Saturday, July 25, 2009

Honda CRV Test Drive



-HOW IT LOOKS.
I think the current CRV looks much better than the trucky looking designs from the 2 previous versions.
But some people actually liked the look of the old ones better.
The current model finally looks like what it has become: a replacement for many sedans.
We've all seen so many of them around too. As I was driving it I noticed that CRVs were everywhere around me.
It's almost weird.

-HOW IT IS INSIDE.
I have to say, I don't like the interior. Especially in the depressing grey color of the one I was driving.
It seems that Honda has been using the same grey and beige since the 80's.
And every surface uses hard plastics. Sometimes it's almost OK. But here, they do look hard and cheap.


-One good thing about the interior: it is roomy. The back seat has much more legroom than a similar size sedan. And most than other SUVs in the price range.
But look at the picture below. My EX model doesn't even have a proper console. Just this weird tray that you can fold. So you can't really hide anything.
Except in the two very small glove compartments in the dashboard.
You have to step up to the EX L (W. leather) to get a small console. A weird design if I ever saw one...

The stereo in the EX is just OK. Again, the EX L has a better one. At least it has an iPod plug.


-HOW IT DRIVES.
-Ride.
The ride in the CRV is excellent. Even just a bit firm, which is great.
It feels pretty wide and much more stable than the Nissan Rogue.

-Steering.
The steering is also a bit firm. Which is good. Nothing floaty or loose.

-Engine.
The engine is always quiet and smooth. And there is enough power for this car.
It is one of these 4 cylinder engine that makes you wonder why you would ever want a V6.
But gas mileage isn't that great. City driving returned about 17 to 18 MPG. And I squeezed 28MPG on the FWY.
My average for the week was 19.5 MPG.
That's just a little bit better than what I got with a Lexus RX 350. (18) But I did get 31 HWY with the new Murano.
Every time I drive a small SUV with a 4 cylinder, I am surprised about the mileage not being that great.

I guess they are still heavy and tall....

-Transmission
The 5 speed isn't the smoothest. It is OK, but I could always feel the shifts.
Which would have been fine a few years ago, but now, most transmissions are smoother.
But it it pretty responsive.


-SO?
Don't get the CRV if you want to have fun driving. Because it's not fun. It does everything it is supposed to do.
But it is strictly a transportation machine.
It that sense, it reminds me of the Camry. There is nothing wrong with it, and owners love them. Just like the Camry.
It is pretty much the Camry of small SUVs.
With no personality whatsoever.

It has that "small Minivan" feel to it. Hard to explain. I just was never looking forward to driving it.

The CRV EX FWD is $24 200. You can get them for at least $2000 off.
But right now, you can also get a $26 500 Mazda CX-7 Touring for well under $22 000.
The Mazda does everything better than the CRV, and is a joy to drive. And has an amazing interior.
The CRV is fine, but I would never get one as long as Mazda makes the CX-7



Here is a picture of the upcoming revised 2010 model.
Changes will pretty much be the new front end and some very slight revisions.
I really don't think adding more chrome makes things that much better. How about a nicer interior instead?

42 comments:

The Pill said...

Vince, honest, tells it like it is review. I'm with you on the interior and though I've never driven it, I'm sure the CRV has a good ride. I was not so impressed by the ride or interior quality of an Accord which I had as a rental for 5 days.

The interior of the CRV was never a stand out and Honda has kept that true to form. Direct Injection would likely help with the MPG but also shedding extra fat from the curb weight would add to savings on fuel consumption.

New competition in this class is coming from Hyundai's soon to be released and redesigned Tucson which will feature class leading fuel economy and an improved powertrain as well as an upmarket interior that will surpass the CRV.

Anonymous said...

These things are just UGLY! Always have been, probably always will be. YOU SAID: "I think the current CRV looks much better than the trucky looking designs from the 2 previous versions." --which is like saying that fresh turds with maggots are less disgusting than rancid flem with maggots. -- ie; this sucker sure ain't no Cadillac!

Anonymous said...

When I saw this picture awhile back, I was severely dissapointed that the defunct second grill was here to stay...now more obnoxious than ever.

Anonymous said...

I think this is built primarily for women who wouldn't normally drive an SUV.

Kwame said...

Vince, can you tell the process you undergo to get a test drive with new cars? I would really appreciate it.

Good review, btw.

Anonymous said...

THe front of this is so damn ugly. Don't know why this thing is so popular. Just not enough competition in the segment.

Anonymous said...

Didn't think a human being could make the front worse than it was. That is one sick minded little runt that came up with this one.

Anonymous said...

The CX-7 is great.
Vince...Go test drive the new Chevy Equinox...See what mileage you get.

Vince Burlapp said...

"Vince, can you tell the process you undergo to get a test drive with new cars? I would really appreciate it. "

I try as much as possible to drive them like "regular" people would.
I do not take them on any tracks, because nobody actually does that except car magazines.
I drive them in the streets and on the freeway. Where people actually drive.

I keep them a whole week, get them from the manufacturers.

I do whatever I need to do that week, go wherever I need to go. That usually means mostly city driving, and some FWY on the week-end when I try to go to the beach or out of town.
Go to work, take my friends places, ask them what they think.

Basically, a "regular guy " type of driving.
As close as possible to what most people would be doing if they actually owned the car.

But I can only report on how I feel about the cars. You might hate what I like, and vice versa.

I am only one person...

Kwame said...

Vince,

I wasn't trying to critique your review in anyway - it's a great review, one that's nice, short and concise...just the way I like my reviews. I was just curious as to how you got your hands on the car (i.e. call the manufacturer, like you said). But is that all there is to it?

I have an up-and-coming automotive blog and just wanted to know how I can secure vehicles to test drive.

Anonymous said...

CRV is the best selling small CUV in the US and also it's ranked the most reliable.

Anonymous said...

Vince, try owning a CX-7 and you will sing a different tune.

I had a CX-7 which replaced a 2002 CR-V with nearly 200K (I drive on the highway a lot) and I will never buy another Mazda product ever.

My CX-7 was unreliable to say the least, and it has some of the LOWEST owner satisfaction ratings in its entire segment, you can include ALL SUVs as well. I learned this after I really did some research after I purchased mine, which was a really dumb thing to do. If you don't believe me, go check Consumer Reports of any of the CX-7 forums. Mine suffered from bad turbo seals which allowed oil to leak into the turbo and it caused HUGE PLUMES of smoke when idling and accelerating. They haven't developed a fix for this so they just put another turbo on it that will eventually fail just like the previous one. It looked like a early 80's K Car. The rear diff failed just out of warranty costing me thousands of dollars, faulty nav units (x2), the list goes on.

I sold my CX-7 with less than 70,000 miles on it for fear that I would have to pay for another turbo replacement or a rear diff, or a nav unit which costs thousands also.

My CX-7 was replaced with a 2008 CR-V and I love it. I don't think I am missing much by not having the CX-7. Sure, the CR-V isn't as quick but it gets MUCH better gas mileage and my previous two CR-Vs were bulletproof, including my 1998 which I racked up 210K on.

There is a reason why people love CR-Vs, they are bulletproof and do everything that you need them to do. They have been the best selling SUV in America for the past three years in a row. Vince, you also have to remember that the CR-V is in a different segment than the CR-V so it won't have as nice of an interior with soft touch plastics.

That is my little story for the day.

Anonymous said...

"CRV is the best selling small CUV in the US and also it's ranked the most reliable."

That is, until they burst into flames while sitting in a parking lot.

Ralph L said...

Anonymous 4:48 beat me to it. Ugly gets uglier.

I get 17/28 mpg in my Deville, if I'm careful about hills and don't gun it too often.

Anonymous said...

I have a 2007 CR-V and I absolutely love it! I completely agree with you about the Rogue, Vince. I took one for a test drive and I hated just about everything about it. I thought the interior was awful and I COULD NOT STAND the CVT transmission. I also thought that my CR-V was more fun to drive.

45K and not a single problem! Like someone else above said, there is a reason why they are the best selling SUV.



"Anonymous said...
"CRV is the best selling small CUV in the US and also it's ranked the most reliable."

That is, until they burst into flames while sitting in a parking lot.

July 26, 2009 1:40 PM"

What in the hell are you talking about???

Anonymous said...

I couldn't jave made the front uglier that the current one if I tried but this dude did.

Anonymous said...

Vince, The most important thing in my opinion is the fact that the CR-V has one of the most harsh rides on broken pavement, just behind the Element and the Nissan Rogue. If you travel on old weathered New England back roads alot,the ride can become very punishing! Honda stiffened the suspension starting on the 2005 model up to prevent rollovers, plus the larger size tires and rims also contribute to a degraded ride! There is very little or no isolation from road irregularities whatsoever. I own a 2006 model, and my wife has a 2008 and the newer CR-V has even a worse ride! She can hardly wait until her lease ends to get something that has a more civalized ride.

Anonymous said...

To the poor guy who had a bad experience w/ the CX7...I own one and adore it. I haven't had a singel issue w/ it and it now has 80,000 km's on it. The latest consumer report also recommends it? Maybe you were looking at older data? And I belong to a CX7 forum - where the vast majority of the owners love the car. Ya - there are issues with some of them (limited) - but there are with any car.

I drove the CRV and RDX prior to my Mazda purchase and didn't like the CRV (not enough get up and go - and can't get past the front end); all for a similar amount of money to what I paid for the CX7. The RDX was nice - however about $10K more then the Mazda...I couldn't justify it.

Based upon my experience w/ Mazda's - I'll own another one without question. Plus - their customer service is fantastic...puts Nissan (my former car was a Murano) to shame.

Anonymous said...

The CRV is durable. My friend has one with 285K miles and it runs like new. If you can get past "ugly", then the new CRV is a great car.

Anonymous said...

Unlike Vince's review, my Zipcar with 5,000 miles, was pretty bad for a modern vehicle. The engine was buzzy when trying to get the thing to move. It felt exactly as solid and as well made as the 1985 Civic my first girlfriend drove... which was adequate for 85. The interior is on par with an old Land Rover Defender, but with none of the character. I know that Honda is the default choice for a lot of people, but there are so many more refined options available today. Both domestic and foreign.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Unlike Vince's review, my Zipcar with 5,000 miles, was pretty bad for a modern vehicle. The engine was buzzy when trying to get the thing to move. It felt exactly as solid and as well made as the 1985 Civic my first girlfriend drove... which was adequate for 85. The interior is on par with an old Land Rover Defender, but with none of the character. I know that Honda is the default choice for a lot of people, but there are so many more refined options available today. Both domestic and foreign.

July 28, 2009 10:52 PM"

What a stupid post. It is made as well as a 85 Civic?

What is a better choice?

The CR-V is almost every single major automotive publications top rated compact SUV. It is America's best selling SUV. It gets great reviews here in the US and abroad.

For anything in its price range, it can't be beat. By the way, this is coming from someone who drives a BMW.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
To the poor guy who had a bad experience w/ the CX7...I own one and adore it. I haven't had a singel issue w/ it and it now has 80,000 km's on it. The latest consumer report also recommends it? Maybe you were looking at older data? And I belong to a CX7 forum - where the vast majority of the owners love the car. Ya - there are issues with some of them (limited) - but there are with any car.

I drove the CRV and RDX prior to my Mazda purchase and didn't like the CRV (not enough get up and go - and can't get past the front end); all for a similar amount of money to what I paid for the CX7. The RDX was nice - however about $10K more then the Mazda...I couldn't justify it.

Based upon my experience w/ Mazda's - I'll own another one without question. Plus - their customer service is fantastic...puts Nissan (my former car was a Murano) to shame.

July 28, 2009 9:10 AM"

Check the CR-V forums, there aren't any issues with that vehicle at all.

The CX-7 does have the lowest owner satisfaction rating in its segment, by far. That speaks volumes.

Also, no offense, the Murano is not a great vehicle to begin with. My sister bought one against my advice and it was plagued with rattles and squeaks and the CVT started acting up at around 60,000 miles so she dumped it. It also consumed quite a bit of oil, I can only imagine what it would drink after another 50K!!!

My Story said...

My wife's last (2003)CR-V was totaled in an accident involving a drunk driver who blew through a red light and t-boned my wife and two children. He was driving a mid 90's Dodge Ram (ironic) and the crash investigation team said he was traveling in excess of 60MPH at the time of impact, no skid marks because the bastard was so drunk he didn't even realize what he was doing.

My wife and children walked away with nothing but scratches. The firemen were AMAZED at how well the CR-V held up and that no one was hurt. They said that they never come to a scene like that with no injuries or deaths. The other driver was not so fortunate and was in the hospital for over two weeks, it was his third DUI and second involving an accident.

We replaced our red CR-V with a Tango Red Pearl 2009 CR-V EX-L. They are almost the same color. We both love this one even more, and this one is even safer than the CR-V it replaces.

It was a no brainer for us, our CR-V saved my loves ones lives and I will forever be a Honda customer.

rob said...

