2011 Honda CR-V

Discussion in 'International Automotive Scene' started by Dhillon, May 2, 2011.

  1. Dhillon

    Dhillon Administrator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2011
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    Since the current generation arrived in late 2006, I've driven the Honda CR-V during four model years in four states on six occasions. If reviewing cars were like doing laundry, the CR-V would be my well-worn pair of jeans. Honda still has a few things to iron out -- chief among them being the CR-V's jittery ride -- but to call foul on the market's best-selling crossover over a few loose threads would be to ignore the whole closet's worth of things the CR-V gets right.

    The Honda CR-V may not be the most handsome or capable model in its class, but it delivers precisely the qualities a small crossover ought to.

    This time around, I evaluated two EX-L models: one with front-wheel drive and one with all-wheel drive. The EX-L caps off a lineup that also includes, in ascending order, LX, SE and EX trims. The SE trim is new for 2011.

    Sufficient power, firm ride

    Paired with a standard five-speed automatic transmission, Honda's 2.4-liter four-cylinder pulls the CR-V up to speed with sufficient power. The automatic kicks down to 4th or 3rd gear on the highway aggressively and with little delay -- which is necessary given that, characteristic of a Honda four-cylinder, the CR-V has modest low-end torque. With just me on board, our front-drive tester droned loudly in the passing lane, but overall power for such maneuvers was ample.

    In contrast, I put four adults in an EX-L already burdened by an extra 124 pounds of all-wheel drive. Loaded up, the CR-V doesn't have much oomph to spare: It reaches highway speeds soon enough, but passing requires planning and effort. If you want enough power to pass on a whim -- or if you need to tow more than what's allowed by the CR-V's meager 1,500-pound rating -- consider the Toyota RAV4 or Ford Escape, both of which can be had with a V-6 engine. (The Chevy Equinox also offers a V-6, but it's pretty underwhelming.) The CR-V comes only with its four-cylinder, which makes 180 horsepower.

    EPA combined gas mileage with front-wheel drive is 24 mpg; all-wheel-drive models are rated 23 mpg. That's near the top of the segment. In recent $29,000 SUV Shootout, the CR-V's 28.8 mpg tied for top honors among nine crossovers in a 145-mile highway loop.

    If outright power isn't a strength, handling is. The CR-V's reflexes are generally sharp, with good braking linearity, relatively flat cornering and sharp steering. Though it falls short of a Subaru Forester or Kia Sportage when it comes to outright driving fun, the CR-V's maneuvering confidence puts it in the upper half of its class. That said, some drivers may wish for more power steering assist at low speeds, such as in parking lots.

    The CR-V handles larger bumps well enough, but small road imperfections will be felt over long stretches of interstate. The CR-V settled in better and bounced less on the highway when loaded with extra passengers, but Honda has work to do on the suspension.

    Roomy cabin

    Though the five-seat cabin wasn't particularly well-insulated from tire noise (with Bridgestone Dueler P225/65R17 all-season tires) at highway speeds, it's comfortable overall. The CR-V's upright front seats, tall windows and open lower dash recall a minivan or large SUV. You sit up in there, which is exactly the driving position a proper crossover ought to have. In the name of more carlike interiors, too many competitors strand you down in a sea of wraparound cockpit furniture.

    The most important controls operate with precision, and it's nice to see chrome door handles and textured silver trim in places where other Hondas employ duller gray plastics. A couple of areas are less excusable, including sheets of molded plastic as door inserts and a navigation system whose graphics rival the original "Oregon Trail" maps. All told, however, the CR-V's cabin ranks above average. It may be a 5-year-old design, but it's aging well.

    Both rows of seats sit high enough off the floor to afford excellent thigh support, though the rear seat's bottom cushion could be a bit longer. Still, legroom is good. Taller adults may want more headroom, which trails off as you lean back. Conversely, you can't find much more versatility than you get in the backseat of a CR-V. The standard 40/20/40-split second row offers reclining and forward/backward adjustments.

