Posts Tagged ‘cr-v’

Japanese Car Icons: The Honda CR-V

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 1st, 2016

You may not think of the CR-V as a Japanese car icon, but when it was introduced in Japan back in 1995, it was a pioneer of the compact SUV segment.

Few cars combine everything you’re looking for into one package, but the Honda CR-V has always been one such car. As a family-friendly small SUV with appealing features at an affordable price, it can be summed up in two words: versatile and varied.

Read on to learn more about what characterizes the Honda CR-V and what makes it stand out.

History of the Honda CR-V

The car was first introduced in Japan in 1995 as Honda’s first in-house designed SUV. In fact, it can probably lay claim to being one of the first compact SUVs – a leader in a segment that seems to be ubiquitous in many markets.

Hiroyuki Kawase designed the first model of this car, which Honda began manufacturing in 1997. Since then, several theories have come about to explain what the “CR-V” stands for. “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle” is what you see in early promotional materials, but also “Compact Recreational Vehicle”, and “Civic Recreational Vehicle” have all been suggested. Whatever its official title, the Honda CR-V is currently on its fourth generation, with a new model released each year and major changes made every several years.

The first generation of Honda CR-Vs featured two types of trim levels: LX and EX, with the major difference being that the EX trim offered anti-lock brakes and larger wheels while LX did not. Furthermore, the design included rear seats that could be folded down and a picnic table that was stowed in the rear floor area. The Honda CR-V received a facelift between 1999 and 2001, which boosted the engine’s power and introduced new safety features such as an improved front bumper.

The second generation CR-V was fully redesigned from the first, and based its model off of the seventh generation Honda Civic. A new engine and chassis formed the bulk of the changes from the first generation, as well as an overall more streamlined appearance. As a result, Car and Driver magazine named the second generation Honda CR-V the Best Small SUV for 2002 and 2003. A 2005 facelift changed the appearance of the grille and added enlarged wheels, and introduced XM Satellite Radio to the interior of the car.

The third generation CR-V, launched in 2006, was designed to be lower, wider, and shorter than the previous CR-V models. To make this happen, this generation stowed the spare tire inside instead of attaching it to the back, decreasing the overall length of the vehicle. A newer, five-speed automatic transmission was introduced and mandatory transmission was completely phased out in order to implement a better MPG rating and smoother shifting. Internal features of the third generation CR-V included integrated navigation, voice activated control, a six-disc CD player, a rear backup camera, and an iPod dock. As a result, the Honda CR-V became one of the ten best selling vehicles of 2007. Style, powertrain, and equipment changes were introduced in 2009 for the 2010 model year as well.

The fourth and current generation was introduced at the Orange County International Auto Show and the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2011, and went on sale later that year. The new redesign features devices such as continuously variable transmission (CVT), suspension shock absorbers, springs, anti-roll bars and lower control arms to improve smoothness and decrease the chances of having an accident while driving. During Super Bowl XLVI, Honda promoted the new CR-V with an endorsement from actor Matthew Broderick of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off fame.

Features of the Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is known for having the following features and benefits:

1. Size

As a “compact SUV”, the CR-V is both large enough to meet the needs of a family and small enough to be driven and parked comfortably. The car can seat up to five people and thus works whether your family includes one, two, three or more other people; it also has plenty of storage space to fit in everyone’s belongings. At the same time, you’ll never have trouble fitting into a parking space or feel like the vehicle is too cumbersome.

2. Price

The CR-V is reasonably priced and as a compact SUV you will find you get more car for your money (as well as 4WD safety) for the kind of money you used to have to pay for a family sedan.

Where Honda has been overtaken in the compact SUV segment is in the areas of style and exclusivity. Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque and Porsche’s Macan easily beat the bland CR-V in this department, illustrating a problem bedeviling many Japanese manufacturers – how to translate underlying quality into the surface style and panache that commands premium prices.

Early Grade 4 RD-1 CR-V at auction in Japan

Let’s take a look at one of those early first generation RD1-type CR-Vs and see what you can get for your money at auction in Japan.

This one has only 61,654 KM on the clock, even though was first put on the road in 1997. Let’s have a look at the translation of the auction inspection report:

“Grade 4, interior grade C, first registered 1997 (month not stated), two litre engine, four-wheel-drive, AT, AAC, original alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, interior grime and yellowing, scratches and dents, marks as per map”

As you can see, this CR-V may be almost 20 years old, but it is in remarkably good condition. (Although this kind of condition and mileage even lower than this is not at all uncommon among cars that are being auctioned in Japan.) According to our online system, the estimated market value of this car at auction here in Japan is around 60,000 JPY.

Interested in getting a CR-V like this one, or a later model? We can help you source them from Japan’s car auctions and ship them to you. Why not sign up for 14 days of guest access through our website here to see the cars that are available?

RD1 Honda CR-V auction in Japan - auction inspection report

RD1 Honda CR-V auction in Japan - rear

RD1 Honda CR-V auction in Japan - interior

RD1 Honda CR-V auction in Japan - front


Honda CR-V Touring: Econ to Sport Mode – How Much Does it Matter?

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

The 2015 Honda CR-V Touring came with two extra modes: the Econ mode and the Sport mode. Most people might enjoy the settings of the set-it-and-forget-it mindset in Econ mode while other situations call for the Sport mode. When placed side-by-side, do they really make all that much of a difference?

It’s about What Buyers Want

It’s nice that Honda included these modes, but they don’t really have as much of an impact as they should have had if Honda had focused on the purposes behind these modes. When the 2015 vehicle is not in either these modes, it has an 185-hp, all-wheel-drive that reaches 60 mph in 8.9 seconds. However, most buyers of this vehicle don’t really care about specs like that. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter because most people will be in stop-and-go traffic anyway. Besides, if you wanted better acceleration, you would be better suited with the Subaru Forrester – it can do the same zero to 60 in 6.4 seconds. Even the Ford Escape does better, doing 0 to 60 in 6.8 seconds. No, this isn’t about acceleration – it’s about what buyers want.

What Econ Mode Does

In fact, most buyers will probably leave the Econ mode on all the time. With the Touring is used for intercity traffic, buyers will get the most from their money by leaving Econ mode alone. Econ mode does three major things: it will adjust the HVAC system, adjust the cruise control systems, and relax the throttle response. The slower response makes it so that the Touring isn’t as responsive, but it’s not so dulled out as to make Econ mode unresponsive. In Econ mode, the Touring will make 0 to 60 and 9.7 seconds. In terms of statistics, thats really slow. But remember, most buyers don’t care about that. Econ mode it makes the Touring 7 percent more efficient – something buyers do care about.

Sport Mode Is Still Useful

The only time that most customers will use the Sport mode is if they’re trying to get the bank on a Friday afternoon, right before they close. Sport mode doesn’t make a huge difference but is still changing its behavior in a meaningful way. In Sport mode, the touring will make 0 to 60 in 8.7 seconds – a 0.2-second improvement.
Econ mode is what Honda was going for. It provides for a more efficient, well-rounded vehicle. Although Sport mode does make a difference, Econ mode has the potential to save buyers money – something that buyers look for when shopping for a vehicle.


Honda Says Bye-Bye to Crosstour for 2016

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 10th, 2015

2014 Honda Crosstour

Yesterday we looked one of the most successful Honda/Acura models of the past decade up for auction in Japan. In a fitting contrast, today we learned that Honda plans to get rid of one of their worst-sellers for the 2016MY. That car is the Honda Crosstour, and it will be officially axed from the lineup for 2016.

Note, this is NOT the same car as the Honda Accord Tourer which is available in some markets.

2015 Honda Crosstour rear

The Honda Crosstour, previously known as the Honda Accord Crosstour, is an awkward fusion of sedan, station wagon and crossover. It’s designed to have the looks of a sedan, the space of a station wagon and the underpinnings of a crossover. It’s a little unfair, but you can see how the car earned itself the nickname “The hunchback of Honda”… People perceive the Crosstour as bulky and unattractive without any of the perks that normally come with bulky and unattractive cars.

The result of this awkwardly implemented design concept is a remarkably slow-selling model. The Honda Crosstour debuted in 2010, and its monthly sales only ever peaked at 2,900 units during that year. According to Good Car Bad Car, the Honda Crosstour has yet to sell more than 750 units in one month since the start of 2015. It’s been a full year since the car managed to consistently sell over 1,000 units a month.

2015 Honda Crosstour interior

According to Honda’s official statement on the Crosstour’s cessation, they believe that the Honda HR-V launching any day now is the right direction for their crossover lineup:

“The crossover segment has evolved and we believe the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V launching later this spring will create new value for crossover shoppers and play a more significant role as a gateway model for the Honda brand to drive light truck sales growth. This move will allow the East Liberty Plant to focus on meeting demand for the CR-V and a refreshed 2016 Acura RDX and, as announced last month, expand light truck production in early 2017 with the Acura MDX,”

The statement reveals another core reason behind the Crosstour’s demise, which is that it will allow them to optimize manufacturing capacity. The Crosstour is currently manufactured at Honda’s East Liberty, Ohio plant… Getting rid of the low-selling model in 2016 will allow this plant to focus solely on other crossover models like the Honda CR-V and Acura RDX.

Honestly, we don’t think that the Crosstour had to be doomed from the start. After all, the BMW X6 does just fine and it’s really not too far off from the current Crosstour.

2015 BMW X6

2015 BMW X6

However, the Crosstour was one of the first cars that Honda promoted primarily on social media, and they did NOT do a very good job. The photos they shared were ugly, and the original “Accord Crosstour” naming scheme was confusing. The result was a flood of negative comments and shares… Not exactly a great start. In fact, it was so bad that the Crosstour never took off, despite dealerships offering rock-bottom prices in recent years to try and clear out their stocks.

So long, Crosstour. Honestly, you won’t be missed.


Acura CDX Compact Crossover Next Addition to Lineup?

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

2016 Honda HR-V

2016 Honda HR-V

Earlier this month Acura showed us a refreshed RDX premium SUV at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Now, it looks like Acura is planning to add another new crossover to their lineup, but this one will be a completely new vehicle. It’s the Acura CDX, a new compact crossover that will sit below the existing Acura RDX and MDX.

News of the new Acura CDX comes from a report published by AutoGuide last week. Apparently, they caught wind that Honda filed a trademark for the name CDX with the US Patent & Trademark Office on February 11th, less than two weeks ago at the time of writing.

Since news of the Acura CDX comes from the US Patent office and not any official Acura source, what we know about this new crossover is fairly limited and entirely unofficial. However, we know that Honda has put a lot of effort into their new compact HR-V crossover, which will slot below the CR-V when it hits US dealerships later this year.

Could the CDX be a premium version of the HR-V?

It wouldn’t be the first time the Japanese automaker has made such a move. If the CDX ends up being a premium crossover built on the HR-V’s platform, they would follow in the footsteps of the Acura ILX, which is essentially a premium Honda Civic, and the Acura RDX, which is built on the platform of the Honda CR-V.

Acura SUV-X Concept

Acura SUV-X Concept

As far as what the new Acura CDX might look like, our best indication comes from the 2013 Auto Shanghai. There Honda showed us the Honda SUV-X Concept (above) – a sporty compact crossover concept that was meant to appeal to the Chinese market.

Fun fact: the SUV-X Concept was Honda’s first concept to ever premiere outside the US.

With that in mind, our guess is that the Acura CDX will also make its world premiere at the 2015 Auto Shanghai in April. Since Auto Shanghai is a biennial event, it would be a fitting two-year follow-up for Honda to unveil the CDX in China.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2006 Honda HR-V

2006 Honda HR-V

Obviously you won’t find any 2016 Honda HR-V models up for auction in Japan, but you can find several of the old HR-V’s available. The original Honda HR-V was considered ahead of its time by many automotive critics; it didn’t cease production for lack of quality, but simply because of the ‘bigger is better’ mindset of the time.

2006 Honda HR-V interior

The state of this Japanese car auction find is about exactly what you’d expect from a non-premium 2006 model. It’s got 69,000 kilometers on it, but it’s well kept with an interior grade of B and an overall rating of 4. It’s got a small-but-efficient 1.6L engine under the hood and some surprising amenities like the 6-inch nav. screen you can see on the center console.

For more details, get the full auction sheet translation below:

2006 Honda HR-V auction sheet

“Interior B, first registered February 2006, J model, FAT, AAC, service book, power steering, power windows, original navigation system, airbag, Gathers navigation system, one owner, seats and steering wheel worn, trim scratches, load area scratches, minor scratches and minor dents and repair marks and waves, wheels scratched, marks as per map”


Why Honda Projects Record Sales in 2015

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

At this month’s Detroit motor show, Honda’s Executive VP, John Mendel, predicted that the automaker would break their US sales record by the end of 2015. But it’s not just the US – Honda is taking extreme measures everywhere to revitalize their brand and push their momentum from 2014.

It Starts With New US Models Like the Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX

One of the biggest ways Honda plans to beat their US sales record is simply by meeting demand for their new Acura TLX. Turns out they’re struggling to keep up with orders. Mendel is even quoted as saying demand for the car is “going gangbusters” in an interview with Columbus Business First in Detroit.

They also kick-started the year with the Acura NSX concept in Detroit, with even more new cars coming to Chicago like a redesigned RDX and the new Honda Pilot. While they’re adding new models to increase sales growth in the US, the Japanese automaker is doing exactly the opposite in Europe…

Honda Accord Withdrawing from Europe

2014 Honda Accord

Leon Brannan of Honda UK recently told Automotive News Europe, “we are running out the accord and we will not return to the segment.”

The jaws of several of our US readers are probably dropping right now, as the idea of Honda removing the Accord from their lineup in any market is near unthinkable. However, keep in mind that the European version of Honda’s midsize Accord is actually our discontinued Acura TSX. That’s the same car that Honda recently replaced with the TLX in the US, but they plan to totally withdraw from the segment in Europe.

Why?

It’s a smart move when you hear the full story.

First, they’ve been losing sales to natively manufactured European models like the Mercedes C class for some time. In fact, Honda UK’s Accord sales fell by nearly 20% in 2014. When you consider that Honda’s total European sales fell 5% last year, it’s easy to see that the Accord is one of the cars dragging down their numbers. Meanwhile, their always-excellence crossovers continue to outsell their European competition.

When you see like that, the change seems obvious – they’re cutting their losses and refocusing on the models that are selling well. The refreshed Honda CR-V is already doing well, and the new subcompact HR-V is also expected to play a part in Honda’s European sales rebounding to record highs by the end of this year.


2016 Honda HR-V & Acura ILX Teased Ahead of LA

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

With the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show just a hair less than a month away, we’re starting to get the first trickle of automotive previews dribbling across the web. Leading the way is Honda with two new vehicles they’ll be showcasing at NA’s next big automotive event. One of them we’ve seen before, and the other is an update for a car in their luxury lineup that really need some love.

NA-Spec 2016 Honda HR-V Crossover

NA-Spec 2016 Honda HR-V

You’ll remember that Honda already showed us a European version of their new HR-V crossover earlier this month at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. We’d also seen images of an HR-V prototype earlier this year in Geneva.

Today, Honda officially introduced us to the North American variant of their 2016 HR-V crossover. It now has its own page on Honda.com and everything. Our American readers can see the car in the metal for the first time at next month’s LA Motor Show. We won’t spend too much time on this one since it’s the less newsworthy of the two. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know at the time of this writing:

  • The HR-V will slot below the Honda CR-V as “the entry point to Honda’s light truck lineup.”
  • Likely to launch this winter
  • Features Honda Magic Seats
  • Built on the same platform as the Honda Fit

Refreshed 2016 Acura ILX Compact Sedan

2016 Acura ILX Sedan

The big news of the day is a teaser for a refreshed version of the Acura ILX sedan. No one from either Honda or Acura has said anything about the new luxury compact sedan other than what’s in the press release. All we know is that it will debut next year as a “comprehensive update that includes a potent new powertrain, more forceful, sporty exterior styling, and substantially upgraded interior design.”

Clearly, the upgrade is going to be quite substantial. What exactly that means, however, remains to be seen. The press release hints that Acura is looking to bring the ILX closer in-line with the car’s more successful big brother, the Acura TLX.

Our guess is that Honda will bring in their new 2.4L i-VTEC engine and upscale exterior features like LEDs, a sports exhaust, and a more distinguished front grille. Inside, you can probably expect a much quieter cabin (the current ILX is known to be quite loud), higher quality materials, and perhaps more performance tech. like we saw in the recent Civic Type-R Concept in Paris.

Either way, we’re sure we’ll see more of both cars before doors open at the Los Angeles Auto Show late next month, so stay tuned for more information. Until then, thanks for reading!