2012 Honda CR-V: Perception Vs. Data
November 22, 2012
Traffic was awful on the way home the other night. Most nights at this hour, I can usually get a clear run home to Orange County. But this is Thanksgiving week. Traffic moved, but cars packed the lanes. Just a lot of people on the road at that hour, and everyone has their own interpretation of flow of traffic.
You've got the box truck clogging the #3 lane. Or mid-90's Elantra Guy running up on bumpers, trying out different lanes, willing himself to get there, somewhere, before you do. And there's the old dame in the fast lane that keeps 18 lengths between her and the car ahead. And there's no closing that gap with her. When she sees those brake lights up ahead, she's right on top of hers.
So I got to know the CR-V brakes, including one event that induced some squeal and sent my bag tumbling from the passenger seat.
I started thinking that the brakes felt pretty good, that the pedal felt consistent and instilled some confidence. Then I remembered I was driving a Honda, which further surprised me. Honda has had moments, but brakes have never been among the company's traditional strengths.
In track testing, our long-term all-wheel-drive CR-V's braking results fall below the average, stopping from 60 mph in 129 feet on its Bridgestone Duelers. That's well below most small crossovers, which average 123 feet. But our long-termer's number is also at odds with an earlier test of a new AWD CR-V. That car, equipped with Continental Cross Contacts, stopped from 60 mph in 120 feet. That's about the distance you can expect from a Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and the Ford Escape all-wheel-drive models.
I'm curious to talk to my colleagues on the test team about the discrepancy after the holiday break. In the meantime, while I like the CR-V's brake feel, I won't be overly confident driving it this weekend.
Happy Thanksgiving all.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor