By on August 30, 2014

Accord CR-V sales chartIn a manner of speaking, this chart is nothing more than anecdotal evidence. But it’s also evidence that’s been collected nationwide over the span of  a decade from one of America’s largest auto sellers.

Proof that America is gradually moving away from traditional passenger cars to “crossovers” is better seen in a glance of the complete numbers for all vehicles. But the CR-V/Accord relationship is a useful one for telling a story.

As recently as 2006, American Honda sold more than two Accords for every CR-V. The CR-V’s reign as America’s favourite utility vehicle, suspended only briefly in 2011, began in 2007, a year in which Honda sold 1.8 Accords per CR-V. Fast forward to the first seven months of 2014 and Honda sells 1.2 copies of the Accord, America’s second-best-selling car, for every CR-V.

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114 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Will The CR-V Eventually Be Honda’s Accord?...”


  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    like 99.99% of commenters on TTAC cars I want a station wagon or minivan (with diesel, manual tranny column mounted shifter, etc). Reading this I have to ask: is the CRV the new station wagon / hatch back?

    Fairly car-like, odd-number of doors with 2-box roomy cabin, middle priced. check, check, check.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      I did buy a Acura wagon and I’m glad I did, but I do realize that that everyone else thinks I’m a bit strange.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Not me… The Acura wagon is a really sweet car. Shame about being automatic only though.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        >> I did buy a Acura wagon and I’m glad I did, …

        Holy Cow! So Acura sold two tsx wagons? I have the other one. :)

        Yes, it works very well enough for me, my wife, and my son. Among many other benefits, the wagon is low enough for me to put a bike rack on the roof, something I would not attempt on a CUV / SUV.

        But I do understand the appeal of a CUV, and if I had one, would put the bikes at the back via tow hitch.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      The cross-over is the station wagon of the early 21st century, so yes.

      More space in a smaller/same footprint. It makes more sense for families. The only downside is the lower fuel economy.

      I can see eventually a sedan staying as the premium offering, with the civic dying, and the Honda line eventually streamlined to just being the Fit, CR-V and Accord as range topper in North America. Perhaps with a sports car if we’re lucky.

      It may be slightly different in Europe since the Civic hatch has traction there, but I can see the Fit pushing out the Civic in North America as hatchbacks start to become widely accepted.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        I don’t understand why the Civic hasn’t died already.

        Its price advantage is largely gone. 10 years ago the Civic had DX, VP, etc trims that stickered 30% under the Accord. Today both cars start with the LX and the sticker discount for taking the cheap one is only around 15%.

        The Accord has better residuals such that Honda’s national lease deal for an Accord LX is all of $17 a month more than the Civic – just 7% higher. Noise.

        And while the price difference has gone away, the Civic has lost all of its nimble and fun to drive with a CVT and dead electric steering, but kept most of its road noise, weak powertrain, tiny trunk. The Accord is in almost every respect the best it’s ever been.

        But not only is the Civic not dead, it sells better relative to the Accord than ever. Doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      As has been said earlier, Americans love their station wagons; they just don’t like to call them station wagons.

      As one who is far more concerned with what something is versus what it is called, I love my Ford Flex station wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Not to mention the majority of new car buyers are older. Today’s sedans have been lowered so much in the same of aerodynamics, getting in and out is a chore. It’s much easier with crossover/SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Yup. This coming from an old person.

        • 0 avatar
          poohbah

          Bingo. This is exactly why my parents just bought one.

          • 0 avatar
            frozenman

            My accord has a very comfortable driving position, but is a chore to get out of after a long drive because the knees are not what they used to be, will likely be the last sedan I own. If the hybrid power train was offered in the crv the accord would be gone already.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Crossovers, yes. SUV’s, not so much. Watching older, heavier folk attempting to climb into Land Cruisers and such, is a sad sight.

          Back in the halcyon days of big Detroit station wagons, their hip points where not all that different from contemporary Crossovers. The BOF underpinnings pretty much prevented t from getting any lower. The Panther retained that, and consequently it’s geezer hauler extraordinaire status, until the bitter end; getting lower by restricting toupe space instead.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            stuki, a person doesn’t have to be heavy or obese to have difficulty getting into or out of places and vehicles.

            It is age that takes its toll on limberness.

            That’s why all the accommodations are made in daily life to facilitate easier access for the General Public, everywhere, from ramped curbs and entry ways to ergonomic engineering of stuff we all use.

            Huge business, that!

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “It is age that takes its toll on limberness.”

            And there’s not much you can do about it; nature will find your weak spots. I’ve scrupulously avoided back injury, have full shoulder rotation, painless elbows and fine motor skills, can still bench 330 lbs for 3 reps, total cholesterol always <120 and generally from the pelvis up am in decent shape for 60.

            From the pelvis down I'm one hiking misstep away from a wheelchair. Hip, knees, ankles… all shot. Arthritis has found a home in me.

