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Automotive Articles >> Automotive Information

Living Naturally: The 2007 Honda CR-V ready to go

With a complete new re-design only a few months away, the Honda CR-V is about to be vastly improved. The new model is scheduled for arrival in December and should follow design cues from the more vibrant Acura RDX.

As such, the current CR-V provides excellent maneuverability, solid build quality, and a superior interior to the and the Mitsubishi Outlander. The downside to the CR-V is the road noise and the so-so gas mileage of 23 mpg, but overall the 2006 CR-V excels in a field of mini-SUV's.

It's well suited for the outdoorsy types who crave a more compact SUV encompassing a witty design, a reasonable cost (MSRP $20,395 to $25,450), and a reliable reputation to drive in mountain terrain.

The secret of success for the 2006 Honda CR-V is the superior handling. It shares the same chassis as the new It also shares the same double-wishbone, four-wheel independent suspension, with front and rear stabilizers that give it a softer, more car like ride.

You can feel the difference of the 2006 CR-V to conventional truck based SUV when you round a corner. The 2006 CR-V is considerably less squishy. Press on the accelerator and the peppy 2.4-liter, iVTEC engine, quickly accelerates pumping out 156 horsepower (at 160 pound-feet of torque) with a potent kick at 3,500 rpm when the butterfly valves open up, making the CR-V an immensely fun and sporty vehicle to drive.

Many people have difficulty climbing into the high cockpit of most SUV's. This is not the case with the 2006 CR-V. There's no need for a step-up mechanism as required for larger SUV's (ground clearance is at 8.1 inches, ample for off-road adventure, but not too high that you need a ladder to get in.)

Once inside, you'll notice a familiar interior that has been modified for the compact SUV. The seats are supportive with much lower lumbar comfort for longer commutes, and the multi-functioning steering wheel is well contoured to accommodate a host of secondary features.

However, two things that stand out in the cabin are the gear shift mechanism that protrudes from the dashboard (rather from the center), and the hand brake that requires a saw mechanism to pull and push to activate and switch off. The rest of the cabin features unencumbered design and excellent round dials for climate control.

The cabin has been well thought out and is ergonomically designed for life on the go. There are also a number of bins and door pockets for storing sun glasses, coins, maps, and beverage containers. Additionally, the 60/40 rear seats can tumble forward providing 72 cubic feet of cargo room, capable of holding two bicycles.

Technology means nothing unless it makes you feel something. Honda for some time has been known for generic design, but this is changing as emotionally-charged design is increasingly becoming the holy grail of Honda design. For example, if you walk around the second generation CR-V, you can't help but notice the new front grill, larger headlights, and the clean-cut look of the integrated bumpers.

The front has a full-body appearance that is much bolder than the predecessor. The crisp hood lines have been tweaked for a subtle masculine feel. The longer wheel base provides better stability and a more aggressive stance.

Look at it from the side, and the CR-V looks like a tight version of the popular Jeep Liberty. And the tail, with its lights placed higher on the panel, functions aesthetically well while enhancing safety. Accidents happen. In researching this article, I came across a number of people who were in serious, life threatening accidents and claim they lived due to their CR-V.

Improved safety innovations are standard on all 2006 Honda CR-V's. Every CR-V comes complete with side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA). A rigid safety cage made from reinforced steel has helped the new CR-V earn the 5-Star (the highest) Safety Rating for front and side crash collision

The power to personalize your vehicle is an integral aspect of Honda ownership. The 2006 Honda CR-V offers three trims to choose from to facilitate customization: the LX, EX and SE (Special Edition). The base LX features many luxurious amenities as standard features such as power windows, locks, mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, front and rear power outlets, 16" wheels, and a removable folding picnic table.

The EX features a premium sound system, rear privacy glass, power sunroof and outside temperature gauge. The SE offers the nicest interior featuring heated leather seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Additionally, the SE includes body colored mirrors, bumpers, side molding and a spare wheel cover. It seems Honda has been listening to what people want in a compact SUV, more style, safety and choices to be an original.

When the CR-V was introduced in 1997, it was Honda's answer to Toyota's RAV 4, which was the first mini-SUV of its kind starting the mini-SUV craze the year earlier. Although the CR-V is about to be completely redesigned for 2007, the current model offers razor sharp styling, excellent interior details, and the Honda's reliable 4WD system.

Where it could be improved is in its fuel efficiency, though as far as SUV's go, it is less thirsty than many. The CR-V offers reliability which has earned it loads of converts in recent years. The 2007 CR-V will undoubtedly address the limitations of the current model and undoubtedly build on the success of the marquee.

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