We bought a new 2015 Honda CRV-LX yesterday to replace the old one, a 2006 CRV-EX. Here are our first thoughts.
It rides and drives beautifully, so much so that unless we watch carefully, it is easy to exceed the speed limit. The engine is quiet and powerful and the road noise is reduced, so you don’t realize how fast you are going. I’m sure with practice it will be easier to keep under control.
This has the same size engine; 2.4L 4-cyl, as the 2006, so it could be wear and tear on the old one or it could be improvements in technology. Or both.
Doors are wide and easy to get in and out. The rear cargo door has been replaced by a hatch. I prefer the hatch myself because it can help keep the rain out while loading and unloading. Makes a good umbrella.
Storage: in a word, bad.
The 2006 had a round (spare tire?) well under the cargo deck: gone. This is now taken up by the spare tire, which used to hang on the rear door. It seems to me, even though the hatch now raises up, it could have still held the spare.
Storage pockets on rear door: gone. This is understandable, since raising the hatch would dump everything out.
Mesh storage pockets on back of front seats: gone. This could be a difference between the LX and EX models, but we will still have to find a replacement.
The 2006 had a sort of foldable flat table between the two front seats with two cup holders and space under to shove things: gone. The new car has a solid console to the floor with a covered compartment. We prefer the old arrangement.
The 2006 had two storage compartments in the center of the dashboard: gone. These were very useful and we’ll miss them.
The 2006 had a third pull-out cup holder between the dash storage compartments: gone.
The 2006 had a half-width shelf on the right side dash above the glove box: gone. We’ll miss this also.
We have a soft, roof-top bag for hauling stuff. I imagine we’ll be using this a lot more in the new car, but first, we’ll need the roof rack. That’s another $600.00
It’s a pretty vehicle, no doubt about that, but we both deplore the style changes in the CRV over the years. The 2006 was more boxy than the newer ones. We prefer that for the increased interior space. The new ones have a more rounded profile (not just this model year, they’ve been tending that direction for years). This could possibly contribute to the better gas mileage.
The driver’s seat is adjustable up and down as well as front-back and tilt. That could be a plus, we’ll see.
There is now additional power closer to the rear seats, a good thing. Unfortunately, in a perverse display of form over function, they installed it inside the console storage compartment, necessitating running cords out the front of the compartment (through the thoughtfully provided channels) and then rearward. This is slightly better than running cords from the front power socket all the way back, but not by much. They should have just installed a power socket in the rear of the console. There is also a USB interface inside the console for charging devices.
There are now AC-Heat vents in the rear of the center console, providing direct heat and AC to the rear passengers. THIS IS A BIG WIN. Our daughter always had trouble keeping warm in the back seat while we were too hot in front. We haven’t discovered this yet, but hopefully the air flow can be turned off at the front while still allowing flow to the rear. We’ll see.
The standard radio-CD includes bluetooth interface. In the old one, we had used the cassette adapter which worked ok. When that broke, we tried the radio adapters for our iPhones, but they picked up regular interference while driving, leaving us to turn off the radio until past those areas or put up with harsh static. We recently tried a bluetooth portable speaker, which was better, but the sound quality wasn’t as good as the built-in system. This set up is much better. ANOTHER BIG WIN.
They moved the gear shift from just to the right of the steering wheel to the center console. Ok, we can get used to that, but they moved the indicator from beside the shift lever to the control panel, beside the speedometer. It took us a few minutes to find it. I imagine we’ll get used to it being there with time.
There is a small display inset in the center of the dash. This provides things like entertainment (what radio station or song is playing), and service alerts, to the view from the backup camera. This is our first time in a vehicle with a backup camera, so it will take a while to get used to using it. We’ve been told we can also change the wallpaper of the display by plugging a thumb drive in the USB port and loading image files. The salesman did say they have to be low-res files. Haven’t tried it yet.
This vehicle has a CVT (continuously variable transmission) so there are no distinct gears, just a smooth spectrum of power transmission. This also contributes to the improved gas mileage. It also has a “S” and “L” on the shift (second and low?), which I imagine locks the input and output shafts at specific ratios.
With the loss of storage space, moving the spare tire inside, style changes and the additional technology, what Honda has basically done is change the CRV from a functional vehicle into a yuppie-car. If they had left the storage untouched they could have still added the useful technology (CVT, display, backup camera, better radio, etc.) and still had both a stylish and functional vehicle.
We tend to keep our vehicles long past the pay-off date, so this will be our go-to car for long trips for quite a few years.
This is only our second brand-new car, all the others have been used, so the excitement of the new will last for quite a while I’m sure. If anything big comes to our attention, I’ll update.