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Honda CR-V Driving Experience & Opinion
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 sacrificed...as 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.