2005 CR-V New Car Test Drive
The Honda CR-V is roomy, convenient and easy to drive. You can put lots of stuff in it and the back seats are quite comfortable. It rides smoothly, without the jouncy harshness of many SUVs. The CR-V is surprisingly maneuverable in tight quarters and handles well on winding roads. It's also stable in stiff crosswinds at freeway speeds.
Like Toyota's RAV4, the CR-V was one of the first so-called cute-utes: Not quite a sport-utility, but more than a car, offering an upright seating position, all-wheel drive and decent cargo space. Since it was built on a car platform (the Honda Civic), CR-V's highway-friendly ride and handling made it drive more like a car. This combination attracted buyers who needed a minivan but wanted something smaller and more maneuverable, and something that didn't look like a minivan.
The CR-V isn't much good off-road, but it's better than competent on the highways and byways where most SUVs are driven most of the time. It beats most of its immediate competitors in both qualitative and quantitative measures, and trails the competition in only a few. It's available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive for winter weather capability.
Changes for 2005 include minor exterior restyling, added standard safety features, and the addition of a new luxury trim level. A cam-driven all-wheel-drive mechanism now replaces the pump system on all 4WD-equipped models, improving acceleration and hill-climbing performance.
The CR-V is offered in three trim levels. All come with a four-cylinder engine. All are available with a five-speed automatic transmission; a five-speed manual is available on the mid-level model. Honda has long believed that the fewer the options, the less a car costs to build, so options on its small SUV are few.
Standard features on all 2005 models include 16-inch wheels, integrated keyless entry, and safety features including front and side-impact air bags, anti-lock braking (ABS) and Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control (electronic stability control).
The LX ($19,995) is available with front-wheel drive, but it comes well equipped. Standard equipment includes air conditioning with micron filtration, AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo, cruise control, an adjustable steering column, power mirrors, power windows, power four-wheel disc brakes, front and rear power outlets and a removable folding picnic table. A four-wheel-drive version of the LX is also available ($21,195). Aluminum wheels are available as a dealer-installed accessory.
The EX comes only with four-wheel drive, and adds a premium stereo with CD changer, anti-lock brakes, rear privacy glass, aluminum wheels, and a power moonroof. For 2005, 16-inch aluminum wheels, outside temperature gauge, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls have been added. EX 4WD is available with five-speed manual ($22,450) or automatic ($23,350).
The SE ($25,050) is new for 2005, and comes standard with four-wheel drive and the five-speed automatic. On the interior, the SE adds heated leather seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Exterior additions include door mirrors, body-colored bumpers, side molding, door handles and spare wheel cover.
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