It goes without saying that roadtrips are more fun when you have an excellent ride, coupled with great company. For this particular trip, we had the top-tier 2.4 SX CR-V packed with family members, all excited to hit the waves of the Batangas beach.
A common trait of Honda vehicles is that they are fun to drive. Since we used to do events for the brand, I have many fond memories of roadtrips and events with their vehicles. For the launch of the second-generation CR-V more than a decade ago, we flew to Davao and made our way back via land (and a couple of RO-ROs) to the HCPI plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna for the grand welcome. That trip lasted over a week, and if you spend that much time in a vehicle, you get mighty acquainted with your ride.
Another thing I appreciate with Honda vehicles is the familiarity. Across all their vehicles, once in the driver’s seat, it takes very little time to get acquainted with the cockpit. The controls are intuitively placed, removing the need to consult the manual to find the missing buttons or levers.
The current generation CR-V is a joy to drive. It has gone a long way since the first-gen model that was introduced in our country in 1997, in terms of styling, technology, safety, and luxury, and it’s still on top of its game.
The interiors of this top tier variant will delight both the driver and the passenger. The premium materials used for the dash and controls, as well as the leather seats and steering wheel translates into an overall luxurious feel. The tilt and telescopic adjustment feature of the steering wheel as well as the seat height adjuster ensured the best driving position for whomever was driving.
Honda calls their version of the multimedia head unit their i-MID System, which stands for Inteligent Multi-Information Display. While it lacks the “wow factor” of bigger LCD screens found in other vehicles, its 5-inch LCD screen gets the job done by providing a wealth of information at the driver’s fingertips.Fuel consumption, audio controls, vehicle, and lighting settings can all be conveniently accessed via buttons located on the steering wheel.
Under the hood, the 2.4 SX variant is powered by an inline 4-cylinder SOHC i-VTEC engine that is mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission and is rated to produce a maximum power of 182.47 HP and maximum torque of 219.74 Nm. Acceleration is not a problem with the CRV, even when on Econ mode when the system automatically adjusts the engine, drive-by-wire, transmission, and air-con performance to maximize fuel efficiency.
Whether you are driving yourself or letting someone else do the job, the CR-V lives up to its name of being a “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle.” The combination of the MacPherson struts and the double-wishbone suspension provides enough give for a great ride, without the floating feeling. Even at high speeds, the CR-V hugs the road and feels solid, adding to your sense of stability.
I was happy to note that this variant came with all a laundry list of safety features, like dual front airbags, side airbags, ABS and EBD, Vehicle Stability Assist and Hill Start Assist, a reverse camera that displays on the i-MID screen, and three-point seatbelts plus headrests for all five passengers.
For this particular trip, we were able to squeeze five adults, one five-year-old, and whole lot of cargo inside the mid-sized crossover. A quick peek at the stuff we brought would make one think we were going camping for a week instead of spending the night at a resort. Our family does not pack light, and we appreciated the generous cargo space. I guess it was a blessing in disguise that the unit we had was sans the detachable third row that HCPI is currently including as a free option for all models.
Other notable accouterments that come with this variant are the smart keys and push-to-start button, numerous sockets and a USB port to connect and charge mobile devices with, and cruise control.
I’m happy to say that I can add another epic trip to my list of memories with the CR-V. Honda really upped its game with this one, making this already fun vehicle even fun-ner.
Currently, all locally available CR1-Vs are CBUs from Thailand, and are priced as follows: PHP 1,275.00 for the 2.0 V 2WD MT; PHP 1,325,000.00 for the 2.0 V 2WD AT; PHP 1,390,000 for the 2.0 S 2WD AT (PHP 1,410,000 for White Orchid color); and PHP 1,525,000.00 for the top-of-the-line 2.4 SX 4WD AT (PHP 1,545,000 White Orchid color).
First published in Gadgets Magazine, October 2013
Words by Mika Fernandez-David | Photos by Nicolo David