Road test: 2011 Honda CR-V EX-L
The CR-V is a very stylish and aerodynamic crossover vehicle, versatile enough to provide fun for the whole family. Form and function should play a big role in the design of any vehicle, and with this vehicle Honda continually hits the mark.
IN THE CAB:
The cabin is surprisingly spacious and comfortable, and likewise the gauges are very spaced out. I opened up the centre console to check for space and I came across a six-disc CD changer. Wow, talk about old school! I was surprised with all the technology that is in the navigation system and voice activated commands to see that. The EX-L comes with a 270-watt premium audio system with seven speakers and MP3 compatibility and a subwoofer, and XM satellite radio is available with a subscription. The driver’s seat is an eight-way power adjustable unit with a manual height adjustment, while the rear seats are 60/40 split with a tumble forward fold away setting.
A full gamut of safety enhancements are featured on the new CR-V, including front side airbags with passenger side occupant position detection system, dual stage, dual threshold front airbags, childproof rear doors, active front seat head restraints, three-point rear seat belts, three-point height adjustable front seat belts, security alarm, side curtain airbags, and an immobilizer theft deterrent system.
The engine is a 2.4-litre, 16 valve, DOHC, I-VTEC 4-cylinder that produces 180 hp and 161 lbs.-ft of torque with a 5-speed automatic transmission, which is a very reliable combination for this size of vehicle. Front-wheel drive is standard on the LX and EX models with the option to upgrade to Real-time four-wheel drive. My tester, the EX-L comes standard with Real-time fourwheel drive.
The CR-V underwent a few small cosmetic changes last year and the 2011 model is unchanged, which recalls the old saying, “if it works don’t fix it.” The CR-V has had a strong following and provides consumers with a reliable CUV that has enough room to get you and your family where you want to go. I found the engine to be a little under-powered, but it’s a toss-up: fuel economy vs. more power. This vehicle was comfortable and small enough to negotiate downtown parking spots, but large enough to get you and your gear where you want to go.
Upgrade the CD changer; if not bring back the eight-track cassette player as an option.
Front-wheel drive: 9.8/7.1 L/100 km
Real-time four-wheel drive: 10.1/7.5 L/100 km
5 years/100,000 km Powertrain
3 years/60,000 km Emission System
3 years/No limit Roadside Assistance
3 years/No limit Battery
2011 Honda CR-V EX-L Navi Price as tested $35,590
Ian Harwood is the Corporate Sales and Operations Manager of Custom Truck Parts in Western Canada.