Monday, March 11, 2013

Used Car Review - Honda CR-V (2007-2012)

Searching the used car landia for a good compact SUV? The used car mother and Myk Belmonte gives you this car for your consideration.

2007-2012 Honda CR-V

Flashback to March 2007, it was my grade school graduation and it was one time at a local magazine stand I spied a car magazine having the third generation CR-V on it, which I dismissed it as "pangit". Yes, I used to see CR-V's with spare tire covers at the back and having boxy shape. But then, it became a runaway best seller despite being pricey than the Escape and the Tucson.

People change, same with cars and it is the same with the third generation CR-V, code-named RE. No rear spare wheel is present but I do not miss the side opening rear door that is a liability inside shopping malls and  in limited spaces. But some things do not change like the walk through center rear seat and the availability of both engines in the same displacements but with the transmissions being boosted to 6 and 5 speeds for the manual and automatic respectively. 2012 was the last year that people can purchase this generation of CR-V.

Filipinos had been fans of this compact SUV since its 1998 introduction but this generation had mixed reactions when it was introduced in 2007. Sure, it did not posses boxes but the curves appealed to lady drivers. It may not have a third row (the previous one was slapped on for the sake of taxation purposes) seat since Fortuners had been driving dealership floors like pancakes. But after the 2010 facelift, sales were in favor of the newly introduced Tucson and the affordable Escape. 2012 had the RM CR-V launched and from start, a 2WD model with a manual and automatic and a AWD that can be paired with an AT are available. A Modulo variant based from the 2WD AT can be purchased from 2011.

Value and Costs
Need a budget crossover that delivers the goods? A quick browse in the online and newspaper classified ads reveals that third gen CR-V prices are between P600,000-P900,000. If possible, try to scout for a unit sold from the middle of 2010 (earlier ones may have been expired as you read this) or later to get the remainder of the warranty.

There is no need to worry about the maintenance costs of Hondas, since you can have your preventive maintenance schedule every 10,000kms, which can be translated at one or two visits to the dealer. Otherwise, owning one is not expensive and parts are affordable.

Exterior and Interior
From launch (or even in some photos floating in the net) the third generation CR-V had some critics love or loathe the design. Let's first deal with those who say it is beautiful, the shorter wheelbase contributed to the sporty aura together with the swooping windows and the creased doors. However, those who dismissed as ugly had a point. The rear saw the birth to a liftgate style but retained the pilar tail lamps, reminiscent to the Ssangyong Stavic. However the snout garnered the controversy due tot he two-tier grille and the lower portion of the grille had been extended, looking like an angler fish. Things went smoother with a Modulo body kit option, but then stock or not, looks can be debatable.

If there is one reason why this CR-V sold well, it is due to the expansive interior room and top-notch interior quality, with the latter being an improvement from the second generation CR-V. Passengers wont complain of less head or leg room due to the huge space and the walk through area in between the front seats. Soft plastics replaced the China feeling ones and this is one accomplishment. Some things stay the same like the location of the controls, which is a good trait from Honda. There is the fuel consumption gauge that you and the missus can argue who consumes more fuel.

Two new engines had been introduced and from the bottom is the R20A 1,997cc gasoline that has 150hp at 4,200rpm and 197Nm at 4,200rpm while those who want to be on the top can choose the K24Z 2,354cc with 170hp at 5,800rpm and 231Nm at 4,200rpm. If there is one engine and tranny combo to pick, it is the 2.0S MT with 6-speeds (yes, you read it right). Why? You can get the redline to reach 6,800rpm on the highway plus more gears means excellent fuel efficiency. The 2.4 engine provides extra power for overtaking but a heavy foot is the requirement if you need to speed up.

Driving Impressions
Driving dynamics can be summed up in two words, safe and predictable. Since Honda wanted this crossover to perform like a car than an SUV, so they forgo with off-road performance with road comfort. Steering is balanced and in twisted ways, there is minimal body roll. However, noise is heard especially on the three digit territory.

For the price of a brand new sedan, you can acquire a three to five year old third gen CR-V, especially if the roads that you pass are flood prone, full of potholes, or need some security in the beaten path. And the good thing is that, it is below a million bucks, which makes it a good bargain.

The Good:
  • Roomy cabin
  • Cargo carrying is excellent
  • Available six-speed stick shift
The Bad:
  • Looks are not for everyone
  • Somewhat noisy at highway speeds
  • No diesel option
The Pick: Best enjoyed with the 2.0 S MT

Engines: 1,997cc R20A and 2,354cc K24Z I4 gasoline
Power: 150hp @ 4,200rpm (2.0), 170hp @ 5,800rpm (2.4)
Torque: 197Nm @ 4,200rpm (2.0), 231Nm @ 4,200rpm (2.4)
Fuel Consumption: 7-10km/L (city), 9-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent double wishbone

Price (New): P1,225,000-P1,575,000
Price (Now): P600,000-P900,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Captiva, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda Tribute, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota RAV4
On Sale: 2007-2012

Honda Cars Quezon Avenue - (02) 712-6850
Honda Cars Pasig - (02) 988-1288
Honda Cars Global City - (02) 777-8111

Photos courtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment