The Truth About Cars » changes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:00:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » changes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Quick Look: 2015 Honda CR-V http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/quick-look-2015-honda-cr-v/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/quick-look-2015-honda-cr-v/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:21:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=922257 It’s hard to believe that the CR-V has been on sale for nearly two decades when the 1985 Civic Wagonvan 4WD is still fresh in mind. But Honda has steadily grown the CR-V from a mere 66,000 units in 1997 to over 300,000 units last year. As it stands, the CR-V is the 7th best-selling vehicle […]

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2015 honda cr-v front left

It’s hard to believe that the CR-V has been on sale for nearly two decades when the 1985 Civic Wagonvan 4WD is still fresh in mind. But Honda has steadily grown the CR-V from a mere 66,000 units in 1997 to over 300,000 units last year. As it stands, the CR-V is the 7th best-selling vehicle in the United States.

2015 honda cr-v rear right

The CR-V gets a typical midlife facelift for 2015, which consists of new headlights (LEDs on all but the low LX trim), a new grille, bumper covers, and taillights. There are also bigger, wheels and a new trim level, dubbed “Touring”. Inside there is an upgraded dashboard with a new infotainment interface, rear seat air vents, and new dynamic safety features. Overall, one really needs to see the 2014 and 2015 CR-V side-by-side to see all the differences.

2015 honda cr-v exterior details

More importantly, Honda made changes that have a greater impact on fuel economy, power, comfort, and safety.

The 2.4L DOHC iVTEC engine now sports direct fuel injection and has a higher compression ratio. This translates to the same 185hp, but an increase in torque from 163 to 181 ft-lbs. Both horsepower and torque now peak at lower engine speeds, and the torque curve is flatter. The five-speed automatic was replaced with a CVT. The fuel economy improves to 27/34/29 mpg on front-wheel-drive models and 26/33/28 mpg on AWD models, both increasing +4/+3/+3 mpg over 2014 models.

Interior improvements consist of more sound insulation for a quieter ride, something that was apparently a frequent source of complaints for customers. There are now air vents for rear passengers but there are no separate controls. The infotainment system is also updated, bringing it in line with current Hondas. It is not a system that I personally love; it has too many options, too many settings, and there is no volume knob, just buttons. A back-up camera is standard.

2015 honda cr-v interior details

Honda has also thrown a slew of active safety features into the 2014 CR-V, all designed to avoid accidents. These include: Forward Collision Warning with Collision Mitigation Braking System (it will stop a car if it sense an accident), Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Honda LaneWatch. The last is a camera mounted in the passenger side mirror which displays everything that is typically in the blind spot on the infotainment system. These new features are only available on the Touring, which also adds a power liftgate and memory seats – if you want the full suite of driver aides, you’ll have to shell out the big bucks.

During my quick highway drive the car did feel quiet, and a sound measure test performed by my friend did confirm that interior noise has been reduced. A full review will arrive once I spend some more time with the car, but so far, my biggest complaint rests with the CVT. I’m not a huge fan of them, for the usual reasons, but I doubt that buyers of the CR-V will know what a CVT is or even care that it uses one.

In 1999 my mother was shopping for a new car. The then new and hot E46 3-series was high on her list, as was the Acura TL. She ended up with a blue ‘99 Honda CR-V EX (CR-V EX is a horrible nomenclature, by the way, Honda) with a 5-speed manual transmission. The CR-V of that era was spacious, efficient, and affordable. There was a picnic table in the trunk and seats that folded into a bed, a pop-up rear window and full-size spare tire mounted in the tailgate. We take the CR-V and its ilk for granted now, dismissing them as just another soulless CUV. At the time, it was revolutionary.

The 2015 CR-V is a much different and much improved vehicle. But along with those changes it lost some of its personality. It seems that Honda is making more attempts at staying competitive rather than being a leader in independent design. Whether that is relevant or not is up for a debate as sales of each model are higher than ever. The truth is that CR-V buyers, new and repeat, will be getting a much improved vehicle which will only contribute to its popularity. The 2015 CR-V starts at $23,320 for a FWD LX model and goes up $32,770 for the new loaded Touring model with AWD. It is on sale as of today.

