2011 Honda CR-V LX Review

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Nick1994

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I figured I'd write up a review incase someone here was interested in buying one of these used. This is my grandmother's 2011 Honda CR-V LX 2WD 2.4L that just hit 65k miles. The previous owner must have taken really good care of this car, it's in fantastic shape. She got it 3 months and 1,300 or so miles ago. I've put most of the miles on it, her and my grandfather have me drive them around usually and run errands for them. They got this car because it is easy to get in and out of, they are elderly and handicapped and their Trailblazer is a little too tall for her. I just took it for a road trip this weekend up to the mountains in Pinetop, AZ and did 650 miles round trip. While my Cons list is longer than the Pros, we still like the car. It's perfect for my grandmother. She can get in and out of it easily, it's very reliable, and it's very simple and she can understand all the controls. It's a great car for daily commuting and running around town, maybe not the best for someone who does long distance commuting but maybe so. Depends on the person. Some of my Cons are probably because it is a base LX model, some features may be fixed with a higher trim level. However, many of them should have come standard. Pros: -Pretty good handling, not much body roll. -Tight and responsive steering, good feedback. -Brakes are great, a bit touchy but I've gotten used to them. -Good power for around town. If you're stopped at a light on level ground and punch the throttle, it'll really get you moving quite well for what it is. -Absolutely fantastic A/C. Couldn't ask for it to be any colder or blow harder. -Good fuel economy. It got a little over 28 mpg round trip in the mountains. I mostly just let cruise control do the work, but I did manually drive it through a lot of WOT passes and we did some in town driving too. If I tried and it were all highway I have no doubt it would get over 30 mpg. -The seats are supportive for the lower back and hug you a bit. -Lots of head room in the front and rear. Plenty of leg room for the rear as well (I'm 6'2"). The rear seats recline, I don't like to sit straight up in a car. -Lots of room especially since the seats fold up really well. -AUX port for radio. -Interior is put together pretty well, fit and finish is decent. No rattles. -Side airbags in the seats and curtain airbags in the base LX model. Cons: -Lack of power once up to speed, quite anemic. It will hold it's speed up the hills and has maybe a tiny bit more room to speed up, depending on the hill. I would not want to get stuck behind someone pulling a trailer and then try to WOT pass, it wouldn't be a pretty sight. -Despite being a 5 speed automatic, it seems the gears are very widely spaced. 65-70 mph or so, WOT in 3rd gear it is at around 4,300 RPMs which is just not high enough to really get going when climbing a hill. I hate to say it, but a CVT would be fantastic in this car. If it could get those RPMs higher it would do ALOT better in the mountains. I think the new CR-V has a CVT though. -Suspension is too harsh, it's very firm. -Headlights aren't that great. -Stereo is a joke. Doesn't get near loud enough and distorts at "high" levels. Music through the AUX port sounds better than FM, haven't had a problem with FM in countless other cars though. It has a lot of bass at low volume levels but once it reaches a little over 1/2 volume the radio itself turns off the bass, my guess is to protect the cheap speakers. -This one drives me nuts. It doesn't unlock all the doors when you put it in Park, only the driver's door. They seriously couldn't have made it unlock the others? All the passengers are left confused because they can't open the doors. Neither front door will open when you pull the handle while locked, you have to unlock it first. I personally think that's a safety issue. -Dash lights aren't dimmable. What you see is what you get. Center display in dash is a little too bright at night time, radio is a little too dim. Dash lights are on during the day with the headlights off, this is why you see many people driving at night with no headlights, they think they're on. -Headlights don't automatically turn off. My grandma killed the battery once because she forgot to turn them off. Not a big deal once you get used to it, she's coming from a fully loaded Trailblazer LTZ with automatic lights. -The dash sticks out in the center for the shifter. My knee hits it really bad, it's in the way and makes it uncomfortable. -The seat bottoms are a little too short as far as depth for tall people. Not too bad, but a little short. -There's only 1 Intermittent setting for the wipers. 1 wipe every 5 seconds. Then it's slow constant wipe or fast constant wipe. Can't speed up or slow down the intermittent setting. -Awkward "center console" that folds down if needed for some reason. Cup holders are fine in it though.
 