            Ingress/Egress is THE most important fact about any vehicle I consider.

          • 0 avatar
            Hillman

            I find it funny that a lot of people are perfectly healthy due to a very active lifestyle but they have major pains with their knees, back, shoulders, etc. It seems that if you have been in competitive sports for years you will have major issues.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @petezeiss

            Read up about consumption of the element Boron for weak bones and arthritis type issues.

          • 0 avatar

            I am not young either but have no problem with getting in or out of any sedan or SUV. Family sedans are higher than ever before – you can just look at dimensions (I prefer when cars are lower). It is not easy to get out from my Fusion but not because it bring low (and it is not at all) but because of shape of seats. Lateral support makes it difficult to climb out compared to flat seats of mainstream sedans but seats are great because of that.

          • 0 avatar
            Richard Chen

            I’m looking at the specs of the late 70’s Impala wagon from my childhood. 58″ tall, 79″ wide, 215″ long; 111 cu ft interior room. That 58″ height is the same as many sedans these days.

            The current CR-V is 65″ tall, 72″ wide, 178″ long, 104 cu ft interior room. Without having the two cars next to each other, I’d guess the CR-V hip point is going to be a few inches higher.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            @Richard Chen

            Thanks for the correction. Looking at the specs, the Town car is only between an inch or two taller than a current Accord. The seats on the Townie is definitely taller, though. No way an Accord would work as well in the livery trade as a Town car. Even the S Class is more awkward to “climb” out of than the Town Car was.

            The MKT crossover Lincoln is hawking as a Town Car replacment is taller still. Too tall, in my view. And the Escalade class BOF SUVs some companies use, are just ridiculous for elegant arrival. The RR Phantom is about right, and honestly doesn’t feel that different seat height wise from a fresh Town Car did, despite being supposedly 5 inches taller. Toupe room for taller folk was always at a premium in the Panther, though.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          It’s not really the height, it’s the “everything has to look like a coupe” rooflines. The floor does not need to be higher, the roof does.

          To me, cars that need to haul people should be proportioned like a Fiat 500L or a BMW 2-series Active Tourer. Regular car height floor, very slightly higher seats, MUCH higher than currently normal roof. But nooo – unless it has some element of jacked up faux-SUV styling nobody wants one. “I would never be caught dead in a mini-van”.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Completely agree except for the heaviest of snow states where everything you said is still true but just needs to ride higher. However that’s very minor market.

            The most important measurement for entry/exit ease is the distance between seat surface and the highest point of the door opening. As long as that maintains a sufficient envelope of access the envelope itself can be moved up or down a considerable degree without discomfiting us brittle-boned codgers.

            I speak from much experience and many ow-ies. Once the struggle ensues to bend & fit a creaky torso into an inadequate access envelope, the even creakier lower skeleton’s torture is amplified. And you’ll crack your head a time or two to boot.

          • 0 avatar
            juicy sushi

            And then there are all the people buying Honda Fits and Nissan Notes. Call them penalty boxes if you want. The gas mileage benefits and taardis-level packing make for very loyal repeat buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            The Fit is my Exhibit A of how a relatively small and low vehicle can provide blissfully easy entry/exit. It’s why I first noticed the importance of the seat-to-roof distance that krhodes mentions.

            Never sat in a Versa but I notice the Note seems shorter and smaller than the preceding Versa hatch.

        • 0 avatar
          turboprius

          This.

          Even though my parents were born in the 60’s, they’ve had difficulty getting in and out of sedans since I was born. As for the CR-V, I really like the newer ones, but a 2008 my dad and I looked at way back when was slow as heck. It was dangerous to drive on Thornton.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Jeepers… how old are you people? I’m definitely feeling the effects of age but I’m not having trouble getting into and out of cars.

      • 0 avatar
        haroldingpatrick

        I’m 42 and when I was 40 I literally woke up one day on a family vacation to Disneyworld with stiff hands that very soon spread elsewhere. Arthritis doesn’t have to be a mechanical degradation of a joint due to age or injury, it can be autoimmune. After 8/10 months of struggling to get in and out of my Maxima I bought a CRV.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “Arthritis doesn’t have to be a mechanical degradation of a joint due to age or injury, it can be autoimmune. ”

          Please elaborate.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I think harold is alluding to RA – Rheumatoid Arthritis. Hopefully he’s found Remicade, Humira or similar.

