2012 Honda CR-V: No-Fumble Buckle
June 26, 2013
In this gig, you're always looking for details. After you get a feel for a vehicle's fundamental dynamic character, how it accelerates, steers, brakes and shifts its weight, you start noticing the details. Are the seats comfortable? How's the wheel feel? Can I see out of this thing? Then it starts breaking down to a car's purpose.
Moving things around in our long-term Honda CR-V recently, flipping the seats up and down, trying different configurations, I noticed this deft cutout for the left outboard seatbelt receiver in the folding rear seat (the 60-percent section). The seat bench falls right over the receiver, clears it perfectly, and the receiver still has some room to move.
A small, even trivial detail, but I bet there was nothing trivial about it to the interior engineer who had to sweat it. Probably a thankless task that went largely unnoticed on the team, and maybe even to the thousands of rear-seat passengers who'll never know that old-school joy of fumbling around under the seat cushion, feeling for the receiver, before strapping in.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor