So you walk into the nearest Honda showroom and say, ‘Ok, I have 15 lakh rupees to spend, what car do you have?’ And the customer relationship management executive (or whatever fancy designation they use nowadays for ‘salesman’) will show you these two cars and ask you to take your pick.
Yup, Hondas that are dramatically different to look at, but with quite a few things in common. The Honda CR-V has a received a facelift recently, making it look more butch, and also a much needed larger powerplant and a manual gearbox – which is the same unit seen in the Accord 2.4. Yet, both Hondas hang around the same price points, give or take a few thousand bucks.
So what do you do now? Should you go in for the comfort and driving pleasure of a sedan or the space and utility value of a tall SUV? Our pros give you the cons. And the pros.
For an absolutely fundamental Japanese sedan, the Accord doesn’t look like one – and that is a good thing. With its cutting edge design, the Accord has the presence and features of a car that would cost twice as much.
So maybe it is a bit down on power when you compare it to the CR-V but have a look at the 0-100 time and you will know which one’s faster. In the handling department, the Accord corners with supreme confidence and with wishbones all around, what else do you expect? Besides, I haven’t even brought the V6 into the picture, which I might add, with 221 bhp, is perfect to play Schumacher or rather Takuma Sato.
Also don’t forget that the Accord is made here while the CR-V is a CBU import. So I won’t have to wait for the next DHL from Japan to come in with the spares. LOOKUP
Fact One: 90 per cent of SUVs never leave tarmac.
Fact Two: The Honda CR-V is not an SUV.
The CR-V is a soft-roader, and this genre of vehicles has evolved simply because of the existence of Fact One – obviously there’s a market out there for machines like these. Just because the body styling is like an SUV and it can seat more people and carry more stuff does not mean a car like the CR-V should go out and bash some wadis. It’s simply not expected to do that. The CR-V is essentially a sedan with an easier-to-live-with body. That’s Lesson One.
Lesson Two. A vehicle with permanent all-wheel drive improves grip and aids handling. It does not mean you do some wadi-bashing either. I mean, how often would you take your Subaru or any Audi with quattro off the road? So when you will be busy kissing your tail in the slippery monsoons in the Accord, the CR-V would have happily raced ahead.
That is assuming you ever get out of the city with your Accord. With the CR-V, you and your family can load your whole house plus the kitchen sink and the cook and head out of town. Try that in the Accord.
So when you have a car – yes, car – that gives you all the benefits of a sedan (driveability, performance, car-like handling), plus space, versatility, ground clearance, 4WD, performance, better driving position, utility value, SUV-like appeal, road presence, zillions of storage nooks, a cleverly split tailgate (even a picnic table for God’s sake!), why would anyone in his proper senses want a humdrum Accord? So forget the sedan. Get a life. Get a CR-V.
The CR-V is no real SUV to begin with. Nor does it have a rear bench to carry more people so I don’t really understand the point of the whole thing. And don’t give me the deal with it having better ground clearance, because with the kind of ride quality that the CR-V is blessed with, you are not really going to be floating over broken tarmac. I have said this before, and I will say it again. The real time 4WD on the car is as slow to react as one of your vintage cars, which means the only climbing that you will do is around the multilevel car parks.
I might also add that cars are inherently safer than SUVs, so in the event of a crash, I sure do know where I want to be. Also, just in case I were to rush to a board meeting one of these days, I could hire a chauffeur and loiter around in the rear seat. Now try doing that in your CR-V.
– Shreenand Sadhale