          • 0 avatar
            haroldingpatrick

            I was talking about inflammation of joints caused by autoimmune reactions in the body. In my particular case, the rheumatologist has two lines of thought and we are waiting to see if things get better or worse.He thinks my issue is either an autoimmune reaction triggered by a tick bite and the subsequent Lyme disease (rare in SC, but I met the accepted diagnosis criteria) which will eventually clear or ankylosing spondylitis which won’t. Thankfully, I seem to be feeling a little better and imaging is not turning up any permanent damage, so we’re waiting it out with naproxen and prednisone before jumping into the biologics. Last summer I couldn’t mow my grass, this summer I can if I do half one day and half the next. I’ll take what I can get and be happy with it.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I think the compact crossover in general is “the new station wagon,” particularly considering a compact crossover is MUCH more capable than a mid-size sedan, and gets the same or better gas mileage as one from less than a decade ago.

      • 0 avatar
        mike9o

        haroldingpatrick, ask your doctor about sarcoidosis. I had reactive arthritis about 10 years ago that eventually went away, but know what its like to have your symptoms.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Meet and just.

    IOW, sasuga desu.

    CUVs are the best choice for the demo that matters most. We don’t want no squashy low-ass cockroach cars.

  • avatar

    I understand the CR-V, I could just never bring myself to own something I run a high liklihood of parking next to an exact duplicate of anywhere I go and is typically owned by someone with disaffected interest in cars.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Kinda like owning an Accord. Or even a Camry. A generic appliance for the masses. Boring and blah, not a lot of thinking to purchase.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      As a Subaru owner in the PNW, you have to get over this pretty quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      suspekt

      Around here (Vancouver, BC including the entire Lower Mainland and not just Van) this statement would also apply to many many of the best selling German cars.

      – BMW 3/5/X3/X5
      – MB C/E/ML
      – Audi A4/A5/Q5
      – Land Rover RR

      I find it perplexing as these cars are bought as “status” symbols yet they are as generic as any Camry, Accord. Once you see a design enough times, no matter how beautiful, it starts to look blah.

      And I’m not knocking buyers of the German cars. I guess my point is that no matter how much said German cars are personalized in the order process, they simply blend into the landscape of cars passing by.

      Why oh why won’t the General put a Duramax in an HD version of the Tahoe/Yukon/Slade if not the new LT4.

      I have a secret belief that with the new 8 speed auto, we are going to see an SS Tahoe and Escalade V powered by an LT4. Among many circles, these vehicles would become must have vehicles. I think they would sell very well. As would HD Duramax versions of the Tahoe/Yukon. Roll coaling with a new Yukon Denali on 40’s could be the next wave!!

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “I find it perplexing as these cars are bought as “status” symbols yet they are as generic as any Camry, Accord.”

        On top of that, just try to find one that isn’t painted asphalt grey.

        The ultimate driver set tells us over and over again how Camcords are dishwashers for lemmings, but those lemmings are apparently the only ones bold enough to drive a car in red or blue or green.

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          Chrome Shadow,Granite,Graphite Steel,Onyx ,Platinum,Red,Slate, Stainless Steel, White. Sounds like the color options of a new camry. Nope, those are washing machine colors.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I have to disagree. Personally I’m impressed with the sum of the parts, and derive a satisfaction from watching/hearing/feeling a quiet, competent machine go about it’s business.

      While I deride Camrys as numb cubicles bereft of humanity, my sister – college professor and on her 3rd Camry – set me straight a few years ago when I chided her. “I know exactly what to expect. I know this car is going to take me to 300k miles before I need to replace it. I know I can pack it full of stuff or people and everyone is comfortable. I know I can drive 500 miles in a single, quiet haul. If I ever need to fantasize about driving a race car, I’ll use the paddle shifters like the race drivers do. So what’s the problem?”.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        I can only feel justified in my own choice of vehicle – and, therefore, my sense of manhood – by denigrating the choices of others.

        If I don’t label Camrys and CR-Vs as soulless appliances, then how can I label their owners as soccer Moms, effeminate metrosexuals and otherwise vapid, left lane hogging wastes of life?

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        >> So what’s the problem?

        Actually, I’m grateful that there are buyers like your sister who help car companies become successful, In an ideal world, that would let the car companies afford to make a small subset of fun cars for the enthusiast. It becomes a problem in the minds of enthusiasts when car companies don’t honor that unspoken ideal. Compare Honda and Toyota of the 1980s and 1990s and you’ll see why there’s so much hate. Admittedly, Toyota is trying with its FR-S and LFA. And Honda is playing catchup.

        Me? I’d rather switch than hate, so I drive a Mazda now.

  • avatar

    If you live in a pock marked city area, like I do near NYC, Oh Yes.

    My stiffly sprung Germans are a horror on NYC roads. I’ve learned to take the MDX if I go to “the city”.

    I’d buy a CRV, or RDX, in a heartbeat if I drove every day on the laughable/tragic NYC roads. When you rarely get over 50 mph, evn on highways, and the density is such that .9 g is only something you will see in the magazines, and the real adversary is a foot deep pothole filled with water at night in reasonably dense traffic…..

