2012 Honda CR-V AWD: Oregon Trip Gripes
July 31, 2012
Our trip up highway 101 and Interstate 5 is going smoothly, but the 2012 Honda CR-V hasn't yet put me in a mood to run out and buy one. And yes, my wife and I are in the market; our trusty minivan met an untimely end a couple of weeks ago. We're actively shopping but I don't think we'll be buying one of these even though it's in our price range and has the basic functionality my wife needs.
Exhibit A: the sun visor won't pull back, leaving a 6-inch area unprotected. As Scott Oldham once said to our crack photo squad, "It's the sun. You can't move the sun." The same is true of the trajectory of Interstate 5 north in central Oregon. So I sat there squinting for 90 minutes as the sun sank lower and lower off to our port side. This state of affairs would have persisted for another hour, too, if we hadn't exited the freeway and turned west.
Exhibit B is this screen and the matching computerized nanny voice that simultaneously breaks in over the music that says, "The phone has been connected," or words to that effect.
This would be OK if the message popped up just the once after I started the engine to confirm that the Bluetooth connection has automatically re-paired itself and is ready to go. Thing is, this message and that frickin' voice cut in and repeated that notification ... every ... thirty ... minutes. So far we've heard this about 25 or 30 times in the 14 or so road-hours we've spent in the CR-V since we left home. Something's not right here.
Exhibit C can't be photographed, but the wind and road noise are way too evident. It's loud in here on these asphalt roads, even the ones near the coast that don't see snow and tire chains in winter. Honda has never been one for stellar NVH, so this isn't a huge shock. I expected this.
Exhibit D is a cruise control I can't stand. When I set the speed and lift off the gas the CR-V doesn't immediately take over and continue on at whatever speed I was going. Instead it slows a mph or two, making me think it didn't "take", before finally cutting in and building speed back up to set point after a handful of seconds.
The laggy feeling continues when under way where it overshoots and undershoots unlike no other long term car I've taken on this hilly freeway route over the last 7 years. When it crests a summit, for example, the CR-V is frequently hard on the gas, accelerating straight over the top to the point that I have to intervene and hit the cancel button. Ultimately I turned it off altogether and went full manual to smooth things out for my passengers.
This system feels two decades old, maybe three. Sure, more power and a six-speed tranny would help, but I've seen others do better with similar equipment.
Exhibit E is a pair of leaky doors. My wife noticed this first on the passenger side, when a stream of cold air (it was 55 outside and the climate control was off at the time) tickled her fingers. It seemed to be coming from the seams that surround the door pull finger pocket in the armrest. I tried my side and the effect was quite noticeable there, too.
This is by no means the end of our gripe list -- the touchscreen's menu flow is suspect and the wheezy 4-cylinder engine would be better served by a six-speed gearbox. And on the other hand my wife and I do like a thing or two. Still, it would seem the balance sheet tips too far the wrong way for us.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 4,275 miles