DRIVEN: 2017 Honda CR-V – top of the class, again

DRIVEN: 2017 Honda CR-V – top of the class, again

Necessity is the mother of invention, as is the case for what has long been the defining Japanese sport-utility vehicle in its class. In its early, formative years, despite not being the first on the scene, the Honda CR-V had the field pretty much to itself – though utilitarian and workman-like rather than sophisticated, the first two generations of the RD worked as well as they did because the market for such vehicles had yet to mature, and competition in the arena was scarce.

Things looked even prettier when the third-gen RE appeared a decade ago – the car arrived at a time when the demand for SUVs had well kicked in, and it wasn’t a surprise to see adoption rates for it being high. The competition may have started to shape, but the CR-V had also grown up. Far more refined and dynamically involving than its predecessors, the third outing more than held its own against contenders throughout its market life.

The fourth-gen RM attempted to replicate that. For a while, the going was good, but momentum was faltering – the model arrived here late, as shown by its short four-year cycle, and competition had begun to stiffen. Evolution more than the revolution the third one had been, the CR-V’s superiority had completely waned by the time the RM’s life-cycle ended, its position as market leader stripped.

The debut of the fifth-gen a few months ago is very much targeted at re-establishing that supremacy – necessity of invention has brought about turbocharging, a raft of new, class-leading driver-assist tech and plenty of features. The RW has stamped its mark early on in taking back the mantle, as reflected through its bookings, but just how good is the latest iteration of the ‘Comfortable Runabout Vehicle’? We find out by taking it on a drive to Johor and back.

DRIVEN: 2017 Honda CR-V – top of the class, again

Though it’s fast becoming a common sight on the road, a quick look at the exterior – at 4,584 mm long, 1,855 mm wide and 1,679 mm tall (1,689 mm for the 4WD version), the fifth-gen is slightly longer (fourth-gen, 4,545 mm, +39 mm) and wider (1,820 mm, +35 mm) than its predecessor, though it sits lower (1,685 mm, -6 mm).

While the size and general shape doesn’t veer far from the previous model, the new CR-V has a far more imposing visual presence, its bold front end and edgier lines helping to scale up the SUV in more prominent fashion. It’s still unmistakably CR-V though, with a side profile largely reminiscent of the RM.

In line with the sportier looks, 18-inch alloy wheels (with 235/60 profile tyres) find their way on, these common to all the turbo variants, while the solitary normally-aspirated version rides on 17-inch units (with 235/65 series rubbers). It’s a matter of preference, but the latter’s design works better, the 18-inch being a bit too busy-looking, at least to my eyes.

The new interior is an advancement over the fourth-gen‘s, not so much in terms of design but in material choices and presentation. Cues to the lack of finesse in the older car’s cabin was already evident when we first sampled it in 2013, but as pointed out then, the car was designed during the economic downturn towards the end of the last decade, and pretty much outfitted as a result of that inadvertent switch to austerity.

Time has only amplified this, and the short of it is that the years haven’t been kind to the previous CR-V’s interior – I took out a demonstrator from Honda Malaysia prior to the drive to re-establish a baseline for comparison, and was struck by how poorly the materials have held up. It could in its earlier form. The resident third-gen RE is seven years old, and yet the materials in its cabin continue to offer better resolution, all the while holding up to wear far better than the fourth-gen’s.

That on the new car brings things back to an even keel. Materials are good to the touch and sight, and on the whole the interior presentation in the new CR-V has plenty of coherency, especially with the dashboard layout.

The new full-colour LCD TFT instrument cluster has plenty of visual appeal, and legibility levels are good. The centre console is also better resolved, especially at the top end – the seven-inch central display tidies up the fascia considerably, and the AC controls and area around the gearshift are far better resolved compared to that on the old car.

It’s not all roses though. Arguably, the second-gen KF Mazda CX-5‘s interior feels plusher, and for overall cabin presentation everything in the class available here must surely bow to the seminal Peugeot 3008. Elsewhere, in isolation, there are some elements that are bound to invite polarity of opinion.

One of these is with the choice of faux-wood trim accents for the door cards, dashboard and sides of the centre console. Its inclusion may be to introduce a more luxurious feel, but you get the feeling that the chosen shade won’t be to everyone’s tastes. I’m not particularly big on it, but there are stronger opinions, like that from Hafriz Shah, who says it resembles ‘Javanese furniture from the ‘90s’.

