Any cars you regret buying? - My '14 CR-V experience

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Hey fellas,

I was wondering if it's just me, or do you also have an experience

I regret buying the wife's CR-V in my sig at 86k miles, bought it last year with 79k miles and paid $15k CAD. I've been a Honda guy and I've been driving a Honda continuously since 2004 (and since 1998 if I add family cars to the list). This is my 7th Honda/Acura product and I can easily say that by far the most disappointing one.

1) Oil consumption - yeah Hondas are known to burn oil, not for me. This is the first and only (out of 7) Honda that burns oil, not a lot but even my sportier (Civic SI - Euro spec EP3 Type-R) Civics that were revving over 8000 rpm didn't burn any oil, not even a drop. Fortunately, oil consumption has dropped quite a bit after changing the PCV, but it's still there (0.3-0.5 qt every 3k miles). I'll try different brand/type of oils to see if it changes anything.

2) Transmission issues - yes it will not leave you stranded on the side of the road, it's a Honda. I especially chose 2014 model year to avoid the CVT, but guess what? They have torque converter problems. Honda updated the software to fix the 3rd gear shuddering and Valvoline Maxlife ATF also helped hiding the problem, but the problem is mechanical and software update is just a band aid. (Note - I always change my ATF every other oil change)

3) AWD System - It is all wheel drive version, as long as front wheels have traction. If front wheels start to spin, then it becomes a front wheel drive as it can't send any usable amount of power to the rear wheels. So basically, it is a front wheel drive car that can rotate the rear wheels if needed. It would also overheat super quickly (5 minutes of deep snow driving with few wheel spins) and officially becomes a front wheel drive car by giving you CEL for AWD system.

This is not just me, there is a video about this problem. I tried it myself and the result is 100% same.




4) Overall engine performance - I am not a person that demands high power from a soccer mom SUV, as my previous daily driver was an Acura CSX with 2.0L n/a engine that pumps out 150 hp, but that car was smoother and accelerated much better than the CR-V. I know having a rear diff and AWD makes things heavier, but I am talking more about the engine character.

Honda decided to use the same (or very similar) engine from 2012+ Civic SI with the K24 engine, which engages VTEC around 5200 rpm. Our CR-V redlines around 6500 rpm, so it revs significantly less than the Civic SI (redlines at 7200 rpm) but dumb Honda engineers kept the VTEC engagement point at 5200 rpm instead of lowering it down to 4000 rpm range. As a result, you only have 1200-1300 rpm to accelerate with decent torque/power.

Due to the long gear ratios (for better MPG), every time it upshifts the rpms drop down to 4500, so you have to wait literally for more than 2-3 seconds to get back to VTEC zone (5200 rpm) to have decent amount of roll on power again. It's like an on and off switch that you have to go through every gear. Of course, you have nothing below 5000 rpm as it is designed for a sportier compact sedan that's meant to rev, but for a CR-V - it's a terrible decision.

It doesn't end there, the transmission tune makes things even worse, as it wants to upshift constantly below 50% throttle, so you constantly have to fight throttle pedal to keep the revs high enough to get going. As a result - MPG sucks. You have to be very patient to have anything over 20 MPG. My long term (since I bought it) average is around 22 MPG and I live in a suburb, so it never sees stop and go traffic. According to Honda, the average consumption is (or should be) 25 MPG.

Last but not least, the VTC cam gear noise. After driving so many other K20/K24 engine variations before the CR-V, this is the first engine that does this noise at cold startup (occasionally). I just don't understand this. K20/K24's been on the market for the last 20 years without a problem, and instead of improving things, Honda decided to go backwards and wanted to make your life more "fun" by adding more problems to the proven platform. I didn't have this problem in my EP3 Type-R, Civic SI and/or Acura CSX and they were all built several years before the CR-V.

5) Interior quality - this car was around $35.000 CAD when it was brand new, now they sell it for $45.000. I can't believe the interior quality is this bad, there is absolutely zero soft touch material anywhere in the dashboard. Thankfully, the seats are quite comfortable, and I like having a separate armrest for both driver and passenger, and that's pretty much it. You may say "it's a Honda", yes I wasn't expecting S-Class interior, but I was expecting to see better build quality and materials than my 2009 CSX or any other Hondas from 2000s.

