The Honda CR-V is a compact crossover SUV manufactured by the Japanese company Honda since 1995. It was loosely derived from the Honda Civic to satisfy a public demand for a sport-utility vehicle from Honda. There are discrepancies as to what "CR-V" stands for, with Honda sources in different markets citing different meanings. The most common meaning being "Civic Recreation Vehicle" since the is built on the Honda Civic Platform. Though Honda sales literature in UK reportedly makes references to "Compact Recreational Vehicle", other Honda references (including the official Honda Japan CR-V Fact Book and Honda Worldwide) cite "Comfortable Runabout Vehicle". It is produced in both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive, although in many markets such as Australia and the United Kingdom, only front wheel drive is offered. Honda produces the CR-V in Japan and the United Kingdom for worldwide markets, and as of 2007, North American CR-Vs are produced in East Liberty, Ohio. The CR-V is produced in Wuhan for the Chinese market by the Dongfeng Honda Automobile Company, a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Corporation. Starting in fall 2007, North American CR-Vs will also be produced in Jalisco, Mexico in addition to Britain, Japan and the US due to high demand. Honda executives considered making the CR-V as one of the first vehicles to be produced at Honda's new facility currently finishing construction in Greensburg, Indiana that opened in fall 2008; however, the facility will initially exclusively produce the Civic, which may free up space in East Liberty for CR-V production from the 2009 model year onward. Elsewhere, the CR-V is Honda's smallest SUV other than the related Element sold in Canada and the United States, and the HR-V sold in Europe. In size, the CR-V slots between the Element and Pilot. Introduced in Japan in 1995, the CR-V was Honda's first in-house designed SUV and was originally intended to be a niche vehicle only. Honda was hesitant to market the vehicle, since many felt the car did not have potential to sell alongside the Honda Passport and to take over the role of Honda's entry-level SUV. In the United States, it was displayed for the first time at the 1996 Chicago Auto Show. Citing strong sales from the comparable Toyota RAV4 upon its release, the model was then brought stateside in February 1997. The CR-V appeared around the same time as the Subaru Forester and a couple years after the JDM Nissan Rasheen.
Honda's Real Time 4WD system on the CR-V utilizes a Dual hydraulic Pump Rear Differential and 4WD Transfer case. The dual pump rear differental operates the front wheels during normal conditions then automatically transfers power to the rear wheels when needed, without the driver engaging the system. To allow the ABS braking system to work when the CR-V is engaged in four-wheel drive operation, the 4WD will turn off if the brakes are applied. An optional HONDA off road front skid plate and cargo roof rack are both available from Honda Dealerships. Later Model CR-Vs equipped with automatic transmissions also have a lockup torque converter and Grade Logic program which aids the CR-V when climbing steep inclines by keeping the transmission in the lower gear. The 2007 and later Model 4WD system was improved and sends an additional 20% more torque to the rear tires than earlier models. When driven off road, CR-Vs with the AWD System are typically used in the Green Laning or "Two-tracking" type of off roading. Although the body style remained the same as the first generation an update for the CR-V made from 1999 to 2001 was in response to criticism of the original engine lacking enough power for a vehicle of the CR-V's weight – 3,200 lb (1,500 kg). The engine was changed to the 2.0 L B20Z engine, producing 146 hp (109 kW) at 6200 rpm and 133 lb·ft (180 N·m) at 4500 rpm of torque. Fuel economy of 22 mpg-US (11 L/100 km; 26 mpg-imp) City/25 mpg-US (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg-imp) Highway (US) and price were not affected by the increase in power, which was the result of a higher compression ratio (9.6:1 compared to the B20B's 8.8:1), a new intake manifold, and slightly higher lift on the intake valves.Models equipped with an automatic transmission now had an overdrive cancel button that allowed the driver to lock the transmission in the first three gears to provide power for passing and climbing grades. The interior was also modified, as some consumers felt that the support provided by the seats was inadequate for longer trips. The pattern of the cloth on the seats was also redesigned.
On the inside of the car, the EX trim received upgrades which included steering wheel-mounted audio controls and an outside temperature monitor. The stereo system was also XM Satellite Radio ready (USA but not Canada). All CR-V models also had revised rear seat headrests, which had been redesigned to reduce rear view blockage. Mechanically, the 2005 model was also changed. A major change included a drive-by-wire throttle for all CR-Vs. The all-wheel drive system was improved; it had been tuned to activate faster in low traction situations. US market models were equipped with a 5 speed automatic, as opposed to the previous 4 speed automatic. Honda is also offering an integrated Navigation option on the EX-L model. The navigation unit is made for Honda by Alpine and includes voice activated control, XM radio (in the USA and Canada), in dash CD player that can play MP3 and WMA media. It also has a six-disc CD changer in the center console and a PC Card (PCMCIA) slot in the Nav unit for flash memory MP3 or WMA files. A second CD player is behind the navigation screen, this CD player plays MP3/WMA cds. A rear backup camera is also included. For the 2010 model year, the CR-V receives modest style, powertrain, and equipment changes. The exterior changes include a redesigned front fascia with a new horizontal-slat chrome grille and honeycomb-designed lower front grille, new front bumper, and revised taillights. The rear bumper is also redesigned, as well as new five split-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels for EX and EX-L models. The interior gains minor changes, such as improved seat fabrics, and wider driver & front-passenger armrests. The audio head unit controls are altered and the information display backlighting in the gauges is blue instead of the previous black. USB audio input is standard in the EX-L trim while hands-free Bluetooth connectivity is exclusive to the EX-L trim equipped with navigation system. Horsepower is increased from 166 to 180 for 2010 and mileage is improved by 1 MPG for both front-wheel and all-wheel drive models. EPA ratings are now 21/28 MPG city/highway and 21/27 MPG city/highway respectively. Specified oil weight changed from 5W-20 to 0W-20 from previous years with a change to the K24Z6 engine. Prices are increased between $300 and $900 depending on trim level. The 2010 model went on sale in the United States on September 10, 2009.