The Honda CR-V is a compact SUV manufactured by Honda. It was loosely derived from the Honda Civic platform to satisfy a public demand for an SUV from Honda, and in response to Toyota's RAV4.
The CR-V was Honda's first in-house designed SUV and was originally intended only to be a niche vehicle. It was introduced in Japan in 1996. There was hesitant effort to market the vehicle since many felt the car did not have potential to sell alongside the Honda Passport. It was displayed for the first time on American soil at the 1996 Chicago Auto Show. Citing strong sales from the comparable Toyota RAV4 upon its release, it was then brought to the American market in February 1997. Shortly afterwards, CR-V sales outpaced those of the smaller RAV4, and it has maintained strong sales and accolades ever since.
There is a lot of confusion and some humor, regarding the meaning of the name, "CR-V". Though Honda sales literature in Europe and Australia makes references to "Compact Recreational Vehicle", other Honda references cite "Comfortable Runabout Vehicle" and "Civic - Recreational Vehicle", alluding to the CR-V's origins in the Civic. One tongue-in-cheek commentator claims that "Can Run on Vapors" is actually the correct label, given the CR-V's low fuel light that can come on with up to 40% of the tank still full.
Honda produces CR-Vs in the United Kingdom and Japan for worldwide markets. Production moved to one of its Ohio plants in 2006. Australasian bound CR-Vs are currently built in Thailand.
For 2009 in Germany, the Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CDTi is available as a Taxi. It is powered by 2.2 litre turbodiesel Inline-4 unit that produces 140 PS @ 4,000 rpm and 340 Nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm. That power is managed by a 6-speed manual gearbox and allows the SUV to accelerate 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 10.3 seconds while turning over a combined EU cycle of 6.5 l/100 km or 36.2mpg U.S. Changes from the stock model include a yellow livery, taximeter-fitted center console, additional interior lights and an alarm. Pricing starts from €19,990.
The CR-V offers only three basic styles. The LX is the base model. The EX adds an improved stereo, window tint, alloy wheels, moonroof, exterior temperature indicator, and redundant steering wheel audio controls. The SE, builds on the EX features, and adds heated leather seats, a hard-covered spare tire, body-colored bumpers and side molding, and heated-side mirrors.
Like many Honda models, there are minimal factory installed options. Instead, most options are dealer installed, including tow hitches, XM radio receiver, roof rack, and fog lamps. Honda CR-V in India comes with two engine options - 2.0L and 2.4L. CR-V powered with 2.0L engine 143PS at 6000rpm and 2.4L engine produces 161PS at 5800rpm. Honda CR-V
Safety is enhanced on all Accords by side-impact and curtain airbags, in addition to the required dual front airbags. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) come standard. All models also come with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control.
The last two series of CR-Vs have Australasia's Used Car Safety Ratings of 5 stars.  The second generation when crash tested by EuroNCAP scored 4 stars in the crash test and 3 stars for the pedestrian test making the car the most pedestrian-friendly SUV.
From the 'Where did they get that idea...?' file, all CR-V's have a built in picnic table in the rear cargo area. The table serves as the floor of the cargo area, and covers a deep, waterproof storage area. The liner of this area can be easily removed to be hosed out, and is great for storing clothes, etc after a day at the beach. However, when you remove the table, you no longer have a floor for your cargo area, meaning everything has to be pulled out and put on the ground.
The rear seats are slightly raised, providing a nice view for those in the back, though some taller passengers complain that their view is actually reduced by by the curve of the roof. The rear seats also have three recline positions, and can be adjusted forward and back, allowing you to maximize passenger or cargo space as needed.
There aren't many criticisms regarding the Honda CR-V.
The most notable complaint is the road noise. Honda really skimped on the cabin insulation, meaning that your ride is not silent. Heck, it isn't even quiet. Several owners have reported that replacing the OEM truck tires with passenger car tires does reduce the road noise significantly. If noise is a concern, and you otherwise like the CR-V, it may be worth investing in aftermarket sound insulation.
The rear cargo door swings open to one side. Unfortuntely for the majority of the world that drives on the right, it opens to the right, which means if you are loading items from the curb, you have to walk around door to gain access.
The rear differential on all years seems to burn through its fluid very quickly. If you hear grinding or a high-pitched whine from the rear of the vehicle during a sharp turn, that is most likely the cause. Although the manual calls for changing the fluid every 90,000 miles, the experience of owners from HondaSuv.com show that most dealers recommend changing it every 15,000 miles instead, because of this increased wear.
