The 5 coolest things about the new, formerly uncool, Honda CR-V
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The Honda CR-V was a bit of a pioneer in this crossover genre. But, it's never really been perceived as a youth-orientated, 'cool' car in the segment.
With sales of these kinds of cars going through the roof though, Honda's new CR-V has signaled an intention to change all that and chase a younger demographic. Ahead of Driven's full road test of the CR-V, here are five of the best things about it.
The first thing you notice about the new CR-V are these slick 18-inch wheels. They're in line with Honda's current pursuit of aggressive and youthful design — two concepts the CR-V hasn't been known for historically.
I get the feeling sometimes that manufacturers underrate the importance of wheel design in cars. A good body design can be jettisoned pretty quickly by the use of rubbish-looking wheels. So, kudos to Honda on these puppies.
Toys in the back
Practicality is still a priority for the CR-V, and this is clear when you open the electric boot lid. There are plenty of cubby holes for storage of items big and small, as well as convenient grab handles for dropping the rear seats with ease. A low lip means less heavy lifting when lugging stuff in ... and you'll be able to do plenty of that, given how roomy it is back here.
Electric tailgates are a bit of a love/hate thing in the Driven office, but what makes the CR-V's particularly nice is the ability to set an optimal height for how high upwards it'll swing. Smart stuff, especially for those among us who are vertically challenged.
Pump up the volume
The interior of the CR-V might quite hit the same marks as the car's exterior, but there are a few nice touches. One of them is the steer-wheel volume control.
While on first impressions it looks like a generic volume up/down button, it's actually touch sensitive — meaning that the driver can strum their finger up and down on the button to adjust the volume.
This sort of technology isn't exactly new, but in this application it's particularly intuitive. If you don't find it intuitive, know that the CR-V also has a genuine, actual, real life, physical volume nob. Rejoice.
Holy crap you can store stuff everywhere
The storage capabilities of the CR-V's interior are crazy. Like the usable boot, the rest of the interior is dripping with places to put all the garbage one tends to carry around with them in everyday life.
One of the curious highlights in this area are the storage bins in the base of the door cards. They're quite deep, yes, but they also go really really really deep in a backwards direction. They may genuinely be the biggest door bins in any car I've ever been in. What you'd bring into a car that would require all that space, though, is beyond me.
Yes, I know storage isn't cool. But hell is it useful, and things being useful is cool.
Enough chrome, but not too much
Chrome is a dying material. Once big through the '70s and '80s, its usage on today's cars is often quite restrained.
Curiously, if you dip back through the archives and analyse the history of the CR-V, you'll find that chrome has always been a feature of their exterior design. And more of it features on the new car than ever before.
Perched on the nose is a big chrome handlebar moustache, chrome surrounds the windows, chrome garnishes the innards of the headlights, chrome goes up the sideskirts, and chrome punctuates the bootlid. There's plenty of it, but somehow ... it's not too much.
In fact, I think the use of chrome is a big reason why the CR-V pulls off quite a premium look.
Read our full road test of the Honda CR-V in Saturday's edition of Driven, published in the NZ Herald.