I live in southern Arizona, and I do a lot of driving on rough mountain roads. I moved out here with a 1995 Accord, which I proceeded to beat up on these roads. After some thought, I started to look at 4WD SUVs that were designed to do the driving I was forcing the Accord to handle. I admit I was leaning towards getting a CR-V in the first place, but I did shop around and compare specs with other similar trucks (Jeep Liberty, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV-4). I ended up getting the CR-V because it was exactly what I was looking for.
The ride on the street is incredibly smooth and quiet. I once gave a ride to a friend of mine, and he told me that he couldn't tell the car was running until we were already moving. It handles very well for a car, let alone a truck; the turn radius is not much wider than my Accord, and certainly better than the radius I had on my old Volvo 240. It is very responsive, and the 4-cylinder DOHC engine puts out plenty of power. I was very impressed with the torque available in reverse; it has the power to back away from areas after you realize you should have brought a tank. The mileage is great for an SUV (25 highway, 21 city, about 350 miles to the tank or so), and the inside is roomier than most folks expect it to be. The 8.5" clearance lets you get away with a lot; driving over curbs is no problem at all. The 6-CD in-dash changer is very convenient; no more pulling over and popping the trunk to change tunes. The factory speakers put out a great sound, as good as the sound I got with the Pioneer speakers I installed in the Accord.
I put almost 5,000 miles on this great machine in the first seven weeks I owned it. So far, I would make two changes. First, I would move the cruise control button somewhere that my knee wouldn't turn it off when I got in the car. Second, I would put a sensor on the dash so that I am aware when the 4WD kicks in. The CR-V features what Honda calls "realtime 4WD," which means it decides when you need 4WD (i.e., when the front wheels slip) and when you don't (i.e., when they don't). Which is fine, I just need to know so I can adjust my driving.
I think the one negative about this truck is the tire selection. The OE (original equipment) tire size is P205/70R15 95S, which is great if you need a passenger car tire but not so great if you need more off-road performance. After rough roads took two of the five Bridgestone tires that came with the truck, I did a lot of research and decided that I would be better off with more of a light truck/SUV tire. Problem is that very few such tires are available in this size. Fortunately, I found a good one, the BF Goodrich Radial Long Trail T/A, but it took special ordering to get this size. I would suggest that Honda look into getting the tire size upgraded for those of us who actually take our SUVs off the pavement -- a minority among SUV owners, I know, but there are a few of us.
Overall, I am really pleased with this car. It does everything I need it to do, and I really enjoy driving it.
Amount Paid (US$):
2002Model and Options:
EX, 5-speed manual