While my Volvo wagon is in the shop, I had to borrow a car to take the family skiing this weekend, and the loaner car I had lined up for next week because the Volvo was already scheduled to go in the shop but apparently it couldn’t wait, was a Honda Fit. Despite the name, it would never have FIT my wife, kids, 2 dogs, skis, and our bags all at once. Har, har, I’m sure I’m the first one to make that joke.

Enter the $2,500 CR-V! My parents’ cars were both destroyed by the same tree this past October, so they needed two cars in a hurry. They normally move VERY slowly when it comes to buying cars, so this was a real dilly of a pickle. When my father said “hey one of the guys at the body shop said he’s selling his wife’s CR-V for $2,500,” I said BUY IT! In any decent condition, buy it and don’t look back.

Well, here we are. I drove this beaut’ down to the shop where my Volvo was parked so I could swap the roofbox over, and found that task to be even easier than I had expected, thanks to the solid factory crossbars on the Honda and some clever clamp designs from Thule. However, I discovered a slight shortcoming, if you’ll excuse the pun:

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Illustration for article titled 2007 (?) Hondoyota CR-AV-4: A Borrowed Car Review

Even with the bars all the way forward, and the box adjusted all the way forward, the rear hatch doesn’t open all the way. Ugh, well, it was only for about 24 hours. Could have been worse, beggars can’t be choosers, etc. etc. We survived.

But what about the car, what was it like to drive?

It’s a Honda CR-V. It’s a car. It’s comfortable, everything makes sense, there’s tons of smart details about the interior, lots of clever storage space, it’s not bad to drive or park, the AWD works (it does donuts if pushed), and uhhh. yeah that’s about it. Completely forgettable, but at 13 years of age and 183,000 miles, this thing is just a perfectly fine car and I wouldn’t hate hauling my family around in it. I can see why you can’t drive 10 miles without seeing 300 of these things, or the Toyota counterpart. From my office I look out at a small parking lot with 12 cars in it. 3 of them are Honda CR-V’s,

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This one was also pretty loaded, short of the V6 engine I’m not sure what options it didn’t have, for a 2007 model. Heated leather seats, heated mirrors, auto/dual climate, 6CD changer + aux input, all the other stuff you’d expect, minus maybe nav? But I wouldn’t want a 2007 nav system in 2020 anyway. Despite this car spending its entire life so far in New England, it’s not rusting away, and the suspension is reasonably intact. It handled our terrible frost-heaved roads with aplomb, with only minor clunks here and there and no breathing-in-through-the-teeth moments of cringe after choosing the wrong path and hitting a fully-grown frost heave dead on.

Oh, but I did hate the transmission, the roof bars rattled unless the box was on it, the leather up front was about as supple as a cutting board, and the roof needs to be longer or else the bars need more adjustment. This roofbox fit fine on my E46 wagon, for comparison. It also had my Least Favorite Combination Of Features quirk, wherein the dash lights are on, along with the dim DRL lights up front, but the tail lights and regular headlights are NOT, unless you turn them on manually. When you start the car at night, if you don’t really know the car or if you’re in an area with streetlights, it’s not hard to think your lights are on because you do have lights up front, and you do have dash lights. There’s no immediate way to know your taillights are dark. I see cars ALL THE TIME driving around with front DRLs and no tail lights. WTF. Come on. Pick one. DRLs but no dash lights / fully automatic lights / none of the above. PET PEEVE / rant over.

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But anyway. 10/10 would recommend as a family hauler. Like in the movie Ocean’s Eleven, where Brad Pitt’s character is explaining to Matt Damon’s character how to pretend to be a Nevada Gaming Commission rep or whatever: “...he’s got to like you, then forget you the moment you’ve left his side.” That’s a Honda CR-V.

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