Compact rad vehicle

ABOUT A BRO - Ralph Mendoza (The Philippine Star) - December 21, 2013 - 12:00am

I’m no soccer mom — the target market that the 2013 Honda CR-V seems to largely cater to due to its spacious family-friendly interiors — but after eight precious days of test driving this compact SUV, I now have zero problems being labeled as such. I must have been a soccer mom in a past life.

So what exactly did I drive? If you’re all about lots of cargo space, great music, and even greater fuel economy, then the 2013 Honda CR-V is quite the temptation. You’ll see and feel it from the inside out. The interior’s fit and finish, for instance, plays it relatively safe but it’s taken characteristics from previous generations and cleaned them up a bit to bring you a less revolutionary yet more refined look — the kind that a closeted hipster would dream of. Inside, you’ll also notice plenty of premium soft-touch plastic, which complements its key touch points and black leather upholstery. It’s just a smooth thing. In terms of seating, this Japanese product has always fit five adults — or, like, eight babies — but with the third row now doubling as a foldable extra seat and cargo compartment in one if need be. You can also have the second row of seats easily folded, too, to free up — as sourced from thecarconnection.com — an approximate total of 70.9 cubic feet of room for cargo in the back. Not bad.

Of course, all this talk of space culminates up front with the CR-V’s sexy, spaceship-like dashboard, which features a five-inch colored LCD screen called the i-MID (multi-information display). The crystal square screen allows you to view your current MPG (miles per gallon), trip range, and even the song you’re playing.  The controls are so easy to use a fat cat can drive it in its sleep and the music is especially bass-heavy yet well-regulated. I slipped in a Hall & Oates CD and felt as if I were cocooned inside the headphones of a whale. The stereo’s power is for real. You can literally pop up the back and have a small party in the woods with such a superior sound system.

Under the hood, it’s pretty much your standard CR-V animal. The Honda CR-V boasts a 2.0 to 2.4 four cylinder engine at 185 horsepower at best. It’s connected to a five-speed automatic transmission for all the easy city driving you need. It also handles and steers with precision, something you need as you worm your way through the CGI-like traffic of Metro Manila.

Fuel economy? Check, man. The CR-V’s Eco Assist — the green button on the left of the steering wheel — actually helps you save fuel by giving you real-time feedback on how you can drive more efficiently — all with just a single push of a button.

At the end of the day, I really do hold the 2013 Honda CR-V in high esteem. It’s for anyone who wants a combination of practicality and style. What it might have lacked in quirks it more than makes up in sleekness and overall versatility. It’s the CR-V that has definitely changed, true, but for much, much better. At the rate they’re going, who knows what its 2014 successor might bring?

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Check out cr-v.com.ph for financing options and more in-depth specs on the all-new 2013 Honda CR-V.



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