The other half isn’t a fan either. She popped in to the showroom to have a look at the CR-V following the launch, and promptly asked the sales person if there was any way she could get a 1.5L Turbo with the silver accent trim from the 2.0 NA. I guess you can’t please them all.

Aside from that, the car pretty much scored pluses right through with the lady during the brief walk-around, the biggest one being the volume offered by the centre console storage bin. While still referencing the third-gen’s void space between the centre console and fascia as being a perfect location for handbag and shoe stowage, the ability to secure a bag within the confines of the console in the new car seems to have softened that firm stance.

Ergonomics-wise, the CR-V’s cabin is class leading for space, with plenty of storage solutions. As for the seats, even if they’re not the most snug offerings in the segment, the front units offer good support and comfort, and hold up well over long haul runs.

DRIVEN: 2017 Honda CR-V – top of the class, again

The back row, meanwhile, is an outright winner in terms of legroom and spatial presence, easily ahead of the rest of the field in the class. Aided by all this acreage, the comfort levels at the back of the five-seater are high – with three to a vehicle on the drive, there was plenty of opportunity to get familiar with the rear seats.

The drive saw two of the three available 1.5L Turbo models being trialled – the assembled mules consisted of Premium 2WD units with Honda Sensing as well as a couple of turbo 4WD variants.

To recap, the 1.5L Turbo variants are equipped with a 1.5 litre direct injection turbocharged VTEC engine offering 193 PS and 243 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm, while the sole normally-aspirated 2.0L i-VTEC 2WD is powered by the existing 2.0 litre R20 motor, which has 155 PS and 190 Nm. All the CR-V variants feature a Honda’s Earth Dreams CVT transmission, which takes over from the five-speed auto.

We had previously tried the CR-V in June ahead of its market debut in July, but that was on a closed, short course event meant to highlight the workings of the Honda Sensing suite of safety technologies. With time limited to that offered during the demonstration, there was little to take away in terms of any real observations about the SUV.

DRIVEN: 2017 Honda CR-V – top of the class, again

The road test provided all the necessary answers. As you’d expect, the new turbo mill provides plenty of poke. Coming in from the rather lumpy R20, the difference in take-up across the entire speed spectrum is pronounced, and even though the turbo’s delivery is tuned for progression than immediacy, the new car unsurprisingly leaves the 2.0 litre well for dead.

As noted during the Sensing trail in June, the turbo is also pacier off the line than the old 2.4 litre, and its delivery aspects are intrinsically smoother. The CVT, meanwhile, is a decent replacement for the ageing five-speeder – it’s responsive, and behaviour-wise has an automatic feel to it, with very little rubber banding evident. There’s a trace of associated CVT whine though, which takes some edge off the shine.

With development benchmarked against the Volkswagen Tiguan, gains in areas such as dynamics and stability, steering precision/feedback as well as vehicle response to input have come about, all aimed at bringing the SUV well back into the game. With regards to steering precision, the report card on that scores full marks – aside from having better weight and feel, it has also addressed an issue bugging previous gen models.

This concerns the need to continuously perform micro adjustments of the steering to maintain line composure at highway running speeds, especially tiring over a long haul. Prominent on the third-gen, and still noticeable on the fourth (as a run down to Seremban with the recent loaner showed), I’d always thought it was something that I was just being overly sensitive about ever since we bought the RE back in 2010, but colleague Danny Tan had also picked up on this during our 2011 five SUV shootout.

That irregularity is now completely absent on the fifth-gen, and the improved steering accuracy and corresponding straight-line fidelity is nothing short of sterling. Curious about this, I brought the matter up with Honda R&D assistant chief engineer Syoji Takahashi, the chassis project leader for the CR-V, who was present at the drive. He said efforts to improve the ride and handling also involved correcting the tetchy steering behaviour, something the engineers were aware of.

As for gains in ride and handling over the fourth-gen, the differences aren’t huge, but they are still noticeable. Ride, though still veering to the soft side, isn’t mushy, and the primary is competent over all but the most demanding surfaces. Handling-wise, there’s less body roll, and the new CR-V’s response to input is also faster and sharper than before.

It still isn’t quite CX-5 territory, however, as shown from a session involving a short loop over marginally winding terrain to trial vehicle dynamics. Meant to compare the new CR-V against the fourth-gen model, Honda Malaysia also added a couple of the CR-V’s competitors, the T32 Nissan X-Trail and CX-5 (in its first-gen KE guise) into the mix, both in their 2.5 litre forms.

While notably ahead of the X-Trail and fourth-gen in composure and balance, the new CR-V didn’t quite get the measure of the CX-5 in areas such as dynamics and body control, its reaction to load switching being much softer. The difference isn’t dramatic, but the Mazda offers a better viewpoint from a driver’s perspective. In terms of overall pace and response across the course, however, the turbo’d Honda simply aced the field.

The 4WD doesn’t feel as urgent as the 2WD, as reflected by its slower century sprint time of 9.2 seconds to the latter’s 8.8 seconds. Interestingly though, it behaved much better in its standard drive mode rather than in Sport, as opposed to the 2WD – it simply felt less fluid and free-spirited in Sport when pushed, something the co-drivers in the car also observed.

Speaking of Sport mode, the map bumps up the revs on the 1.5 litre turbo mill by around 500 rpm in-gear, but you’ll have to remember to switch off the Econ mode button to get any action.

It also presented a slightly different ride perspective – Takahashi confirmed that while the suspension layout and geometry remains the same for both the 2WD and 4WD, the rear absorbers on the 4WD have a different tune to cope with the additional weight of the variant (1,595 kg, which is 46 kg more than the 2WD with Sensing). The tune results in both secondary and primary ride being firmer, but I actually preferred its depiction, in particular the better planted primary outlook at high speeds.

With regards to NVH levels, the new CR-V is much quieter than its predecessor, but still lagging behind in absolute terms compared to say, Continental offerings (the Peugeot 3008, for one) as speeds climb. The new CX-5 is also ahead on this count, apparently – having sampled both SUVs recently, Hafriz reports that the second-gen Mazda offers a higher level of NVH isolation.

DRIVEN: 2017 Honda CR-V – top of the class, again

Prior to the drive, there was also a quick demonstration to compare the advancements made in the new car’s Real Time 4WD system, pitching it against the previous-gen’s in an exercise involving a short left/right fast transition course.

Offering improved traction and control, the system is now lighter and is able to provide 10% more torque to the rear wheels, and over the test the new CR-V demonstrated superior levels of grip and predictability, its tracking composure much tauter – and truer – than that of the previous-gen.

Finally, notes about a few of the Honda Sensing features (detailed earlier in our first impressions of it) from a road-going perspective, these being of Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and the Low Speed Follow (LSF) function.

Employing the suite’s monocular camera (positioned between the windshield and rear-view mirror, with a 24.5 degree field of vision) and millimetre wave radar, which has an operating range of around 100 metres (long range, 10 degree angle; short range, 42 degree angle), ACC was sampled heavily throughout the drive – the system worked flawlessly, even in heavy rain (a pleasant surprise), maintaining specified distances set for it.

DRIVEN: 2017 Honda CR-V – top of the class, again

This was provided that surrounding traffic played nice. A number of late lane changes from other vehicles placed them in the CR-V’s immediate path – most times, the Sensing system caught this and deployed autonomous braking (some in rather hard fashion), but driver intervention for braking was needed on a couple of occasions. High marks for the vehicle’s braking system, since we’re on that thread.

The same can be said about the LSF, which performed as intended, although as you can imagine it’s not particularly ideal in heavy traffic conditions – the four metre stopping distance between cars saw enough vehicles happily slipping in front of the CR-V that we stopped employing it during traffic crawls if we were on the right-most lane.

By and large though, there’s no arguing that the Sensing suite is a great thing to have, with the system providing a layer of safety in unobtrusive fashion. A large number of buyers seem to agree – last month, it was reported that 40% of CR-V orders have been for the 1.5L Turbo Premium 2WD variant.

An impressive turbo mill, Honda Sensing and exceptional interior space are but only a few of the things making a strong argument for the fifth-gen Honda CR-V. Add in a features and kit count list – right from the baseline variant – that is peerless, and it’s all good enough to ensure that the Honda is a compelling proposition for buyers in the price segment, one that’s truly greater than the sum of its parts. Indeed, from an all-round perspective, it’s simply unbeatable. Welcome then – again – the once and future king.

