A walk through time with Honda
Text and photo by Dino Ray V. Directo III
As a tribute to its best seller, Honda Cars Philippines Inc. organized an event to celebrate the history of the CR-V. Now on its fifth generation, Honda’s compact crossover SUV has been a global sales performer since its introduction in 1995. What better way to highlight this historic feat than by going to a place that allows its visitors to appreciate the beauty of the old Manila.
Recently, Honda Ph conducted a ride and drive event to highlight the features of the current generation CR-V. With members of the motoring media in tow, Honda’s first seven-seater diesel turbo SUV was driven all the way to the heritage village of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan.
HCPI prepared the lineup of the All-New CR-Vs consisting of three variants namely the SX Diesel 9AT AWD, S Diesel 9AT and 2.0 S CVT. This allowed motoring pen pushers to have another look at the All-New CR-V’s stylish and commanding exterior with its wide, muscular fenders and distinctive LED headlights and tail lamps which give its modern and dynamic stance.
The drive to Bataan allowed us to test the fuel efficiency and driving dynamics of the CR-V in various road conditions. The first leg of the journey from Manila to Bataan allowed the participants to experience the All-New CR-V’s ample power and torque along the stretches of the North Luzon Expressway and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, delivered by the synergy of its i-DTEC Diesel Turbo Engine matted to a nine-speed Automatic Transmission. Those who drove the 2.0 S CVT gas variant kept pace with its equally-capable i-VTEC gasoline engine mated to a new Continuously-Variable Transmission. Along with this, the All-New CR-V’s Honda SENSING (SX Diesel 9AT AWD) also showcased some of its key features namely the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Low Speed Follow (LSF), and Lane Keep Assist (LKAS) which proved to be useful during the rush hour traffic along EDSA.
Throughout the drive, the participants enjoyed a pleasant ride with the scenic views along Pampanga and Bataan while being kept comfortable in the All-New CR-V’s premium, refined and not so plastic interior. Despite the size and heft of my colleagues Ira Panganiban and Anjo Perez, the legroom and ample headroom of the CR-V provided a spacious feel inside the cabin, while the improved Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) allowed us to converse without shouting at one another. The cargo area was commendable with 472 Liters of cargo space for our bags and camera equipment.
Veteran race driver George Ramirez and his crew prepared a short off-road course in Las Casas for the media to test the CR-V in tough terrain conditions. With a mud pit leading up to a hillclimb, participants experienced how the CR-V’s 208mm ground clearance (SX AWD Variant) proved to be more than adequate in traversing steep elevated roads and rough, uneven road surface, giving the All-New CR-V a chance to exhibit its dependable drivetrain.
Traction and torque was tested along the beach head of Las Casas, as the organizers let us drive through a figure eight track that tested not just the SUV, but the driving experience of the participants.
On our way back to civilization, we were able to test the traction and power of the turbo-diesel CR-V as we drove through a series of winding roads leading up to Subic Bay. Our convoy had a brief stop over at the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), where we were educated about the history and potential of the nuclear facility. Built to provide electrical power for the entire Luzon grid during the time of President Marcos, it was not used and left to rot due to political reasons.