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2001 - 2006 Honda CR-Vs



  • I've had my 03 EX CR-V for 3 months now:
    The GOOD: Overall ride and feel; radio/CD position; rear seat room for the kids; handy storage all over the place; nice-looking exterior.
    The BAD: Cheap, cheap stuff inside. I haven't been in a vehicle in 15 years that didn't have a visor extender to block the side sun; piddly armests that my arm slips off of all the time; door locks that don't automatically lock when you put it gear or reach a certain speed (again, last car I had that didn't do this was my Datsun B210); interior lights without a dash switch - the reach-up, manual switch reminds me of my Dad's '72 Maverick; and last but definitely not least, the disappointing gas mileage - I have never exceeded 20 mpg in the city...the Jeep I just traded got 15-16 city with a whopping 8-cyl...I expected better from what I had heard of Hondas.
    The UGLY: The carpeting is like pretend carpeting ...can't imagine finding cheaper carpet anywhere. But, hey, that's my only ugly. Gonna ride it for 7 years.
  • your review looks like 10% positive 90% negative so why the heck did you buy it?
  • I haven't been in a vehicle that had a side visor extender to block the sun. What vehicles were these?

    I haven't had any problems with the armrests either, but can see how some might, depending on how you rest your elbow on them. I usually rest my forearm on them somewhat sideways, so I dont' have a problem.

    From your door lock when moving comment, I'm assuming you're coming from an american car. I have a Nissan, Honda, and Subaru, none of which locks the car when I hit a certain speed. I don't believe the BMW 3 series does this either. If you're concerned, I'm sure you'll get used to locking the doors upon starting the car. Many people view this "feature" as intrusive. American companies tend to view it as a convenience. Some aftermarket alarm systems add this feature, if you're really interested in it, and are pretty inexpensive. The alarm in my Nissan is set to lock the doors upon startup, for example.

    your gas mileage should improve, since you've only had it 3 months. Try a higher psi and staying out of the pedal. Mileage gets better as the rings seat fully. Mine was still getting better with 5k+ miles on the odometer. I see about 24 mixed driving, 26+ highway. Long trips at ~60mph I can see even higher, depending on how much luggage is in the back. A lot depends on how you accelerate, if you have an automatic.

    The carpet is not very luxurious. The mats are decent. I haven't had any problem with them, though. If this is a big concern to you, you could probably find some thicker, more luxurious mats at a reasonable price.

    Sounds like most of your complaints stem from coming from an american luxury SUV (grand cherokee, I'm guessing) and moving to a small import SUV that costs a lot less. Hope you can find a way to live with the "bads" or try some of the things mentioned to get the car closer to your desires at a reasonable price.
    Good Luck :)
  • tcpip1tcpip1 Posts: 121
    You really need to drive the car for a few days to report these issues, not just a test drive.

    I think my '89 Accord DX and '94 Legend GS have this "side visor extender." You can move the visor from blocking the top of the windshield to the position that blocks the top of the side window.

    The Legend GS has the auto-lock feature. All the doors lock when the car is in gear.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I haven't seen them in a while, but you can buy an aftermarket visor extender.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    interior lights without a dash switch - the reach-up, manual switch reminds me of my Dad's '72 Maverick

    My 74 Maverick didn't have a switch like the CR-V it had an ugly chrome knob that activated the headlights, turned on the dome light and dimmed the dash lights.

    Personally, I like having the switch on the dome, that way my wife can turn it on to take care of our baby (or anything else she wants to do) without getting me involved. I also like the fact that you can completely turn off the dome light so when I'm vacuuming it out it doesn't have to stay on.

    I don't have a problem with the armrests. Maybe you could make a bolster for it? Padding-fabric-padding attached with velcro? If you're gonna have the V for awhile it may be worth it.

    No thanks on the auto locks. I find them to be an annoyance in my Grandmother's Crown Vic.

    Visor extender would be nice.

    Carpet is lacking. I'd really, really, really like a dead-pedal. I don't mind the mats. Actually, I think they're quite nice, the way they snap together and stay in place.

    We average 24 mpg in our V.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Another possibility...

    The Element offers a larger armrest as an option. It also includes a small storage space inside. Several CR-V owners have installed these in their rigs. I believe someone found that a similar one for the Ody will also fit.
  • interesting...any info on where to find one of these other owners who have installed the armrest option or pics?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The information is on a site which the TH member agreement does not allow me to name. Send me an e-mail and I can direct you to pics, install instructions, and even a place to buy the parts.

    Here's a little info for those interested in this mod:

    The Element's armrest/console will fit either the 1st or 2nd generation CR-V. The color is a neutral gray, but does not match the interior of the CR-V exactly.

    The Ody armrest/console is a closer match for the Saddle interior on 2002 and 2003 models. I haven't actually seen this one installed on a 1st gen CR-V. (Not that you would want to, since all gen 1 'Vs are grey inside.)

    With either installation, the armrest folds up between the two front seats and out of the way. It does block the folding tray between the seats. How much depends on how far back you position the seats. It does not appear to be an obstruction for the cupholders.
  • kizhekizhe Posts: 242
    Yes, I agree that CR-V's interior looks kind of "cheesy".
    But I also believe that MOST people are comfortable with that.
    I put leather seats, black rubber mats, metal decals, leather cover on steering wheel. All this together created some decent interior look.
    I but if I had had a bit less money I could l live without all this stuff - they are basically gimmicks.
    What proved to be really practical things were the fog lights - I highly recommend them.
    I also resent recent stupid trend to put big wheels on CRVs. Why would people need BIG
    wheels and thin tires on SUV?? Not only they look ugly (like bicycle tires) they also are NOT practical.
     None of them would survive even simple dirt roads. While driving in a big city like NY you would need to change your tires often - you hit the pothole and bye, bye new tires!. Got some extra money?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    After me re-reading the Town Hall user agreenment, what part of it prohibits you from posting the other website address?

    I think he means the part that says:

    "You agree to not promote other auto forums that provide message boards or chats."

    tidester, host
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    In the past, I've been guilty of this. Nowadays I just avoid any mention of other sites as I've been bagged for just mentioning a name.

    Instead I try to post as much info as possible without violating the rights of the people who publish the information. Trouble is, articles like the installation instructions and cosmetic upgrades are sometimes difficult to explain without the pictures from the original host site. If folks need those details, I provide them off the TH forums. No biggie. Everyone is happy (I think).
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    OK, I got it on the user agreement. My 2 cents on the interior:

    It does scratch very easliy, and the carpets are not as thick as other cars I have owned. I have added a separate small mat (I got it from Target), to protect the plastic on the left side floor where my left foot might otherwise wear the carpet. I like the carpet mats (I have the EX).

    But basically, it find the interior to be well put together and pleasing to the eye. Some people have added the wood finish to parts of the interior, but I really like the saddle interior with black trim, so I am forgoing this addition. I did add the leather steering wheel cover, which in my opinion really makes the wheel easier to handle, plus looks spiffy.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    I keep my tires at ~32 PSI. This morning I was noticing that the transmission felt "funny", i.e. different. It was a bit sluggish, or something.

    Well, I just checked my tire pressure in preparation for an upcoming trip. (The owners manual says to inflate to 35PSI for 100 MPH driving, so I am going up to 34PSI for my expected 75-80 MPH). Anyway, I found that the PSI was back to the factory standard of 26PSI.

    I realized immediately what happened: When I took my CR-V in for the transmission recall last week, the dealer must have set the PSI back to 26. So if you take it in, check your PSI!
  • I have installed a home brew armrest cushion on my 02 EX, by purchasing one six foot length of one inch diameter pipe insulation foam. I cut an approximately 12 inch piece for each front armrest. The foam is pre-slitted lenghtwise. I secured the pieces with a small velcro strip on the inside.

    The color is dark grey which blends nicely with my black interior. (Not sure how it would look with tan interior).

    The foam feels more comfortable on my elbows than the original armrest and looks decent.
  • I very much appreciate the feedback to my original post, similar subject. Let me offer a more positive spin - I'm basically satisfied and enjoy driving the CR-V. I was pointing out what were, for me, expectation failures. I, too, like the mats (as opposed to the carpet); yes, I did come from a loaded Grand Cherokee - the primary reason I got interested in the V was for the good gas mileage ON THE STICKER - I wanted to be a bit more conservative in that sense. I actually like the dash layout a lot and find the seats, other than the armrests, are an excellent fit for me. I've been in American cars since '85, so I guess the education I'm getting from your responses is that the imports tend to view some features as auto-locks as not necessarily a benefit. The reason we liked them is for peace of mind with the kids in the car...I now must make it a conscience act to lock the doors. As to whi I bought it (someone asked), because I researched it and drove the car on one test drive and liked the power and looks, general feel and economy, and I trusted the MPG sticker. I'm hoping the MPG improves as someone said it would as the valves seat, etc. BTW, my kids like a) the theater seating in back, b) the CD, c) sunroof, and d)most of all, the integral picnic table.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Same here, we just had a M-B loaner car and I found the automatic locks annoying. You drive along and suddenly *clunk*, "what was that?"