Check out the full specifications of the 2017 Honda CR-V and compare all the variants at

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Anthony Lim

Anthony Lim believes that nothing is better than a good smoke and a car with character, with good handling aspects being top of the prize heap. Having spent more than a decade and a half with an English tabloid daily never being able to grasp the meaning of brevity or being succinct, he wags his tail furiously at the idea of waffling - in greater detail - about cars and all their intrinsic peculiarities here.



  • tiadaid (Member) on Nov 15, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Since it’s a five-seater, I’m still trying to think of a rationale for the CR-V. It doesn’t have offroad capability, interior space wise it’s no bigger than the Honda Civic, and in terms of boot space the CRV is only 3 liters bigger than the Civic.

    Why spend an extra RM 36K for the top of the line CR-V when you can have the Civic 1.5T Premium spec for less?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 35
    • CRV lover on Nov 15, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Maybe because CRV has higher ground clearance and higher visibility? Better in our path-hole ridden road especially in East Malaysian, no?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 3
    • Add RM36K to get honda sensing, power boot, 18 inch rims, tuned 1.5 turbo engine into 190hp (civic 1.5T has 170hp)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1
    • Megane on Nov 15, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      It’s an SUV for God’s sake. U get in and out easier. Taller viewing position.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3
    • Doom UMW Doom on Nov 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      I’m more appalled that UMW TOYOTA waving the white flag and surrender without placing any solid competion against CRV,BRV and HRV..The RAV 4 is a right choice but they know it can’t defeat CRV.And they keep feeding Malaysian bland Avanza,Sienta and Rush..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3
    • Mystvearn on Nov 15, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      I just bought the sorento hs diesel after discount. If you haggle between dealers you can get between RM 12k – 23k discount. 12k Base discount. At that price price it is 179k or so. If you are lucky to find a desperate dealer who can offer the 23k discount, then you are seeing a RM 2k difference between sorento and crv. 2 seats are for 2k extra and no active safety features. Some people will have to justify this. The cx5 is also about 170k.

      Do you want looks (cxt) , active safety features (crv) or extra seats and space (santa fe, sorento). Need more seats at cheaper price, can get xtrail. Provided you are not using the third row for adults.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
      • stasta on Nov 16, 2017 at 11:57 am

        the sorento high spec diesel is currently having promo price of 170 OTR . u forgot to mention sorento has 4wd. for CRV u need to choose either active safety suite or 4wd, cant have both.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
      • Sam Loo (ori1) on Dec 17, 2017 at 10:56 am

        Kimchis are great value for money, better still if you get a 12 month old unit

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
    • ayoyo on Dec 28, 2017 at 9:46 am

      If base on your explanation, you can just buy a HONDA EX5, it will bring you to your destination anyhow. and its 150k cheaper. :p

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • centurion on Nov 15, 2017 at 8:40 am

    dont buy la the 1.5 turbo, i am not confident it will be trouble free up to 10 years, honda is new to turbo compared to mat saleh brand, to play safe just buy the normal engine minyak kuat, turbo engine minyak tak jimat la

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 40
    • Yup. Turbo suprima and exora, very bad experience. No next time

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
      • Wah… U comparing Honda to Proton… Wait don’t tell me Proton is now volvo.. Hahaah

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • eHonda on Nov 15, 2017 at 8:40 am

    No 7seater, no problem!! Genius Japanese ride.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5
  • Anthony, nice review. I have one question that perhaps you could ask Honda about, since I have observed almost all the new CR-Vs on the road have this in common; why does the rear end seem to “weigh down” on the rear wheels creating a quasi-hunchback look to the car? Even your pictures 737191 and 737192 capture this rear-heavy look when the car is in motion. It looks proportionately handsome when still and empty.

    Also, did you bug them why they didn’t offer a 4WD with Sensing? Some owners want their SUVs to have 4WD as a function but don’t want to miss out on extra safety tech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0
    • Anthony Lim (Member) on Nov 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      DK, thanks. The photos of the two CR-Vs you mentioned were taken when they were under acceleration. Haven’t really noticed the pitching you highlighted, but will pay attention to see if this is common.

      Not having 4WD with Sensing, the belief is that the majority of the take-up will be for 2WD models, and pricing may have also much to do with it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
      • Thanks Anthony. It’s also a matter of personal preference for me to ensure if I buy an SUV, it not only has to look the part, it must have 4WD or AWD. Otherwise it isn’t an SUV but rather a tall hatchback. It may not be necessary 95% of the time but you would definitely wish you had it when situations call for it. Luckily for us all Subaru SUVs come with AWD as standard.

        Ais Kacang wouldn’t deserve its name if it didn’t have kacang or beans in it, and the same applies to Cendol without the pandan strips (otherwise its just ice with gula melaka, LOL)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6
  • It’s a good SUV and has a lot of improvement from the earlier version. However, the NVH level is not good at all. Honda should put an extra effort on the vehicle insulation for the soundproof.

    My advice to all future buyer, buy CRV for your needs. Don’t expect too much on the quality as offered by the German’s brand. Surely you’ll visit service centre more often than Temple/Mosque/Church.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0
  • karam singh on Nov 15, 2017 at 9:44 am

    the best because the competitors are not here. owners will suffer when they come across the low level of service standards (as per rated by JD Power Malaysia CSI 2017)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0
    • Honda Service Sucks on Nov 15, 2017 at 11:51 pm

      That’s true. I just sent my 4th gen crv to 50k service in hzn honda glenmarie only to find out right after that they broke the hood release cable and now my crv hood cannot be opened for more than 3 weeks already due to waiting for warranty spare part to become available. They promised to call me when the parts arrive but it has been all quiet since then. It doesn’t help that they also made me schedule another appointment just for inspection to claim warranty even though hzn mechanics are the ones responsible for damaging the car during servicing. This is my second honda and with this horrible after sales and customer service by honda malaysia, my next car won’t be a honda anymore. Their sales figure alone should alarm you that their service centers do not have enough capacity to cater the high volume unless those fortunate enough to go to service centers on weekdays. Weekends in all honda service centers are nightmares and risking damaging your car rather than maintaining it. Shame on you honda malaysia. I hope the new ceo reads this complaint and wake up.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1
  • RON97 on Nov 15, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Yea, the space is the main selling point. The mill out of puff when you reach 180.
    CX-5 for driver oriented, not for passenger.
    3008 is a mix, between CR-V & CX-5, win the look.
    But the winner is Tiguan, it ticked all boxes, driver, passenger and practicality.
    If you could wait, Tiguan is the one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 14
  • Low2215 on Nov 15, 2017 at 9:59 am

    So hows the NVH ? what is the cabin noise level ? Many review seems to be missing things like this , uncle like me dont drive fast you know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
    • Anthony Lim (Member) on Nov 15, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      I knew I forgot something from my notes! Thanks for the note. The NVH aspect is better than the fourth-gen, but not class-leading – I have added the observations from my notes into the story.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
    • NVH worst for new CRV. Uncle you dont deserve this car same to me. Better buy CX5

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
  • Semi-Value (Member) on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:08 am

    prefer the cx5…because the rear seats fold 40:20:40

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4
  • Firdaus on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Went up Genting last weekend with 170km only on the odometer.
    Handling/body roll is not that perfect compared to Tiguan.

    Realized the showroom pumped 300kPa air in all 4 tyres.
    Reduced the air to 230/210kPa (front/back) as according to the sticker recommendation.
    Drove back to KL, handling improved, body roll reduced but nothing beats the Tiguan.

    The only reason for buying is, 5 years down the road the resale value of a CRV would be 2x higher than the Tiguan….!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 3
    • 12yrsold on Nov 16, 2017 at 9:10 am

      So the bottom line is U forsake handling for RV. That is so Malaysian. No wonder CRV outsold Tiguan & U are right.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10
      • Firdaus on Nov 16, 2017 at 8:59 pm

        And not to mention VW DSG issues!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9
      • Sam Loo (ori1) on Dec 29, 2017 at 9:22 am

        I would take the Sportage/Tucson over Tiguan anytime

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
      • heng heng on Mar 09, 2018 at 4:24 pm

        rather lose resale value for buying a merc / bmw than a vw. crv for the time being lo…who in their right mind would touch a vw?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Henry on Dec 08, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      My used car dealer took in a 2014 VW Tiguan for only 60k.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • After driving it for a month or so, are you pleased with your purchase?

      May I ask which model you decided to buy?


      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Lolipop on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:20 am

    So early at this morning got poisoned by this article.. You are good Anthony!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
  • Honda..dont be like p1 la..anything premium need wood finishing..aiyo

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  • Gaviny on Nov 15, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I have seen a few turbo models , and good gracious , their intercooler is getting chewed up with stone hits. The intercooler is so front and exposed

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • So when are you getting yours Anthony? :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Not Toyota Fan on Nov 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    The only SUV that handles like a sedan is the BMW X5. You can throw it into any corner & it’ll handle just like a 5 Series sedan. Confidence, no top-heavy centre of gravity roll.

    Can this 5th Gen CRV do the same? Handles a corner like a Civic?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 14
    • Why not compare with Range Rover Sport? Duhh…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4
    • Test drove the new xc60… Love it, so bought it cash, who cares. It handles better than the x5 that u dream of buying but u too poor ass. So suck that boy…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Pomen on Nov 15, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Where is subaru forester in this comparison? Praising too much of a honda… Mehhhh

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4
  • SiaHL on Nov 16, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Things needed to be improve :
    1. 5 seats + 2 seats as options pls
    2. Foot Activated auto tailgate
    3. All round cameras e.g. x Trail
    4. Give the 2.0 a break, finish the tail pipe with a chrome unit, will sell more for you Honda !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • As I will be looking to purchase a SUV in this price category in the first few months of 2018, I decided to do some online research to limit my search time prior to buying. After reading reports and watching many online videos, I had brought my “targets” down to the CRV and CX5, with perhaps a passing glance at the Tiguan.

    The majority of online videos were obviously from US, Canada,UK, Japan and Australia, and after watching them over and over again I became very enthusiastic with the CRV for overall features and appearance.

    Fast forward to last weekend.

    I was passing a Honda dealership, so with an hour to spare decided to go in and have my first real look and touch of the new CRV. I should have stayed at home!! I was left with a feeling of disappointment and bewilderment.

    My preference was for the top of the range Premium model…..but where were all those features I’d seen on all those overseas videos?!!

    1. No hands free tailgate. Honda can’t supply an underbody sensor?
    2. No Two Seat Programable Memory for the driver’s seat.
    3. No GPS !! Honda’s top of the line SUV in 2017 doesn’t have a GPS? Are you serious?!!
    4. No remote start from the key fob?

    There are numerous other features on overseas models that we don’t require in Malaysia, such as heated seats and heated steering wheel, sun roof, all of which come standard on the top of the range model.

    All of those features are standard on the top overseas spec and for a price of between RM25K to RM30K cheaper than we have to pay in Malaysia!

    Seriously, what is going on here?

    I have gone from a fairly enthusiastic probable purchaser, to someone who feels very let down.

    I walked out of the showroom with a distinct feeling that I was being ripped off, in comparison to what most of the world’s Honda CRV buyers were getting for their money.

    I really do hope that Honda execs read comments on websites such as this and reconsider what they are offering to the market. I doubt that I’m alone when I say that this disrespect to consumers is unacceptable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4
    • Sbear on Nov 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Bro, no need to upset. If you really want to do your research before buying a new car, you no need to watch others countries review or video. You will definitely disappointed on it. Read local review will do. Because all the dealers thought all Malaysian was an idiot and offer the lower spec and selling in higher price. But we still buta buta go to buy it and never voice out our thought. They achieve their targets and next year continue the same thing and fools all of us again. Especially the Japanese car makers. This have to thanks their supporters! Cheers…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
      • Hi Sbear, thanks for your reply.

        The longer consumers remain quiet about issues like this, the longer it will go on !!

        When I walked out of the showroom at the weekend I genuinely felt like I was being ripped off. Not by the salesman, not be the dealership, but by Honda. This is a company that sup[plies vehicles to the WORLD MARKET, so surely they are aware that online reviews are read and viewed by those from all over the world. Keep in mind, those videos are also part of their MARKETING strategy to enable them to sell more vehicles.

        It’s up to potential consumers to bring these issues up to the sales team and the dealership, who should then be advising Honda Corporation that their potential customers are not pleased with aspects of the Malaysian specs and to do something about it. Great websites such as this one are also good places for potential customers to vent their frustrations about these issues.Honda would probably sell more and be viewed with more respect!

        I always thought that selling more products in any business was part of Business Success 101.

