Zipping through Bataan in the all-new Honda CR-V
BY MIKA FERNANDEZDAVID
The Manila Times
HONDA Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) recently organized a drive to Bataan and Zambales, showcasing the recently launched sixth-generation allnew Honda CR-V. Over the years, Honda’s popular crossover has evolved significantly from its first model in the early ‘90s. With each new iteration, the CR-V has grown in size and incorporated the latest technology, becoming a strong contender and an aspirational vehicle. Now, the question arises: Will this generation maintain or exceed the strength of its predecessors? Turbo power unleashed! Starting our journey from Okada Hotel in Parañaque, we cruised through Skyway 3 and NLEx before tackling the scenic country roads and mountain passes of Bataan and Subic. Our group experienced the 1.5 VX Turbo CVT AWD (continuously variable transmission with all-wheel drive), finding it adequately powered with a perfect power-to-weight ratio, ensuring nimble and sprightly handling. Shifting was predictable, and steering was effortless, offering improved performance compared to the previous diesel variant. The reintroduction of the familiar lever shifter adds to the familiarity for enthusiasts. The CR-V, designed for owner-driven experiences, boasts Honda’s performance and handling with features enhancing the driving experience. Physical buttons for changing driving modes and on the head unit’s touchscreen facilitate easy navigation without distracting from the road. Equipped with powered front seats (8-way power memory for the driver and 4-way power for the passenger), wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Honda Smart Key, a new digital instrument cluster, a 9-inch touchscreen, and leather seats for all trims, the CR-V aims to optimize the driving experience. However, we observed that sound insulation in this variant was slightly lacking, with noticeable road and engine noise. Seating comfort for the first and second rows was commendable, while the third row is best suited for children or smaller adults. In the turbo variants, we found the placement of additional aircon vents on the ceiling peculiar, as they direct airflow directly onto the heads of second-row occupants. Electrified elegance Moving on to the top-of-the-line 2.0 RS e:HEV eCVT, our impressions soared. Beyond interior upgrades and instantaneous power delivery, the seamless shifting between gears and from gasoline to electric power mesmerized us. The hybrid CR-V offers Honda driving dynamics on steroids, providing a smooth and exhilarating driving experience. The RS variant, accommodating Honda’s first full hybrid system, features two-row seating due to the battery’s presence, ensuring a more planted ride with added damping. It excels in better noise, vibration and harshness reduction levels, thanks to enhanced insulation and active noise control (ANC) that counters Honda’s VCM (variable cylinder management) deactivation and exhaust noise. The system also includes an amplifier to accentuate sporty notes. The top-trim 2.0 RS e:HEV eCVT comes with Honda Smart Key entry, heads-up display (HUD), a premium Bose Audio system with 12 speakers, and a panoramic sunroof. Standard features include Honda Sensing and Honda Connect. If you’re in the market for a self-driven hybrid, the CR-V should undoubtedly be on your shortlist. The all-new CR-V is available at all Honda Cars dealerships nationwide in colors such as Canyon River Blue (new), Meteoroid Gray Metallic, Lunar Silver Metallic (Turbo variants), Ignite Red Metallic (exclusive to the e:HEV variant), and Platinum White Pearl (additional P20,000).