Cars : Honda CRV 2007

From (CR-V ups stakes

RAIN. That’s something most city slickers don’t look forward to since it causes massive jams.

But when you are in the idyllic east coast, in this case the resort areas of Tanjung Jara, things are much different.

The roads are almost traffic-free during downpours and you practically get the road all to yourself.

Spot a change: Tailgate opens up instead of sideways this time.

We had this prime opportunity to ourselves during the media test drive of the third-generation Honda CR-V sports utility vehicle last month.

Honda claims that the new CR-V has been revised for a more sedan-like driving feel while maintaining the acclaimed real-time four-wheel-drive system.

Upon arrival in Kuala Terengganu, we were already expecting the media test route to include some light offroad adventures.

Instead, it was mostly miles of long straight stretches with quite a number of sharp turns.

To our surprise, the much taller CR-V was able to hold its driving line along the bends at high speeds which was close to a sporty sedan minus hair-raising body rolls common in truck-based 4X4s and earlier SUVs.

Honda says the CR-V’s centre of gravity has been lowered by 35mm and it has a 30mm wider track compared with the previous generation.

The steering, which is electric instead of the common hydraulic-powered type, gives a well-weighted feel and responds precisely to inputs during fast driving.

Airy and enough headroom and legroom for five.

Noise from wind and other road irritants is well suppressed so we did not have to put at full blast the six-CD changer-equipped audio system .

Not only does the CR-V handles like a sedan, it also offers a supple ride. No unwanted bounciness here.

Even when traversing a 900m stretch of wet and unpaved road with loose gravel near Bukit Besi, the shocks from the rough terrain were absorbed without any sensation of harshness.

During our outing on the gravel road, we did manage to get the CR-V’s real-time four-wheel-drive system to kick into action by deliberately flooring the accelerator to get the front tyres to spin frantically.

Immediately once the front tyres had started spinning and throwing up loose gravel, we could feel the rear wheels powering up to give a seamless push from the back.

New instrument cluster with centre digital display.

We were also tempted to give the CR-V a little exercise on soggy and flooded worksites with red mud but decided not to risk it since the vehicle was not wearing off-road tyres. To get stuck with hardly any support for miles around can be quite unnerving especially when our flight back to Kuala Lumpur was in a few hours’ time.

To put things in perspective, the new CR-V is definitely better looking than the earlier models with a much softer and curvier styling.

The most striking difference is the front double grille design which some people say imparts a smiling face appearance.

The large and sharply angled headlight housings together with flared wheel arches contribute to a study and planted stance.

Honda claims that the CR-V’s sleeker profile and smooth undercarriage have 10% less aerodynamic drag and 67% reduced front coefficient of lift versus the older model.

Although CR-V enthusiasts may fuss that the new model comes with a single-cam i-VTEC engine instead of the twin cam type found in the outgoing model, we did find the new 2.0-litre engine to be gruntful.

Four suitcases can fit in the trunk.

Rated with maximum power of 150bhp at 6,200rpm and torque of 190Nm at 4,200rpm, the single-cam engine still provided more than enough performance for a sprightly run even with four persons on board.

Fuel consumption is also said to be 10% lower than the older CR-V with the help of a five-speed automatic transmission.

Despite sporting a dark-coloured interior, the CR-V feels airy and plush, with sufficient headroom and legroom for five.

Maximum cargo carrying layout.

The gearshift lever has been relocated to a more friendly position at the centre console, giving better ergonomics in picking gears.

Features include two front airbags, an anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution, cruise control, active headrests, Honda’s G-Con body shell with crumple zone, double zone air conditioning system and leather-wrapped steering wheel with multi-function facility.

The rear seats come with a 40:20:40 split configuration for various cargo layout choices.

The entire interior takes on a more upmarket ambience, with many of the chrome-lined knobs and controls not unlike those seen in upmarket German cars.

It is all part of Honda’s emphasis to give the vehicle a more premium touch and that’s the overall feeling you get when you sit and drive in the new CR-V.

Judging from the outing in Terengganu, the CR-V has certainly moved up several notches in that department and delivers a considerably more refined, comfortable and sedan-like drive than its predecessor.

It is priced on-the-road with insurance at RM147,800.

Also offered are Honda’s Modulo custom accessories to impart a more aggressive look on the CR-V.

2 Responses to “Cars : Honda CRV 2007”
  1. Honda says:

    lots of boot space!

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  1. Watson Falls says:


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