        Keep your customers happy, Honda. We are not asking for more, we just want the same as the majority of your worldwide consumers.

        That’s surely not too much to ask for.

        I still can’t believe that their flagship top spec SUV hasn’t got a GPS….lol……but they can give Canadians something as irrelevant as a heated steering wheel, amongst all the other goodies they get.

        Thanks again Sbear for taking the time to make your comments, I appreciate it.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
    • Darnstingy on Dec 02, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Hi bro.Same with the CIvic 1.5 TCP. Sound proofing supposedly very good from overseas review. But to my disappointment, it was especially bad. No sound proof windscreen compared with Us/Canadian models, and I suspect HM reduced sound proofing materials on this Malaysian assembled car.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
      • Hi buddy, thanks for your contribution to the thread.

        The only reason I can see that they want to make those changes to locally assembled cars is to reduce the cost and make even more profit. Are they not making enough already? They obviously make their prescribed profit margin in other markets who have the full specs, so I can’t see why that can’t be the case in Malaysia.

        This issue REALLY bugs me and it’s not just Honda doing this!

        Perhaps the corporate line is that they have done surveys and think Malaysians don’t want those features…..yeah, sure! That reason would never stack up if they decide to wheel that one out.

        I’d be very interested to hear why Honda think their top spec Premium CRV in Malaysia, that has about the highest price tag on the planet, shouldn’t have:

        Hands free ability for the tailgate.
        Remote start from the key fob, a great asset for the Malaysian heat.
        Programmable driver’s seat function.
        A GPS.

        You can keep the heated seats and heated steering wheel. I think if you did a survey, Malaysians would agree to remove that…

        I would really like to get a response from HM ……but I wont be holding my breath.It’s sites like this that their marketing guys should be watching for feedback but I’m guessing they may prefer to turn their head the other way and take the easy option, as they would already know consumers are not pleased!!

        Rant over………….for now anyway.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
      • Sam Loo (ori1) on Dec 29, 2017 at 9:26 am

        CBU Honda seems to lack the acoustic insulation compared with Hondas Made in Thailand.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • Sam Loo (ori1) on Dec 29, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Welcome to Malaysia

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
    • Hayenadeblue on Apr 05, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      Totally agree with you. I would like to add several items that have been missing in our version:
      1. Conversation mirror,
      2. Heads-up display,
      3. Blind spot monitoring.
      I know that we’ve got Honda LaneWatch but if I can choose, I would pick the blind spot monitoring (on both sides) over the LaneWatch. Come on Honda Malaysia!!

      Mazda is even worst. They took out Radar Cruise Control from their CX-5. While taking out the heated seats at rear seats, they left a slot (looks like a pen holder) at the rear arm-rest. Many Malaysian journalists have no idea about the slot and some thought that is to hold their smartphone.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • I thought I would follow up my first post on this site, where I was critical of the shortage of features on our local CRV Premium in comparison to overseas models, and try to be a bit more constructive on my first “look and feel” showroom experience of the car.

    looks are such a subjective thing, just ask my wife, however first impressions of the exterior were positive. Although it still has the unmistakable looks of a CRV it does look like its been to the plastic surgeon for a full workover as opposed to a little tweaking to get rid of some wrinkles.

    The front looks a bit busy but also has a lot more grunt to its appearance in comparison to the previous models. The grill is interesting and seems to blend in well with the LED lights. The looks of the fog lights appeal to me too.

    For its size, a side on view actually does have a bit of a sleek look going on here. The chrome work around the windows and along the lower sections of the doors seems to give an impression of a streamlined vehicle. It certainly adds to its appeal, to my eyes anyway.

    As for the back, well I can understand why opinions are divided! There is certainly a lot going on with those lights which look bulky and bulbous. The rear certainly required a substancial appearance to match up with the solid front but I guess individual preference will decide whether Honda achieved that or went a bit too far. For me it’s OK, not perfect but liveable. The twin exhaust tips give it a nice touch.

    Overall, I was quite pleased with the quality of the outside for a vehicle in this segment. The finish was generally good, although I’d like to see Honda add another couple of colours to the range of choices.

    To the inside. oh….that faux wood trim!! Again, it’s all down to personal taste but it doesn’t do it for me. Perhaps if it was only on the door trim and dash it would be bearable but I really didn’t like it along the console area, just seemed to be too much. Personal taste would have been for the silver finish which is only available on the low spec model. A game changer? Maybe not but it may either grow on you over time or you might want to chop it up with the nearest axe!

    Driver and passenger seats were good, with enough variables to get a perfect driving position. Overall front cabin appearance was good for the segment but doesn’t feel or look like luxury, however this is not a RM300K+ car.

    Being almost 6 feet tall, I am always keen to see what space there is in the back of any car and WOW, it’s big! Most online videos emphasised how much space there was in the rear seating area but even after viewing them I was blown away by the amount of legroom there actually is. Surely the biggest in class?

    Overall, I was generally pleased with what I saw in my first showroom look around of the 2017 CRV. It’s not a luxury SUV but it doesn’t aim to be. For this price bracket it is what it is, workable with numerous features to keep most customers happy.

    Please Honda, just do something to give Malaysian consumers the same features as most of the world market gets from you.

    I wont be test driving the CRV until closer to my eventual decision and purchase time early next year, so until then I’ll keep watching for others’ opinions.

    Keep the posts coming, guys….good or bad!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5
    • Sam Loo (ori1) on Dec 29, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Pity that the latest RAV4 is not sold in Malaysia. Otherwise, you will see that its an SUV that is way better designed and built than CX5, Forester and CRV.

      Tiguan is a very small mid sized SUV and given its poor brand reputation, it should no even be in the comparison chart

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
    • Blame the govt for all sorts of tax that bummed up the prices and forcing the manufacturers to reduce costs by removing options that we want. The car tariff is counter productive and serves to enrich the govt at our expense.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Would anyone who has bought the new model CRV like to post their opinion on the car?

    I’ve chatted to only a couple of buyers that I saw on the street and asked their thoughts and both were quite pleased with their purchase.

    All comments welcomed, thanks guys.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • CRV 2018 on Feb 02, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Bought the 2018 CRV 2.0 at 140k after much deliberation with other cars. No complaints on a 140k car with its decent specs and practicality. Built quality is decent but the space is just awesome (cabin and boot). Decided on the 2.0 for the price and honestly I cant stomach the faux wood trim on the 1.5T models. My only grouses are the tight gear lever shifters and no front sensors (2.0 models). Other than that, I think for 140k it’s a good car. Just my honest opinion and there’s no perfect car for everyone, but for me this will do for the moment. Happy motoring to everyone and happy hunting as there’s a lot of good deals on other good cars around.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • Thanks buddy.

        I can understand your thoughts on the faux wood. Perhaps ok on the doors and dash but they went overboard by putting it on the console area, in my opinion.

        Cheers and happy motoring :)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • Sharina Razali on Apr 16, 2018 at 8:28 am

        I’m currently at crossroads between the 2.0 CRV and the 2.0 CX5. I need to decide pretty soon-ish as my VW is draining my pocket and making me lose my hair. The deciding factor will be the service centres in Glenmarie. Anybody have any useful feedback on those? VW Glenmarie service centre in Glenmarie is a nightmare be it ok the weekdays or weekends.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
        • Hayenadeblue on Apr 05, 2019 at 3:50 pm

          (…and after a year) I was too! But my target is Adaptive Cruise Control. Since Bermaz took out their Radar Cruise Control in their CX-5, I shifted to CR-V Premium. Honda’s Lane Keeping Assist is also better than the Mazda’s; Honda’s keep the car at centre but Mazda’s still having difficulties in detecting lines even though it is obvious (you can find from Youtube). I know, handling-wise, CX-5 is better than the CR-V but the exclusion of Radar Cruise Control is a bummer!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • selling very well, I booked one till now no stock. SA told me 2017 customers still haven’t receive their cars. 21017 models all sold out(with discount 4k)…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Hi Eric,

      How long is the waiting list, time frame?

      You didn’t happen to ask if they were going to put navigation and hands free rear tailgate opening facility?

      That’s something that’s really bugging me, that their Premium model SUV doesn’t have nav, or the hands free kit. All the electrics and mechanism is there for the boot, so what would it cost them to hook up a sensor below the bumper…..not a lot!

      Hope you get yours soon. I’ll wait for your review :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • How’s the fuel consumption of the 1.5L turbo? i.e. city and hwy driving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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