The third-generation CR-V had significant body reinforcing improvements using high-strength steel that had assisted handling, safety and a reduction of wind noise and harshness. This generation gained more safety features and equipment and it's main attraction is the body design and cabin space which is new from the ground up. Using Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering, the CR-V boosts interior space and better crash protection by distributing crash energy away from the passenger compartment.
The new CR-V is 100 mm shorter (mainly to do with the repositioning of the spare wheel from the tailgate to under the cargo floor), 35 mm wider and 30 mm lower than its predecessor.
Length: 4520 mm
Width: 2080 mm
Height: 1680 mm
Wheelbase: 2620 mm
The dashboard controls of the new generation of the CR-V are easy to understand and use. The gearshift location has been moved up to the dashboard and that saves the driver from reaching down to change gear in a normal car. The backseat is very good because it features a 40/20/40 split-fold system. This means that the centre seat can be folded down and giving two passengers room for this example. That design principle is more flexible than the 60/40 split-fold mechanism found in other cars.
The current CR-V belongs to the second generation, representing a full redesign, based on the 7th generation Civic platform. Since 2002, the Honda CR-V has come with the K24 engine. North American versions of the new engine produce 160 hp (119 kW) and 162 ft·lb (220 N·m) of torque. Per new 08/04 SAE regulations, the same engine is now rated at 155 hp and 160 ft·lb. The engine uses i-VTEC to implement variable engine timings over the complete range of engine throttle. This improves power and torque at lower engine revolutions as well at higher revolutions. Despite the increase in horsepower, the engine still retains the same fuel economy of the first generation engines.
Suspension for the next generation CR-V was changed to front toe control link MacPherson struts and a rear reactive-link double wishbone. The compact rear suspension increased cargo space to 72 ft³ (2 m³). The second generation CR-V features a newly developed chassis with increased torsional rigidity and bending rigidity.
The second generation CR-V was Car and Driver magazine's Best Small SUV for 2002 and 2003. Second generation CRV-s in countries outside of North America were again offered in both 'low spec' and 'high spec' variants, with the latter featuring body-coloured bumpers and fittings. Changes between model years 2002, 2003, and 2004 were very minor.
For 2005, the CR-V received a minor refresh. The 2005 CR-V was now equipped with 16 inch wheels, as opposed to the 15 inch versions found on earlier models. Another visual change includes the taillights, replacing the amber turn signals with ones white in color. The rear bumpers reflectors are longer and narrower. The grill has also been changed; it has 2 horizontal bars instead of one. Lastly, the low beams and high beams use dedicated bulbs, as opposed to a shared bulb in the prior setup.
On the inside of the car, the EX trim received upgrades which includes steering wheel mounted redundant audio controls and an outside temperature monitor. In the US, the stereo system was also XM satellite radio ready - however the actual receiver for the XM radio is a dealer installed option, rather then being factory installed. All CR-Vs also had revised rear seat headrests, which have been redesigned to reduce rear view blockage.
Mechanically, the 2005 was also changed. A major change included a drive-by-wire throttle for all CR-Vs. The RT4WD system was improved; it had been tuned to activate faster in low traction situations. Also, the automatic transmission for the CR-V now had one extra gear (total of 5), for improved highway fuel efficiency.
In the United States, in accordance with Honda's Safety for Everyone campaign, every 2005 CR-V and onwards have ABS, front airbags, side airbags for front passengers, and side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors for all outboard occupants. Electronic Brake Distribution and Vehicle Stability Assist have been added and are standard equipment on all trim levels. OUtside the US, the CR-V continues with only dual airbags and ABS as standard equipment. Side airbags are optional, while curtain airbags are unavailable.
Following the tradition of adding a trim level above the EX during the refresh like the first generation CR-V, Honda added the SE trim level for the 2005 CR-V. The CR-V SE has painted bumpers, body side molding, and hard, body color-matched spare tire cover. For a more luxurious experience, Honda added a leather interior, leather steering wheel, heated side mirrors, and heated front seats. A new color, Pewter Pearl, can only be found on the SE.
For the 2006 model year, two new colors have been added, Royal Blue Pearl and Pewter Pearl. These colors are available on the CR-V LX and EX only.
The original CR-V design spanned from 1996 to 1998. Its introduction had only one model trim; what would later be known as the LX model trim. The engine for the original CR-V was the 2.0 L B20B producing 126 hp (94 kW) and 133 ft·lb (180 N·m) of torque. Outer dimensions for this engine would be identical to the 1.8L Integra engine, but internally the engine was bored out to add the extra displacement needed to produce torque for the mini-ute. The engine utilized a one-piece cylinder sleeve construction unique from any other B-series engine (due to overlaping chambers). Body was a unibody design with a 4-wheel double wishbone suspension. Inside, the rear seats were able to fold down, and a picnic table was stowed in the rear floor area. A common external trait that was visible with this generation was plastic cladding covering the front bumper, rear bumper, and fender wells. In most countries, CR-Vs had a chrome grille, but the US model lacked this. A major difference between the LX and EX trims was that the EX had anti-lock brakes and the LX trim did not.
Although the body style remained the same as the first generation, an update for the CR-V from 1999 to 2001 was in response to criticism of the original engine lacking enough power for a vehicle of the CR-V's weight (3,200 lb or 1,450 kg). The engine was changed to the 2.0 L B20Z engine producing 146 hp (108 kW) and 133 ft·lb (180 N·m) of torque. The fuel economy and price of the overall vehicle were not affected by this increase. The increase in power was due to a higher compression ratio (9.6:1 compared to the B20B's 8.8:1), a new intake manifold, and slightly higher lift on the intake valves. Models equipped with an auto transmission added an overdrive cancel button that allows the driver to lock the transmission in 3rd gear, providing additional power. The interior upholstery and cushioning was improved, as some consumers felt that the support provided by the seats was inadequate for longer trips.
The 1999 European, Australian, and Asian model CR-Vs featured more drastic changes. Exterior alterations included a new front bumper, smoothed off rear bumper, and a smaller plastic radio antenna on the rear of the roof. "Nighthawk Black" was finally added to the list of paint choices, while the unpopular "Passion Orange" disappeared. A new deeper blue and red (both pearl) replaced their old metallic/solid equivalents. European models received an enlarged Honda emblem on the front grille, and the addition of a metallic yellow paint color in certain countries.
In 2000, an SE (Special Edition) model was introduced in North America. The SE featured body-colored bumpers and side moldings, a body-colored hard spare tire cover, leather upholstery, CD/cassette audio deck, rear privacy glass and chrome grille accent. Up to 2001, the CR-V sold more than other vehicles in its class. The North American models also received new exterior colours including the introduction of the Naples Gold Metallic and Taffeta White. Electron Blue was introduced in 2000 to replace the Submarine Blue Pearl and the Satin Silver Metallic in 2001, replacing the Sebring Silver Metallic. However, in 2001, sales of the Ford Escape and its clone the Mazda Tribute were higher than the CR-V.
In Australia, the CR-V became the country's best-selling SUV in 2000, outselling the Toyota Land Cruiser for the very first time.
While most markets offer a choice between front wheel drive and all wheel drive, in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, only all wheel drive is offered due to lack of demand for lower specification front wheel drive models.
In Germany, the Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CDTi is available as a Taxi. It is powered by 2.2 litre turbodiesel Inline-4 unit that produces 140 PS @ 4,000 rpm and 340 Nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm. That power is managed by a 6-speed manual gearbox and allows the SUV to accelerate 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 10.3 seconds while turning over a combined EU cycle of 6.5 l/100 km or 36.2mpg U.S. Changes from the stock model include a yellow livery, taximeter-fitted center console, additional interior lights and an alarm.
The CR-V is produced for the Chinese market by the Dongfeng Honda Automobile Company, a joint venture with Honda.
First generation models have their power window controls on the dashboard, almost behind the steering wheel, making it awkward to use for some. The trunk release is in a strange location as well, a button hidden below just above the hood-release in front of the driver's left knee.
The despite having a central driveshaft for the rear-wheels, or at least an alloted space for one in 4x2 models, the floor inside both the first and second generation CR-V's is completely flat, with a flip-up tray between the front seats for cup holders.
The parking brake on the CR-V is integrated into the center console, directly below the radio. The brake-handle is hidden, being balanced visually by a similarly shaped grab-handle on the passenger side. First generation CR-Vs had a hand operated parking brake of a design similar to most compact cars, but located on the floor between the front seats, under the flip tray.
The first generation CR-V, and to a lesser extent the second generation, often elicit complaints due to the angle of the steering wheel. While rake adjustment is standard, reach is not, and the wheel is angled upwards more than most other vehicles.
The 2002 CR-V's rear door is hinged on the right with the handle on the left. In right lane driving countries, this is somewhat odd, particularly when stopped at the side of the road: The door opens toward the side of the road, and not between the driver/passenger and road.