The Hondas are coming, the Hondas are coming! Four months of phone calls and emails have finally paid off. For those of you requesting Honda reviews here they are: The CR-V followed by Accord Hybrid and Pilot (sorry, still no luck on the Odyssey). After all that waiting and build-up I sure hope they live up to their reputation of affordable, safe convenience.
When pulling the CR-V into my driveway, my first impression is that I'm not going to like it. The strange placement and weird ergonomics of the parking break and gear shifting thingy (that's the technical term, by the way) throw me for a loop. A few more moments of exploring the vehicle, however, and my opinion takes a sharp 180.
The CR-V features a multitude of storage compartments (10 in the front alone) in all the right sizes to fit everything my family needs or may ever need. By far, my favorite feature is the folding center tray table. Located between the two front seats, this tray can be folded down to clear a passageway to the back seat. When in position, the tray table has two cupholders and a flat surface that works equally well for writing quick notes (when stopped, of course) or holding a snack.
The thermostat controls are large and easy to use. Although there are not separate air vents for the rear seats, I don't have any trouble circulating warm air back there to quickly heat up my little sweet peas.
The radio display is a bit archaic looking. The digital display reminds me of the calculator that I used in third grade to spell "BOOBLESS." Don't believe me, just type in 55378008 and turn it upside down. Ah, the simple memories of childhood.
OK, back to cars. The rear seat slides back and forth, allowing for a large amount of legroom or child car seat room for those of us with little ones. The seat can be reclined and folds forward easily (in a 60/40 split) to create more cargo room. It folds and tumbles for a completely flat floor.
The seat belt for the center rear position extends down from the ceiling. It doesn't create a visual obstruction but rather an aesthetic annoyance for me. Also, the tether anchors for car seats are located in the ceiling of the cargo area. For those of you who use tether anchors, just realize that you'll have to deal with the straps in your rear line of vision.
The cargo space features a hidden picnic table for those "Sound of Music" moments when I just happen to find myself dining and yodeling on top of a mountain. Of course, I would have to prepare in advance and pack chairs too. It'd probably be easier just to sit on a blanket. But it's a cool feature that most cars don't have.
The tailgate opens to the side instead of up. Quite frankly, I haven't decided whether or not I like this. It's easier to open than most, but without conducting a controlled laboratory experiment, it seems to use more space to open than top-opening ones. That could pose a problem in a tight garage or when backed into a parking space. Side note: When reading this review, my husband commented that the side opening cargo door allows for easy rear roof access to load lumber and the sort. I still don't see how that helps me out at the grocery store.
Overall, the CR-V lives up to its reputation. It's safe, fairly affordable, gets great gas mileage and paints a lovely picture of convenience that's very appealing to us mommies (and daddies, too).
*For additional information on the 2005 Honda CR-V 4WD SE and its safety features visit Cars.com.
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