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Old 13th March 2014, 05:29   #1
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Default 2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family

It's was nearly 2 years since I brought home Senren (my 2008 Honda Accord LX). She was starting to show her age and had a big line of recommended services coming up. She was, after all, 91000 miles old. The itch started to get a more maintenance-free companion. It was time for my first new car in the US!

I applied for clearance from the home minister. It was tough going, but after 2 weeks of selling, she finally gave the go-ahead. It was shopping time!

This time I wanted something large as it needs to cater to us for 3-4 years. So a bigger family needed to be considered. I decided it was time to graduate to an SUV. I also wanted some goodies in the car like Navigation and Bluetooth. I miss the Blue and Me of my Punto. My Dad enjoys it now. Plus, the first owner of my Accord had put custom made leather covers. So, of course, I couldn't downgrade to cloth upholstery. The way the car makers spec their variants here, that meant I need to go for the top end EX-L with Navigation variant.

I shortlisted the entry-level Japs - Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-5. RAV4 was vetoed by the home minister. She did not want to be seen sitting inside it! I have no idea why. I ruled out the Rogue when I found that it came ONLY with CVT. I hate CVTs and the hour long delay in response when you want to set a brisk pace.

So, that left only the CR-V and the CX-5. I went to the Honda showroom and took a test drive. I was pretty impressed. It retained the familiar Honda feel and wowed in every department. The power was also quite adequate. I do not understand why so many people complain about the power in a CR-V. Everything was perfect. So, armed with my Costco membership, I started talking numbers. The first showroom I went to came down to a great price, but was charging me $250 extra for a "Dealer package" consisting of rubber mats, mud guards, wheel nut locks and pin striping. They said this was mandatory and that they applied to all cars they sold. I said I'll come back and started shopping around.

While I was searching for a lower price for the CR-V, I passed the Mazda showroom and decided to take a look around. When I test drove the CX-5, I was very very impressed. The driving dynamics were excellent. Let's say very slightly ABOVE the CR-V. As a driver, I was very happy. The amount of tech that came with the vehicle was also good. It had Automatic headlight dimming, Tom Tom navigation, Blind spot monitoring, Bi-xenon headlamps and City Braking Assist (automatic braking in case the car detects an imminent collision). However, when I tried out the vehicle as a passenger, I felt the CR-V trumped its Jap cousin. Nothing in particular here. Just an overall gut feel based on how comfortable the vehicle made me feel. I also wasn't sure how the car would wear. I do not know much about Mazdas. Hondas have a bullet-proof reputation. I frequently see Hondas with more than 150K miles on the odo. But, so impressed was I with the drive in the CX-5, that I nearly took her home that day! It was only the dealer trying to steal from my trade-in (reducing trade-in price to show that they are giving me the new car at a lower price) that made me walk away. The next day, the Mazda guys called and tried to give me the deal I was asking for, but I had had enough. I did not want to deal with crooks.

As luck would have it, just that day, another showroom returned my message and said they could better the original CR-V quote I had by $75 and throw in the rubber mats and mud flaps for free. They also added a cargo tray at no extra cost. The final price came down to $29,925 out the door. SOLD, I said! That very evening, I went to the showroom and signed the papers. They told me my car would be here in 2-3 days. I went home to dream about her arrival.

2-3 days had turned into 6 days and the car was still not here. I was sending furious mails to the showroom manager. He said that the car had been delayed due to the massive snowstorm that had hit the east coast. I was thinking about taking my business elsewhere, when finally (7 days after we made the deal) he called to say that the car had landed at his showroom. He sent the salesman to pick me up. We drove to the showroom's back and there she was! Gleaming in the bright lights. My Bigfoot was finally mine!

Last edited by sumobom4 : 15th March 2014 at 02:33. Reason: Added information
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Old 13th March 2014, 05:38   #2
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Default Re: 2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family

Now I know that you guys want to ogle the pics. So, here we go.

Let's start with the exterior pics first.

Here's the rear 3/4th profile. Note the kink in the lights. This feature is something that made the car very attractive to me in comparison to the earlier model (3rd Gen 2007-2011).
2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1962402_10203407083767779_284302532_o.jpg

Front left 3/4th view.
2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1622586_10203407090167939_1436652080_o.jpg

Front right 3/4th view
2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1781783_10203407096688102_103541848_o.jpg

Front view. The new design (4th Gen 2012 - current) has the headlamps pulled back into the side. Gives the car a very happy face.
2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1912046_10203407094728053_835132096_o.jpg

Side view
2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1973232_10203407087127863_404247608_o.jpg

Attractive alloy design
2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-10014862_10203407170449946_1970383057_o.jpg

Sadly, I could not click the rear as there were too many cars passing on the road at that time and hence, I wasn't able to stand there and click.