    Big tires, Ground Clearance, and an automatic transmission are the correct tools for the job in a congested and unmaintained urban environment. My “upstate” driving on open roads, decently to world class paved, and wide open, is a different task.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      My daughter owned an earlier model of the CR-V for several years. Great vehicle! But she outgrew its ‘compactness’ and traded it for an Odyssey (several years ago).

      Last year, she traded that old Odyssey for a 2013 Odyssey, at the end of the model year.

      The CR-V is just too small for many people, and that’s why I doubt it will eventually be Honda’s Accord.

      What appears to be the ideal-size CUV in today’s market, is the Grand Cherokee.

      They sure sell every one they make, and there’s a waiting list for them at many dealers.

      I have lost count of all the times people have walked up to my wife and I and asked us if we would be interested in selling her 2012 Grand Cherokee.

      Maybe when her 2015 Sequoia arrives, but not before then.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “The CR-V is just too small for many people”

        Not if they’re childfree or empty-nesters. Then it’s ideal.

        And though I’m not happy about it, CR-Vs have considerably grown since the early iterations.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          petezeiss, the word “many” is not all-inclusive.

          The CR-V works for a very large number of buyers. Their sales prove that.

          But many empty nesters, unmarried women, and young couples without kids buy other SUVs/CUVs by choice; other than the CR-V.

          My wife and I are empty nesters, and we choose to drive a 2015 Sequoia in our future years.

          Her mom and dad, at age >87, are empty nesters and choose to drive the Texas Cadillac, aka GM’s Suburban.

          The CR-V has its market, but it doesn’t work for every one.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Living in TX has had that effect upon some of my family, too.

            I’m afraid that Honda will keep growing the CR-V until it hits the CUV sweet spot of top-selling mainstream people hauler for the marque.

            That’s swell for Honda but too large for me. My last car will probably be a Fit unless the Renegade (similar footprint to original CR-V) sways me.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            You have to buy what works for you.

            But as people age, their mobility and flexibility for vehicle ingress/egress also diminishes.

            At one time, a 1992 Towncar satisfied all our needs.

            Now, because of ingress/egress issues, that 2012 Grand Cherokee works out real good, with butt-high seating when standing outside the vehicle.

            I tried to get into a Mini once, and after much grunting and groaning was finally seated in the front passenger seat. The owner was 21-yo NMSU track star. She just smiled.

            Getting out of that Mini was accompanied with much drama and old-man noises but the strain on my upper thighs caused by having to lift my body from such a low position, was enjoyed for days, along with the smell of Ben-Gay.

            I don’t even want to imagine getting into and out of a Fit.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “I don’t even want to imagine getting into and out of a Fit.”

            You’d be amazed.
            My left hip is so arthritic the X-ray looks like a ball valve that’s sat in hard water for 30 years. I’m putting off surgery until this snow season is over (wife can’t handle big Ariens blower) but will do that come springtime.

            Nonetheless, I easily scoot into my sister’s Fit without so much as brushing my hair on the roof. The seat is low and the door opening relatively tall.

            In contrast, my nephew’s new Trailhawk Cherokee was nearly impossible to enter on the driver’s side because the seat is so high my torso got stuck and I clonked my head.

            No substitute for actually trying something on.

          • 0 avatar

            Yep, something Fit sized is the best for ease of ingress, egress. In the year 2000 I broke my right foot twice. As a result I wore a cast and crutches for 10 months of that year. At the time I had a Ford Ranger. Getting into that always hurt. My brothers had regular cars. Getting into them was as hard as getting into the Ranger, but for the opposite reason (going down, not up).

            My mom had Renault Scènic. Similar in stance to the Fit, all I had to was scoot and get in. The seat was the best height for my then limited mobility.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Unless you are rather tall, a Sequoia is hardly the easiest vehicle to Ingress/Egress. If they sell them with running boards, it may be a bit easier, but still…. It’s a Tundra!

            Great car though. Just wish one could get it with a smaller engine for better range; for all those who don’t max tow all the time and would rather not plan gas stops every 300 miles.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            stuki, “Unless you are rather tall, a Sequoia is hardly the easiest vehicle to Ingress/Egress. If they sell them with running boards, it may be a bit easier, but still…. It’s a Tundra!”

            I’m 6ft tall, my wife is a slender German woman at 5’8″ barefoot, 5’11” with her 3-inch heels when she gets dressed up for her family’s real estate business.

            Weight is not a problem for either of us at age 68. It is the joints and the deteriorating muscle mass that comes with age that’s causing problems.

            Plus we were not always kind to ourselves when we were youngsters and old injuries now haunt us as arthritis and joint stiffness, daily.

            As America’s baby-boomers grow older, these symptoms will be increasingly prevalent in a demographic that will live far longer than their parents, but will also have to deal with infirmities in old age not experienced by their parents.

          • 0 avatar
            olydoug

            Other than the occasional need to seat more than 5 people my dad’s 2007 CRV does everything he really needs a vehicle to do and a number of people we know have bought CRV’s for the reliability and because they like the design. Others have bought Foresters,Rav4’s or the Nissan Rogue and that’s just fine also. The CRV has always been the more practical/less flashy choice for the buyer who just wants a vehicle that fit’s their needs.

        • 0 avatar
          hreardon

          Too small? The new (2012+) CRV seems to (this childless) person to be very spacious. I see little reason why two car seats and plenty of kiddie crap couldn’t fit comfortably in the CRV.

          My biggest complaint about my wife’s CRV is the relatively mediocre fuel economy (AWD model) and it could use a bit more sound insulation. Otherwise, great vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          The CRV and RAV are too small to crate 2 dogs in with seating for more than 2. It’s too small to crate one big dog. The nest better be completely empty or there has to be another car. The Pentastar JGC is a solid choice and I see more each month near home and at work.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        I admit, I have to giggle at that. My parents, with two middle school aged boys (me and my brother), traded in a perfectly good minivan and gotma first gen ’97 Honda CR-V. Fast forward to 2014, and they still own it. In fact they just drove it from Indiana to Texas this summer for the 4th of July, it’s driven to work every day, and on rare occasion it’s used to tow a 19′ sail boat. It’s a hell of a little car.

        Not saying the Odyssey was a bad idea for her. Still, I just think that most American car buyers overestimate what they need for car size. But, whatever they want. You wont pull me away from my compact though.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          DR86, That’s why there exists a market for compacts and subcompacts, of any segment.

          Ironically, my 4 kids, who now range from age 47 down to age 40, choose to drive spacious vehicles, even if they live alone, or are married without kids in the home.

          Maybe it is because they CAN afford to buy whatever they choose to buy, or maybe they just avoid being crammed cheek-by-jowl in smaller cars.

          My wife’s parents (in their late 80s) chose again to buy a 2013 Suburban after their 1973 Suburban 454 4X4 gave up the ghost. A CR-V would have been so much more practical for them, but it wasn’t even in their consideration-decision-logic table.

          Ultimate, a lot of people do choose to buy the CR-V. That’s great, if it works for them.

          If I were interested in a Honda CUV, which I’m not, my choice would be the Pilot in EX-L trim. I know a lady who drives one. She loved it, and continues to love it in spite of its high mileage and additional costs.

          However, she will be trading her Pilot in on a 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited 5.7, just as soon as she can find a dealer in New Mexico or West Texas that will sell her one below MSRP.

          I say, good luck with that!

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I keep hearing that they cannot make GC’s fast enough ,but if that is the case why is there 0% finance or $1000 cashback?
            Also if you go on Edmunds they are showing 10% off -s o the base $31K model is around $28.5 and that is without even negotiating. Maybe your friend needs to look harder.

            Edmudns is showing me $1000 below MSRP for a Limited 5.7L

            http://www.edmunds.com/jeep/grand-cherokee/2015/options.html?sub=suv&style=200701041#step1#facets

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            The 0% finance or $1000 cashback may not be across the entire line. IIRC, it is only on the Laredo 4X4 V6 with the 23E package, as is the special lease deal ($329/mo/x36mo w/$2500 at signing).

            But these offers vary by zip code, so what is available in YOUR area may not apply to MY area.

            “Maybe your friend needs to look harder.” Her quest for a 2014 Grand Cherokee is not crucial and she is considering offers from all dealers in New Mexico and West Texas.

            I told her to contact the dealer in the Phoenix, AZ area that sold us our 2012 Grand Cherokee, but she doesn’t want to go out that far.

            I believe that in the end either of the two Grand Cherokee dealers in Albuquerque, NM, each with huge selections of Grand Cherokees, will submit the winning bid to her. And if not, there is one in Artesia, NM and one in Las Cruces, NM, although selection with them is limited..

            If all those possibilities don’t work out, there are several Grand Cherokee dealers in El Paso, TX, but they tend to be a lot pricier than those in NM. It costs more to run a car dealership in Texas!

            And, finally, if all else fails, she can always contact Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, CO, no doubt the Grand Cherokee dealer with the lowest pricing. But that is a 10-hour drive from where we’re at.

            She’ll get her GC alright. In time.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            For me, it’s different. Yes, I can easily afford a bigger car. I just hate how they drive. No offense intended, but I simply despise driving giant cars. Even my parents ’97 CRV is a size too large for me, but it isn’t terrible. But I am ready for more feature laden cars at this point in my life. Just want it to stay small.

  • avatar
    haroldingpatrick

    It’s possible, but as an owner of a 2014 CRV, they are going to have to do some work. First, the NVH needs to match the Escape, which wipes the floor with it in that area. There is simply too much engine, driveline, tire, and wind noise. The sound system sucks on top of that, not that you can hear it. The two ecoboost engine options in the Escape have superior drivability as well. If I could have the CRV with the NVH and drivability of the Escape, it would be perfect. I didn’t feel like doing Fords beta testing for them so I bought the CRV.

    Station wagons have the same problems as cars – they sit too damn low. This nonsense started in the mid fifties and the CUV is just a return to the natural way cars should be. The basic ergonomics of automobiles were pretty much sorted by the late 30’s as far as I am concerned. From the Olds curved dash runabout to the early 50’s offerings, automobiles didn’t sit low because it’s silly to do so unless your a race car or some other specialty vehicle.

    Anyone who thinks the CRV is too small should check out the latest version – it packs a lot of room in it’s footprint. It’s just as useful to my family as my wife’s Ford Edge or the Ford Explorer we had before (RWD).

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Meh, I’d get the forester XT or even a regular forester if I were shopping in this class, it seems like the clear winner.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The Subies are the faves of the ski-resort operators in my area. They’re everywhere, even though the nearest full-service Subie dealer is in El Paso, TX, more than 99 miles to the South.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      The Forrester XT hits a real sweet spot. High enough, low cg for its useful ground clearance, lots of wheel travel, serious torque on boost, OK MPG, visibility etc. oh yeah, one problem. For 34k I could have a JGC instead. The jeep can cost a lot more, right on up to insanity, but if you are at the XT level Forrester, what are you giving up in the stripper jeep?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I agree the Forester XT hits a sweet spot, but the cheapest XT with destination is $29,400. Not $34K.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          Sorry, I didn’t fully research it and just went by two local dealers posted prices for in stock cars. In other words, here and now they cost the same for the cheapest one immediately available.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            And I’m sure that varies by location, as well. In El Paso, TX, all Subies come at a premium!

            But people who buy them, know this beforehand, it is on the dealer-sticker (not the factory sticker), and willingly pay for padding like silicone “sun protection” or dealer-installed wheels or other optional gear.

    • 0 avatar
      bkmurph

      “Meh, I’d get the forester XT or even a regular forester if I were shopping in this class, it seems like the clear winner.”

      I held the same opinion once, until I actually drove the two (base models, back to back). Turns out it’s the Honda CR-V that has better seats, more legible gauges, a more linear throttle response, more communicative steering, and sharper handling. I do like the Subaru, however, for its styling/visibility, AWD system, handbrake, and available manual transmission.

      On the topic of the CR-V: My grandparents, living in rural Wisconsin, have had an Accord of almost every single generation from the 1991 to 2007 model years. Earlier this year, however, they sold their 2007 Accord for a new CR-V. They like the ride height and ease of ingress/egress.

    • 0 avatar

      Forester is an okay vehicle, but the 2014 model is too bloated and the price is insane. The problem is, if I had the Forester coin, I would be buying an X3 or something. If I don’t, well, CR-V it is.

  • avatar
    TorontoSkeptic

    Tim, I’m curious if you have details on the pricing for each. My intuition is that crossovers have become more affordable as they have become more mainstream, but I’m not sure if that is accurate.

    Nice piece. I think crossovers have effectively brainwashed my demographic (mid 30s with kids), a friend just bought a crv and didn’t even consider a sedan even though she only has one kid.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      As numerous people have said above, the biggest advantage CUVS is their ride height and fairly easy entrance/egress over grounded-to-the-ground traditional sedans.

      So it’s probably not that she’s been “brainwashed,” as you so tactfully said, but more likely that she prefers not having to move down into the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Futzing with child seats and similar accoutrements of Lawyertopian parenthood, is more comfortable for the average sized human in a crossover, where you don’t have to bend down so much to get under the roofline of the car.

        Adding to that speed limits low enough to lend virtually no discernible dynamic advantage to a Le Mans racer versus a two story bus on under inflated tires and out of whack allignment, and the Sedan/Wagon does have an uphill battle.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    The ease of entry/exit, the upright seating position and improved visibility, higher ceilings, practical “hatch” cargo, a CUV is really the ideal formfactor for the majority of what people need vehicles for.

    Now couple that with a large battery pack at or below axle height to reduce or eliminate rollover and improve handling and you’ve got a maximum winner.

  • avatar
    TW5

    CR-V will have to evolve to outsell Accord. CAFE becomes strict after 2016, and stricter still after 2021 (assuming the current proposed standards are passed in 2017). Most CUV’s feature upright seating position and a half-foot of additional headroom. It feels spacious and luxurious, but I doubt superfluous frontal area will be tenable in the future.

    CUV’s will probably adopt the Subaru-strategy of equipping hatchbacks and wagons with suspension lifts. Add CVT and mild-hybrid to meet CAFE. Subaru has figured out how to make it work, but even top-selling Subaru’s don’t come close to CR-V numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “superfluous frontal area”

      Only necessary for the comfort and safety of superfluous occupants. It will be eradicated.

