What is a Crossover SUV? - 2007 Honda CRV Review

Engine: 2.0 L R20A I4

Year: 2007

Mileage >200,000km

Drive train: Front Wheel Drive

Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic

2007 Price (New): RM147,800

Second hand value (2017): At least RM50,000

What is a Crossover?

"A crossover or crossover utility vehicle (CUV) is a vehicle built on a unibody car platform combining in highly variable degrees features of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) with those of a passenger vehicle, especially a station wagon or hatchback."


Unibody vs Body-on-Frame

Image source 

Image source

The Honda CR-V is a crossover SUV, just like many modern SUVs out there. SUVs used to be “Truck based” or “Body-on-Frame” type vehicles. Generally, there are 2 types of vehicle bodies. Body-on-frame and Unibody. Cars used to be body-on-frame (Ford Model T) but unibodies are more efficient to manufacture. They are also lighter and more rigid.

Hence unibodies and body-on-frames drive very differently. Remember, weight and rigidity. When people exclaim “This drives like a car!” or “This is more car like!” they are usually referring to the light weight and rigidity that cars (unibodies) provide.

Examples of vehicles with the body on frame type assembly would be the Toyota Avanza and Toyota Innova. You’ve probably driven one of these and understand just how different cars and trucks drive. For industrial purposes, it is usually more cost effective to opt for body on frame chassis and rear wheel drive. Just look at vans and trucks. They are usually body on frame and rear wheel drive. It’s the most cost-effective way of producing vehicles that only serve to deliver things. (Comfort, performance, and aesthetics aside).

Crossovers partially bring features that are usually available to SUVs to the car segment. Increased ride height (not as tall as proper SUVs), tall boot space, and seats that fold down flat.

What is CR-V?

I have just found out that CR-V stands for “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle” or “Compact Recreational Vehicle”. I think the former suits the car better. It is comfortable, you use it for runabouts (errands), and it is obviously a vehicle.

The third generation CR-V doesn’t really have an off-road look. There are 4WD versions, but when this was sold new in Malaysia, you only had the Front Wheel Drive, automatic version. It was definitely marketed as an urban SUV.

Earlier generation CR-Vs had a sportier look with the spare wheel hinged at the back, but the third generation steered the CR-V into a more urban luxurious market. Usually preferred by people who want comfortable long haul drives. The 4th and 5th gen CRVs definitely look the part of a luxury vehicle.

You could jack up the 1st and 2nd generation CRV and it would be a pretty legit off roader. Check out this amazing project on this blog and see what they did with a 2nd gen CRV. I assume this should still be possible with the third gen since they’ve kept the wheelbase the same (2620mm).

What is it Like to Drive?

The 3rd gen CR-V is comfortable. The electronic power steering (EPS) is weighted just right, you have foldable arm rests, it doesn’t accelerate so aggressively (Thanks to the drive by wire), and it is great for a cruise. It took me some time to get used to the foot brake instead of the usual handbrake, but I would rate it as an overall comfortable car.

The CR-V is equipped with an Overdrive Button, similar to the Myvi I reviewed previously. It is not quick, but once you get it up to speed it stays comfortably at 140km/h. It stretches 4th gear up to 5000rpm before shifting into top gear. To take this up to speed you do need a heavy foot. Despite its size cornering is still rather decent (pretty good on highway ramps). It feels like driving a bigger, more comfortable, and less quick Myvi.

The R20A is, like the Honda City’s Engine, Single Overhead Cam (SOHC). I really am just only discovering that Honda likes to use SOHC on its non-high-performance models. Congratulations once again. My Persona has DOHC but it doesn’t seem to add any significant value to the performance at all. The CR-V isn’t built for hooning so a SOHC engine does the job pretty well. Unlike the Honda City that I reviewed previously, no “ECO” shows up on the dash at low revs. There is also no ECON Mode.

The CR-V comes with cruise control which is handy on long haul trips. This is the 2nd car I’ve driven with cruise control, so I still find it amusing. The first car I drove with cruise control was a Merc C Class. To initiate cruise control, you hit the “CRUISE” button (this initiates “CRUISE MAIN” on the dash), you adjust the car’s speed, and then press “DECEL SET”, and the “CRUISE CONTROL” shows up on the dash.

Some Features

The Invasion of Crossovers

Crossovers are gaining popularity with the youth. It’s probably because they drive like normal cars and are usually provided with automatic transmission only. They are also starting to look very good. An example of an early debut into the crossover market was the Honda HR-V. And I’m not talking about the HR-V you recognise. I’m talking about this one:

Image source

Crossovers are starting to look better, drive better, save more fuel, and may just substitute current compact cars. Look at this C-HR.


A comfortable vehicle, as the name suggests. After ten years and more than 200,000km, some electronic problems do arise. The Engine and transmission however, are still working fine.

Until then

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