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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Vrrooom: Honda Re-invents

    Honda, with its redesigned 2007 CR-V, might just redefine small SUVs as it redefined the Civic so many years ago.’ With a body that is reminiscent of the BMW X5 and a powertrain that sips gas like a fine wine, the CR-V simply blows away the competition.’ Toyota’s redesigned RAV4, the CR-V only real competition, while bigger, is substantially more expensive and less value for the money.’ Ford, withs its Escape/Mariner/Tribute, GM with its Equinox, and Chrysler with its Compass, have nothing on the CR-V in terms of design, quality of build, and longevity.

    With a base price of $20,600 ($21,800 with 4WD), it provides a lot of bang for your buck.’ Its 2.4-liter I4 engine provides an impressive 23 city/30 hwy with FWD, and an astounding 22/28 with 4WD- on regular fuel, saving you a few bucks at the pump compared to a more picky engine.’ Car and Driver estimates a respectable 9.0 second 0-60 time, which is quite a feat considering the CR-V’s 3550+ lb heft.’

    Mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, not a shoddily built CVT that some American companies have recently fallen in love with, acceleration is smooth, as is to be expected from a Honda.’ The 4WD drive system is not computerized, which may not sound like much, but is a blessing.’ The Honda engineers recognize that a mechanical system is simply faster at preventing slips than is a computerized system, even though it threatens fuel economy (not by much, in this case).

    The interior is put together solidly, and is certainly more upscale than the interior of the Civic.’ The cloth seats are comfortable, and the car looks mighty sharp in leather.’ While it isn’t much bigger than the CR-V it replaces (wider by 1.4 inches), it feels as if there is more usable interior space.’ Rather than simply covering the old CR-V in new sheet metal, as Ford plans to do with its Focus for next year, the 2007 CR-V rides on a unique platform, in typical Honda fashion.

    A multitude of safety features comes standard, including side-curtain airbags, traction control, electronic stability control (Vehicle Stability Assist), and Electronic Brake Distribution.’ While it hasn’t been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, its predecessor scored five-stars on front and side impact tests, and a four-star rollover.’ There is nothing to suggest that this new model won’t do just as well.

    The new CR-V is everything the old one was not- fashionable, a pleasure to drive, and decidedly 21st century.’ When deciding between the new CR-V and the competition, keep in mind that this SUV undercuts the competition in price but not in quality.’ My only gripe with Honda is that they didn’t deliver this car sooner.

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