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Honda CR-V Driving Experience & Opinion

beechkidbeechkid Posts: 1
edited December 2013 in Honda
I recently spend a full day driving family members 2012 CRV. With 1,000 miles on the odometer, I spent the previous day doing routine service checks & cleaning (wash/vacuumed) before our departure from So Cal to Solvang (July 2012) and other locations for the day. Total miles traveled was just over 300 in both city/hwy (including very heavy traffic). Our speeds ranged from 5 mph (stop/go) to 80 mph. On board were 4 persons ranging in age from early 20's to early 70's.
My opinion, as a former Honda owner (1500 cvcc civic hatchback) I was anxious to really experience what Honda had accomplished. My opinion .....
As I washed & waxed the paint I observed what was unmistakable Honda, very thin paint...a continued issue that effects longitivity of the quality finish/shine that has plagued Hondas for decades- I guess when you are trying to cut every corner and save every penny, it counts but at the long term expense of the owner that degrades the potential resale/trade-in value. Additionally, the “plastic” front bumper cover (commonly found on all vehicles) was exhibiting checking on the very bottom, a sign/indicator that the primer was improperly applied, and/or did not possess the proper composition to ensure bonding in flexible situations which it must be designed to for.
I also found the fit of the exterior body panels to be poor....while horizontal panel lines ran parallel, the gap was excessive (even larger than the Honda’s 80’s) and alignment (surface to surface) was misaligned by 1/16”…. better than in the 80's & 90's, but given the robotic assembly that is used by every mfg including Honda, these tolerances should be at minimum 1/3 less just to match that of every other mfg in the world. The bodylines (styling) is one of the beholder, but looking at the doors & side panels it was very clear in an attempt to minimize weight, panel strength had been the large height of the panels would not support their shape with the standard gauge metal found in Hondas’…meaning, the panels will bend, twist & warp as a result of vehicle flex because there is not enough strength….requiring the “unique” placement of body lines, creases, etc to provide that rigidity. On the surface, that sounds good but in long term reality, the shape of the bodylines only provides a temp solution and in 10 years under normal use, the body panels will have many “waves’ as a result.
The interior….standard Honda (seats, upholstery, carpets, mats, etc.), they do the job, nothing great or bad. The dash layout & e-tronics were adequate & functioned as required…I say adequate because there was really nothing outstanding or bad about them. The one exception that I can say is the dash mounted shifter……this thing reminds me of the same automatic transmission shifters used in school buses………both in location & style- you have to be kidding me Honda, this is the best you could come up with?
Drive train- Honda’s engines are unmistakable still excellent, but the automatic transmission was clearly geared for operation that didn’t require the ability to pass another slow moving vehicle or provide the immediate torque to accelerate from a dead stop to get out of the way from being rear-ended…an issue for any family vehicle to take seriously into consideration…additionally, the e-control software program for the transmission specifically limited the performance of the engine by not being matched to the engine’s power band. Mfg’s who have weak drive train components will do this as a way to eliminate the force onto these parts…….they can still advertise the engine turns 7,000 RPM & makes 200 hp, but in all reality when you get it on the road, the transmission will not allow the engine to rev above 5200 rpm (lets say) by shifting into the next gear. Torque steer at freeway speeds is present (especially during acceleration onto the freeway)- almost as bad as the front wheel drives of the 70’s…. considering that every mfg both domestic & foreign has resolved this through common design practices, is inconceivable why Honda has not employed the same practices into this that they have in the new civic- I guess saving another 10 cents.
Tires/Suspension- Adequate in terms of general handling, braking, turning, etc. But, especially observable at hwy speeds, the rear suspension does not track well, the rear suspension constantly follows the “groves” of the road in some cases almost to the point of “disobeying” the commands of driver input into the front suspension (this could easily pose a unsafe handling issue on wet/slippery roads)….again, another definite issue that any family should strongly consider before purchasing.
Gas mileage- yes, all Hondas get good mileage and we ran this one in both Eco & non-eco modes- and averaged 33 mpg. But here is a point of issue- for several hours on our trip we wanted to see just what the max/best mpg we could get (tracking by both the mpg meter & fill up- which BTW the mpg meter is pretty close)- this 3,000 pound vehicle actually only got about 6 mpg better than my 5,000 pound Ford 150 (2006, 5.4 V8, Super crew- 4 door, 2 wheel drive). Thinking back to my Honda which almost always got 35 mpg +, 30 years later Honda should have been able to gain much more mpg’s & power than what they have achieved…..I felt shortchanged.
Unless you have never driven a good car (low or high end), I simply cannot see how anyone could look carefully, test drive this vehicle and believe it is a good vehicle. There are just so many industry standards that Honda has both failed to meet by any mfg comparison and even that aside, taking into consideration of what the Honda’s were of 20/30 years ago and by comparison see what they are producing for the increased price today, is disappointing especially when you look at the return on investment. Yes in the short term your resale is ok, but at 5 years+, the quality of just the aesthetic materials alone will cause a substantial financial loss compared to what the competition is providing today (and has been for the past 5 years). In any economy but especially today with all of the financial struggles that exist, please look very carefully at not just the name on this vehicle, but these issues because it is your very hard earned money that each person relies upon to build/provide for their future- Honda has clearly failed to arise to the occasion in this aspect.


