CRV Could Use Better Layout
January 28, 2019
Entering the car is easy with plenty of legroom, headroom, and cargo space. The typical 60/40 back seat split allows for even more space if needed. The acceleration is prompt but the ride feels a little rough. The road comes through even with the radio playing. Steering is responsive and the HUD is clear. HOWEVER, whoever designed the rear hatch to be accessible only by the left hand of the driver had no concept of convenience as frequently it is the passenger who would need to open the hatch. Also, the controls require a lot of training, only problem is is that there is no manual on how to use the controls nor will you find any information on Honda's website. Confusion even by the dealership on how to make the "gadgets" work will leave you wondering how you'll ever figure anything out. The HUD displays speed, and a trip meter; but, you'll have to go through a confusing smorgasboard of menu items to change the screen so as to access different features and then you'll have to do it all over for each feature. Menu-->Submenu-->SubSubmenu until you are exasperated and say scr** it ... On the mileage count you can either have the odometer or the tripmeter with the estimated mpg but not all three at once - like most HUDs would give you. Using the information button will take you to menus that have one item to be viewed. Use the up/down/left/right buttons next to the info button and you'll be changing source of radio or the station on the radio source. For example: (all quotes are actually mostly icons and not written out) you can push "info" then submenu "tool" where you will see oil life. You can not see anything else under the "tool" menu and you can't change the oil life percentage from this screen. Where you can is still a mystery to me.
There is an armrest that manually slides out depending on whether your chair is forward or further back in position, so as to make the armrest available no matter where seat position is. This would be a nice feature if the slightest movement of your arm didn't make the armrest move forwards and backwards. The rear storage has a floorboard that can be elevated making the floor level with the seat backs or lowered to act as a bin. It would have been a nice feature to have a subfloor that covered the mini spare so that when the floor was elevated the space below was still usable. In its current condition, you would be sitting things around the tire well or in the tire hub.
When driving, the small SUV sits at about the same height as a regular car, so you pretty much end up looking at other peoples tail lights and license plate. There are flares on each side of the front of the vehicle that are annoying as they interrupt the view of the road left and right. I know it's styling but ... Also, the auto high beam does not do well against oncoming traffic without bright headlights. In addition, they do not seem to pick up oncoming or traffic ahead when in dingy weather and will still kick into high beam and remain there.
I did pick the CRV over its competitors which I deemed to be the Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV 4, Ford Escape, Mazda CX 5, Hyundai Motors Sportage and Tucson and Chevy Equinox although there are others. The CRV was more spacious, fuel economy negligibly better (by around 1-3 mpg), cargo space was larger and had better access through the door. I would have probably chosen either Mazda or Chevy in the alternative if there hadn't been a exceptions ... except I still trust Honda reliability and resale value a bit more. I did consider a step up to the Chevy Traverse (wow - nice car) but cost - whew... Also, Hyundai Motors Sportage and Tucson (Kia and Hyundai belong to Hyundai Motors) have excellent warranties but felt a bit tight and the chairs were uncomfortable to me (I am 68" and 140 lbs) as well as not seeming as agile on the road. Rogue looks nice but the motor dogged and the turns were a bit of a roll. Layout, access etc were good but I felt the CRV had the edge. So, even with all the problems I didn't realize at the time of purchase but learned as I was attempting to learn how to use the vehicles features, I would still purchase the CRV and hope for the best resale in the future with the hopes of better and more intuitive driving experience from the 2014-2017 models ....