2015 honda cr-v dash

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Vellum Venom Vignette: From Here to Eternity http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/vellum-venom-vignette-from-here-to-eternity/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/vellum-venom-vignette-from-here-to-eternity/#comments Tue, 05 Feb 2013 12:53:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=476280 Spencer writes: Dear Sajeev, Are there any examples of concept cars which, while not representative of the vehicles in the manufacturer’s immediate lineup, actually become something of a reality five or ten years down the line? More specifically, can you provide some images of concept cars that actually look like the cars we have on […]

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Spencer writes:

Dear Sajeev,

Are there any examples of concept cars which, while not representative of the vehicles in the manufacturer’s immediate lineup, actually become something of a reality five or ten years down the line? More specifically, can you provide some images of concept cars that actually look like the cars we have on the road today (Isuzu VehiCROSS and similarly rare instances to be omitted, I suppose). Thanks!

Sajeev answers:

Fantastic question. But 5 or 10 years down the line?  That’s a bit of a stretch, as most concept cars (made by companies that are in business to market something profitable) show a future that’s a bit more readily available.  Now there are plenty of design firms that make pure dream cars, mostly of the Italian variety.  Hence the Giorgio Moroder Love above.

Well, at least in the past: 1970s Italdesign, Ghia, Pininfarina, Bertone, etc foretold of a future with wedgy angles for all of us.  But more palatable futures?  Maybe more like 5-6 years max from the major automakers. That’s far more doable.

And since I am of a certain age, my concept cars will reflect it. Let’s start with my favorite: the Oldsmobile Aurora. When the production model came out, I was shocked to see the product specialist let me on the table to sit in it.  Wait…that’s not a concept car?

Here it is back in 1989, known as the Oldsmobile Tube Car. Horrible name, absolutely lovely machine.

 

But oh my damn son, the production model had all the same lines and looked almost as radical.  What a lovely car, one that I truly miss as their terrible resale value and headgasket-eating Northstar V8s seal their fate in the scrapyard.

The Nissan Juke concept is pretty insane.  But then again…

 

The reality is just as bizarre.  And I love it, even if I don’t know I could actually be seen in it.  But that’s for another installment of Vellum Venom.

The Lamborghini Portofino concept (made when owned by Chrysler in 1987, IIRC) was definitely a Dodge Intrepid in the making. The cab-forward greenhouse, the wheels and especially the rear end styling. Just add the Dodge Viper’s nose and…

 

Whoa momma! The LH cars were absolutely fantastic designs. Well, aside from the crude engines and glassjaw transaxles.  But still, what a wonderful family sedan that we will never see again! Probably.

 

The Chrysler LHX concept quickly turned into…

 

The similarly insane, second generation, Chrysler LHS. While I didn’t appreciate this design until the Bentley-Truck Chrysler 300 replaced it (and the Chrysler Concorde from whence it came), they were a well styled piece.  Unless you lived in a state that required a front license plate.  Oops.

 

The Mercedes F200 concept had the upcoming S-class schnoz, and the body of the CL-class.

 

Yep. Dat hardtop roofline. Who ever thought Mercedes would bring back insane pillarless styling to the roof?  Impressive…just don’t own one outside of the warranty period: combined with the usual Mercedes component quality of this era (and the obligatory Super Bowl stadium joke), the CL’s hydraulic suspension will put you in the poor house. But it might be worth it.

 

And since you mentioned the VehiCROSS: who expected this…

…to actually make production!

 

And the 1986 Pontiac Trans Sport concept was pretty far out there.

 

If anything, the production model was even crazier. That dustbuster nose fares better in an accident, but the original’s design was a bit more conventional and appealing for your eyeballs…even if your insurance company begs to differ.

 

Supposedly the original Lexus SC concept car started off as plaster filled balloons in Toyota’s Calty design studio.  They were apparently squeezing and forming this stuff until this concept car came to mind.

 

Well then!  At least the production car came out frickin’ awesome.

How many times will you now wish that designers had balloons and plaster at their disposal, huh?

 

On to the cars that got me interested in the styling biz: the 1981 Ford Probe III. The other Probes (up to Probe V) were far more radical, but the III foreshadowed a radical change in mainstream sedans for Europe. It ushered advanced design and cutting edge aerospace technology to people on a Toyota Camry budget.

