfortable. It rides smoothly, without the jouncy harshness of many SUVs. The CR-V is surprisingly maneuverable in tight quarters and handles well on winding roads. It's also stable in stiff crosswinds at freeway speeds. Like Toyota's RAV4, the CR-V was one of the first so-called cute-utes: Not quite a sport-utility, but more than a car, offering an upright seating position, all-wheel drive and decent cargo space. Since it was built on a car platform (the Honda Civic), CR-V's highway-friendly ride and handling made it drive more like a car. This combination attracted buyers who needed a minivan but wanted something smaller and more maneuverable, and something that didn't look like a minivan. The CR-V isn't much good off-road, but it's better than competent on the highways and byways where most SUVs are driven most of the time. It beats most of its immediate competitors in both qualitative and quantitative measures, and trails the competition in only a few. It's available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive for winter weather capability. Changes for 2005 include minor exterior restyling, added standard safety features, and the addition of a new luxury trim level. A cam-driven all-wheel-drive mechanism now replaces the pump system on all 4WD-equipped models, improving acceleration and hill-climbing performance.