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HEELS ON WHEELS: 2016 HONDA CR-V REVIEW


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HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE CR-V VEHICLE
The Honda CR-V remains one of the best smaller crossovers on the market, featuring excellent all-wheel drive fuel economy, utility space, true style and an affordable price. Largely a carryover model from last year, Honda adds a Special Edition trim for 2016 with seventeen-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and security system.

I drove a 2016 Honda CR-V with the standard Earth Dreams Technology 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine featuring i-VTEC technology, a new continuously variable transmission and a G-Design, and available Real Time Four-Wheel-Drive. Trims have expanded to five grades – the base LX, SE (Special Edition), EX, EX-L and Touring – with my top-of-the-line Touring trim featuring the following standards: leather upholstery; ten-way power driver’s seat; heated front seats; dual-zone climate control; rearview camera; Multi-Information Display; an upgraded seven-speaker audio system; an SMS text messaging function; Bluetooth; Pandora Internet Radio; XM Radio; Honda Sensing Feature Suite; Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System; a power liftgate; a moonroof; projector-beam halogen headlights; and eighteen-inch alloy wheels. Total price as described came to $32,095.

Honda stays very competitive by offering an EPA-estimated 29 miles-per-gallon combined with front-wheel drive, thanks to the engineering behind Earth Dreams Technology. Main competitors that can appropriately compete with style, price and fuel economy are the Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Activity & Performance Ability: Having adapted the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder powertrain technology as the Accord’s just last model year, the CR-V has increased its acceleration responsive time. The crossover displays command and stability during tight turning, and is easy to maneuver. Interior road noise from the four-cylinder is not over pronounced. But the performance competition for this segment is very tough: Do check out the Tucson’s new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and its quick-shifting seven-speed transmission, as well as the Mazda CX-5’s 184-horsepower SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine – I also must confess another highlight of the Ford Escape is the upgraded 220-horsepower 2-liter engine that really does outshines most competitors with its precise steering, zero-hesitation acceleration and quick cornering action. .

The Green Concern: All vehicles in this class are working S

tylish But Comfortable Results: What I like most about the Honda CR-V is that it’s a vehicle capable of pleasing even at the base LX level, as standard features for every five-passenger CR-V include a rearview camera, Multi-Information Display, four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, Pandora Internet Radio and a text messaging function that reads smartphone texts aloud through the audio system. Not all smaller and more affordable crossovers offer a power liftgate, so it’s great Honda offers a trim for this (Touring trim only). However, the Hyundai Tucson’s fit-and-finish might blow you away more with their top-of-the-line trim, as the Limited model features nicer padded and stitched dash and panel inserts supported by a more sculpted center console design (and Hyundai does offer a power liftgate on two trims, not just one). The Ford Escape remains also shares a similar edge due to a more refined interior and design execution.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The 2016 Honda CR-V is a Top Safety Pick with the IIHS and features standard vehicle stability control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, side-curtain airbags, and Advanced Compatibility Engineering. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it an overall rating of 5-Stars.

Cost Issues: The 2016 Honda CR-V starts at $23,745 for the base LX while the base Hyundai Tucson starts at $22,700 and its sister competitor the Kia Sportage at $21,150. My loaded CR-V Touring trim was $32,095. Also, the base 2016 Ford Escape starts at $23,100 with my recent Titanium trim test drive reaching near $35k with options. hard to retain 26-city and 33-highway for a combined 29 miles-per-gallon with front-wheel drive, and the CR-V is no exception.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
For existing in likely the toughest vehicle segment, the 2016 Honda CR-V might not have the softest leather trim or snappiest engine of all choices – but its ability to evenly excel in just about every single important category is what makes it arguably the most well-rounded crossover in its class.

©2016 Katrina Ramser

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