    Cargo room behind the second row is an impressive 35.7 cubic feet. Tumbling and securing the second-row seats is an onerous process, but it helps create an equally impressive 72.9 cubic feet of maximum space.

    Safety, features and pricing

    In crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CR-V earned the top score, Good, in front-, rear- and side-impact tests. The CR-V's roof-strength score of Marginal, however, is a concern. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the CR-V an overall score of four stars (out of five) in its revamped 2011 crash tests.

    Standard safety features include rollover-sensing curtain airbags, antilock brakes, active front head restraints and an electronic stability system.

    Small crossovers are generally a dependable group, but the CR-V's excellent reliability stands out even in that crowd. The LX's $21,695 starting price is relatively affordable, as small crossovers go. Standard features include power windows and locks, an automatic transmission, air conditioning, cruise control and a CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack. All-wheel drive on any trim runs a reasonable $1,250. Move up the ladder, and you can get a power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, USB/iPod compatibility, heated leather upholstery, a navigation system and a moonroof. A loaded EX-L tops out just under $30,000.

    CR-V in the market

    Of the nine crossovers SUV shootout, the CR-V placed sixth. Aesthetic issues played a large part -- the car has always looked quirky. In comparison, up-and-coming competitors like the redesigned Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage offer scads of fresh appeal. No doubt they'll eat away at the CR-V's sales lead this year.

    Still, Honda has done well with the current generation. This CR-V is a competent choice: comfortable, spacious, efficient and reliable. We're due for another CR-V within the next few years, but if you're shopping a small crossover today, the existing car is very much worth a look.


    Starting MSRP $21,695 -- $27,895

    EPA Fuel Economy:
    City: 21
    Highway: 27 -- 28

    Available Engines:
    180-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 (regular gas)

    Available Transmissions:
    5-speed automatic w/OD

    New or Notable
    New SE trim level
    Standard stability system
    FWD or AWD

    What We Like
    High-quality interior
    Quiet ride
    Smooth transmission
    Value for the money

    What We Don't
    Base model's seat fabric
    No V-6 engine offered
    Folding design of backseat

  2. Codename.47

    Codename.47 Guest

    they are allright bro
  3. GTD

    GTD Super Moderator

    Apr 21, 2011
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    In north america they are considered medium sized suv's but in India they are considered luxury. Dont know if there are any differences in specs.
  4. Codename.47

    Codename.47 Guest

    Pretty sure there is a lot of difference in Indian specs and overseas ones
  5. Dhhawal

    Dhhawal New Member

    Apr 26, 2011
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    in my personal opinion i think the CR-V is quite pointless, a good car, but pointless, this car costs around 24L in India, and for that, you get a good ride, good interiors, but the engine choice is a 2L or a 2.4L petrol, the problem is that both these engines are a little underpowered for a car this heavy, its automatic transmission makes sure that unless you are carrying a lot of speed you won't be able to overtake really quickly, its a soft roader, you can't off road, and coupled to that if you want to really get a move on, you are gonna gas it, and thats going to affect your mileage, and I have heard some people who get 6km/l which is horrible, its something that a 4L merc would give you, so you cant go off roading, you cant go on the highway, and in the city you get horrible mileage...with this kinda money, in India, you are better off going for the toyota fortuner, a wonderful 3l turbo diesel, with loads of kit, and performance to match..!
    Dhillon likes this.
  6. Codename.47

    Codename.47 Guest

    Yeah it is under powered thats for sure

    "Introducing the stunning new CR-V Limited Edition. With its versatile 2.4 litre i-VTEC engine putting out a powerful 125kW @ 5800rpm, the CR-V LE enjoys your active lifestyle as much as you do, getting you where you want to go in great comfort and style. It's packed with clever technology, like Honda's Real Time 4WD and G-Con impact protection technology. And now we're throwing in loads of fantastic Limited Edition extras."

    24 Lacs is a lot of money and I wouldn't really consider buying this as the parts for Honda are quiet expensive. i-Vtec isnt that powerful as compared to their original V Tec engine which was high reving engine.

    Can anyone post Toyota fortuner and ford endeavours reviews and specs?

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