Monday, August 7, 2017

Used Car Review - Honda CR-V (2012-2017)

A popular nameplate gets redesigned this year, let us revisit.

2012-2017 Honda CR-V


One of the popular nameplates in the Philippine car landscape is the Honda CR-V, which became the sole model to start the compact SUV category ever since it entered the market in late 1997. Sure, the Toyota RAV4 came first, but the straight H badge became the class leader. Rivals from other parts of Asia (such as Japan and Korea) and America came to the scene and toppled this but the legacy of this category starts with this one.

Debuted as a concept car at the Orange County International Auto Show in September 2011 with the actual production model launched two months later in Los Angeles and sales starting December in both US and Japan markets.

We all know that Honda's assembly plant in Thailand got flooded in late 2011, resulting to vehicle shortages for selected models for our market. Because of this, the local subsidiary of Honda had to result to importing certain models such as the CR-V (most PHDM models come from Thailand, the same goes with the Jazz, Civic, and Accord). Japanese models were first brought here in two guises, the LX 2WD and EX 4WD, which carried different specifications in April 2012. In December 2012, Thailand spec models were shipped in with varying features from the first batches. Updates occurred in November 2014 and July 2016 which were either model changes or additional equipment.

Value and Costs
Most gasoline powered compact sport utility vehicles - especially when their displacement is above two liters - aren't friendly to the first owner, but if you're buying second hand that may come to an advantage especially that lower prices may prove as a bargain. Japan sourced models have a slight price premium over those from Thailand, given the fact that the former is sold for a limited time. Just like previous generation models, you can have a Modulo or Cruiser Edition for this one. Manuals can only be had for the V sourced from Thailand.

Keeping this baby wouldn't require you to skip meals or do cost cutting measures, especially that maintenance costs aren't that far and between compared to rivals of the same price point (not including turbocharged models and diesels). No serious problems were reported as of now but a recall issued in July 2012 for 834 units sold between April to July of that year involving the interior door latch whose inside system may get loose that may open when the vehicle is moving.

Exterior and Interior
While the front looked sleek, the rear is somewhat flat due to the sloping window design. Sure, it may not be a standout when it comes to its style but the design adds to one advantage the vehicle has. November 2014 (for the 2015 model year) gives the vehicle a revised grille which made the car look more premium, different wheel design, and daytime running lamps. Models from Japan can be distinguished by their matte finish grill (Thailand units have theirs in piano black) and DRLs (2013-2014 models don't get them).

Inside, a spacious cabin treats both people and cargo which is a long time advantage for this nameplate. A third row seat became a cost-free option for LX and EX models in 2013 with later models being a P25,000 optional item but it is best treated for emergency uses only. Regardless of country of origin, interior quality is top notch especially it has that premium touch. A touchscreen radio monitor with Bluetooth comes standard among S and S-X models from 2015 while the LaneWatch and a navigation system comes standard for the top end model for 2015. Japan models come with fabric seats with their counterparts from Thailand get optional leather. Other major differences include the following: conventional handbrake for Japan units versus a footbrake for Thailand models, and an advanced i-Mid system for later units.

Similar to previous generation models, you can have two engine variants but only paired to a certain drivetrain. Front wheel drive models are paired to a R20A 2.0 having 153hp at 6,500rpm and 190Nm at 4,300rpm while all wheel drive models have a K24Y1 2.4 displacing 185hp at 7,000rpm and 220Nm at 4,400rpm. An ECON mode which aids the car to be more fuel friendly on an already fuel thirsty engine comes standard.

Driving Impressions
If you want something comfortable and relaxing, then you have came to the right place since this vehicle has that attribute. The CR-V has a light steering which is a boon for city driving and its ride comfort is perfect for both environments.

Despite rivals which have more power or are cheaper that came to the market, the CR-V still has that place in the consumer's heart by providing a sweet spot between something that is comfortable in all places while at the same time a reliable partner.

The Good:
  • Spacious cabin
  • Decent power from engines
  • Easy to reach controls
The Bad:
  • Somewhat limited visibility at the back
  • No diesel engine
  • Still thirsty
The Pick: 2.0S, Thailand spec

Engine: 1,997cc R20A and 2,354cc K24Y1 I4 gasoline
Power: 153hp @ 6,500rpm (2.0), 185hp @ 7,000rpm (2.4)
Torque: 190Nm @ 4,300rpm (2.0), 220Nm @ 4,400rpm (2.4)
Fuel Consumption: 6-10km/L (city), 8-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear double wishbone

Price (New): P1,280,000-P1,693,000
Price (Now): P650,000-P1,100,000
On Sale: 2012-2017
Rivals: Chevrolet Captiva, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota RAV4

Honda Cars Pasig - (02) 988-1288

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