  • snukesnuke Posts: 81
    WOW!!!! You truly did a thorough inspection of this vehicle. Is this your personal CR-V or a family members? I have owned a Honda vehicle since 1988. The 1st 2 were Accords and the 2012 CR-V is my 1st CR-V. My 2nd Accord was purchased in 2000 which I sold this year. You are correct when describing the quality of paint and materials used by Honda these days. My 1988 Accord's paint and material quality was much better than my 2000 Accord and now, I see that my 2000 Accord materials were much better than my 2012 CR-V.

    I had the dealer install a spoiler on my CR-V and after bringing it home, noticed they had made a dent (similar to a really bad door dent) in the top of the vehicle near where the spoiler was installed. Fortunately, I notice the dent within 24-hrs. after it was installed because the installers made no mention of their mistake. I, myself, would not have seen the dent if it were not for being tall. I had the dealers remove the dent.

    While wiping the top of the CR-V toward the back, I pushed against the car in an attempt to reach an far away area. I was shocked at how the area of the car I leaned against gave way but as I stepped back, popped back. I, then, took my hand and applied a little pressure to push in the sides and it did it again. What this told me is that if anyone hits my car even at a slow speed, there will be horrific damage. Now I understand why manufactures are installing so many airbags....we are not adequately protected on the outside.

    So, beechkid, I don't know nearly as much about cars as obviously you do, but I know enough to know you are right about the deterioration in the materials Honda has begun to use. But, are other car manufactures doing any better? I am currently driving a rental Nissan Sentra, my 2012 CR-V was hit by a family member backing out of her driveway and because of the poor quality of materials, a very slightly damage vehicle is costing $945 to be repaired. But, this Nissan Sentra's materials are absolutely awful. My daughter owns a 2013 Lexus RX 350. In my opinion, the quality of the materials in the RX 350 matches that of my 1988 Honda Accord. But, look at the costs of the RX 350 versus what a 1988 Accord cost. So, I have concluded that it appears all car manufactures are building cars using less quality materials than they once used and possibly the only way to buy a car that even compares to a few years ago, you have to buy a luxury vehicle. But, unfortunately, I don't have the income to do that.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,830
    OK, I retired two years ago and don't have a dog in this fight.

    I totally disagree with this person's opinion of the 2012 CRV. We own a 2003 that has been FLAWLESS! At 65,000 miles it still has the original brake pads. It has not given us one speck of trouble and the "thin" paint looks like the day we bought it.

    We also own a 2011 and it's been just great. No flaws of any kind and all of the panel gaps are uniform.

    These have fantastic rollover protection and ACE body construction that give it top safety ratings.

    Interior quality (in my opinion) is outstanding.

    The poster talked about resale value? I guess he must not be aware that Hondas especially CRV's have some of the best resale values in the industry and always have.

    Funny how our ten year old CRV doesn't have the "waves" in the body panels he predicted. I'll put it against any ten year old car anywhere.

    " I felt shortchanged" ??? He averaged 33 MPG in a solid comfortable car and he felt shortchanged??

    Totally disagree with everything in his post but I do wish ours got mileage that good!
  • Have had Honda's since 1979 and will concur about paint, except...

    We've always had the ones with a "metallic" composition to it. Gray scale cars.

    Bought a used, 1998 Accord that was just plain white. To this day, it looks great when cleaned and waxed and the paint even "feels" thicker. OK, I know that's not scientific!

    SO figures that the difference in paint from something used to get that metallic look and regular paint may the the deal.

    Anyone have something that is not metallic that seems to have a thin coat?

    Or did we just get a one-off with the Accord?
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    I have a 2003 Honda Odyssey bought new, (now at 65,000 miles) and I swear they just quickly pulled the van through a fine mist of watered down paint and rolled it out the door!
    Even the slightest little ping will tear the paint down to the front hood 6" behind the deflector all the way to the front windshield has no shine left and looks like it's been sand blasted. Road rash on the hood is a new one for me.

    Don't even get me started on the Honda Odyssey's time bomb automatic transmissions.

    Just Google "Honda Odyssey transmission problems"

    (BTW we also have a 2007 Nissan Versa hatchback bought new and there still isn't a mark on the hood, it's still running quiet and comfortable like day one)
  • Update.....September 17, 2013

    Yesterday my relative was involved in an accident with this vehicle. In summary, she traveling and de-accelerating from 30 mph, approaching a stop sign. Prior to the main intersection, a driver purposefully pulled out from a side street, my relative struck the rear quarter panel of the vehicle. Here is important information, while crumple zones (crash absorbent) are designed into every vehicle to reduce impact unto the occupants, this vehicle was totaled.....the engine/transaxle mounts broke (as designed) but physically breached (the entire drive-train) into the front occupant enforcement investigators have confirmed the speed of my relatives vehicle was 30 mph and slowing when the collision occurred. The structural failure (my opinion) combined with the air-bag system activation induced both visual & physical trauma to the driver (my relative) to the extend they vomited & then lost consciousness, requiring transport to a Trauma I center. IMHO, an increase of speed by 5 mph or more, or a more direct hit would have resulted in occupant entrapment requiring forcible entry tools to gain access and remove the occupants.
    Regardless of what safety rating these or any vehicle receives, it is important to have someone who understands basic vehicle structures/mechanics look at a vehicle before purchase. If this would have occurred, I personally would have never let this sale go proceed.....and mind you, this level of damage occurred at 30 mph, slowing and a glancing blow.....
    Prior to anyone purchasing this as a "family" vehicle after reading this, should strongly re-consider as you family's well being is surely "At Risk" IMHO.
  • Read my latest may save your family's life.............
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    That was quite a take-down. However right you may be in some of your particular criticisms, I think you miss the larger point. Honda is in the business of offering people safe and reliable vehicles that enjoy a higher resale price at trade-in time, whether after 5 or 10 years. The latter should go a long way to undermine your contention of cheap materials that won't stand the test of time. As to the finer points, most people don't care. They use a vehicle to get from point A to point B and are unwilling to pay $20k more for the quality and detail you may be looking for.

    In the case of the CR-V, it's an odd duck that somehow manages to fly. It's gearing is designed for urban moms who hauls groceries and kids around town. So, it's highway mileage suffers. Comparing it to a car with gearing designed for high freeway mileage misses the mark. Bottom line, whatever its shortcomings, the CR-V has consistently been the number one seller in its category since introduction. That suggests satisfied customers, which is the goal of every successful company.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    You are right on one point, there is no such thing as a "Perfect Vehicle" even tho they should be close to that by now, considering that the 'horseless carriage' was invented over 100 years ago.

    The issue here is reliability, not just with Honda, but with all the car makers everywhere. If you do a Google Search on any vehicle, any year, just type in the name and add "problems"
    It's a fact that the really great mechanical engineers are working for the aerospace companies, but they have to build to 99.9 % tolerances...and guess what..things still blow up!

    As for the battle between the CRV and the Rav-4, I recently took both out on back to back test drives. I came back thinking now if both these things could share each others strengths, you would have a fantastic vehicle.

    Thje CRV was a gutless wonder and an embarrassment to drive, the Rav4 with the little V-6 would chirp the tires and beat everyone at the green light, but then ran out of transmission for highway driving. It was running close to 2800 rpm at 60 mph. The CRV was loafing along at 1600 rpm at the same speed with it's 5 speed tranny, vrs the Toyotas antique 4 speed.

    The interior look and finish of the CRV was great, the Rav4 dog bone, what to decide?
  • The RAV-4 doesn't measure up to the CR-V. The Honda's interior is spacious and comfortable, the RAV's is claustrophobic. The CR-V drives like a gem and the brakes are topnotch. When I read someone saying the CR-V is a 'gutless wonder and an embarassment to drive' I have to smile in amazement. Something else, totally unrelated to the driving experience, is going on with that person.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    edited September 2013
    "Something else, totally unrelated to the driving experience, is going on with that person."

    Could be, you see driving the Honda CRV with the 4 cyl engine turned out to be a lot like driving our Nissan Versa with the CVT powertrain. It's like pushing a barge up the river with an outboard motor. Even my wife who couldn't care less about cars looked over at me and said, what's wrong with this thing?

    Should also mention that both these vehicles were low mileage 2010's in mint condition.

    If the CRV 'Sport' had the get up and go that the Rav4 V6 has they would sell a million of them a year.
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