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Glad its working out for your grandparents. As far as the locks go, check out the owners manual. I believe your current setting is how it comes from the factory, either that or the dealer programs them that way. My Accord was the same way in regards to only the drivers door unlocking when put into park, but there are several different settings you can choose from.
 

Nick1994

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Originally Posted By: gregk24
Glad its working out for your grandparents. As far as the locks go, check out the owners manual. I believe your current setting is how it comes from the factory, either that or the dealer programs them that way. My Accord was the same way in regards to only the drivers door unlocking when put into park, but there are several different settings you can choose from.
I'll have to check it out. It's a base model so we'll have to see how adjustable some things are
Originally Posted By: silverrat
You can usually dim the dash lights by turning the trip reset button.
Wow, thanks! I'm not so familiar with Hondas. It's actually the first one in the whole family... What does it mean for the select/reset knob?
 
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Originally Posted By: Nick1994
Originally Posted By: gregk24
Glad its working out for your grandparents. As far as the locks go, check out the owners manual. I believe your current setting is how it comes from the factory, either that or the dealer programs them that way. My Accord was the same way in regards to only the drivers door unlocking when put into park, but there are several different settings you can choose from.
I'll have to check it out. It's a base model so we'll have to see how adjustable some things are
Originally Posted By: silverrat
You can usually dim the dash lights by turning the trip reset button.
Wow, thanks! I'm not so familiar with Hondas. It's actually the first one in the whole family... What does it mean for the select/reset knob?
What I called the ttrip reset button is actually called the select/reset knob. You can press it to cycle through the menu, reset maintenance minder, reset trip odometer, etc.
 
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The gents here had good tips. I have owned many Hondas. It looks nice. Great review. I may have skipped by it but road noise has always been a bummer with Hondas. And yes the radios in base models are horrific....
 
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Nick, I think the unlocking in Park is programmable. I programmed my '08 to unlock them all when in Park. The dash lighting is also adjustable via the trip meter knob. The owner's manual should have information on this. The base stereo sounds pretty bad. My '08 was an EX-L and had a subwoofer under the front passenger seat. It sounded quite good to my ears, but I'm not an audiophile. Most mid-to-upper range car factory car stereos are plenty good enough for me. I do agree with you about the firm suspension. In a small vehicle at this price range, it's hard to "get it all". The reward for the firm suspension is one of the best handling small SUVs out there, at least when it was built. There are, of course, lots of suspension trickery which would improve things, but things like that add to cost. The one setting for intermittent must be a base model thing. Mine had a full variable range. One thing that I think is neat is that, if the wipers are in intermittent mode and you let off the brake and start rolling, you'll get a wipe, regardless of where the wipers were in their timed intermittent cycle. The concept being, I guess, is that you need a clean windshield when you start moving forward again. Smart. Our Ridgeline does this, too, but our MDX does not. I guess that's an idea they had at some point in the late 2000s. I really liked the seats. They have moderate side bolstering and, even in leather trim, really keep you planted. I really enjoyed the '08 we had (sold it only to buy the Ridgeline).
 

OVERKILL

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Great review Nick! Glad to see others chiming in with some help on a few of the items in the cons list. The intermittent wiper thing is surprising however.
 
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According to the owner's manual the variable speed intermittent wipers are on all trim levels except LX.
 
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Sounds just like our 06, but ours gets more like 22 mpg. I find 3rd is fine for passing, but its what you are used to I guess. You didn't mention road/tire noise so maybe they added some insulation in a few places. I'm sure it will run well for them.
 

Nick1994

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I didn't mention road noise due to 2 things. It has some wind noise from the windshield. However, it has an aftermarket windshield and it could be an installation problem. It's pretty loud over uneven surfaces and even smooth highway. I feel this is coming from the tires though. The dealership we got it from put a brand new set of Bridgestone tires on it, they all still had the nubs on them at the dealership. I think it's just this model of tire, I'm sure ofher Bridgestones are fine. Good enough though, it'll get my grandma down the road safely. One CR-V we looked at had Chinese tires, that wasn't gonna happen.
 
