2004 honda cr-v
2004 honda cr-v
More photos Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V Review 2004

Date:October 27, 2005, 2:51 am
Name, Location:Mark
Vehicle:Honda CR-V
Modification:Honda CR-V EX
General comments:After shopping the rest of the vehicles in its class (RAV, Forester, Saturn, etc.), we decided upon this one. Our other vehicle is a Subaru Outback Limited, so I'll compare it to that. In terms of overall acceleration, and responsiveness, it's no comparison. The Honda will run rings around the Subaru-that V-TEC motor has a split personality that I remember well from Civic Si's and Acuras in the past. It's lively at lower revs for around town use, but really begins to breathe from about 4000 rpm up to redline, great for when you need to put your foot in it for acceleration on highway on ramps, passing, etc. The steering is light, and the feedback through the wheel is spot on. The ride is firm, but not abusive, and it rolls slightly in corners, just enough understeer to give some message as to where the slip angles are. The Outback is far smoother though, in terms of ride. The Honda is noisy inside (Those OEM Bridgestones can't wear out fast enough, and will be replaced with something better.), where the Subaru is whisper quiet. The turning radius is superb, and aside from poor visibility out the rear window (Toss that middle backseat headrest.), it's just right for the cut and thrust of traffic and around town use. It's a bit affected by crosswind, but not unmanageable for a taller vehicle. The interior is typically Honda-spartan, but functional, and the controls are sensibly layed out for easy reach. Where the Subaru coddles you with its seats and interior touches, the Honda is only adequate-it feels somewhat low rent, and Civic-like, but even the Pilot is not anything close to sumptuous. I do like the large knobs for climate control and the radio is placed high for easy access, although that funky shift lever gets in the way when adjusting volume and tuning. I hate the position of it, it forces my arm into an unnatural curve; thankfully, since we have the automatic, I don't have to do it that often. No problems with the joystick mounted parking lever, although I'm eying that gray plastic release button with a bit of apprehension. The seats are firm, the rear split bench. according to my daughter, is exactly that. You can slide them forward and back and recline the seat backs-very nice. I have enough room at 6'1", with its bus-like seating position, but if you have a wide back, the firm side bolsters may be uncomfortable. I hope they break in a bit, as right now, with a winter coat on, I have to wedge in between them. Headroom is excellent, and the moonroof is a nice touch on the EX. Room in the rear is fine, although I wish the rear seats were removable also, as per the RAV, flipping them up and forward still encroaches upon the cargo capacity-it does seem cavernous back there, even though the hard numbers are right in the range of its competitors. The only other thing I am missing now is the cold weather option package that the Outback has. Interestingly, the Canada model EX-L has this package-What's up with that Honda? The rear wiper in particular, is tough to clean, etc. with the spare hanging off the rear, and why the screw on antenna that gets in the way? The Element has a far less obtrusive and more stylish stalk, and the Outback antenna is part of the windshield. In comparison though, for my family, the CR-V is larger and quicker than the RAV, and somewhere comparable to the Forester, although not quite as comfortable as our Outback. We've had the first several snows and ice storms, and its all wheel drive system is competent, although I think the Subaru has this market cornered for sheer seamlessness of its drive system; I can feel the Honda a bit slow to respond at times, and would like a manual lockout, but again, the Subaru doesn't have this either. Where I am anticipating an advantage is in reliability and resale. This model is now built in England (Uh oh?), so we shall see. In all, it gives you a lot for a relatively small price.
What things have gone wrong with the car:Basic and noisy interior, somewhat 'low rent,' seats are hard and narrow, boring exterior colors and interior fabrics (Is that a Seaman's sofa pattern?) Stock tires are junk, all accessories are dealer installed. 6 disc changer in dash is weak.
Previous car:Outback Limited, tested Saturn (Ugh.), Forester (XT is nice, but wife hated the interior 'plasticky' feel), RAV (too small and slow), Ford Escape (Reliability and resale?), etc.

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