    I generally don't like it when a car tries to "think" for me. Another example is "Twilight Sentinel" lighting, which always made you feel like you left your lights on by accident.

    Auto climate control, too. Is A/C that complicated? Sheesh.

    Perhaps your expectations were too high at this price level? Loaded Grand Cherokees cost $10 grand more, that buys you a whole lot of gasoline!

    Well, with prices lately, not a whole lot! ;-)

  • Trying to fold the back seats forward and can't figure it out. I slid the feets to their most forward position, folded the seats down and started tugging on that strap on the back of the seats and the damn seats won't release forward.
    Am I missing something?
    Thanks in advance......
  • You can find the instructions in your Owner's Manual. I'd explain it, but I have a '99 CR-V so the seats are different.

    Good luck!
  • tomsrtomsr Posts: 325
    I get on average 20 mpg in mixed city/fwy which isn't great.My wife's Acura 3.2TL does the same.I think the CRV needs more power.On hills I find myself turning off overdrive to keep up with the 80 mph flow.But a big V6 like in the KIA sorrento would return 15 mpg on a good day.My tires are at 24 psi for smoothness and that may be costing me. Soon will be looking at new tires and want quiet long lasting ones,got any suggestions? Michelin MXV4 are tempting but expensive.
  • Try the Yokohama Avid Touring tires...great reviews by those owners (see
  • Am I correct in that you have the psi on your vehicle at 24 psi?

    that would be lower than even the Honda recommended psi of 26...which I do not adhere to, but put it at 32 psi...
  • I believe that you most slide the seat all the way back and then fold,reason, the seat will not fit or fold when it is all the way forward.
    greetings from VA.
  • My tires are at 24 psi for smoothness and that may be costing me.

    As hawaiiguy noted, 24 psi is below the Honda recommended 26 psi. I run my '99 CR-V at 30 psi and get 25 mpg in mixed city/hwy and 29 mpg on strictly highway trips. I tried 32 psi, but noticed that the ride was much harsher, so went back to 30 psi. It seems to be a nice balance, for me, between soft ride, handling, and fuel mileage. I'm a conservative driver, don't accelerate hard, and usually drive at the posted speed limit.

    YMWV (Your Mileage Will Vary) based on your driving style.

  • I just put some yokohama T4's on, and I think they're better in all respects than the oem for ~$50ea +install. I run them around 33-35. the extra steering precision and better handling is great, and the ride quality is still pretty good with these tires. The fuel economy improves too.

    I'm a conservative driver too :) I don't drag race from stoplights and drive with traffic. I do enjoy the twisties on the back roads, though, and prefer the enhanced steering precision with the extra psi.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    At the risk of lecturing...

    I think doing 80 mph on the highway is the problem, not tire pressure. The CR-V is fairly aerodynamic for a vehicle its size, but the laws of physics still apply. I recall reading that above 50 mph half of the fuel consumed is used to push through wind resistance. If you do 80 mph regularly, that'll kill your overall average. You might getting 20/20 for city/highway numbers.

    Personally, I get about 22/27 in my '99. My overall average is 25.5 mpg because I do slightly more highway than city driving.
  • As I recall , drag is proportional to the square of the speed.

    i.e. your vehicle experiences 4 times the drag at 80 as at 40.

    If you increase your speed to 80 from 65 you increase your drag by 50%.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The CR-V's Drag Co is .34 per square inch. That's actually pretty good. However, the CR-V does have quite a few square inches up front. If someone wants to figure out how many inches we're dealing with, we can generate some truly obscure numbers. =)
  • OK let me see.... a Kia Sorento would get about 15 mpg and a JGC about 15 MPG also. The CR-V is getting between 20 to 25 MPG depending on the driver.

    That is 33% to 66% better gas mileage than the two competitors named.

    What's not to like?

    Yoko Avid T4 on my CR-V and they are great. I went with a Plus One size and have not noticed any real differences in performance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Both of those have low-ranges and can tow a bunch, it's really a different target audience. If you didn't need or use those capabilities, though, a CR-V is surely a lot more efficient.

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