Honda CR-V Canada
The Honda CRV is Honda's first SUV manufactured in Japan since 1995, there is much speculation as to what the CR-V means, from Civic Recreation Vehicle since its based on the Honda Civic platform; to Cross Road Vehicle or Crossover Recreational Vehicle, while in Europe Honda has marketed it as Compact Recreational Vehicle, whatever it stands for it was Honda's direct competition to the Toyota RAV4 which was launched in 1995 and was also based on a car platform the Toyota Corolla.
The Honda CR-V in Canada is available in front-wheel drive and optional 4-wheel drive, the CR-V is manufactured in various assembly plants in the US and Mexico. The CR-V is slotted between the compact crossover Honda Element and mid-sized SUV Honda Pilot, the 2011 Element is the last year Honda will manufacture that model making the CRV the entry-level SUV.
Honda CR-V 1995-2001
The first generation Honda CR-V is powered by a 2.0L engine with 126HP, based on the Honda Civic platform giving it a smoother ride than other traditional SUVs, the rear seats fold all the way down allowing for more cargo space. The Honda CRV is available in front-wheel drive and Honda's real-tide 4-wheel drive which activates when it detects a 3% differential slip between front and rear tires. While the CRV is not designed for off-roading it performs fairly well on sand, mud and 10 inches of snow, while it was designed for dirt roads and trails.
The 1999 Honda CRV received an upgraded engine, using the same 2.0L increasing power by 20HP to 146HP which was better suited for a crossover SUV weighing considerably more than the Honda Civic. The new CR-V included an over-drive override option allowing the 4-speed automatic transmission to transfer up to thrid gear used for light off-roading or going up steep hills. The interior also received a more comfortable redesign adding more space and making it more family friendly. A Special Edition CR-V was launched in 2000 which included a fully loaded leather interior, CD player with premium audio system and a spare wheel hard cover. The 2001 Honda CR-V was the top selling crossover SUV in the US and Canada outselling the Toyota RAV4, while the Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute and Nissan X-Trail arrived in Canada that same year further increasing competition for the family seized SUV market.
Honda CRV 2002-2006
The second generation CRV was completely redesigned, Honda was no longer building a compact utility vehicle, having discontinued the Honda Pilot in 2002, Honda went for a more aggressive SUV approach. It continued to use the Honda Civic platform and received a more powerful 2.4L i-VTEC engine with 160HP better matched for the larger design, the 2002 Honda CR-V grew in both height and length, with a new McPherson strut suspension significantly improving handling and stability. The new Honda CR-V was named the Best Small SUV by Car and Driver magazine for both 2002 and 2003, With the popularity of the now larger CR-V, Honda released a smaller more compact cross over the Honda Element in 2003.
The 2005 Honda CR-V received a few changes adding 16 inch allow rims, modified headlights and minor interior changes, the redesigned 2005 CRV in Canada received a new grill leaving more space for larger round fog lights. The 2005 Honda CR-V also received a 5-speed automatic transmission, improved 4wheel drive power terrain, due to safety regulation in Canada all CRV includes standard traction control system, anti-lock ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), which distributes the brake force based on current driving conditions, speed and cargo, it also added side airbags deployed by the rollover sensor.
Honda CR-V 2007-2012
The third generation Honda CRV was redesigned and launched in Canada as the 2007 Honda CRV model, powered by a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine with 166HP, shared with the Honda Accord and the compact SUV Honda Element, while in Europe a 2.2L turbo diesel engine is available shared with the European and Japanese Honda Civic. In Canada and the US the manual transmission was dropped leaving a 5-speed automatic transmission improving fuel economy.
A significant change in the 2007 CRV is the spare tire which is no longer attached to the back door, shortening the overall length, the back door now conveniently lifts up instead of swinging out. The Honda CR-V SE-L offers an optional satellite-linked navigation system with voice recognition also found in the Honda Ridgeline and 2012 Accord.
All 2011 Honda CR-V share a 2.4L 16-valve DOHC engine with 180HP, coupled with a 5-speed automatic transmission with grade logic control and lockup torque converter, 17 inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control Advanced Compatibility Engineering, front MacPherson strut front with multi-link rear suspension, power-assisted, ventilated front disc brakes and solid rear disc brakes. The CRV EX-L trim includes Honda's real time 4WD and all leather interior and heated seats, while the CRV LX and EX trim are front wheel drive drivetrain with optional 4-wheel drive. The fully loaded 2011 Honda CR-V EX-L Navi includes Honda's satellite linked GPS navigation system with voice recognition, XM satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity and rearview backup camera.