      Unless, of course, the monospaciness of vehicles like the Fit and the old dust busters is embraced across all segments. Push the A-pillars way forward, radically slope the windshield, ensure no DLO failure with windowlets and aero efficiency may still be had while maintaining roof height and visibility.

      Dust busters got it right all those years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      TW5, “CAFE becomes strict after 2016, and stricter still after 2021 (assuming the current proposed standards are passed in 2017)”

      Yes, you are soooooo right. But I think much of the buying public will step up to a different class of vehicles when that happens.

      We saw this in the past when the large BOF cars, like the CrownVic/Marquis/Towncar were being phased out for the unibody smaller vehicles now on the road.

      The answer to what the buyers were looking to replace that size of vehicle turned out to be the half-ton, 4-door pickup truck; America’s best-sellers!

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      CAFE is trying to force manufacturers to build more hybrids, but relaxed requirements for larger cars provide some wiggle room to meet the standard. Honda and other auto manufacturers could make an Audi-like effort to redesign the transaxle to move the front wheels forward. Perhaps Honda’s e-CVT hybrid system with electric motor-generators and clutches can be adapted to maximize footprint. Not sure if CAFE rewards better aerodynamics, but there is room for improvement in under-body aerodynamics too.

    • 0 avatar

      Why settle for a “mild” hybrid? They already have an astonishing hybrid in Accord, which matches the best Prius has to offer, while in a much larger car. If they put that drivetrain into CR-V, it’s going to be a killer car. The only problem is how to provide the power to the rear axle, if they even consider it necessary.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Electric rear wheel drive would be perfect, if it’s not too expensive.
        It will also remove the need for extra differentials and axles and the leftover space can be used for a battery. It would also make it easier to turn 4wd on and off quicker when necessary.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Since when did TTAC turn into a Geritol comercial? So much whining about aching backs, as if a car would magically fix 10 years of sitting around the house all day without exercise.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “Since when did TTAC turn into a Geritol comercial?”

      Oops… you were supposed to turn *left* at the elevator for TTAC.

      This is TTACB. The Truth About Car Buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      That’s one of the problems of the Internet–that tone is nearly impossible to imply through words, so what may seem like whining was originally just…I dunno, what’s a synonym for “whining” that doesn’t also imply immaturity?

      No-one claimed just sitting in the car would be a panacea for their ailments. But they did admit that if they had to get in and out of a car with their arthritic knees/back/arms/what-have-you multiple times a day, it’d be better to do so in a CUV over (pun intended) a conventional car.

      And why would you claim to know exactly what caused the B&B’s chronic health problems? I try to assume the best out of everyone (usually). So I like to think all the newly-announced arthritics here contracted it from years of good physical labor.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    Why is everyone suggesting the Grand Cherokee? It isn’t even in the same class as the CR-V.

    I can understand why the CR-V sells like hotcakes. My tall family has two crossovers (Rogue and RAV4), and they fit my 6’4″ dad and 6’4″/6’5″ self easily, even with front sunroofs. Granted, the backseat of mom’s RAV4 is small, but that’s with the front seat all the way back and someone with a 36″ inseam sitting behind (me). For a normal sized family, a RAV4 would be huge. Not to mention there’s great fuel economy (ours are FWD, screw AWD), easy maneuverability, and room for luggage on a week long vacation behind the second row.

  • avatar
    George B

    I own a 2014 Honda Accord Sedan and grew up with BOF Chevrolet cars and pickup trucks. My memory may be off, but the driver’s seat of my Accord feels taller than my 71 Chevelle or my dad’s 70 Impala. Door openings don’t feel smaller, but the Accord seats have side bolstering which make it a little harder to slide in. The big limitation for the Accord is that the middle position in the back seat is basically kids-only while the Impala could seat 3 adults across in the back. However, the 2014 Accord travels roughly twice as many miles per gallon of gas compared to the 70 Impala with roomy seating for 4 adults.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    While I do believe that we are approaching “Peak Midsize Sedan” and that crossovers will eventually put a significant dent in the segment, the numbers over the last several years suggest the opposite trend.

    If I compare 2005 to 2013, this is what I get:

    -The total midsize sedan market grew from 1.99M to 2.35M units (+18%)
    -The retail midsize sedan market grew from 1.51M to 1.90M units (+26%)

    That trend was counter to the overall market, which declined over the period.

    Because vehicle sales in 2013 were 8% lower than they were in 2005 (with retail down 6%), retail market share for midsize sedans increased from 10.9% to 14.6%.

    (All of this occurred even though the number of nameplates in the segment declined.)

    Some funny things happened with this, though. GM got totally clobbered (Malibu sales are down, and don’t make up for the loss of Pontiac and Saturn), and Honda lost a bit of ground, leaving it to the other marques to take all of the upside.