I just glanced over the CR-V forums, just two of them and I came across..

Headliner needing to be replaced

Various rattles

Extreme vibrations

One new 3 day old CR-V leaking all of it's transmission fluid on the floor after being parked overnight.


Yeah, SOOO problem free!

Give me a break, all first year models will have SOME problems, and sometimes more than others.

I have nearly 50,000 MILE's on my CX-7 and it's on the original turbo with NO smoking. The only "problem" I'm having is a VVT rattle on start up which is common for early build 07's and there is a TSB released for the problem. And a previous problem with my A/C, and which by looking again at the CR-V forums, is ALL too common with the previous generation CR-V. Honda and their CR-V are not immune to problems.

The Turbo smoking? Caused by poor PCV operation. And Mazda is fixing it.

So please spare me the drama. You'll have some problems with nearly every all-new model of car.

Anonymous said...

The CR-V is now built in the USA so they are going to slowly turn to crap as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow! 50K and the turbo has not yet turned into oatmeal! A new record!

Anonymous said...

Nice review.

I looked at the CRV in 2007 when looking for a new small SUV. Looking at Honda was nearly automatic due to their reputation. I am a tall guy and found shoulder and head room issues in the CRV. No power. Drove like a mini van. Wife liked it. I hated it. While most likely reliable the car just had no soul to make me want one. Looked at Nissan, Lexus, GM, Ford, Toyota, Mazda, Jeep.

I purchased the CX7. It is a blast to drive unlike the souless CRV.

32,000 miles, no issues.
No squeaks or rattles either.
Mods to motor now make it even faster.

No headroom or shoulder or leg room issues for me. Not something I could say about the Lexus, Chevy, or Suzuki SUVs.

Anonymous said...

I agree my Murano purchase was a mistake - but I didn't have a single issue w/ it until 160KM's. That's when the fecal hit the fan.

Also - there are plenty of great cars made in the states...don't necessarily blame the factory workers for poor engineering...I reference the infamous GM leaky seal that allowed rad fluid into the heads...that wasn't a factory worker fault....

rob said...

WOW! It isn't. There are many of owners with well over 50,000 miles and no problems. This is of course including the Mazdaspeed's.

It's too bad you had problems but stop lying about owners all having problems.

I could go around saying every sold CR-V was a piece of garbage because I read some stuff on a forum.

But it's not right because Forums, which are nothing but a small percentage of owners participating in active discussion about said car, and with a big consisting part of members being people there looking for a solution to a problem.

I would know because I'm extremely active on more than a few Forums.

Anonymous said...

"rob said...
I just glanced over the CR-V forums, just two of them and I came across..

Headliner needing to be replaced

Various rattles

Extreme vibrations

One new 3 day old CR-V leaking all of it's transmission fluid on the floor after being parked overnight.


Yeah, SOOO problem free!

Give me a break, all first year models will have SOME problems, and sometimes more than others.

I have nearly 50,000 MILE's on my CX-7 and it's on the original turbo with NO smoking. The only "problem" I'm having is a VVT rattle on start up which is common for early build 07's and there is a TSB released for the problem. And a previous problem with my A/C, and which by looking again at the CR-V forums, is ALL too common with the previous generation CR-V. Honda and their CR-V are not immune to problems.

The Turbo smoking? Caused by poor PCV operation. And Mazda is fixing it.

So please spare me the drama. You'll have some problems with nearly every all-new model of car.

July 30, 2009 5:15 AM"

It is a widespread issue with ALL Mazdas with the 2.3 turbo. It isn't the PCV, you idiot, it is the turbo. If it was a problem with the PCV, they wouldn't have to replace the turbo. Check ALL of the Mazdaspeed forums and the CX7 forum.

All you have to do is check Consumer Reports, CR-V is bulletproof. CX7 is not. You can't argue statistically sound data, well you can, if you are an idiot.

Care to explain the LOWEST SATISFACTION RATING in its category to me?

Thanks.

Let's get real here... said...

"Anonymous said...
The CR-V is now built in the USA so they are going to slowly turn to crap as well.

July 30, 2009 8:31 AM"

Hondas have been made in the US for over 25 years and they are still bulletproof. What an ignorant comment.

All the major components are manufactured in the same place. Most of the vehicle is assembled with a robot or a machine.

Mind telling me how exactly it is going to turn to crap?

You fail.

"Anonymous said...
Nice review.