6) Small problems - first thing came to my mind is the trunk latch gets frozen if the temperatures drop below 40 degrees (closer to 0c), I think it's an electronic actuator, but pretty annoying for a car that is meant to be simple and "reliable", don't understand why they wanted to reinvent the wheel. In Toronto, winter temps are constantly below 40f, meaning that you can't open the trunk pretty much whole winter time.

There are also good things about it, I love the practicality and overall interior space is great for this size of a car. I also like the driving position as it feels more like a truck with great visibility, I am sure it'll last long time if I do maintenance on time. That's pretty much it. My expectations weren't that high, as I mentioned I drove 2009 car and I was pretty happy with it. I was just expecting better from one of the bestselling compact SUVs of the last decade, but now I know why people say 2010-2016 is the worst era for Honda.

I am not going to sell it for now, but I am planning to do DIY valve adjustment/spark plugs (earlier than scheduled) and hope it'd perform better with those changes.

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to share my honest experience for people who are looking to buy 2012-2014 CR-V, hope it helps.

Photo 2021-06-15, 16 38 42.jpg
 
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So if you were able to go back in time and do it over, what would you have purchased instead?

As for me, I bought one new Honda (Accord) in 2000. Sold it a year later due to overall boredom with it but also some fit&finish issues that the dealer couldn't rectify properly.
 
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My grandparents had an almost identical car (same color even) and they just traded it for a Rav4 hybrid. They have also owned many Honda products (currently have a 1st gen MDX they will keep forever) and said this has been their most disappointing one. Theirs had ~60k and had the oil burning, as well as some weird electrical problems along with several window regulators. 🤷‍♂️
 

dgunay

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So if you were able to go back in time and do it over, what would you have purchased instead?

As for me, I bought one new Honda (Accord) in 2000. Sold it a year later due to overall boredom with it but also some fit&finish issues that the dealer couldn't rectify properly.

Absolutely not. One of the reasons why I prioritize the CR-V over anything else is that I've been working on K series engines for a long time, so wanted to have a drivetrain that I know very well. I was specifically looking for 2012-2014 to have traditional automatic instead of a CVT. What I've found is that this drivetrain is a horrible match to the CR-V.

It's still a Honda though, it will get you from A to B as Civic does, but you expect a little bit more (more refined interior and drivetrain) from a $35000+ CAD CR-V when it was brand new. To be honest, I feel sorry for the original owner that they had to pay this amount for it in 2014.

If I was able to go back in time and do it over, I'd have bought the RAV-4 or CX-5.
 
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Knock on wood, I've actually been quite lucky with vehicles once I graduated from 5th generation hand-me-downs after college. Those vehicles couldn't be faulted, I got them on their last life when everything was wrong with them.

But I've had examples from Honda, Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Toyota, VW, and Buick and have had very good luck with them all. I hope I didn't jinx myself...

But I'm a cautious buyer, and research significantly, inspect carefully, patient, etc. with such purchases. I learn which year models are good or bad, what to look for, what to avoid, what proactive items to fix, etc.
 
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Newer or new cars to us can some times be a hit or miss. Does why I find it very hard to give up an old reliable car for something newer.

I agree with this whole-heartedly. Bigger losses on newer/expensive, and I also prefer to keep good known working XYZ whereas many folks sell working XYZ only to replace it with unreliable headaches.
 
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So if you were able to go back in time and do it over, what would you have purchased instead?

As for me, I bought one new Honda (Accord) in 2000. Sold it a year later due to overall boredom with it but also some fit&finish issues that the dealer couldn't rectify properly.
This is probably for the OP but for me, I would have gone with a newer Mazda CX-5. It was better in every way; the deciding factor was the rear doors on the CR-V swing almost 90* open and the wife wanted that for inserting/removing the baby's car seats.
 

dgunay

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My grandparents had an almost identical car (same color even) and they just traded it for a Rav4 hybrid. They have also owned many Honda products (currently have a 1st gen MDX they will keep forever) and said this has been their most disappointing one. Theirs had ~60k and had the oil burning, as well as some weird electrical problems along with several window regulators. 🤷‍♂️

Glad to hear I am not the only person.