 

Yup, that’s the 1982 Ford Sierra: the salesman’s spaceship.  The Jellymould, not to be confused with Lexus’ plaster filled balloons.  While I think the wedge-nose Sierra looked more radical (with the Ghia front end) than the round-nose Probe III, I have my bias: here’s my 1983 Sierra Ghia in Dallas, en route to my garage.

 

While not nearly as historically relevant as the Sierra/Probe, the Ford Contour concept was just nuts.  While you see a lot of 2006 Honda Civic in the nose, plenty of Prius in the roof, there’s something else going on here.

 

That’s right: the ovoid nightmare Ford Taurus that nobody liked.  Except me, I thought it was a brilliantly executed design. Far too radical for its time? Yes, but it will age well. Especially as a (timing gear eating) V8 powered Taurus SHO with the Ford Contour concept paint and chrome wheels.  It’s still a stunner, even if you hate it.

 

And just to make us all feel better about the MKZ, here’s the original Lincoln MKX: The Marque X of 1992.  And what happened one single year later?

 

BAM SON: the 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII.  Even the insane directional wheels kinda made production.  That Continental-kitted butt with full length tail light? Yup.  The coke bottle profile, buttery smooth lines and some insane V8 motor with 4 cams and 32 valves hidden under concept car plastics that will power the SVT Mustang Cobra in three years?  Indeed. Even the Marque X interior logically made production into the Mark VIII.

Okay, they never made a Mark VIII droptop from the factory, but the disappearing door Mark VIII was proof that this concept car was more than just a pretty face. Don’t believe me?

 

Here’s my (unverifiable) personal proof: heading to the press preview night at the 2007 Houston Auto Show. A night that inspired a somewhat famous General Motors Deathwatch, I rolled up in my 1995 Mark VIII: factory HID lights blasting and that 4-cam V8 monster rumbling through Kooks headers. The guard at the gate did something I’d never expect.

Let’s go back to that night in 2007:

Guard: There you go. Man, that’s a nice car!

Me: Thanks. (driving off)

Guard: Wait, wait, wait…WAAAAIT!

Me: (stopped) What?

Guard: Remember you gotta enter from the back!

Me: But the show entrance is up front!

Guard: The door for the cars is out back.

Me: Wait…what?

Guard: That’s a show car right?  That’s going in the show…right?

Me: Dude, this was a concept car back in 1992!

Guard: (dumbfounded face and general remarks of genuine disbelief) Man I thought it’d be in the showrooms pretty soon!

Me: Nope! But you can find plenty of them in the junkyards!

 

Off to you, folks.

92_lexus_sc400_blue (photo courtsey: rately.com) 92lincoln_marque-x_3 (photo courtsey: carstyling.ru) 1981-probe-iii  (photo courtsey: historyofcars.com) 1986_transsport (photo courtsey: GMinsidenews.com) 1990_pontiac_trans-sport (photo courtsey: edmunds.com) 1991 contour concept (photo courtsey: imageshack.us) 1993 dodge intrepid  (photo courtsey: allpar.com) 2000-isuzu-vehicross 2011_nissan_juke  (photo courtsey: edmunds.com) 1993 Mark VIII (photo courtsey: cardomain.com) ad_aurora_1995 (photo courtsey: GM) auroraconcept (photo courtsey: aurorah.proboards.com) chrysler_LHX  (photo courtsey: theautochannel.com) chrysler-lhs-06 (photo courtsey: motorstown.com) Have you actually heard pop music these days? (photo courtsey: discomusic.com) ford_taurus_sho_1999 (photo courtsey: Ford) Sajeevs Sierra (photo courtsey: Sajeev) lambo_portofino_chrysler_1987 (photo courtsey: favcars.com) lexus_sc_concept (photo courtsey: clublexus.com) Mercedes-Benz-CL500_2000 (photo courtsey: netcarshow.com) Mercedes-Benz-F_200_Concept_1996 (photo courtsey: Mercedes) nissan juke concept (photo courtsey: Nissan) vehicrossconcept (photo courtsey: Isuzu) HID lights (photo courtesy: cardomain.com)

 

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