    In other words, Honda is not a good representative of the trend over this period. Chrysler, Ford, the Koreans, VW and Toyota reaped the benefits of the surge, while it passed by Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      When did we hit “peak fullsize sedan”? Some time in the mid-90’s as the Explorer, Grand Cherokee and Tahoe all became ultra-popular?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “When did we hit ‘peak fullsize sedan’?”

        We didn’t. I’m predicting that it will happen, but it has yet to happen.

        Again, the data tells us that Honda is not a good example of what has taken in place in this segment since the overall market peaked in 2005. This segment has prospered, but the benefits of the increase have not gone to Honda (or to GM, which has taken a significant hit.) Many of those sales have gone to Ford, although the Taurus has declined simultaneously.

  • avatar
    Counterpoint

    I have owned sedans before but they are gone never to return. While I’m fortunate enough to have working joints I do frequently have to carry a few hundred pounds of cargo. So there’s no way I’m going to strain my back lifting equipment out of a trunk. It’s CUVs and hatchbacks only from now on.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The authors first paragraph;
    “In a manner of speaking, this chart is nothing more than anecdotal evidence. But it’s also evidence that’s been collected nationwide over the span of a decade from one of America’s largest auto sellers.”

    I do think it should read global and not nationwide.

    The CUV is having a global impact or better still an OECD impact more so.

    Why not? They offer utility and affordability like never before with superior design than a station wagon.

    The car for the masses, who only want to use their car as they were originally intended, work.

    A refrigerator, stove. But, there are some really flash fridges and stoves out there.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–Agree. My wife and I went from a Ford Taurus to a CRV. Loved the Taurus but we wanted the function of the CRV. I will be retiring in about 4 years and the CRV is the perfect retirement vehicle. Sedans will always be with us as will pickups but the crossover checks most of the boxes for what most need. Easier to get in and out of and a more accessible cargo area. Yes it is an appliance but it is a very nice one.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Jeff S,
      At work there’s a young guy in his late 20s and he currently owns a WRX. Very nice car indeed.

      But, he’s discussing his next replacement and by the sounds of it he wants a WRX sized CUV, turbo’d and AWD of course.

      CUVs will be around for a while yet. The market might change with a drift to smaller CUVs.

      CUVs appeal to all age groups, a car when you don’t have a car, a station wagon when you don’t have a station wagon, a SUV when you don’t have a SUV and now more so a van when you don’t have a van.

      Flexible and a true utility.

  • avatar
    HydrogenOnion

    “Crossovers” like the CRV are just basically modern stationwagons.

    It’s too bad we can’t get these with a manual transmission anymore in North America.

    One thing of note… in other markets like the UK, these are used for towing. Over there, depending on the model and transmission, the CRV is rated to tow 1500-1700KG (3300-3700 pounds) if the trailer has brakes. Half that without trailer brakes.

    In North America, the CRV is rated at a ‘let’s upsell people on something bigger’ 1500 pounds.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I wouldn’t consider a CRV if I didn’t have 3 children,and I would not like to be seen dead in a minivan, but I’m not much of a fan of Sedans either (unless they are 4dr HT’s and have tailfins,and maybe a big block to, but not as a daily driver) I prefer hatchback sedans, and if the Crosstour had been available over here (and had a slightly better looking tail) I would try to find a nice used one.
    4wd is a nice bonus, roughly 10 times a year ( so I don’t need a Jeep)
    PS, even here in Europe, where we still have stationwagons, most of them feel cramped in the back after driving the CRV for a while. Just reaching in and fastening the kids seatbelts and chairs is a chore , even in a ‘Fullsizer’ like a Mazda 6 or Mondeo.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    The chart is not anecdotal evidence, it’s objective research based evidence. Somebody at Honda accounted for all sales of units and made a bar graph of them. Anecdotal would be if Honda dealers just guessed and wrote their own stories about how often they see Accords vs. CR-Vs. In fact the number of years of research show a clear trend as CR-Vs sales are close to reaching parity though it suggests that Accord sales aren’t being eaten into by the same people.

    Just a simple note of point because I don’t mind anecdotal evidence in many cases of inconsequential views but this isn’t anecdotal.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It can be anecdotal when one makes a general statement about the entire industry based upon one example.

      In this case, the Honda Accord situation does run counter to what is happening in the industry as a whole (the segment is growing, while Honda’s place in it is shrinking), so it really isn’t an ideal example to use.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        That’s wholly true, his assumptions and predictions from it are using outside anecdotal evidence, just the chart isn’t. Which is why I responded because he called the chart anecdotal.

  • avatar
    carguy

    With the success of the CR-V, I wonder how soon Honda will introduce a smaller CUV based on the Fit?

    • 0 avatar
      David

      The HR-V was introduced in April 2014. It will be built alongside the Fit in Mexico and released sometime in December.

      I called my local Honda dealership and the guy said they haven’t heard of any release dates, but that the employees get trained on the cars a month before they appear in showrooms.


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