Last edited by sumobom4 : 14th March 2014 at 19:52.
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Old 13th March 2014, 05:44   #3
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Default Re: 2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family

And now, the interior pics.

Here's the view that greets me when I open my door. Since mine is the top end variant, power seat adjustment on the driver side is standard. Works pretty well too. It also includes power lumbar support adjustment. All 4 doors have large bottle holders. A small shelf for knick knacks is also provided (see to the left of the bottle).

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1622512_10203407101048211_867139601_o.jpg

Here's a view of the full dashboard. The gearshift is a part of the centre console. This frees up space in the centre between the two front seats.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1015977_10203407166969859_745210237_o.jpg

Another view of the full dash and open moonroof.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1912239_10203407165809830_1938149809_o.jpg

A view of the open moonroof from the bottom.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1780093_10203407163849781_670541307_o.jpg

Driver controls, as seen from the passenger seat.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1907675_10203407146049336_337805213_o.jpg

Spacious storage box is provided in the area where you'd normally find the gear shift and parking brake. This also contains a 12V socket, USB port and AUX port. You can also see the driver armrest here in the top of the image. Passenger gets their own armrest (both armrests are attached to the side of the seat backs).

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1962538_10203407157809630_1738304937_o.jpg

Dual zone climate control. Now both, the wife and I can be happy and not fight over the cabin temp! Heated seats standard with the EX-L model. Another 12 V power outlet here. Two variable size cupholders are also provided here. They have spring loaded fins on the inside, so the interior space of the holder adjusts to the size of the cup.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1974421_10203407153369519_172051408_o.jpg

A closer view of the driver area. Audio and cruise control buttons on the steering wheel (leather covered). Phone and voice command buttons are located on the lower bar of the steering. Steering is both, tilting and telescoping. Buttons on the lower left dash are for turning VSA off and recalibrating the TPMS. The green ECO button, when pressed, changes the throttle and AC settings to give greater fuel efficiency. Also, note the foot operated parking brake which is located in the normal clutch position. No more power sliding!

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1979209_10203407104968309_1628328619_o.jpg

The Honda navigation system. This system controls the phone and audio too. Audio sources include CD/MP3, USB, Phone songs via BT (take that, Blue and Me!), Pandora, AUX, AM/FM radio and XM satellite radio.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1836842_10203407161769729_1699956674_o.jpg

Rear Seats with plenty of legroom.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1911170_10203407110528448_1350960270_o.jpg

Nice ruched design of the leather, too.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1974421_10203407113328518_428569851_o.jpg

Rear seat with the armrest down. 2 cupholders in the armrest.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-10003834_10203407120328693_1154116375_o.jpg

Lever provided on both sides of the boot wall to collapse that side's rear seat (60-40 split).

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1941412_10203407130448946_1630631726_o.jpg

When the lever is pulled, the headrest flips downward, the seat bottom flips forward and the seat back tucks in neatly into the space vacated by the seat bottom to create a near flat storage area. Here's a pic of the collapsed seat.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1025580_10203407115928583_314796521_o.jpg

Flat floor in the rear - no transmission tunnel. Middle passenger is also quite comfortable.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1961834_10203407168689902_398314067_o.jpg

Spacious boot. Holds large objects pretty easily. Apologies for the mess!

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1655626_10203407127608875_1983107073_o.jpg

View of the cabin from the boot. Large windows and sunroof make the cabin feel bright and airy. No claustrophobia here.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1617761_10203407133009010_693399001_o.jpg

Cargo cover is standard on the top end variant.

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-10003584_10203407141929233_1046745840_o.jpg

Rear camera is standard on all variants. It comes with 3 views.