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Do you remember which model Bridgestones exactly? I would expect the Dueler H/P Sport AS to be fairly quiet (despite its name, it's an OEM blend tire with pretty soft rubber that seems to ride and drive pretty quietly). If it's something like a Dueler H/L 400, it probably won't be as nice. The quietest tires I had on my '08 CR-V were the Firestone Destination LE2s. Two sets I had never did seem to balance perfectly, but I liked them otherwise.
 

Nick1994

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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Do you remember which model Bridgestones exactly? I would expect the Dueler H/P Sport AS to be fairly quiet (despite its name, it's an OEM blend tire with pretty soft rubber that seems to ride and drive pretty quietly). If it's something like a Dueler H/L 400, it probably won't be as nice. The quietest tires I had on my '08 CR-V were the Firestone Destination LE2s. Two sets I had never did seem to balance perfectly, but I liked them otherwise.
Just went out and looked, "Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS"
 
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Originally Posted By: Nick1994
Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Do you remember which model Bridgestones exactly? I would expect the Dueler H/P Sport AS to be fairly quiet (despite its name, it's an OEM blend tire with pretty soft rubber that seems to ride and drive pretty quietly). If it's something like a Dueler H/L 400, it probably won't be as nice. The quietest tires I had on my '08 CR-V were the Firestone Destination LE2s. Two sets I had never did seem to balance perfectly, but I liked them otherwise.
Just went out and looked, "Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS"
Those are probably the better of the OEM-type Bridgestones they could have put on it. I don't know if their particular CR-V came with Bridgestones originally (would have been the Dueler H/T 470) or Continentals (would have been 4x4 Contact), but I think the Dueler H/P Sport AS is the better of those three. In the end, a 3rd generation CR-V will be only so quiet. Subframes are mounted directly to the body, and not through rubber isolation bushings. Pros: great feel and fast response. Cons: NVH. The 4th generation CR-V (2012 and later) is much quieter, but also a little duller, so it's apparent Honda tweaked SOMETHING. The Bridgestone the dealer put on is the OEM tire for the 4th generation CR-V.
 
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If Honda still made this style CRV definitely I would buy one. The CRV keeps getting uglier and has a CVT that I would never want to own.
 

Nick1994

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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Do you remember which model Bridgestones exactly? I would expect the Dueler H/P Sport AS to be fairly quiet (despite its name, it's an OEM blend tire with pretty soft rubber that seems to ride and drive pretty quietly). If it's something like a Dueler H/L 400, it probably won't be as nice. The quietest tires I had on my '08 CR-V were the Firestone Destination LE2s. Two sets I had never did seem to balance perfectly, but I liked them otherwise.
Just went out and looked, "Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS"
Those are probably the better of the OEM-type Bridgestones they could have put on it. I don't know if their particular CR-V came with Bridgestones originally (would have been the Dueler H/T 470) or Continentals (would have been 4x4 Contact), but I think the Dueler H/P Sport AS is the better of those three. In the end, a 3rd generation CR-V will be only so quiet. Subframes are mounted directly to the body, and not through rubber isolation bushings. Pros: great feel and fast response. Cons: NVH. The 4th generation CR-V (2012 and later) is much quieter, but also a little duller, so it's apparent Honda tweaked SOMETHING. The Bridgestone the dealer put on is the OEM tire for the 4th generation CR-V.
I really do think it's the tires making a lot of the noise. I'm sure it's not a really quiet car but in the future with the next set of tires we shall see. Good enough for now, the car won't get a ton of miles so the tires will age out instead of wear out. Thanks for the help guys, today I programmed the door locks to all open when putting it in Park. Worked like a charm. Also I adjusted the dimmer, I have no experience with Hondas so I had no idea that knob twisted.
 
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