When it comes to Honda and SUVs, both go hand in hand. One such vehicle straight out of Honda's manufacturing site in Sayama, Japan and Swindon, United Kingdom is Honda's CR-V.
Initially, starting the production in 1995, the CR-V is a compact crossover SUV, using the Honda Civic platform with an SUV body design. The vehicle is Honda's mid-range utility vehicle, slotting in-between the smaller Honda HR-V and the larger Honda Pilot.
The "CR-V" in the vehicles name stands for "Comfortable Runabout Vehicle".
The first generation CR-V was Honda's first in-house designed sport utility vehicle by veteran Japanese designer Hiroyuki Kawase. Upon introduction, the model had only one trim level, which would later be known as the LX model trim. It was powered by the 2.0-liter straight-four B20B producing 126hp (94kW) at 5400rpm and 133lbft (180Nm) of torque at 4800rpm.
As of this moment, the vehicle is in its fifth generation with improvements being brought about in looks, engine and the vehicle's safety. The fifth generation offers optional third row of seats for seven passenger seating capacity. The driver's seat adds a four-way power lumbar option.
A hybrid version of the car was unveiled at the 2017 Auto Shanghai in China in April. Despite having so much promise, the vehicles engine reportedly suffers an oil dilution issue where the fuel gets into the engine oil and dilutes it. This causes a fuel smell but ultimately leads to engine issues such as engine misfires and the Malfunction Indicator Lamp being illuminated.
Honda CR-V is one of the brand's top-selling products. It's refined, practical, and well-designed. Aside from offering one of the largest cargo bays in its segment, the CR-V also offers two fuel-efficient powertrains but its quality is questionable in areas and it has one of the worst infotainment systems on sale.
The automobile comes in four trim levels – LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The base trim doesn't offer much, so car enthusiasts are recommend moving up to at least the EX trim which offers additional safety, convenience, and technology equipment, including blind spot monitoring, heated front seats, and an infotainment system with smartphone integration. This trim also comes with a peppier and more fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The vehicle is available in Sonic Gray Pearl, Aegian Blue Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, Obsidian Blue Pearl, Platinum White Pearl and Radiant Red Metallic (this articles cover photo) colours.
Honda apparently it seems did their homework planting its first turbocharged engine—a 1.5-liter unit that makes 190hp inside a CR-V and pairing it with one of the best Continuously Variable automatic Transmissions (CVTs) available—praises that don't come in lightly. The CR-V hybrid is powered by a two-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors that combine for 212hp. The vehicle has simulated shifts to feel more like a traditional automatic transmission, and it does not produce any droning noise from the engine, which is a common problem with CVTs. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.
A stylish and spacious interior creates a cool and comfortable environment inside the CR-V. Quality materials and a familiar layout combine for a contemporary look and feel. A tasteful balance of faux-wood accents, chromed plastic and brushed-satin finishes looked particularly upscale in the Touring version. Supportive and nicely sculpted front seats hug their occupants in all the right places. Leading its class in cargo volume and luggage space, the CR-V not only earns high marks in those features, but also by way of its inclusion of user-friendly and useful equipment. But when it comes to infotainment, gear yourself for all the frustration in the world. Base LX models come with a five-inch colour radio screen, with all other models get a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio – might I ask why? Navigation is optional, as is a nine-speaker audio system. Honda has reintroduced a rotary volume knob, but a lack of other controls, slow infotainment responses and the absence of an auxiliary input cannot be forgiven easily.
When compared with its rivals, the Honda CR-V lacks athletic profile, but it excels in many other areas, making it a popular choice in its class. The vehicle provides ample room for passengers and cargo, has an upscale interior (minus the infotainment), delivering a smooth ride.