Wide view

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-10003670_10203407173730028_1334091008_o.jpg

Normal view

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-10014835_10203407171889982_1833312045_o.jpg

Top down view

2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family-1921106_10203407175570074_833027270_o.jpg

Last edited by sumobom4 : 14th March 2014 at 21:17.
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Old 14th March 2014, 21:41   #4
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Default Re: 2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family

Other features that I love.
  • Full safety kit standard on all variants - airbags all around, ABS with EBD, VSA, traction control, hill start assist, reverse camera
  • Illuminated keyhole on the steering column - no more scratching the surrounding area at night
  • Nice and upright feel - makes you feel in command on the road
  • Nice and sporty engine sound - I hold revs all the time just to hear the sweet music
  • Programmable auto door lock and unlock
  • Voice commands for nearly all functions related to audio, phone and navigation
  • Power moonroof with slide and tilt feature
  • Feather touch boot open
  • Factory fitted privacy glass (dark tint) for all rear windows
  • Stowaway slot for cargo cover if not needed

The stuff that's not so great.
  • Hard plastics all around. Quality is good, but there's no give anywhere. My 2008 Accord had much softer plastics.
  • Light electronically assisted steering. Takes some getting used to, coming from hydraulic steerings.
  • Voice commands are not very intuitive. Or perhaps, I haven't mastered them properly.
  • ECO mode seems to be useless in the city.
  • The headlamps are quite weak. Back home in India, it would have been next to impossible to drive at night using these.

Well, that' it. So far, I have driven 500 miles and it's been great. I hadn't had much of a chance to take her on the freeway, so I had been getting a pathetic mileage of 16 mpg. I checked around and it seems this is de rigeur for a new engine run only in the city in an enthusiastic manner in very cold conditions. The service centre told me that I should be ok after some highway runs and when the weather gets warmer. The biggest change should be after the first oil change. We'll see. Yesterday, with a 5 mile freeway drive at speeds of 70 mph, the mileage jumped to 19 mpg. That is promising. The EPA rating is 24 city and 31 highway.

As of now, I am just enjoying the smooth Honda engine. This engine just loves to rev. Power delivery is very smooth and no transmission shock is felt when the transmission changes gears. Overtaking is also easy, with the transmission ready to downshift when you floor the gas pedal. I never had problems catching up during my limited time on the freeway.

Braking is also superb thanks to the 4 discs. The front suspension helps here by not nosediving under heavy braking. It's always a no fuss stop. Turns are also easy to make at speed due to the suspension holding firm and not allowing too much body roll. Of course, one cannot treat this car like a low slung sedan. Physics, after all, needs to be respected (grr....Newton!!!).

The music system is quite decent. I am no expert, but the bass of the system is quite good and the small nuances of the music come through nicely. I am definitely satisfied.

Now, I will leave to you all to comment. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Last edited by sumobom4 : 15th March 2014 at 02:42.
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Old 15th March 2014, 12:16   #5
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Default Re: 2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th March 2014, 13:10   #6
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Default Re: 2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family

That is a fine car. However, what's interesting is the fact that the CRV in India has much mediocre interior. No touch screen or Navigation provided here, its optional and different. Even no reversing camera. How different does the CRV feel to you, than the Accord? Its interesting to see, how people love the reliable and efficient attitude of Honda cars worldover.
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Old 15th March 2014, 21:52   #7
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Default Re: 2014 Honda CR-V: Bigfoot joins the family

Quote:
Originally Posted by prakhar1998 View Post
That is a fine car. However, what's interesting is the fact that the CRV in India has much mediocre interior. No touch screen or Navigation provided here, its optional and different. Even no reversing camera. How different does the CRV feel to you, than the Accord? Its interesting to see, how people love the reliable and efficient attitude of Honda cars worldover.
Well, the engine smoothness and overall feel is the same. It's essentially the same engine - the 2.4 L i-VTEC I4 rated at a max. of 185 bhp @ 7000 rpm. The engine loves it when you floor the accelerator. Power delivery is very smooth and you never feel slow. Compared to the 2008 Accord, the engine feels much more refined. So does the gearbox. The only way you know that a gear change has been made is by looking at the rev counter or listening to the engine sound. No shock or jerk at all! Of course, part of this must be to do with the CR-V's engine being new as compared to the 6 year old Accord engine. But Honda seem to have made improvements for sure. At the same time, the soft touch interiors are gone, even for the new Accord. I made sure to check in the showroom. The horn is wimpy now. Think Maruti 800 or Alto. The old Accord had a nice and loud Ambassador type horn.

Other main difference is the height. It feels better and the view is more commanding. But, the wind affects you more now. You can't take turns the same way anymore. The electronically assisted steering doesn't help matters either.

The fuel tank in the CR-V is 15 gal while the Accord had an 18 gal tank. It just means more trips to the pump.

Last edited by sumobom4 : 15th March 2014 at 22:17. Reason: Added engine specs
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