Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2012 CRV - first driving impression

2012 CRV - first driving impression

I was in my Honda service center y'day for a regular oil change, and was talking to my service adviser casually about the 2012 CRV. He offered me a test drive on the 2012 that they received earlier y'day morning. Officially the 2012 CRV goes on sale in USA from Dec 15th.

You can find photos of the new CRV here. I took a couple of photos on my cell phone, which are attached.

Initial impressions:

Interior & Exterior
1. I was expecting a bigger vehicle from those photos, but the dimensions and interior space is almost the same when you see it in person.
2. Interior fit & finish and quality of materials have improved.
3. Acura styling is copied in the new cabin, especially the speedometer cluster, fake wood trim and seats
4. The Seats are much more comfortable than the outgoing model.
5. Steering wheel is leather wrapped, but felt more plastic like
6. Many more features become standard (like sub woofer, one pull automatic folding rear seats, fog lamps, USB/bluetooth stereo etc) compared to similar variants of the outgoing model.
7. One big glove box in the passenger side and the 6 CD changer will be missed.
8. The built-in concave mirror for blind spot coverage didnt help much. I rather have a 2$ aftermarket one.
9. No third row seat option again.

Driving Impression:
1. I have two major complaints about my CRV. a) road/tire noise , b)lack of power/torque at around 50-55mph . Both are NOT improved.
2. In paper, there is a marginal improvement in power from the outgoing model, but never felt it.
3. The ride and handling are almost identical to the outgoing one under normal driving conditions. (note that I didn't push the vehicle to extremes).
4. The "econo mode" button and "green console lighting" reminded me of the old TVS Victor days. Couldn't really test these modes in the short test drive.

Overall feeling : This vehicle has the potential to keep the same sales numbers as the outgoing model. Honda increased the prices of CRV around 1%, but standard equipment levels has gone up compared to the old model. Honda will be selling very close to the MSRP in the next couple of months. (EXL model asking price is $28.5k where as the MSRP is $29.1K), which probably is on the high side for this vehicle. It may not be a good idea to buy the 2012 model immediately. Already dealerships started clearing the 2011 model stock at a discounted rate.

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Attached Images

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