I am not going to keep it for long term, but it's just not the right timing to buy another car as prices skyrocketed.

Will be looking for a 3-row SUV or minivan to replace this, something like Explorer or Sienna etc.
 

dgunay

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This is probably for the OP but for me, I would have gone with a newer Mazda CX-5. It was better in every way; the deciding factor was the rear doors on the CR-V swing almost 90* open and the wife wanted that for inserting/removing the baby's car seats.

I totally agree, practicality/versatility is great, forgot to mention 90 degree doors in the rear but you're right, if that's your priority it's not a bad purchase.
 
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2001 Ford Taurus, technically not my car but my dad's. He didn't care as much about reliability reputation at the time but got scared when it was 11 years and 110k miles. Had he gotten a Camry he would likely have driven it for another 10 years and 60k miles.
 
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Honorable mention to the 2002 Altima, which spent more than its share of time in the shop, but there was a fun-to-drive element that offset that a bit.
1985 Calais 3.0 - 25,000 miles, more problems than I could keep up with. Couldn't wait to get rid of it.
1997 Ranger 2.3 - Bought new. Slow, uncomfortable, numerous problems. Was very glad to see it go.

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hrv

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My list is a 1989 Plymouth Acclaim with a 2.5 turbo.....1999 Ford Contour and last was a 1987 Chrysler Le Baron coupe with a 2.2 turbo..I wount even list all of the problems with all of these...but they were mostly engine and transmission related...
 

Shel_B

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1982 Volkswagen Quantum: Biggest POS I ever owned. Leaking head gasket, trim pieces falling off, poorly running engine, electrical gremlins, even the tires (Goodyear Eagles of some sort) were prone to getting flats ... 3 in six months! We traded it in for a Mazda which was an excellent car, one of the best I ever owned.

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My biggest regret was a 2016 Chevy Cruze I bought new. I really liked the new design. The car was actually great apart from one issue, the 6 speed manual trans. The clutch gave no feedback. I felt like every shift was my first one ever, like I had to rediscover how to drive the thing. Didn't even have it 1000 miles before I dumped it.
 
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I regret buying the Forester, but thanks to this nuts car market, I was able to get out of it and get a bucket list car of mine.

I loved the car for what it was. It checked a lot of boxes.
  • Manual Transmission, close ratio with good gearing
  • Longitudinal Arrangement
  • Very easy to work on for when it's older
  • Decent fuel economy
  • Lots of space
  • Can tow my utility trailer
  • Awd with good ground clearance so a decent "adventure" vehicle
I regret buying it because of the chronic AC failures on it. 6 failures under warranty and a 7th failure out of warranty. I'd rather have a $4000 beater without AC than something for which I paid $21500.
 
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1996 Dodge Neon. I bought it used and had nothing but problems with it. Mostly electrical gremlins and some transmission issues. It had the 3 speed automatic. I traded it less than a year later for a new 1998 Hyundai Accent.
 
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My biggest regret is a Honda too, my 2016 Civic Coupe with the 1.5 engine.
Problems
1. Fuel dilution.
2. CVT transmission rattles like a diesel on warm restarts. Had it to dealer twice for it and they did nothing even with cell phone video of it happening.
3. 3rd tail light at top of rear window has a plastic cover that has melted off twice in summer heat waves. Dealership finally fixed it on the 3rd try and its crooked. When the cover was down braking flooded the entire rear view with red light, very dangerous at night backing up.
4. Random no starts. Has left daughter stranded at least 4 times and acts as if the key fob is not present and gives a rolling list of malfunctions that look like movie credits. No real resolution as it comes and goes. Removing battery power helps it
5. Road noise. Car came from factory with tires that actually had a felt like pad on the backside of the tread I guess to lessen road noise. I think they were Continentals.
6. Build quality. I didn't notice it when I bought it but the drivers side of the hood is lower than the fender where they meet at the windshield. No real way to adjust either one to cure it. Its right in front of me as I drive and look at it every time I start the car. The body gaps at the rear trunk lid are off also. All my VW products beat this thing hands down on build quality. Also the doors sound so hollow, like an empty beer can.
7. Seats are comfortable but the light grey fabric shows every little thing. Thats on me though as I figured as much.
 
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