TO THE POINTWhat’s New? Totally redesigned with a new body, new chassis, more power, and added refinement Selling Points: Comfortable ride, improved interior layout, cargo capacity, fuel economy, value Deal Breakers: Lack of engine power, lack of manual or sport-mode transmission
Honda CR-V – First Drive: Nothing’s better for setting one’s financial priorities straight than a good ol’ corporate layoff, or better yet, an expensive divorce. Of course, no devoted employee or loyal husband would want or deserve such harsh treatment, but in the event that such an unfortunate occasion should arise, hard decisions must be made. The importance of the almighty dollar reigns supreme, as untracked expendable income is replaced by serious contemplation over the necessity of buying name-brand milk. Drinking water suddenly springs from the kitchen tap rather than the French Alps.
Similarly, sky-rocketing gas prices have drivers increasingly aware of what they really need in terms of transportation. Sure, that intimidating 400-horsepower monster SUV would disperse traffic quicker than a flatulent burrito fiend could clear a room, and that hybrid crossover promises decent gains in efficiency, albeit for a hefty premium, but how much sense do either of those alternatives make, especially when Honda is offering an all-new CR-V with room for five passengers and their gear, optional four-wheel-drive traction, and real-world fuel economy into the low 30s? Plus, it can be fully decked out with a power moonroof, leather seats, and a touch-screen navigation system for less than $30,000. Not to mention it’s a Honda, so there’s a better chance than not that the redesigned 2007 CR-V will be dependable. No, this 166-horsepower ‘ute won’t rip up the pavement or tow the family pleasure boat, yet it can tug a 1,500-lb. load to the transfer station, and will provide a comfortable, somewhat entertaining ride for the active match.com user or small family. And each stop at the gas station won’t equate to an additional car payment.