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Old 7th May 2004, 22:34   #1
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This happened on our recent trip to Mlore. Since my sis is doing her Medicine in Mlore, we thought we'd go visit her for a few days.

With the Honda showroom less than 1 km from her college, i just couldn't resist but look at the Honda stable everytime i passed that way and to make things worse, the Accord was parked in front of all the other cars.

Suddenly one day the Vtec just refused to start, it wouldn't even crank. We had to push start it and then took it to the nearest battery shop. The guy checked the battery and found that one of the cells had run dry and maybe that might have caused the problem.

But one of my uncles asked me to get the starter checked as well, as his Cielo had faced such a problem. So the next day, we went to the Honda Dealership in Mlore. While the Vtec was getting it's starter cleaned and put back, we took the NHC for a spin. I wont write much about it, as i've already done it in the past.

My dad on the other hand was driving this car for the first time. He was stunned looking at the interiors of the car. He couldn't believe that a car that looks midsized from the outside could be so big on the inside.

The gearbox which has been appreciated to the core by everyone was bound to be noticed here. His final verdict was that the NHC was a better "Overall" car than the old version, and i do agree to that.

The CR-V was next on the list. The sales guy took the car out of the showroom. As i sat in, he started explaining to me, as to how the auto transmission is supposed to be used.

He first asked me to press the brakes and then turn the key. The car came to life with a pleasing sound from the 2ltr i-Vtec engine. I then shifted into D and showly came off the brakes, pressed the accelerator a bit and the car started moving.

Having driven M/T all my life, all this seemed "Alien" to me. But getting used to it didn't take as long as i'd anticipated and infact after a while i started enjoying the fact that my left leg was off duty.

The first thing that comes to my mind when ever i sit in a test car is "Burry that Throttle", and so i did. What followed, really shocked me!!.

Here i was, driving something that looked like an SUV but accelerated and handled like a car. Driving it in heavy traffic was effortless. But i did find it a bit scary when i had to overtake a bus, the gears shift down the moment you press the pedal but, there is a slight delay and that, i was not used to.

I always wondered how the auto box knew when to shift to the next gear. i asked the guy and he told me that the CR-V was designd to shift at around 3000rpm. Obviously, i wasn't impressed with that reply.

So i thought i'd try it out myself. There's no way Honda would make an engine that revvs to the better part of 6000 rpm and then use a gearbox that shifts at 3000.

At first i took it easy and yes, the gears did change at around 3000 but, when i hit the gas pedal the tacho started rising rapidly, 4000, 5000, 6000 all the way till the red line and then it shifted to the next gear.

That answered all my questions. The gearbox changes gears according to the pressure applied to the gas pedal. But there is a flaw in it, you can't take a gear to 6000 and keep it there, the moment you lift your right leg, even slightly , the gears up shift. So overtaking needs to be planned unlike in a M/T where you can stay in a gear for as long as possible.

We took it to a place where there was this broad and empty straight followed by a slight left and then a sharp right turn. The CR-V hit around 130kmph very effortlessly and then after taking the left at that speed i hit the brakes, the ABS did it's job very well and then came the WRC part of the drive!!! I turned the steering the wrong way and then the right way, the CR-V started sliding sideways which was followed by an appreciating screech.

I tell you, the CR-V will be a real pleasure to anyone who likes sliding their car around on the ghat sections. It's so well balanced that you just don't feel any roll and the road holding is awesome. If this car was to have a M/T , it would have given some of the good handling cars a run for their money.

The A/C cooled the car in no time. We found the seats a bit harder than in the Vtec. Maybe a good set of comfy seat covers will solve that problem.

Space will never be an issue if Honda keeps coming out with designs like these. *

On the whole, the CR-V is worth the money. For all ya know, this could be our next member of the family.

I always maintained that auto boxes were boring and not surprisingly, i still stand by it. The A/T is easy to drive but it just doest have the driving pleasure of a M/T.

An A/T is a pleasure if you're on an outing, but for my regular solo drives the M/T can do that job much better.

Though i was a bit let down by the absence of the V6 or any of the Accords, it was a good and interesting experience for me. My first A/T and i'm happy it was a Honda.

Regards...
Shan2nu



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Old 7th May 2004, 23:42   #2
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Good account. I agree with your eval. The CR-V is everything you made it out to be, slick and smooth !
Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I always wondered how the auto box knew when to shift to the next gear. i asked the guy and he told me that the CR-V was designd to shift at around 3000rpm. Obviously, i wasn't impressed with that reply.
An adaptive controller linked with the computer "learns" the driver's driving habits/style and manipulates gear shifting. If you don't step too hard on the gas, the tranny interprets that style by shifting gently at relatively low engine speeds. Step hard and the transmission holds it in a lower gear longer to increase acceleration performance. Hence the delay you experienced.
Like you say, A/T and M/T are both good - each has it's place(s). I'd like to put it this way - it's like beer and whiskey, they're both nice
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Old 8th May 2004, 00:01   #3
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hey pal done abt 6800 km on my crv since dec1.....sheer pleasure....fantastic....and so easy to drive....hope it joins your family 1 day....a M/T version is on the cards acc to autocar....
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Old 8th May 2004, 00:06   #4
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Yeah my 6 is like that too..the auto will go all teh way to redline and then shift...if i want it too, or it will put around gently and shift right around 3000RPM..with just enough time to hear the CAI!!! But, since i have that oh so cool triptronic, i can shift and hold gears like a manual transmission
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Old 8th May 2004, 00:09   #5
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Hey we just ordered a CRV, remember I had asked a question, infact my mum wanted to know this without me getting to know that she is ordering this car, so she made up the story of an aunt and all that..so infact cuz of all your helps guys I was able to recommend the CRV to my mum for my Aunt and it ended up that we were ordering, so I am excited..to get back to india and drive it...

I am glad you guys enjoyed the car and I hope I will too..

Cheers
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Old 8th May 2004, 04:48   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Shan2nu @ May 07 2004,21:04)]But i did find it a bit scary when i had to overtake a bus, the gears shift down the moment you press the pedal but, there is a slight delay and that, i was not used to.
Hey Shan2nu,

Nice review from you.

Whats happening in the above quote is called a "kickdown". As powerslave mentioned the new autos learn your driving style, but in the good old A/T days without electronics, you had to hit the accelerator to the floor and the tranny would downshift a gear. Very useful for overtaking!

cya
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Old 8th May 2004, 13:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]

That answered all my questions. The gearbox changes gears according to the pressure applied to the gas pedal. But there is a flaw in it, you can't take a gear to 6000 and keep it there, the moment you lift your right leg, even slightly , the gears up shift. So overtaking needs to be planned unlike in a M/T where you can stay in a gear for as long as possible.
Engineers have been making the auto transmission more and more intelligent since day one, and the slushboxes of today are just so much more sophisticated and smarter than those from a decade back. Butttttttttttttt try as they might, nothing can match the power of the human mind. Nothing. Thats why I would rather control the gears than an electronic gizmo.

Good review Shantanu. Yes they are going to launch a manual version of teh CR-V at a lac below the current price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ] I'd like to put it this way - it's like beer and whiskey, they're both nice
Truer words have never been said.

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