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Underpowered compared to the competition, but still an excellent choice for those wanting a comfortable and versatile mini SUV.
Honda quality, spacious interior, good highway ride.
Not enough torque, noisy at high speeds, lacks off-road capabilities.
Available CR-V SUV Models
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A darker shade of silver debuts, and child seat-tether anchors are standard. EX and SE models have floor mats standard.
If sport utilities were driven the way they were originally intended, you'd have a hard time convincing yourself that the 2001 Honda CR-V is the vehicle of choice. However, since most of the SUVs purchased these days spend all of their time on the road, the CR-V offers a great combination of a car-like ride and interior with truck-like visibility and ground clearance.
Built on the Civic platform, the CR-V successfully integrates familiar Honda components into a visually pleasing design. The 2.0-liter, DOHC inline four-cylinder engine makes 146 horsepower and 133 foot-pounds of torque. Honda's familiar four-speed automatic transmission -- with an overdrive on/off switch -- or a precise five-speed manual gearbox put that power to the wheels and a four-wheel, double-wishbone suspension gives this vehicle its nice ride.
The CR-V's Real Time four-wheel-drive system only applies power to the rear wheels when there is a loss of traction at the front. All 4WD models come with a five-speed manual transmission, while the four-speed automatic is optional. A front-wheel-drive model is offered, but it comes only with the automatic transmission. The result of using all of these car components is not surprising: The CR-V looks and feels like a car.
The CR-V's interior is instantly recognizable to anyone who has spent time in Honda's passenger cars. Functionality takes precedence over style in the CR-V's cabin, and the result is easy-to-read gauges, well-placed controls (except for dash-mounted electric window switches), and high quality, if somewhat uninspired, interior materials. Cargo capacity is an impressive 67.2 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded. The CR-V offers comfortable chairs for its occupants, each of which provides excellent visibility and the ability to recline when the trip grows long. The front passenger benefits from a left-side armrest and rear passengers will enjoy the door-mounted cupholders.
Available in either LX, EX or SE trim levels, the CR-V is surprisingly well equipped even in base LX form. Air conditioning with a filtration system is standard, as are power windows, power door locks, rear window wiper and defogger, AM/FM stereo with cassette, cruise control and a folding picnic table that doubles as a cargo area cover. Antilock brakes are available only on the EX and SE models, which also come with a CD player, remote entry system and alloy wheels. Checking the SE package adds a leather-trimmed interior, privacy glass, CD player, chrome grille accent and body-colored bumpers, side moldings and hard spare tire cover.
The CR-V is not meant to compete against hard-core recreational vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler or Toyota 4Runner. Instead, it is meant for the person who wants the look and feel of a sport utility without having to pay an exorbitant sticker price and huge gas bills. The CR-V will get people to work and back in all but the worst weather, and to their favorite picnic area, assuming it's not on the Rubicon Trail.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.