This Honda CR-V Turbo is so highly specced, but is it even necessary?


An acquaintance of mine expressed his displeasure not too long ago about modern cars being too “detached” from the driver. The thought, although emotionally fostered by retrospect, was largely counterrevolutionary in a world that’s headed towards complete autonomous mobility.

But it got me thinking: why in the world would Honda, makers of affordable mass production cars, take it in stride to introduce this SUV abounding in tech? I mean, the CR-V can half drive itself, and to do that it had to have sensors, radars, a camera and hundreds – if not thousands – of microcomputers processing billions of data per second. Can Honda even guarantee that it’s never-failing? No, of course not. But it’s as polished as it gets, for now.

I had a brief go in the all-new CR-V, the one fitted with all the Honda Sensing thingamajig. It’s basically a blend of seven driver assistive systems that are specifically concocted to make driving a hell less taxing, and at the same time safer for you, your passengers and other cars around you.

I’ll start by singling out the one feature that every car sold in Malaysia should have – Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS). This Godsend of a tech constantly reads road markings through the camera to make sure the driver remains centred in the lane, and is only operable between 72 km/h to 180 km/h. That’s stage one.

The next, called Lane Departure Warning (LDW), subtly applies steering force to realign driving trajectory (relative to road markings). This only works when the driver veers out of the lane without using the signal indicator. God bless Honda. Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) on the other hand, is a more aggressive lane-keeping aid that reads solid lines. If the CR-V leaves the lane, RDM brakes and steers it back in. Don’t sweat it though, the trio here are just assistive features, not assertive. You can still cross lanes without signalling, but quit being that fool and exercise your civic duty.

Loony late brakers and religious tailgaters should be wary of this thing called Forward Collision Warning. The CR-V’s camera and radar continuously monitor frontal traffic, readily able to reduce, if not prevent a collision from happening. Brake force is automatically applied through Collision Mitigation Braking System.

The most welcoming driving aid would be Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF). The former is great for lengthy drives and operates between 30 km/h to 180 km/h, with presettable cruising speed and distance behind vehicle. LSF is basically ACC but for urban use, which can prove to be especially useful in traffic jams. When engaged, the car automatically accelerates or brakes to a complete stop, depending on traffic.

In terms of its execution, Honda Sensing proved to be far more than rudimentary. It is precisely the opposite; polished and fully ready for mass usage. All instances of braking and acceleration were refined and properly graceful, never jolty nor unnaturally intrusive throughout. Guess who Honda benchmarked Sensing against? The same as those found in modern Mercedes-Benz cars.

This comes on top of other stuff such as six airbags, Honda Lane Watch, full LED headlamps and even LED fog lamps. Cars priced below RM170k rarely come with even half the tech, and for the first time ever the CR-V is turbocharged! But why does Honda Malaysia even bother doing this? 

Consumerism. Honda is doing the very thing their rivals often take advantage of. In fact they are proactively giving consumers exactly what they want in a modern car, and the CR-V is the entire caboodle of that commitment.

If you’re among the few critics wanting a seven-seater version or Honda Sensing with AWD, don’t feel scammed just yet. When the demand justifies the means, you can count on Honda Malaysia to deliver – just like how they did when you asked for this high spec CR-V.


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Honda CR-V 1.5TC-P 2WD

Honda CR-V 1.5TC 2WD


Matthew H. Tong

Matthew H. Tong

A straightforward, fun-loving guy who appreciates the superficiality of a car's appeal, but his admiration for anything on four wheels gives him no reason to neglect the makings of a car. He still believes that fun comes with three pedals and a stick.
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