I looked at the CRV in 2007 when looking for a new small SUV. Looking at Honda was nearly automatic due to their reputation. I am a tall guy and found shoulder and head room issues in the CRV. No power. Drove like a mini van. Wife liked it. I hated it. While most likely reliable the car just had no soul to make me want one. Looked at Nissan, Lexus, GM, Ford, Toyota, Mazda, Jeep.

I purchased the CX7. It is a blast to drive unlike the souless CRV.

32,000 miles, no issues.
No squeaks or rattles either.
Mods to motor now make it even faster.

No headroom or shoulder or leg room issues for me. Not something I could say about the Lexus, Chevy, or Suzuki SUVs.

July 30, 2009 9:32 AM"

Good luck, the odds are against you.

There really is a reason why the CR-V sells so well and the CX-7 doesn't sell.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Wow! 50K and the turbo has not yet turned into oatmeal! A new record!

July 30, 2009 8:32 AM"

Exactly, 50K is nothing.

Check the MS3 and MS6 forums. Tons of issues over there with turbo seals failing and oil leaking onto the exhaust side creating plumes of smoke.

It is a widespread, and widely known issue.

Anonymous said...

They will turn to crap as they source more American made (read: UAW) parts...Like, um, Camry.

Anonymous said...

Even the Accord and Civic are not bulletproof anymore.

Anonymous said...

CR-V's have Horrible and Punishing suspensions that are on the same level as golf carts! People who praise them wear rose colored glasses and see the world from a twisted perspective!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
They will turn to crap as they source more American made (read: UAW) parts...Like, um, Camry.

July 30, 2009 2:53 PM"

As someone else mentioned, Hondas have been built in the US for a very long time now, fitted with American parts and their quality has NOT suffered.

By the way, speaking of Camry. Did you guys know that it is the most "American" vehicle sold in the USA? That mean it uses the most American parts, beating even GM and Ford.

That is crazy.

"Anonymous said...
Even the Accord and Civic are not bulletproof anymore.

July 30, 2009 8:58 PM"

JD Power. Consumer Reports. TrueDelta Reliability.

All prove you wrong, sir. As it is a mass produced product, there are always going to be one offs, but overall they are very reliable.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they just throw the Pilot front on this...ANYTHING would be better.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I was in a camary a few weeks ago...nice car - but the fit and finish was questionable. Not even close to what they used to be.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

For the record, I was in a camary a few weeks ago...nice car - but the fit and finish was questionable. Not even close to what they used to be.

July 31, 2009 4:41 PM"

I rented a RAV4 three months ago and the fit and finish was terrible. The switch panel on the door didn't line up, the radio was crooked in the dash, there was visible metal on the seat near the seatback that was RUSTING.

Overall, it was terrible.

I've never seen issues like that on a Honda.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...

CR-V's have Horrible and Punishing suspensions that are on the same level as golf carts! People who praise them wear rose colored glasses and see the world from a twisted perspective!

July 31, 2009 1:43 AM"

Let me guess, you drive a Buick that has more uncontrolled motions than an ocean liner and you sit in your Barcalounger seats.

Get real, I don't even own a CR-V but I can tell you the suspension is supposed to give you a bit of feedback and it is tuned for a bit of handling.

grs666 said...

All you guys who are intent on slagging off the CX-7 are missing the point.

If all you care about is mileage and tyre wear and want a boring econobus, then the CR-V is a sensible choice. And let's face it that's what a lot of people want.

I am a Honda fan. I ran a Honda Shuttle (aka Odyssey) for 7yrs/96k (until my wife wrote it off) and it was brilliant reliable transport, but boring.

If Honda had been able to offer me something similar when it got destroyed I'd have had another Honda like a shot (but in 04 they couldn't).

But if you like a bit of fun in your driving then the only Hondas worth looking at are the Type Rs.

Honda just don't build a competitor to the CX-7. If you put a Porsche Cayenne into a shrinking machine it might compete, and I guess a top-end Audi Q5 or BMW X3 would compete if they weren't more than twice the price and the Beemer wasn't so damn ugly.

I like a bit of fun in my driving, and in the past I've owned Alfas and Lancias and not regretted it. I'd even consider a Maserati if I could afford it.

My CX-7 gives me a baby Cayenne at a fraction of the cost and so far (touch wood) it has been as reliable as a Honda.

Anonymous said...

haha that thing is getting around the same gas mileage than the cx7?

where's the advantage over the cx7, again?