Craving for some recreational fun with the CR-V

Published on October 20th, 2010

It’s really popular in the other side of the world to have a recreational vehicle that can fit twenty families and travel together with one toilet. But for the Asian version, we scrub the toilet altogether and make it a little bit smaller than those humongous RVs found on American roads.

But we also want something that’s able to withstand the pressure and deliver to each and every one of your torments. You know what; let’s throw in some form of exclusivity and ease-of-use as well. Oh, let’s not forget good looking, nice height, able to fit huge people, snappy steering wheel and lots of fun. More than wishful thinking?

Not really, and that easily put the new Honda CR-V on top of our list of favourite SUVs.

Let us be realistic; this is no Range Rover. The CR-V is aimed towards urban dwellers with sporty flairs and some need for extreme stability, on or off road. Mothers would love this car; because they simply look cool driving it.

The CR-V is an everyday people hauler, which will get you from point A to G back to B and goes all the way to Z without the slightest hiccups, and does it in a comfortable way too.

Powered by SOHC 4-cylinder 16V i-VTEC engine, the engine delivers 150hp at 6,200rpm and 190Nm of torque at 4,200rpm. The CR-V runs on full-time four wheel drive system with 5-speed auto tranny.

On the run, the car jolted our arses off and woke us up in the morning, but the real beauty lies in its handling. While the car’s acceleration power is quite good, maintaining an SUV around the bend is generally quite scary, but that is not the case with the CR-V. I had some fun trying out the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), and with the all-time 4WD system, the CR-V felt zippy on corners.

For mothers out there, please don’t try it with your children in the car. It might ensure plenty of pukes to be cleaned up afterwards..

Anyway, the suspension setup is quite comfortable for a huge vehicle. It doesn’t feel cheap, that’s for sure, and the stability it offers granted us little body rolling. Bumps and humps were rolled over with above average speed and the girls could still put on their makeups uninterrupted, thanks to the McPherson-strut front suspension and double wishbone reactive link rear suspension. It was said that castor was added to the front suspension, which improves stability.

The engine drinks a little bit more fuel than we’d like, but that is to be expected from a single cam 2-liter engine. We stopped driving the car like a maniac for a while to test the fuel consumption level on normal driving condition and felt quite happy with the result. As long as we adhere to the speed limit, stop pretending we were Ayrton Senna, and go easy on the pedals, we figured that we could get a decent reading on the fuel consumption meter. Well, decent enough for a 2-liter single cam vehicle anyway.

The CR-V comes with a redesigned front and rear bumpers that develops less drag. Well, it looks good too. The CR-V’s stance and look complement well with urban surroundings. It doesn’t look out of place, it doesn’t look weird, on the contrary, the CR-V looks like it has the right to be wherever it is parked or driven to, and it felt good.

The designers at Honda surely did something right with the redesigned looks, and the fog lights and 17” alloy rims are more than welcomed indeed. On a side note, the reverse sensor is definitely much appreciated, considering the size of the vehicle.

Stepping into the driver seat, new fabric on the seats caresses our skin and made us feel majestic. Honda said they were aiming towards a more premium feel inside the cabin and we think they found the right formula for it. You will not feel like you are in a Bentley, but it’s enough for you to feel appreciated driving the car around.

We like the centre console of the CR-V. Everything it laid out in the simplest manner without being too cluttered and disturbing. It is a little hard reaching the knobs and buttons without moving our body but the multi-function steering did its job fine.

We like the oversized knobs and buttons and they feel just right with our stubby fingers. But for some unknown reason, we like seeing the hazard light switch located on top between the two air-cond ducts. Sometimes, we felt like slapping the button and go ‘Houston! We have a freaking problem!’

Sound is good with 6 speakers providing more than enough bass to make your grandmother go even deafer, if you’re in for that sort of thing. USB port, AUX support and 6-compact disc changer provides extra entertainment besides the normal radio stations. But the best part of driving the car around would be the fantastic sound proofing. We could whisper to each other to simulate a romantic driving experience while going, err, cruising on the highway.

The meter cluster is adorned with white and blue of Honda’s signature to its modern models, and we like it too. Information is aplenty which include the usual trip meter (A & B), fuel consumption meter and range available on the fuel level.

Adding up on the safety factor would be the side airbags in addition to the dual SRS airbags. In an event of a crash, G-CON crash energy absorbing technology will soften an impact through crumple zones and reduce the force being applied on the rest of the car by distributing it evenly, but that doesn’t mean you can simply collide with an eighteen-wheeler and smile. That’s where the 4-channel ABS and EBD will come in handy; to stop you before you lose traction and help you steer away from the impact zone.

We would like to see more colours available, preferably in red. Please?

The CR-V is already a popular SUV in the Malaysian market. Priced at RM149,980.00 for on the road with insurance, we think the car is definitely one of the best choice for an SUV. Head over to Honda website for a full list of Honda dealers or call them between 9am to 5pm weekdays at 1-800-88-2020. If you feel like talking to a real person, head over to their Sales & Marketing office at Lot 15, Jalan 13/6, 46200 Petaling Jaya (right in front of Jaya One).

words & pix:  Al-mu Syahrisyawal Ahmad


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